And don't assume that day it is the method used for drying which determines in which way the trimming will be done: those who choose to let the branches dry out upside down leave the buds on the branches, while those who use a drying cupboard tend to remove the buds completely in order to get a more economical distribution of them over the sieves in the drying room. This room, where the trimmed material begins its last phase before distribution, is then set up in the same building. As always, when a new technology reduces the role of the human by reducing work costs, the introduction of mechanical trimming tools has been met with resistance by those who see their ability to earn a crust threatened: the trimmers. And although trimmers are pretty low down in the cannabis hierarchy, they do have more power than you might assume at first glance. Henri has been trimming for years, but has had to give up recently thanks to RSI (Repetitive Strain Injury).
He was part of a steady team of trimmers who worked for two employers. According to a number of people who we spoke to in making this article, many growers know. Trimming tackle at the Interpolm grow shop (Amsterdam): in the background is a box with rubber gloves and cleaning materials for shears and hands, in the foreground (left) pruning shears for thicker branches, to the right of which are regular shears. And some trimmers take grateful advantage of that knowledge. "The man who we worked for once brought a trim machine in with him," says Henri. Well, of course we did not like the look of this, but fair enough, if the boss we've got to do it, then we were willing to give it a whirl. The buds we ended up with of course looked like shit and when the boss saw this, he had immediately had his fill with trimming machines." Another retarding factor in the mass switch over to mechanical trimming has been the clients themselves. As every grow shop can testify, growers are often quite conservative. No bolshiness, no gossiping: Kermit at work and do not find it easy to switch over to new methods of doing things.
That applies to the tried and trusted growing techniques, but also for the manner in which the end product is trimmed. Despite the mechanical revolution it is still widely the case that growers get themselves a pair of friendly ladies and set them down at the trimming table. It is also increasingly popular (in Holland at least) to make up a trimming gang from foreigners working here illegally. Poles especially are popular, even if they do need to have a sharp eye kept on them thanks to the huge temptation that they are exposed to in the presence of the green gold. The advantage is the low wages that such workers are content with. When the decision has been taken to step over to mechanical trimming, then the client is generally sneakily aiming to avoid paying the same rate per trimmed weight as he did with the old-fashioned hand trimming, or to pay by the kilo rather than by the hour. At least he also gets to enjoy the significant shortening of the time it takes for him to get the trimming phase done and behind him. Many growers prefer to use people as trimmers who personally do not smoke, so as to minimise the temptation to them to slip a few buds into their bags. A drawback to this practice is that non-smoking trimmers react badly to the sometimes overwhelming powerful aroma of fresh buds. You can even get stoned from it, according to the stories. This is bollocks, according to the earlier quoted Frank. 'You simply cannot get stoned from the aroma of the weed; you have to have THC in your blood supply, otherwise you will not notice any effect. And this just doesn't happen through your nose." Nevertheless, there is frequently a (portable) carbon filter-fitted air extractor installed in the trimming room - though not primarily for the benefit of the trimmers. The most important reason for this is to keep the location secret, because it happens quite. Making the same monotonous movements with the same hand, hour after hour, not infrequently produces pains - and these can lead to the eventual burnout of the trimmer. 'We just can't make it any more fun than this: The Aardvark at the worktop. frequently that growing activities are discovered at the very last stage thanks to the smell. Other aids found in the trimming room include rubber gloves, which prevent trimmers' fingers becoming all gooey with sticky hairs in just a few minutes, trimming overalls and various cleaning fluids for the removal of said sticky stuff. As well as the economic aspect of mechanical trimming there is also a strong argument in favour of trimming machines: the ergonomics. Trimming with the traditional scissors is still generally considered to be the most accurate trimming technique, but has the drawback that it takes longer and trimmers need regular breaks from it. More importantly for the trimmer (and eventually for the client) is the heavy strain on the muscles and tendons of the hand.
Making the same monotonous movements with the same hand, hour after hour, not infrequently produces pains - and these can lead to the eventual burnout of the trimmer. Thanks to the variety of movements that using trim machines make possible, this risk is reduced with their use. Already by the beginning of the 1990s the first trim machines had appeared on the market. The Canadian Power Clipper was in all probability the first, a by present standards rather primitive and rather dangerous tool that was imported from Canada by the Pollinator Company. Switzerland made a play for the market with the Stripper and the Hanf Turbo Cleaner. All these machines made use of a vacuum cleaner that served to draw the leaf material towards the blade and then remove the trimmed waste and trap it somehow for eventual making into hashish. In the meantime there have been a number of alternatives made available, and these have often elaborated on the principles used in these first trimming machines. Glawill produces the Kermit trim machine, that's available in two versions, the first with a single cutting head, the second equipped with two. 'Kermit keeps on trimming, he doesn't smoke, moan or chatter!', says the company in its promotional material. Housed in a robust metal casing is a shaft inside of which is a rotating drill.
Via the opening in the shaft the bud is drawn along the drill, on which the rough covering leaves are snipped off and the connected vacuum cleaner sucks away the leaf waste. This can be used later for making skuff or water hash. By varying the suction power, even the smallest buds can be processed.