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High-Stress Training

High-Stress Training (HST) on Cannabis

High-stress training (HST) serves as a cultivation technique for optimizing cannabis growth outcomes. This method proves effective in enhancing both the yield and THC content of your cannabis plants. Nonetheless, it carries a degree of risk as it may lead to excessive stress on your plants. To navigate this potential challenge, a comprehensive step-by-step guide to high-stress training is available to assist you in preventing overstressing and promoting successful cultivation.

What is High-Stress Training (HST) Cannabis?

As implied by its name, high-stress training entails deliberately inflicting cuts or wounds on your cannabis plants, aiming to reap various advantages, including heightened yield and elevated THC levels. While high-stress training is commonly implemented before transitioning to the vegetation phase, it is noteworthy that application during the vegetation phase remains a viable option.

Step by Step High-Stress Training

There are several ways to execute this approach due to the existence of various techniques within the realm of high-stress training. The primary ones include:

1. Topping

high stress training

Topping is a straightforward technique involving the removal of the upper section of a plant, accomplished either with scissors or by using your fingernails. The excised portion of the plant subsequently bifurcates into two branches, concurrently encouraging growth in the lower branches. This process is repeatable throughout the plant’s vegetative phase, leading to the development of multiple colas and ensuring light penetration to all bud sites. It is important to note that the plant requires a few days for recovery after topping, thereby extending the vegetative stage. Topping results in a compact and well-branched plant with an expansive structure. Typically, Low-Stress Training (LST) and topping enable the lower branches to attain equal height, ultimately achieving a balanced canopy with a flat top. A helpful tip is to sterilize your scissors or hands with alcohol before topping to minimize the risk of infections.

2. Fim

high stress training

Fimming represents a more intricate iteration of the Topping method. In contrast to Topping, which involves the complete removal of a section of new growth, Fimming entails the removal of approximately 75% of the new growth. The objective is to stimulate the development of four new branches instead of two, achieving outcomes similar to Topping but with less extensive training required. Whether performed on side branches for a bushier plant or on the top for increased height, both Fimming and Topping’s methods offer distinct approaches to shaping the plant’s growth.

3. Super Cropping

high stress training

Super Cropping, also known as Stem Mutilation, represents a more assertive approach compared to Low-Stress Training (LST) Cannabis. In place of securing the plant’s top, Super Cropping involves bending the branch until its fibers break. The objective is not to fracture the entire branch or tear the stalk’s skin but to achieve a controlled bend. To execute this technique, gently rolling and squeezing the targeted branch is necessary, with a keen sense to discern when it begins to weaken and eventually bend. Similar to other training methods, the overarching goal of Super Cropping is to even out the canopy, facilitating optimal light exposure to all bud sites.

Advantages of HST Cannabis

HST Cannabis offers unique advantages beyond optimizing environmental conditions. A key benefit is the increased yield per plant achieved by diverting energy from the main stem to lateral growths through top pruning. This process triggers the development of multiple main stems and their respective bud sites, leveraging the phenomenon of apical dominance. By encouraging lateral bud growth through pruning, not only does the yield increase, but the plant’s shape also improves, resulting in a shorter, well-branched structure with balanced light and wind exposure. Despite these benefits, it is crucial to be aware of potential risks associated with high-stress training if not executed with caution.

Disadvantages of HST Cannabis

High-stress training cannabis lives up to its name by inducing considerable stress on Cannabis plants. While it can be highly rewarding when executed correctly with the right timing and cultivar, novice growers may encounter numerous potential risks. Failure to allow adequate recovery time between high-stress sessions can lead to growth stunting and weakened plant parts, increasing the risk of infections. Inexperience and a lack of familiarity with recovery times often contribute to these downsides. Additionally, super cropping on immature plants may result in open wounds prone to infection or the death of growth above the internode.

Risk of High Stress Training Cannabis

Engaging in any form of high-stress training for your cannabis plants introduces the risk of potential issues that may impede growth, cause contamination, or reduce yield. Hermaphroditism is a common problem triggered by excessive stress and is a primary argument against high-stress training. This concern is valid as hermaphroditic plants can result in a loss of potential yield and pose the risk of pollinating the entire cannabis garden, potentially affecting the entire batch. Evaluating a strain’s stress tolerance is crucial, as different strains exhibit varying resilience to stress, emphasizing the importance of selecting a strain compatible with high-stress training.

Conclusion

Exploring stress techniques in cannabis cultivation is valuable for growers with prior experience. Although initially challenging, engaging in High-Stress Training (HST) allows growers to gain a deeper understanding of their strains and their limits. With persistent effort, the benefits become evident, leading to larger harvests and the ability to maximize weed production in limited growing spaces – a prospect that is sure to appeal to any cannabis enthusiast.

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