Hand-Trimmed vs Hand-CRAFTED and The Cannabis Trimming Spectrum

For as long as automated cannabis trimmers have existed there have been people that opposed them. While we believe that most of the arguments against machine trimming (in general) are misinformed now that the Mobius Trimmer is an option, we have always maintained that hand-trimming is a viable choice for small-scale growers and micro cultivators. Still, some brands like to be able to tell their customers that their product is hand-trimmed because they believe it conveys a high-quality product, with attention to detail paid to the flower throughout the growing and harvesting process. The reality though, is that hand-trimming does not scale (which we previously examined in a case study found here). If you’re a cultivator that built your brand around craft or small-batch growing, you are then faced with a dilemma: 

Continue to hand-trim and severely limit your business’ ability to grow, however, you maintain your brand promises and identity. Or, you opt for machine trimming, and you violate the reason you chose to hand-trim in the first place: your dedication to craft cannabis. 

At least, that’s what you thought.

We have more and more of our partners using Mobius M108 or M108S to trim cannabis a third way: a hybrid model.

Licensed Producer 7 Acres in Kincardine, Ontario, is well-known for exceptional flower. This isn’t just our opinion, it’s backed up by loads of reviews. They “respect the plant,” as it says in their own brand commandments. 7 Acres was an early adopter of the Mobius Trimmer, and they built a unique, entirely customized system. CEO John Fowler recently described it in a recent Instagram post: 

There’s a lot of debate about how best to finish good flower. The general wisdom is hand trim is always best, and for small scale I agree. However, as a long term business we’ve found it’s not the best outcome: it creates increased risk of repetitive strain injuries, and as the trimming team grows can cause inconsistencies in the visual character of the flower. 

@7acresmj we took a hybridized approach we call “hand polish”. We start with a quick trip through our @mobiustrimmer which we have set up to just remove larger leaf by increasing the throughput speed to reduce time in the tumbler. We then make sure each bud is checked by hand and any remaining leaf or stem is removed using a custom conveyor with ergonomic workstations. At the end of the line we conduct an additional visual inspect to ensure every flower meets our standards (and yours). 

John Fowler

7 Acres and many other LPs that have adopted a hybrid trimming model clearly demonstrate that it’s possible to create exceptional flower while incorporating an automated trimmer into their harvesting workflow. You can do the same, but you might need to drop the hand-trimmed terminology from your brand. No problem. Consider using these terms that can promote the same promises of high-quality and attention-to-detail to the customer:

  • Hand-crafted
  • Hand-finished
  • Hand-manicured
  • Hand-polished (thank John Fowler for that one!)

Think of trimming processes as being on a spectrum, with hand trimming at one extreme and completely automated trimming at the other. Implementing a trimming system that falls somewhere in the middle is an option for LPs that want to balance their brand promises with their business growth and ability to compete in the market as it becomes more saturated. Automated trimmers also have their own spectrum in terms of the trim quality. If not told, most end-users can not differentiate between a fully Mobius-trimmed flower and a hand-trimmed flower. This can’t be said for any other trimming machines, which produce flowers with leaves that looked hacked or ripped instead of scissor-cut. The Mobius Trimmer M108S has been designed for use in trimming workflows that fall anywhere on the machine trim to hand-trim spectrum. It’s customizable to whatever will work best for you and your business. Build the process you want, and don’t feel pressured to choose from two extremes. That’s what 7 Acres did, and it’s paid off! 

Read the positive comments on John’s Instagram post here

If you’d like to learn more about how the Mobius Trimmer M108S can be used to trim high-quality, craft cannabis, send us an email. 


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