Did you know those trimmings you discard from your buds have benefits too?
Yes, you can get to use these trimmings for other purposes, and possibly turn them into another revenue source.
These trimmings also contain THC and CBD, but not as much as those buds.
Some even use the stems, although it’s not recommended for smoking due to the amount of cellulose in it.
So what can we expect from these trimmings?
Yes, you can also use the leaves derived from the trimming process to make concentrates that are full of flavor and potent.
While they are in the same league as their bud counterparts, the concentrates taken from cannabis trims allow growers to turn these trimmings into income generators.
So what are the things you need to know when making extracts from your trims?
Anatomy of a Plant
In every cannabis harvest, there are three (3) parts of the plant you trim off.
The first is the bud, which we all know is the most coveted part of the plant. The second is the stem, which you can use for other purposes. And lastly, the leaves, which we will talk about more in this article.
There are two (2) kinds of leaves in a cannabis plant.
The first is the fan leaves, which you usually trim off before the actual cutting of the stalks. And the second is the sugar leaves or the leaves found on the bud itself.
Between the two leaves, you can expect to get more concentrates from sugar leaves. But that does not mean you can’t get any extract from the fan leaves.
If you have a press, you can try extracting. But, manage your expectations, as they will not yield that much.
Close-Loop or Rosin Press?
There are two ways of getting those concentrates from sugar leaves. The first one is through a close loop system, and the second is through a rosin press.
The close-loop system uses chemicals and requires a lot of training and experience in handling to do. It also occupies more space, which may not be ideal for small operations.
Rosin presses are straightforward, do not use any chemicals, and can be compact. But your buds are put at risk of burning with the heating plates, if not done right.
Between the two, you are better off going for a rosin press due to the simplicity, purity, and fewer risks in gathering the concentrates.
Choosing a Rosin Press
It’s easier to choose a rosin press, given the variety of sizes available, whereas close loop systems are restrictive, size-wise.
But as long as you choose a press appropriate to the quantity of buds you frequently extract, it will be a worthy investment.
If you are a small-time grower or someone who personally grows cannabis, there are compact, or even travel-friendly rosin presses to consider, like the Original Nug Smasher or its Mini version.
If you're looking to turnover a lot of rosin in every press, then consider the Triminator TRP Stack.
There are a lot of options for rosin press machines in the market today, and they all have their respective strengths and challenges to go with it. To give you an idea of your options for it, please check out the Trimleaf Rosin Press Buyer’s Guide.
Turning Your Trim Into Concentrates
With trimmings from the sugar leaves, there are three (3) ways to get those concentrates.
Press trimmings directly with your rosin press
Pressing your trims directly is the easiest method of getting those concentrates, as you only need to put the right amount of trimmings in the rosin bag and press according to the instructions of your rosin press.
While pressing trims is the easiest, it also yields the least amount of concentrates. On the average, you get 3 – 8 percent of the total weight of the trims, with 30 percent quality. Of course, you want more of that, so you got to exert a little more effort in the processing.
Press the kief found on the sugar leaves
Kief is the by-product of separating the trichomes from the buds, or in this case, the sugar leaves.
You need to a dry sift collector to collect the kief from the leaves. If you have an automatic trimmer, it most likely comes with a kief collector or a compatible kit for the job. But if you don’t have one, you can get a silkscreen and put a clean tray under the screen. You rub the sugar leaves on the screen, and the kief will fall on the tray under it. Once you collect the kief, insert it in your micron bags and let your rosin press juice out your concentrates.
The method yields the most - getting the hash from the sugar leaves and then pressing it
But of course, it is also the most intensive process. There are many ways of getting the hash from the sugar leaves. You can get it from the kief that you filter, or you can try using the ice method.
The Financial Benefits
Being able to squeeze the sugar leaves from your buds gives you another income generator.
As it is, the going rate for trims has already gone up to 250 dollars a pound. While, a gram of concentrate can go for 30 dollars, and can even reach 50 dollars a gram for the high-quality strains.
Now, if you invested in a rosin press, you can also expect a faster return of investment, once you have mastered the pressing techniques for your strains.
That means being able to get the most rosin, without the burnt taste, and only the fullest flavor possible.
Other Things To Do With Your Trim
If you think concentrates is the only thing you can do to those trims, you are mistaken. You can make edibles with sugar leaves, as the THC found in cannabis is fat-soluble. Just grind the trim, and add to hot oil or melted butter. Let it simmer for a few hours, and strain the mixture to filter the trims. Filter the leaves to get the oil, down to the last drop.
You can use the cannabis-infused oils with your dishes. Or, you can use the fan leaves for that purpose, but need a much larger quantity for potency.
Speaking of fan leaves, they contain anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties.
You can sprinkle them on your salads or other dishes, or mix them with your juicer.
They may not have the same effect as sugar leaves, but they add flavor to your juices or meals.
Cannabis harvest need not only focus on the buds alone, as you can also use the leaves of the plant to produce other products.
You reduce the amounts that go to waste by turning them into other products that have health benefits too.
That shows how sustainable the cultivation of cannabis can be for growers.
And with technology developing more innovations, it is only a matter of time when newer solutions are created to make the most out of the trimmings from cannabis plants.