Cannabis training methods are an assortment of horticultural techniques employed by cultivators to modify the growth pattern of cannabis plants. The primary purpose of these methods is to enhance yield quality, potency, and volume. This article delves into various cannabis training techniques, their applicability, and potential effects on cannabis growth.
Introduction to Cannabis Training
In natural settings, cannabis tends to grow tall with a Christmas tree shape. It means that it develops a dominant central stem known as the apical stem, with other branches radiating out and downwards. This growth pattern ensures the plant effectively captures sunlight in wild, competitive environments. However, in a controlled setting like a grow room or an outdoor garden, this growth pattern is not always optimal, hence the need for training.
Cannabis training methods involve altering the plant’s natural growth pattern to expose a greater portion of the plant to light and air circulation, leading to improved health and enhanced bud development. Most of these techniques involve manipulating plant structure, ensuring even canopy growth, and enhancing light penetration to lower branches.
Low-Stress Training (LST) is one of the simplest and most common methods used in cannabis cultivation. It is referred to as “low-stress” because it doesn’t significantly harm the plant or impede its growth. The main goal of LST is to create a more flat, even canopy that allows light to reach all the buds equally, thereby promoting greater yield.
The LST technique involves gently bending and securing the branches of the cannabis plant to create an even canopy. By doing so, the plant is tricked into believing it has multiple apical stems, resulting in a plant with multiple top colas instead of one. This technique can begin once the plant has developed several nodes and can continue throughout the vegetative phase.
High-Stress Training (HST) methods involve techniques that cause significant stress to the plant but result in a dramatic increase in yields if correctly executed. One of the most commonly used HST techniques is “topping.”
Topping involves cutting off the top of the main stem of a young cannabis plant, which stimulates the plant to divert energy from the apical dominance to the growth of two new stems from the nodes below the cut. This technique results in a bushier plant with more bud-producing branches. However, topping should only be performed during the vegetative stage as it requires time for the plant to recover before it starts flowering.
Another common HST method is “FIMing” (short for “F**k I Missed”), a less precise form of topping. FIMing involves removing around 75% of the tip of the main stem, resulting in the growth of four new colas instead of two.
Screen of Green
The Screen of Green (ScrOG) technique combines elements of LST and HST and involves placing a horizontal screen or net over the plants and weaving the branches through as they grow. This technique spreads the branches out, exposing more of the plant to light and leading to the production of more buds.
The ScrOG method requires more effort than other techniques, but it’s especially useful when growing space is limited, as it effectively controls plant height and maximizes light utilization. However, ScrOG is not suitable for a large number of plants due to the intense care and attention required for each plant.
Super cropping is another high-stress training method that involves slightly injuring the plant to encourage a stress response. This response results in the plant diverting more nutrients to the damaged area to heal, promoting thicker, stronger branches and potentially larger