Splitting is a really aggressive high-stress technique, and we only recommend it to experienced growers. Also, we do not recommend stem splitting on autoflowering strains, as it can be far too intense for them.
Most grow techniques that involve stress work on the same principles; stressing a cannabis plant encourages it to take up more nutrients, which in turn results in more vegetative growth and heavier harvests.
Stem splitting is a very aggressive grow technique that’s generating a lot of discussion in the cannabis cultivation community. Those in favour of this technique argue that it stresses the plant in a beneficial way, forcing it to take up more nutrients and produce bigger, more potent buds. Could this be true? Keep reading to find out.
WHAT ARE THE RISKS OF STEM SPLITTING?
Taking a knife to your cannabis plants a few days before harvest seems pretty counterintuitive. However, many growers say stem splitting can produce bigger yields and more trichomes for tastier, more potent bud. Read on to learn more.
To split the stems of your cannabis plant, you’ll need:
2. Next, take your knife and cut through the stem, starting at the highest part of the cut. Be sure to make a clean cut right through the centre of the stem.
1. First, start by measuring the part of your plant’s stem that you’ll be splitting. You’ll want to make a cut of around 10–20cm right beneath the lowest branches of your plant. Use some tape or rope to mark out both the top and bottom of the cut.
If you’re not the type to grind up your stems with your bud, you’ve either got a garbage bag full of them or an impressive collection. If you’re in the former group, we’ve got some information that might make you reconsider. If you’re in the latter, though, today just might be your lucky day.
Before anything, if you want to make use of the THC content of your stems, decarboxylation is key. It might seem like a confusing process based off the name, but it really just means you’re heating them up to a certain point. This process creates the easily absorbable and immediately psychoactive THC from its precursor chemical, THCA. This, in turn, makes the stems perfect for tinctures, hash, extracts, and edibles.
Then, in a blender, combine an equal amount of stems and regular paper. Add enough water for the mixture to move and blend freely. When the mix is a slurry with minimal bits left intact, pour it out evenly onto the vat. Gently shake the vat until the pulp is evenly spread. If you’re making a larger piece of paper, you’ll need a squeegee to get things even. Leave this to drain and dry. After 24 hours, gently peel your paper away and hang it out to dry. Trim to your needs, and enjoy!
Perhaps one of the most unconventional ways to enjoy cannabis are weed-infused topicals, which have become quite popular over the past couple of years. Along with moisturising your skin, cannabis-infused lotions and creams can help care for your muscles in a new way. They’re also a wonder for supple joints, along with tackling sensitive, red skin especially well. Thankfully, we’ve already got a recipe for cannabis lotion! Note, however, that you’ll be replacing “15–30g of flowers” with 2–3x the amount of stems, or the closest you can get.
If you want to get this process started, just take your stems, break them down, and throw them into a resealable plastic bag. Place this bag in your freezer, and let it sit until you’ve got more to add. When you add to the collection, give the bag a healthy shake. Each time you shake, the now-frozen resin crystals will begin to detach from the stem fragments. Slowly but surely, you’ll build up an impressive pile at the bottom of the bag. Once you sift out the stems, you’ll have a whole bunch of kief ready to smoke!
The idea of splitting the main stem of your precious marijuana plant may seem pretty brutal. But hey, expert Dutch growers know best, right? It wouldn’t be a popular technique if it didn’t work! This one goes out to all you veteran growers out there: have you tried this technique? How has it worked out for you? Let us know in the comments below!
Now that you know how to split the stem, you probably still have a few questions about the risks, timing, and effectiveness of the practice. We’ve got you covered.
Don’t start hacking into your cannabis plants just yet. Take a moment and read through our technique for stem splitting. It’s better to go in with a plan! You’ll need just a few materials to get started.
Has The Efficacy Of Stem Splitting Been Proven?
Many skilled growers swear by stem splitting as a way to pump up their harvest in both potency and yield. Unfortunately, there’s not a lot of scientific data to back up these claims. All we know is that stem splitting supposedly originated in Holland back in the 1970s. We can’t point you in the direction of hard data, so it’s up to you to decide whether or not you believe the hype.
We’ve already dipped into topics concerning low and high-stress growing techniques, but there are some even more intense techniques out there. One such method is called stem splitting. Although it’s been in practice since the 1970s, stem splitting continues to generate conversation in the cannabis industry. The question being asked among most growers is this: should you take the blade to your marijuana plant? Read on to decide if stem splitting is for you.
Using your knife and chopsticks (or pencils, skewers, etc.), pry open the cut and insert up to three chopsticks, depending on the size of your plant. Once you have them inside the incision, remove the knife and space out the chopsticks. That’s it, you’ve done it!
Why should slicing into your cannabis plant yield better weed? Growing techniques like topping and super-cropping are generally ways to stress out the plant to your benefit. Something like splitting the stem causes a lot of stress for the plant, encouraging it to take in more nutrients. More nutrients mean more growth – in this case, denser buds and a higher concentration of trichomes. Increased trichome production is the goal that cannabis growers are trying to achieve by splitting stems in the last days of flowering. The biological purpose of trichomes – aside from getting us high – is actually to protect the cannabis plant against illnesses and pests. By tricking Mother Nature into trying to protect herself, we get more potent buds in the end.