Is one better than the other?
Training your cannabis plants the proper way can significantly raise the yield and quality of your crop. The question is—is there a best practice? Should you use the low stress training technique or the super cropping technique? I guess that depends on your ultimate goal. Let’s take a look at the differences between low stress training and super cropping, and I’ll let you decide.
Low stress training (LST) involves bending your plants into a desired shape, and high stress training (HST) or super cropping methods are based on deliberately wounding your cannabis plant.
A Breakdown of Low Stress Training
Comparable to training a bonsai, low stress training is an art in and of itself. The branches and stems from your cannabis plant are gently manipulated and tied into place. This procedure creates a level canopy and radically changes the shape of your plant without producing stress on it. Multiple bud sites are then able to develop directly due to the exposure to more light. That being the case, the bud sites on the lower branches will then increase in size and quantity.
Low stress training is also beneficial when your plants are becoming too tall for your operation or must be decreased in height in order to provide discretion. In addition, low stress training is perfect for those with smaller spaces.
The bottom line is that low stress training provides you with a much greater yield as opposed to growing the natural way. Low stress training has a variety of benefits because of the higher light distribution. Once you start bending your branches to produce horizontal growth, your lower branches will absorb more light and produce a better yield. Also, because your colas are all the same height, your buds will be ready to harvest all at the same time. Having control over your height, shapes and size will mean giving your plant consistent attention, but you will be rewarded in the end with a large, healthy crop. LST does not involve damaging your plant directly, and I like this option!
A Breakdown of Super Cropping
Super cropping is more of a high stress training technique. Instead of manipulating your plants, you will use stem mutilation to reduce the height and stimulate growth. The goal is to train the branch into another position by breaking down the inner fibers of the branch, making sure that you don’t harm the outside of the stem in the process. It’s more of a rolling and wiggling of the branch until you feel it become more flexible. Once it becomes flexible and soft enough to bend without breaking, you will use ties to secure it in place where you desire the bend to be.
Super cropping sort of mirrors the techniques of low stress training but in a much more aggressive behavior. Instead of tying down the branches, you will bend them until those inner fibers become more flexible and will fold over to the position you desire. Only use super cropping early on in the growing stage prior to flowering.
The benefits are similar to low stress training as you will produce shorter plants with more buds. It is said that super cropping may increase the levels of THC and CBD.
In my opinion, super cropping is a bit riskier as I don’t like subjecting my crop to damage. However, with practice, it may be the way you prefer. Either way you choose, you could benefit from massive yields once you get it right.
A combination of both can also be used in photoperiodic plants. But try not to overdo it at first. Keep in mind that the ultimate goal is to produce a better harvest and improve your growing skills.
Until next time…keep your plants healthy and happy!