After all the plants have been harvested, it is now time to manicure them – it’s time to remove the buds from the branch and remove the rest of the leaf material as best as possible. This is what is referred to as “manicuring” of weed buds.
Manicuring, simply put, is cutting off the leaves that were growing from the buds. Cut off all the leaves surrounding the bud, so that just the bud remains. Manicure immediately after harvest when plant leaves are still soft and supple.
Trimming immediately also increases drying times. Simply put this is the process when we remove the non-resin-covered fan leaves around the buds before hanging. These do not contain high concentrations of THC. This is a very time-consuming process, but you will find if done properly and with the care it produces more potent, less leafy, better-looking buds. This can be done before or after drying, but you will find it is much easier to do it before.
WARNING: Remove the entire leaf stem! If not it can attract moisture and attract mold.
Tear fan leaves away from the stock while handling buds as little as possible. (In fact, do not touch them at all for a great selling point “ buds never touched by human hands!”) Continue to trim protruding leaf tips from the buds. The degree to which you trim your buds is a matter that is an entirely personal choice.
A good time to begin manicuring is when your plants are nearly dry. When they are too dry, many of the glands will fall off with handling. When there is moisture most of the glands will remain intact.
Work over a smooth surface such as a glass table. This will make it easy to be able to see and collect all the material that has been cut away from the buds. It is lower in THC than the buds, but rather than throw it away you can make hash oil.
When manicuring your buds, be sure to use a pair of scissors with small blades (to reach the hard to get leaves) that is comfortable. If you have a small crop, you can handle the plants with your bare hands. For the larger crops, be sure to wear powder-free latex gloves.
If you want to consume the resin, be sure to place the latex gloves in a bag and then place it in the freezer for 2-3 hours. The trichome resin can easily then be peeled from the latex gloves and consumed the way you would use hashish.
If it is absolutely necessary, you can postpone manicuring the buds. However, the job will take even more time if you choose to wait. Manicuring right after the plants are harvested will also speed up the drying process tremendously.
Note: At this point, the buds should be a little moist, including the inside of them. Some can be smoke-able at this point, you can get even better-smelling and tasting buds instead of smoking weed directly after it is harvested and manicured – it’s best to dry and cure it. Most newbie growers are in such a rush to try the weed that they don’t want to dry the crop, or they might even be tempted to put it in the microwave – BAD IDEA. Why? Read on.