All About Low Stress Training
Low stress training (LST) on weed is a technique of altering the growth habit of the plant and promoting lateral branching or bushier growth for the purpose of creating cascading formations. The technique promotes unrestricted vertical growth which extends the overall canopy of the plant and aids in optimizing the amount of light available to the entire plant. It is typically performed on young cannabis plants, and is also referred to as “topping” or “pinching”.
The practice of low stress training is becoming increasingly popular among cannabis growers who seek to maximize their plant’s potential and optimize yields. Primarily, LST forces the plant to develop an even canopy of branches and colas, while utilizing more of the available light and space. This ultimately creates a more robust and healthier crop.
Low stress training also promotes better airflow within the canopy which reduces the presence of dangerous molds and mildews. It also can improve overall stem and root strength, and helps protect against breakage or wind damage. Unfavourable or unnatural air flow during the growing process can cause pruning or bending of branches, but with proper LST, the plant establishes itself in a position of balance and stability.
In its most basic sense, the term LST is used to describe the dragging or weighing down of branches in specific directions to control their shape and promote outward, lateral growth. Some experienced marijuana growers will take this technique a step further by topping or super cropping (intentionally breaking or damaging stems) to further manipulate the shape of the plant.
Generally speaking, low stress training is a necessary step in any serious cannabis grower’s cultivation process. It can yield incredible rewards in terms of growth and yields, while also ensuring plants are better suited for their environment. Done strategically and with the utmost care, a little stress can produce some very beautiful results.