Trimmers have a very, stressful, tedious job. Expect to sit in a chair for 8-12 hours a day, maybe even more. Sitting that long, for days on end, even weeks, can wreak havoc on your lower back, neck, cramp your hands and strain your eyes. Doesn't sound like too much fun, but it's a task millions of people wish they hand the opportunity to do. It may get boring just sitting in silence, trimming, wasting the days away, but you at least know all this work won't be for nothing. There's a lot to cover when it comes to trimming, so I'll break his topic down into a few sections. Following these simple guidelines, you should be able to trim your first crop, or someone else's crop with little to no stress.
Trimmers/Scissors: Without these, you won't make your money at all. Have your own pair, so you don't have to share with anyone else. Two sets are mandatory, so you can let the resinous scissors sit and clean while you swap out for a clean pair. Don't buy cheap trimmers -- this is your main tool. Make an investment because they're going to help you do a better job with fewer problems in the long run. This is a vital tip for everyone who wants to trim, or trim better. Keep in mind that cheap doesn't mean bad, and expensive doesn't mean good. Do some research and find the ones right for you that fit into your price range. If you can't find anything, ask your local hydro or garden supply for a good paii.
Rubbing Alcohol: 91-99 percent isopropyl is recommended for bathing the scissors several minutes to loosen up the resin that collects during the trimming process. After a few minutes, the resin should wipe off easily, and the scissors should be good to go. There should always be a pair soaking in alcohol while your other pair is in your hands trimming the buds.
Paper Towels: Shit happens. drinks spill, alcohol falls: and you're going to need to clean it up. Being prepared to clean up a mess will let you get back to work quicker. You will also be washing your hands frequently. Make sure there paper towels to try those hands.
Mylar heat seal bags/ Turkey bags/ Vacuum heat seal bags: At the end of the day, or the season, most of the buds gets put into these bags. They are all smell proof. No matter how pungent the buds are, the smell can't permeate through the layered plastic or Mylar material. Very critical part of harvest season is making sure those bags are COMPLETELY sealed and stay that way until they have reached there final destination. Stems that have sharp edges can puncture bags, causing odor to leak. It's VERY IMPORTANT those stems are properly trimmed off and not poking at the bag. You don't want to smell like 20 pounds of weed when all the bags are supposed to be sealed, except for one that has a hole in it. Scenarios like that can get you into a lot of trouble.
Sharpie: Everything should be organized, and have a label on it, regardless if it's a pot, bowl, bag or jar. What strains get trimmed, how much you trimmed, how much trim you have, EVERY BAG, BOWL, JAR OR WHATEVER YOU TRIM INTO SHOULD HAVE A LABEL WITH YOUR NAME, STRAIN, AND TOTAL AMOUNT. There's a lot of people who work hard for months, only to lose a strain because things weren't labels as they should have been. Organization is very important in every aspect, from seed to weed.
Triple Beam Balance/Digital Scale: There's going to be a time when your going to have to weigh out your buds or trim. You have to keep track of all your numbers, or you'll lose out on a lot of money. Don't rely on anyone else to keep track of your numbers. If they lose those numbers, and you don't have them written down, you could have just thrown out several hours, maybe even days from your life.
Music: Instead of sitting hours in silence, you'll want to hear something other than your own thoughts. Try to avoid reggae, R&B, and oldies -- I love it, but it makes you tired. Try music with a fast, upbeat tempo that excites you, such as dancehall, rap, soca, calypso, rock, metal, disco or anything down those lines. Relaxing is fine, but too much will slow you down. Don't forget your headphones in case your not alone and don't want to listen to the same music everyone is.
Eye protection/Plenty of light: One of the worst things to happen during your trim session, is when your eyes hurt, water frequently, there dry and itchy, and out of focus. Wear eye protection to prevent a stem flying into your eye, or kief getting rubbed into your eye. PREPARE BECAUSE IT WILL HAPPEN. Lots of light is MANDATORY in order to trim properly. Low light light will cause eye strain, will definitely cause headaches, and will make trimming much harder. Overhead light, from the light fixtures or sun is fine, just as long as there not directly in your face, or corner of your eyes. You might not notice it, but it being there for hours, is will bother you. Plenty of light is very important.
Black yard bags unscented: Everything that can't be extracted will go into these. Sometimes, you might need these in order to put your harvested plants into for transporting. Make sure black yard bags are labeled on the outside as well so you don't have to keep opening and closing the bags. If you leave these freshly chopped plants in a black trash bag for too long they will mold. You need to leave the bags open to let the buds dry and cure slightly. Don't want the bags left open overnight because your buds might dry out. Act like the bag is a big glass jar in which your curing your buds.
A "Trim Bin" or something to trim into: Trimming onto a "Trim Bin" will make work more organized, cleaner, and you can collect some of the kief that falls through the fine, wire mesh screen on the bottom, like a grinder. If the employer is supplying the trim bin, most likely they want the kief that gets collected. If no notice is given about the kief, or the employer doesn't supply the trim bin, the kief that collects on the bottom, is usually yours to take. Some people smoke it, some people sell it. I would rather keep the kief that collects, and press it into a hash ball after all the work is done. It's one of the cleanest, purest forms of hash. It's a privilege to keep it at the very end with all the finger hash and scissor hash you've collected as well. Don't mix all your trim bin, scissor and finger hash together. They are all different qualities, but all good in their own way.
