The Importance of Proper Training Techniques in Cannabis Cultivation

Training techniques allow growers to manipulate the cannabis plant’s growth structure and bud development. This can nearly double harvest yields without an extra investment.

Cannabis plants normally develop one large main stem with an elongated cola alongside side branches with smaller buds. This growth pattern is known as apical dominance.

Light Deprivation

Many plants, including cannabis strains, rely on a specific amount of darkness to trigger their flowering cycle. This process is known as photoperiodism, and it’s important to understand how it works in order to maximise yields.

One of the most effective ways to manipulate this is through light deprivation. Whether you’re growing indoors or outside, the technique restricts the number of hours your plants are exposed to sunlight. This will force them to start flowering earlier than they would normally.

While this may seem like a simple technique, it requires a lot of consistency and attention. You’ll need to cover and uncover your plants daily.

It can be a time-consuming and tedious project, but it’s worth the effort for the extra harvests you could get in the end. You can automate the process by using a timer to pull your covers automatically.

You’ll also need to ensure you’re using a light-proof tarp to block the sun from entering your greenhouse. This will prevent any light leaks that could harm your grow.

A good rule of thumb is to cover your greenhouse at 7:00pm and uncover it at 7:00am every day. This will mimic the Fall Equinox and encourage your plants to switch into flowering mode.

During this period, your plants will begin to produce flowering hormones that will keep them in bloom until they’re ready to harvest. Then, you can pull them out of the greenhouse and bring them outdoors for their second harvest.

Light deprivation is a great way to increase your yields and make better use of your space. It can help you achieve multiple harvests in the same growing season, while also avoiding the risk of mould and mildew. However, it’s important to choose a strain that will work well with this growing method.


In addition to being a useful training technique for promoting ripening, deleafing can also help decrease the risk of powdery mildew and botrytis. Since these diseases only require brief periods of high humidity, a dense canopy helps to trap moisture and create a microclimate that is ideal for spore germination.

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This type of deleafing is mainly performed in the flowering stage, around the 20th and 40th day of flower, as this is when most of the plant’s energy is being directed towards bud production. Some growers also defoliate on a “feel” basis, pulling leaves whenever they notice the plants look leafy or if they have a lot of leaves laying on top of each other or covering bud sites.

While deleafing is primarily aimed at exposing main buds to light, it’s also important to remove tiny growth tips on the lower parts of stems that won’t be able to reach light. This will allow the plant to focus its energy on those main colas that are actually receiving light.

Another benefit of removing the lowest leaves from your tomato plants is that they can reduce the amount of black leaf streak (BLSD) infection. This is especially helpful in areas where BLSD is common or during the rainy season.

The number of whiteflies (adults and nymphs) on tomato plants for the two deleafing practices tested was significantly higher in delayed than in regular deleafing, with an increase in young nymphs just after first deleafing that was not offset by a decrease in older nymphs.

This means that the biological control of whiteflies is less effective in the regular deleafing treatment, which also led to increased pesticide use. Fortunately, the delayed deleafing technique was found to be an efficient compromise between production re- quirements and sustainability of non-chemical methods.


Proper training techniques are crucial for maximizing cannabis yields and keeping plants healthy. Whether you’re growing in a home garden or large commercial grow facility, the right training technique can make all the difference between a harvest of good buds and an overcrowded flowering area full of diseased weed.

Topping is a type of High Stress Training (HST) technique that involves cutting off the top bud or branch of the plant, forcing it to develop two main stems instead of one. This forces the plant to focus its energy on cola development, which is a more efficient use of resources.

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Generally, you should only top a plant once it’s reached at least five to six nodes. This is to ensure that the plant’s health improves as it continues to grow.

While topping may seem like a brutal method of crop management, it’s actually an effective and safe way to increase yields and control the vertical height of your plants. In addition, topping allows you to direct your cannabis’s hormone distribution more effectively.

Topping can also help to keep your plants healthy by preventing them from developing a main cola that could fall prey to mold or fungal pathogens. Another benefit of topping is that it encourages more lateral growth, which can lead to larger and more diverse buds.

While topping is a high stress training technique, there are many less stressful alternatives that can be used to boost your cannabis yields without causing as much strain on your plants. For example, low stress training methods such as LST, ScrOG, and SOG can help to maximize the light to your plants’ lower branches while promoting multiple bud sites.


The importance of proper training techniques in cannabis cultivation cannot be overstated. Whether you’re growing indoors, outside or in a greenhouse, using the right training methods will ensure you get the most out of your grow space and produce a high-quality harvest.

There are several techniques that can be applied to cannabis plants for a range of goals, from shortening the vegetative phase to promoting larger colas or getting an even canopy. But there’s no one technique that will suit all needs and growers should decide what they want from their crop first and then apply the appropriate training method.

Topping and fimming are two high stress training (HST) techniques that can be used to encourage the formation of multiple main colas in a plant. The main difference between topping and fimming is how much of the apex of the plant is removed, so it’s important to decide which technique will suit your cannabis garden best.

In topping, the apex of the central stem is completely cut away. This results in two side branches competing for prime sun spots, encouraging better bud growth.

However, this approach can also cause the lower buds on a plant to become weaker and less potent. This is why it’s usually recommended to try a low stress training technique like ScrOG before applying any high-stress techniques such as topping and fimming.

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In a similar way to topping, the apex of a plant’s central stem is cut off in the fimming technique. This results in four or more new side branches, which can be a bit rebellious and may need to be controlled if you want to use your grow space effectively.

Low Stress Training

The importance of proper training techniques is often overlooked, but they play a huge role in the final yield of your cannabis plants. Proper training ensures your plants receive all the nutrients, light, and air they need to grow well and develop a large harvest.

Low stress training (LST) is a simple method of manipulating your cannabis plants to increase their growth. This can boost yields by as much as 25%.

LST involves bending plant stems and branches without applying too much force to them. It also encourages the development of multiple buds rather than a single big one.

Start training your plant as soon as the main stem and its first side branches have grown long enough to tie down. Ideally, you should be able to bend the stems and branches around the rim of your growing container with no trouble.

This should happen between a few weeks into the vegetative stage and a few days into the flowering phase. The earlier you do it, the more dramatic the results will be.

You can use a range of different materials for your tie-downs, but the ideal material is soft plant binds or a soft coated garden wire. Other options include pipe cleaners or twine.

When using twine and string, be sure to keep the plants close to the soil line to avoid potential mould spores. These spores can cause severe disease and infection in your crop.

While LST and other plant manipulation techniques can increase your overall yield, they are not foolproof. The exact outcome depends on a number of factors, including the genetics and strain you are cultivating, the environmental conditions and how well the plant responds to training.

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