a smiling woman wearing gardening outfit checking on cannabis plants

To optimize the yield, potency, and health of cannabis plants, growers must check out advanced training techniques. These methodologies are pivotal in guiding the growth of your plants, enabling more efficient light absorption, and fostering the development of a robust, high-quality harvest. 

Training techniques in cannabis cultivation are not just about manipulating plant structure; they are about unlocking the full potential of your crop. Through methods such as Lollipopping, Topping and Fimming, Sea of Green (SOG), Screen of Green (SCROG), and Supercropping, you can significantly impact your plant's yield, potency, and overall vitality. 

Understanding Cannabis Training Techniques

Training techniques involve strategically pruning, bending, or otherwise manipulating the plant to promote more favorable growth patterns. The goals are multifaceted: increase light exposure, improve air circulation within the canopy, and encourage the development of numerous bud sites, all of which contribute to a more abundant and potent harvest.

Here are five advanced training techniques:

  • Lollipopping, which involves pruning the lower branches of the plant to direct energy to the top buds.
  • Topping and Fimming, two distinct methods for creating multiple main colas (buds) and encouraging bushier growth.
  • Sea of Green (SOG), a technique that maximizes space by growing many small plants instead of a few large ones, encouraging a quick, uniform canopy.
  • Screen of Green (SCROG), which uses a horizontal screen to support and spread out the plant's branches, promoting even light distribution.
  • Supercropping, a method of bending and lightly damaging stems to strengthen them and boost yield.

Each of these techniques offers unique benefits and challenges, and the choice of which to implement should be guided by your specific growth conditions, strain characteristics, and personal cultivation goals. 


It is a training technique that gets its name from the distinctive look it gives cannabis plants: the lower branches are pruned away, leaving a clean "stem" that leads up to a dense canopy of buds at the top, resembling a lollipop. This method is particularly favored by indoor growers aiming to maximize their light efficiency and airflow around the plants, crucial factors in reducing the risk of mold and pests and ensuring that energy is directed towards the development of top-quality buds.

Why Lollipop Your Cannabis Plants? The rationale behind lollipopping lies in the plant’s natural tendency to prioritize growth at the highest, most light-exposed points. Lower branches often struggle to receive adequate light, especially in densely packed grow rooms, leading to suboptimal bud development. By removing these lower branches, the plant redirects its energy to the top canopy, supporting the growth of larger, more potent buds. Additionally, improved airflow around the cleaned-up stem helps to keep humidity-related issues at bay, promoting a healthier grow environment.

a photo of cannabis plant lollippoped


    Benefits and Considerations

    • Increased Yield: By focusing energy on the top canopy, growers often see an increase in the size and potency of their top buds.
    • Disease Prevention: Enhanced airflow reduces the risk of mold and pest infestations, contributing to a healthier grow environment.
    • Efficient Use of Space and Light: Lollipopping makes it easier for light to penetrate the canopy, benefiting all remaining buds.

    However, it’s important to approach lollipopping with a measure of caution. Over-pruning can stress the plant, potentially impacting its ability to recover and flourish. The key is to find a balance, removing just enough to enhance the plant's natural growth potential without hindering its overall vigor.

    Topping and Fimming

    Topping and Fimming stand out as two highly effective methods for promoting bushier growth and increasing the number of main colas on a plant. While both practices aim to enhance yield by manipulating the plant’s natural growth patterns, they do so in slightly different ways and can have varied outcomes depending on the grower's specific goals.

    Topping: Creating Multiple Main Colas

    Topping is a straightforward technique where the grower cuts off the top of the main stem of the cannabis plant. This action disrupts the plant’s apical dominance — its natural tendency to grow one main cola — and encourages the growth of two new main stems from the nodes below the cut.

    Fimming: Encouraging Even Bushier Growth

    Fimming (an acronym for “F**k I missed”) is similar to topping but involves cutting a larger portion of the new growth, leaving behind about 20% of the new tip. This method is less precise than topping and can result in the growth of four or more new main colas.

    a photo of cannabis with training techniques topping and fimming


    Choosing Between Topping and Fimming

    The choice between topping and fimming largely depends on the grower's objectives. Topping is more controlled and predictable, ideal for those looking to create a uniform canopy. Fimming, while potentially yielding more colas, introduces more variability in the plant’s response. Both techniques can be used in conjunction to shape the plant’s structure according to the grower's specific needs and constraints.

    Sea of Green (SOG)

    The Sea of Green (SOG) technique is a highly efficient approach to cannabis cultivation, focusing on maximizing space and accelerating the harvest cycle. By growing many small plants instead of a few large ones, SOG aims to fill the grow space with a uniform canopy of buds, significantly reducing the time from seedling to harvest. This method is particularly beneficial for commercial growers or those with limited space, aiming to achieve a rapid, continuous yield.

