Low Stress Training: Increasing Your Cannabis Plant Yield

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Categories : Cannabis cultivation

Low Stress Training: Increasing Your Cannabis Plant Yield

Obtaining more bud from your cannabis plants isn't as hard as it may seem. All you need is a bit of patience and some know-how. Today, we break down the technique of low stress training.

In the cannabis industry, there are countless methods to increase yield and potency, and to use your setup as efficiently as possible. The main concern within an indoor grow operation is the proper use of light. Cannabis plants naturally grow in Christmas tree shape. The buds located at the top will receive more light than the ones at the bottom. And because of the triangular shape, there will be more potential buds at the bottom than the top.

You don't want to meticulously feed, hydrate, and control the environment for a plant that will give you just over 30 grams of bud. It's not going to be cost-effective nor motivating for you as a grower. With this, different growers have developed some of the strangest methods. Some will use the topping technique, which involves cutting off the main stem to form two new main colas. Other growers use the FIM method, which is based on topping but stands for “Fuck, I missed!” As such, fimming doesn’t involve cutting the entire main stem, but around ¾ of it. The result is up to four new main colas. Although great, these methods can be very stressful on a plant. As a result, plants will need extra weeks of grow time to recover from all the diress.

In order to not lose a plant because of a risky technique, there's a safe option for all growers. We present to you: low stress training!


Low stress trainingLow stress training (LST) basically involves bending and controlling the shape of your marijuana plant so it can better utilise the light available to it. This can be done using a variety of materials. What's important is that it secures the branches as the plant grows. Instead of growing up, the plant will grow more to the sides, exposing the lower bud sites to much more light.

There are always a couple of nodes for every cola in the plant. Once you bend the branch, these nodes will be exposed to light and air. This is all they need to start developing as new branches and form their own buds.

The branches of your cannabis plant will always grow in the direction of the light source. Seeing as this should always be coming from above, the plant will eventually recover its natural shape, but with greater efficiency.


Light is a very important part of any plant’s life. It's even important to us as humans. But people move around. Plants aren't as lucky. They're restricted to their shape and location. It's our duty as growers to help them find the best path. If they can use the same amount of nutrients to develop more buds instead of more fan leaves, why wouldn't we choose to train our plants?

In every grow room, there is a lighting "sweet spot". This is a height margin where the plant isn't too close nor too far from the light source. Low stress training essentially flattens a plant to the point where every node is at that sweet spot. If the room is well-ventilated and you're feeding the plant appropriately, it should grow beautifully like this.


Before initiating your plant’s vegetative stage, there are a few materials you'll need. Get some plant twist tie. This is made purposely for plants, so you can be sure it won't damage your baby as its branches grow. Lesions in a marijuana plant during the vegetative stage can be very damaging. And hey, you can get these for just under 8€ on Amazon UK. In addition to the twist tie, get some soft wire tie if you plan on growing larger plants. This is recommended for outdoor plantations. And besides scissors to cut the wire, that's all you'll need.

Low Stress Training: Increasing Your Cannabis Plant Yield

The scissors can also be used to trim or FIM your plant if you feel comfortable with that. These techniques will have to be done in preparation for your low stress training. Like we said above, these methods impose a lot of stress on the plant. So they'll need time to recover. We would advise you to FIM once the plant develops its forth node, and perhaps wait for the 5th one if you’re going to top. There are growers who will wait for the 6th node before they apply any of these techniques. Just make sure you inform yourself about it before experimenting and possibly killing your plants.


Once you've topped, fimmed, or done nothing, these next steps will be very simple. The exact method you use to do LST will vary, but it must follow a few guidelines.

The main objective is to always keep your plant's branches at the same height. You'll want to create a flat and wide shape. This will deliver maximum light penetration to maximum surface area of your plant. To do this, just keep bending your tallest branch downwards. Wait for it to develop at least 2 or 3 nodes and bend it after the second one. This will be the softest part, imposing the least amount of stress on the branches.

Make sure you only bend soft growth and start early and gently. Move the plant a little every week. Don't try to force multiple branches to what you envision is their final position right from the start. And obviously, don't force the branches too much in general. If you find difficulty in trying to bend a branch, use multiple ties to hold it down.

A final piece of advice we want to give is that you should always avoid fixing your twist ties to something permanent. You'll want to reposition these later as the plant grows.

And that's it from us; good luck with your harvest!