Other techniques to optimize growth and productivity of marijuana crops, especially for home growers and micro growers.
Cannabis Sativa (Hemp)
Cannabis Sativa (Hemp). Rowan McOnegal. Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0)

Some other techniques aim for the same goal, only with a more traumatic approach for the plant. That’s why they are called High-Stress Training Techniques, although our grandparents called it simply “pruning.” 

Although the phrase “high stress” may suggest that this is something negative for plants, these techniques can stimulate growth hormone production and lead to more vigorous plants with a richer crop.

I think the term “high-stress” also refers to the stress of practicing these techniques: thinking you might make a mistake and end up with no crop or with a severely compromised yield is certainly not relaxing. So before you venture into these techniques, make sure you have read all the sources well and watched one or more videos before you try it!

Topping to the top

The topping technique consists of cutting the apical part of the plant at a precise point in order to obtain a series of advantages:

  1. modify the structure of the plant, which will grow more flattened and will better exploit the light;
  2. increase production, creating two main colas instead of one.
Topping a plant on Linfa

Fim(m)ing or pinching

Pinching, also known as Fiming (which stands for Fuck… I missed) is an apparently more awkward technique, discovered by chance (oh serendipity…) by a grower who had poorly executed a topping.

Fimming Cannabis Plants | Marijuana Yield Boosting from Zamnesia on Vimeo.


Fimming consists of cutting off about 75% of the tip of a plant. After you FIM your marijuana plant, it grows 4 main colas instead of one. But beware, micro-growers: fimmed plants can still grow tall. If you’re using a grow box or planning on doing a scrog, topping makes things more manageable.

It is not a stone-carved law, but most Linfa growers who have tried both techniques suggest using topping combined with Low Stress Tecniques such as SCROG

Royal Queen Seeds has a very informative article which compares the two techniques in great detail.


Another high-stress training technique is what is known as super cropping. It consists of causing deliberate damage to the plant so that it reacts with a defensive response that makes it more robust and increases yield.
Apparently, it’s not for the faint of heart because it involves bending, almost to the point of breaking, a small branch of the plant. Yet, once learned, this technique is among the simplest and most effective. Here are all the secrets of super cropping, explained by Royal Queen Seeds.

Supercropping technique — Courtesy Royal Queen Seed
Here is the precise moment when the stem is damaged
It can happen to overdo it, but don’t worry! A bit of duct tape solves the problem.

What are the best training techniques for micro growers?

In short, training techniques, whether low-stress or high-stress, are a smart way to optimize production in domestic and micro-growing crops. Which technique is best must be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. There are many variables: the type of cultivation, the variety of cannabis, the equipment, and much more.

By Annah Bong


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