      Advantages of the SOG Method

      • Efficient Use of Space: SOG is ideal for growers with limited space, allowing for the cultivation of many small plants in a compact area.
      • Faster Harvests: By focusing on the quick turnover of crops, SOG can lead to multiple harvests per year, making it a highly productive method.
      • Uniform Canopy: The even canopy ensures optimal light exposure, leading to consistent bud development and size across the grow.

      While the SOG method has many benefits, it requires careful planning and management. The high density of plants can increase the risk of humidity-related issues, making effective ventilation crucial. Additionally, growers must adhere to local regulations regarding plant counts to ensure their SOG setup remains within legal boundaries.

      Screen of Green (SCROG)

      The Screen of Green (SCROG) technique is a powerful method that takes the principles of plant training to an advanced level. By using a horizontal screen or netting, growers can manipulate cannabis plants to grow through the openings, creating an even canopy that optimizes light exposure to all bud sites. This method is particularly effective for maximizing yield in limited spaces and for making the most of the light available, encouraging dense, uniform bud development across the entire canopy.

      a photo of cannabis under netting


      The SCROG method is all about control and precision. It involves careful planning and ongoing adjustment to guide each plant's growth through the screen, ensuring that light penetrates evenly to all parts of the plant. This technique not only maximizes yield but also enhances the quality of the buds by ensuring that each receives ample light and air circulation.

        Advantages of the SCROG Method

        • Optimized Light Utilization: By creating a flat, even canopy, the SCROG method ensures that each part of the plant receives equal light, leading to consistent bud size and potency.
        • Increased Yield: The efficient use of space and light often results in a higher yield per plant compared to traditional growing methods.
        • Improved Airflow and Health: The open structure of the SCROG canopy facilitates better air circulation, reducing the risk of mold and mildew and resulting in healthier plants.

        Implementing a SCROG setup requires patience, skill, and a bit more effort than some other training techniques. It's most suitable for growers who can dedicate the time to regularly tend to their plants, making adjustments as they grow. Additionally, because the plants are physically supported and intertwined with the screen, moving them can be challenging, so it's best used in setups where plants can remain in a fixed position.


        Supercropping is among the most effective high-stress training (HST) techniques used by experienced cannabis growers to increase yield and enhance plant resilience. It involves deliberately stressing the plant by bending and slightly damaging the stems, without breaking them, to encourage stronger growth. This technique takes advantage of the plant's natural response to stress, promoting thicker stem development and potentially leading to higher cannabinoid and terpene production.

        The Principles of Supercropping

        At its core, supercropping is about carefully manipulating the physical structure of the cannabis plant to improve its overall strength and ability to support heavy buds. By inducing stress in a controlled manner, the plant redirects its energy towards healing, resulting in a more robust and productive plant.

          Benefits of Supercropping

          • Increased Yields: By creating more robust branches, supercropping helps the plant support larger, denser buds.
          • Enhanced Light Exposure: Manipulating the plant's shape can improve light penetration and distribution, ensuring lower buds receive more light and potentially increase overall potency.
          • Improved Plant Health: The stress response triggered by supercropping can lead to a more resilient plant, better equipped to resist pests and diseases.

          While supercropping is an efficient technique, it requires a delicate touch and an understanding of the plant's limits. It's essential to monitor the plant closely after supercropping to ensure a healthy recovery. If a stem accidentally breaks during the process, it can usually be repaired with tape, allowing the plant to heal itself. However, caution and precision are key to avoiding unnecessary damage.

          Supercropping is not recommended for auto-flowering cannabis strains due to their shorter vegetative growth phase and quick transition to flowering. These plants may not have enough time to recover from the stress, potentially impacting their growth negatively.

            Major Differences of Techniques

            • Technique Purpose: Lollipopping focuses on pruning, Topping and Fimming on creating multiple colas, SOG on quick cycles with many plants, SCROG on maximizing light efficiency, and Supercropping on stress-induced strength.
            • Application Scope: Lollipopping, Topping, and Fimming are more about plant management; SOG and SCROG involve spatial strategies.
            • Plant Stress Level: Supercropping involves high stress, Topping and Fimming medium stress, while SOG and SCROG are more about structural support.
            • Outcome: Each technique uniquely affects yield, plant size, and harvest timing, tailored to different grower needs and setups.

            Understanding these differences allows you to tailor your approach on your specific conditions, goals, and resources, maximizing the potential of your cannabis cultivation efforts.

            Cannabis training is a science, offering growers a powerful set of tools to shape their plants' growth and maximize their potential. Applying these techniques thoughtfully and adjusting based on the needs of your plants, you can significantly improve the yield, potency, and quality of your cannabis.

            Remember, the best growers are those who listen to their plants, respond to their needs, and are not afraid to experiment and learn from each growing cycle. Happy growing! 

            For more information on training techniques, visit us at GrowAce.com!

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