Nitrile-Free Gloves: Finger hash will have a hard time sticking to these gloves, making it easy to collect. Very sturdy gloves, they don't get holes easily, there's no powder inside, but they still keep hands dry and feel good on hands even hours after putting them on.
Non-Drowsy Allergy Meds : if you get an allergic reaction, do not take Benadryl. You'll be asleep in 30 minutes. Look for non-drowsy allergy medication instead.
Eye drops: If your wearing eye protection, you really shouldn't have to worry, but just incase your not, you should have this. Even if you don't have something in your eye, you might feel like you do. Be sure to have these handy when you go blinking-crazy, trying to get whatever's in your eye, out. Rubbing your eyes with the hand you trim with will only make your eyes more irritated. If all else fails, go to the sink, and blink your eye under cold running water to possibly flush out anything that's not supposed to be there.
Plenty of antibacterial soap and water: Cleanliness is next to godliness. Even if your wearing gloves, wash your hands every time you get up from trimming. Your hands might sweat slightly. Cannabis is medicine. I don't want my medicine being touched with dirty, unsanitary hands, and neither should you.
Bowls: Trimming into bowls instead of the turkey bag might help you see how much you can trim in a set amount of hours. If you fill up a bowl eight times in one day, and one bowl holds close to two ounces, you will know you average about a pound a day. You can use a scale if you have to, but this is just to help you judge how far along you're getting in the day. Trying to fill a turkey bag that can hold three to five pounds in one day is hard. Average is about one pound in a 8-12 hour work day, depending on the strain and bud structure. Try and get anywhere near two ounces an hour, and you'll be on a great pace.
Table and chair, Two chairs or a Box: To each is own, but I prefer to sit at a table trimming. If I don't have that option, I use two chairs: One for my butt and back, the other to put my legs up on. Worst case that's not available, use one chair to sit on, and put your feet on a few phone books or a box so your knees are closer to you so you can trim on your lap comfortably. Relax and get comfortable.
Pillows for your butt and back: You'll be in a chair for 6-16 hours sitting. Don't choose the most uncomfortable chair to do this job in. If your options are limited, use pillows to give yourself some added cushion and support. Sore neck, back and legs are nothing to play around with when it comes to trimming. You will feel miserable.
Drink plenty of water: Being dehydrated might be the last thing on your mind when your wondering why you have a headache, muscle aches, dry mouth, dry itchy skin and rarely use the bathroom. It's vital to make sure you stay properly hydrated, indoors or out. Even if you don't feel the need to drink water, drink it anyway. Most people don't get the daily water intake they need so now would be a good time to make it a good habit.
Healthy "munchies" and meals: Eating cookies, candies, cupcakes and pies, drinking sugary sodas, sports drinks and energy drinks are all going to make you feel like shit. Don't rely on quick, convenient things to eat. Eat an actual meal. Cooked or not. Eating food-like substances full of GMO's, aspartame, preservatives, food dyes, chemical stabilizers, artificial and "natural" flavored foods will only make you feel completely useless. Stop by a health food store, or at least the natural and organic section of your local store or supermarket and pick up some fresh fruits and vegetables, along with several snacks to last you several days. It might be more expensive, but you can't put a price on your health. Have you priced cancer treatments, doctors visits and prescription drugs lately? As a wise man once said, " Let food be thy medicine, and let medicine be thy food "
Multivitamin: Having your daily vitamins, mineral and nutrients is vital. Fatigue, headaches, eye strain, and muscle cramps are no fun while trimming. Remember to stay healthy, and just because your sitting indoors all day, doesn't mean you shouldn't take care of yourself. If vitamins aren't an option, try and make a smoothie. Don't forget to include your green leafy vegetables with fruits and nuts and for added nutrition. Lack of nutrition will make you not want to work at all.
Turn your phone off, or leave it in another room: Looking at your phone, responding to messages will only slow you down, and keep you from making as much money as you want to. If it's not an emergency put it away. 99 percent of the time, if your receiving a text, chances are the person texting you doesn't need a response right then at that very moment. If something's urgent, some will call, leave a voicemail, or someone who usually doesn't call, will call. Updating your Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram can wait until what's in front of you is done first. Your getting paid to trim, not to update your status.
Location services, Geo-Tagging on photos, GPS, or anything that requests for your location should be COMPLETELY OFF: Respect the privacy of the person your trimming for. They most likely don't want pictures their grow facility or home on the internet, with a drop pin, showing you the exact location of where your at, and where there product is at. Pictures are fine. Just ask, and turn off your location services, GPS, or anything that might give away your exact location.
Wear comfortable clothes: Remember, you'll be sitting in them all day. Stay in your pajamas or loose fitting clothes if it's ok with the person letting you trim. There's no need to put nice expensive clothes on, only for them to be covered in trim. You will smell like fresh weed every time you want to get in the car or go out somewhere. That smell can raise unwanted suspicion. Someone knows you smell like fresh weed when you go out, they will assume you grow, or just came from a grow op. They could try and discretely follow you back and rob you. Think ahead, and take small things like that into consideration.
Keep your eyes out for the next few articles regarding #TrimJail 201, and #TrimJail 301 loaded with much more information that should have you ready for anything that comes your way during harvest!