If you’ve never spent time as a trimmer at an outdoor farm, you probably envision a pot harvest being like a super-chill camping trip: friends smoking joints and drinking beers around a bonfire as they trim freshly cut buds for generous wages. The reality is that it’s hard labor that can wreak havoc on your body if you don’t take as good of care of yourself as you do the rows of meticulously hung branches in the cure room.
Since traditional payment is by the pound, you don’t make money when you aren’t trimming. This means most trimmers work 12-hour days, constantly gripping a pair of scissors, with brief breaks for meals and a quick smoke sesh while choosing which podcast to put on next.
That uninterrupted strain on your muscles in your hand can freeze up the rest of your forearm, in some cases lead to ganglion cysts and numbness.
If you’re trimming in the curing area, there will be humidifiers drawing moisture out of the air in the room, giving you airplane skin for the duration of the harvest.
That being said, a good day working around a trim table can be a paid vacation, with great conversations and playlists. But if you want to work more than a couple of harvests without sustaining injuries or face breakouts that last from Halloween ’til Christmas, here are my self-maintenance tips to help your body keep up with the demands of trim season.
For Every Hour of Trimming, Take 10 Minutes to Stretch
Controlling a pair of scissors when manicuring small leaves engages all the muscles in your arm. It’s important to give your muscles time to unwind throughout the day so no tendon is strained beyond the point of a good night’s sleep. Stand up, stretch your arms back and look to the sky to give your neck some reprieve. Stretch your hands by spreading out your fingers, touching your palms and pressing your fingertips together until you feel the stretch in your forearms.
Give Your Muscles a Smoke Break, Too
It’s very disorienting to handle weed that’s too fresh to smoke. Maybe that’s why it’s easy to forget the other forms of cannabis that can be very helpful in the trim room. Smart harvest managers will do a world of good for their crew by keeping a massive communal jar of cannabis topical around, like the Physic Wood/Field Balm by Leif Goods ($65), containing 477 mg THC and 158 mg CBD. Massage into your neck, forearms, hands and anywhere else that feels sore so muscles loosen during breaks.
Keep Your Skin Clean and Quenched
Between the sticky cannabis pollen floating in the air and the full days surrounded by crispy, dehydrated air, I simultaneously get dry patches and perpetual breakouts every harvest. Remember to start with a double cleanse each night: either use micellar water or an oil cleanser to break up the resin residue in your pores, then wash with normal foamy face wash. Use an exfoliator once a week to clear out the deeper grime, and tone before moisturizing each night with a thicker formula for the unseasonably dry air in the trim area. And if you were beginning to question the utility of those hydrating face mists you impulsively bought over the past year, now is the time to use those bad boys. Use them whenever and as frequently as you like—your skin will appreciate the extra moisture.