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Cannabis Plant Low-Stress Training for Beginners


Low-stress training, or LST, is a marijuana training technique used by many growers to grown indoors and outdoors. It’s a fun way to train your plants while reaping the benefits of larger yields as more sunlight reaches bigger areas of the plants. This article explains everything you need to know about cannabis plant low-stress training and how you can apply this growing technique to your plants.

What is Low-Stress Training?

Low-stress training involves dramatically changing the shape of a cannabis plant by gently bending the stems while growing. By directing the plant along a trellis, growers create multiple spots for buds to get energy from the light and grow along the plant’s stem. In traditional growing, larger leaves often cast a shadow over bud sites lower down which inhibits growth. LST ensures all bud sites receive an equal amount of sunlight and no leaves cover the smaller forming buds. The result is a drastically higher yield with relatively little effort. 

The Benefits of Cannabis Plants Training

Below are three of the main benefits and why we love cannabis plant low-stress training for growers buying cannabis clones. The great thing about this technique is that it can work for any cannabis strain grown indoors or outdoors. 

Higher Yield

The biggest factor making cannabis plant training so popular is the increase in yields. Unlike marijuana pruning, where some bud sites are removed, low-stress training exposes all bud sites to an equal amount of sunlight. This means all buds have a chance to grow into healthy and happy buds with high trichome counts. When growing upright, there’s usually one big bud with many smaller buds underneath.

Save Space Indoors

Growers following this technique have full control of the size and shape of their cannabis plants. This means indoor and outdoor cannabis plants require the same setup and light source for a bigger yield. Once you’ve found the right lighting level, it’s easy to train the branches along that level and spread them out under the light source. It’s a win-win for the plant and the grower. 

Doesn’t slow down growth

This growing technique causes the plant to undergo minimal stress, resulting in very little, if any, growth delays. If done correctly, the branches will never tear or cut, resulting in a happy plant with all its energy used to grow the buds. Manifolding is an example of a growing technique that causes high stress resulting in periods of slow or even stopped growth.

An example of a tomato plant and a tomato ring. These rings are used to train tomato plants in the same way cannabis would be low-stress trained.

How to Train Cannabis Plants

The goal of cannabis plant low-stress training is to bend the growing stem into forming an even and flat canopy. Get started by following the below steps:

Step 1:

You’ll need either twisty ties or plant ties to pin the branches down. You’ll also need something to pin the plants onto. It’s important to not use string or anything that isn’t flexible as it will damage the plant. You can use either a tomato ring, bamboo stakes, or trellis. 

Step 2 (optional):

This step requires you to cut the top of the stem, also referred to as ‘topping.’ This encourages your plant to split the main cola and form two colas which can be trained further.

Step 3:

When you’re low-stress training cannabis, the idea is to gently pull the branches away from the middle stem of the plant and secure them to the ring/stick/other branch. This ensures sunlight reaches all bud sites and larger leaves don’t overshadow the leaves underneath. 

Step 4:

Ensure your plants are trained to stay in the ‘sweet spot’ light source — not too close to the ground and not too close to the light where they may burn. If the plants are too close to the ground, the leaves at the top will cast a shadow. The trick is to spread the leaves, branches, and bud sites out so all parts receive an equal amount of light.

An important aspect to note is whether your chosen strain autoflowers. These strains flower quickly and don’t need light training to start flowering. Strains that autoflowering strains can go into flowering after about 4 weeks so cannabis plant low-stress training will be a daily activity. Carefully plan out how you want to train your autoflowering plants and watch them grow into beautiful buds.

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