Whether you’re relatively new to cannabis growing or you’ve been around the cannabis growing block a few times, you might be wondering what low-stress training (also often referred to as LST) is and if it might be right for you. We’re going to break it down step by step below.

What exactly is low-stress training for cannabis?

Low-stress training, or LST, is a cannabis growing technique. This particular technique manipulates the shape of your marijuana plant in order to produce higher yields. Though it might sound complicated, rest assured that it is not, and that you actually might enjoy yourself while taking part in low stress training!

low-stress training

How does LST work?

Low-stress training focuses on letting marijuana growers make the most of the space that they have to work with, as well as available light. When you commit to low-stress training, you’ll need to be ready to bend (gently!) and tie down the stems and branches of your marijuana plant. The reasons these restrictive measures are taken are two fold. First, you want to avoid the traditional “Christmas tree” shape that cannabis has a tendency to fall into, by making the top of the plant more proportional with the bottom.

Another reason why marijuana growers might be interested in partaking in LST is that it supports better distribution of light. It allows all parts of the plant to receive more light, thereby creating more viable sites for buds, and, in turn, bigger yields when the time comes to harvest your cannabis.

LST’s history

Low-stress training actually goes back hundreds of years. That’s how long horticulturalists have been brainstorming ways to get the most of the plants that they harvest using training methods like low-stress training. Sometimes this might involve what is known as topping or pruning a plant in order to make sure that it is receiving the ideal amount of light and is using its space optimally.

Low-stress training, in particular, is a modern interpretation of a technique that is believed to have been originally used by the ancient Egyptians! They supposedly wanted to grow their fig trees horizontally thousands of years ago. Low-stress training has also been used successfully in orchards that grow apples and pears and has been lauded for beautifying the landscape, in addition to improving harvests!

low-stress training

Low-stress versus high-stress training

You might be wondering what makes this training method “low stress.” After all, what does high stress training of a plant look like? Well, a high stress method might include topping (or cutting) the plant. Low stress training goes a bit easier on your cannabis plant by not involving any trimming or pruning. This way, your plant stays calm, cool and collected and you don’t have to worry about it adapting to some of the more rigorous, high stress methods of training. Most cannabis plants that undergo low stress training respond very well; they’ll thank you for taking extra care with a higher output of buds.

Tools needed for LST

You won’t need to purchase a ton of supplies to partake in low stress training, but you will need a few things, many of which you likely have on hand already. If you’ve got a small hand trill and duct tape in your arsenal, get those ready to use. You’ll also want to pick up some thin stakes made out of bamboo or wood, and some rubber-coated wire for plants (or, as an alternative, soft plant ties). One piece of advice that we’d offer is not to use regular household string to hold your plants down, as it might be too harsh for your marijuana plants.

Prepping for LST

To get your cannabis plants ready for low-stress training, you’ll need to grab that small hand drill that we talked about earlier and use it to drill a few holes around the rim of the container that your marijuana plant is growing in. With the holes in place, you’ll be able to easily loop your plant ties or wires through the holes and around the branches. The bamboo or wooden stakes can also be used to add additional support. The duct tape should be kept on hand in case any unintentional branch snaps occur!

low-stress training

How do I LST my own cannabis plants?

You’ll want to start your low-stress training by bending the main stem of your plant gently down towards its container’s rim. Using the ties or wire that are connected to your drilled holes, tie the stem into place. And you’ve done it! You’ve successfully prepared your cannabis plant for future growth in a horizontal (rather than vertical) direction. Now, all parts of your plant will receive more light and will, as a result, produce a higher yield of buds for your enjoyment.

If you have any further questions about how to reap the benefits of low stress training, check out Growers Choice Seeds and our informative website for more information. Our customer service team is always happy to help field any questions related to growing, or to marijuana seeds. Happy low-stress training!

Related Story