There’s much debate among cannabis cultivators worldwide as to whether machine trimmers should be avoided entirely. Some steer clear of them at all costs, while others use them somewhat instinctively.
Particularly in the United States, where annual cannabis sales now total more than $10 billion, the appeal of semi-automated trimming is easy to understand.The more large-scale commercial grow operations that emerge, the bigger the requirement for producing more end-product cannabis as quickly as possible.
Nevertheless, there are at least a couple of reasons why some…if not most…aren’t exactly in love with the idea of machine trimmers.
Real People Vs Machines
The first of which being the ‘human’ cost of the whole thing. If you have any prior experience cultivating cannabis, you’ll know that trimming is one of the most boring and time-consuming tasks of all. It’s also one of the most important stages in the production of quality cannabis. After all, cannabis flowers that are improperly manicured and still present all manner of excess foliage are far from attractive.
Manual trimming takes time, effort and a certain amount of skill. On the part of the cannabis producer, this adds up to an additional cost by way of the labour required. Trimmers tend to earn in the region of $12-$15 per hour, which despite not being a huge amount of money is still money the producer may wish to save.
Switching to machine trimmers on an industrial scale can ultimately save the grower time and money. A decent machine trimmer can do the business with up to 4kg of cannabis per hour - far more than any human alternative. What’s more, you don’t have to keep paying a machine trimmer for doing its job long-term.
As a result, human cannabis plant trimmers are routinely fired and replaced with machines. Great for the business, not so great for those looking to land entry-level jobs in the cannabis industry. What’s more, growers really must take into account the second of the two major issues with machine-trimmers.
Machine Trimmers Compromise Cannabis Quality
The whole purpose of machine trimming is to process and produce as much cannabis as possible in the shortest possible period of time. Unfortunately, pushing such vast amounts of cannabis through automated systems hour after hour has a tendency to compromise the quality of the final product. The simple fact of the matter is that a machine trimmer can never be as precise or meticulous as a human being.
Every cannabis plant and every flower produced is unique in shape and size. This makes it difficult, if not impossible, for machine trimmers to remove excess foliage with the same level of accuracy across all flowers processed.Some come out great, others not so great. They also have a nasty habit of tearing invaluable trichomes away from the flowers during the trimming process. The resulting by-product often being sold as a separate cannabis product in its own right, amounting to even bigger profits for the grower.
A Simple Case of Quality
Of course, the human side of the argument is one of pure personal opinion. We live in an age where thousands of human jobs are being replaced by machines and computers on a daily basis. It’s all part and parcel of 21st century existence.
However, there’s absolutely no disputing the fact that hand-trimmed cannabis is superior in both quality and consistency. Whether growing your own or buying from a dispensary, hand-trimmed is the way to go. At least, if quality is what matters to you most.