Trim it up

Ngaio Bealum is a Sacramento comedian, activist and marijuana expert. Email him questions at

My garden keeps getting bigger and bigger, and trimming is becoming a hassle. Should I buy a machine?

—Carp L. Toonelle

Congratulations on your success! Trimming lots and lots of cannabis can be a drag and a huge time suck, but you do have a few options.

Option one: Suck it up. You don’t have to trim everything all at once. Store your untrimmed cannabis in an airtight container in a cool, dark spot and trim as you smoke. Option two: Hire trimmers. Some trimmers work for hourly wages (usually around 20 bucks an hour), but the best ones charge $200 per pound and are very efficient and will make your pot look like a centerfold model for a high-end cannabis magazine. If money is an issue, invite your deadbeat stoner friends over and offer them something like an ounce per pound trimmed. Option three: Buy a machine. The initial outlay is steep (a good trimming machine will run you $4,000 or more), but machines work fast and won’t drink all of your beer or snore on your couch.

Machines do have drawbacks: They are a drag to clean, and it’s hard for a machine to trim weed without smashing and bruising the THC glands on your beautiful marijuana plants. The newer machines are better at keeping the glands intact, but I have definitely seen machine trimmed cannabis that looked horrible. If you do decide to automate your facility, I’m sure your local hydro store can point you to a few good machines.

Have you ever heard of making cannabutter successfully with a pressure cooker? Asking for a friend.

—A. Friend

Only if you’re making cannabis-infused chitlins. Seriously, just use a crockpot. Slow and low. Easy peasy. If you are in a hurry, you can make a “quick and dirty” cannabis infused oil on your stovetop in about 20 minutes.

How do you shop for the best deals?

—C.B.D. Trump

Um, the internet? Weedmaps and Leafly are usually good bets. If you are talking about how to find good cannabis, I would suggest using your nose. Look for weed that smells good, and don’t be fooled into thinking that expensive cannabis is always the way to go. And when I say “use your nose,” I mean it. Terpenes are the chemical compounds that give different marijuana strains their unique aromas, flavors and “feels.” Different terpenes have different effects (here’s a handy chart: and it is my opinion that terpenes have more to do with a good buzz than THC. A high THC count doesn’t always mean high quality bud. Most of the recent winners in the various cups I have attending all had THC counts below 20 percent, but they all had incredible flavor and great feels. I have found plenty of great cannabis on the mid-range shelf and even a few hidden gems in the “low-quality” pile.