The Ultimate Guide to Cannabis Stress Training

Cannabis cultivation is as much an art as it is a science. To optimize your plant’s growth, yield, and potency, a technique called cannabis stress training (CST) can be incredibly effective. CST involves various methods that manipulate the plant’s structure and growth patterns to maximize light exposure, space utilization, and overall plant health. Let’s dive into the different types of CST and how they can benefit your cannabis garden.

What is Cannabis Stress Training?

Cannabis stress training encompasses several techniques designed to stress the plant deliberately. This stress encourages the plant to grow in a way that maximizes its exposure to light and optimizes space, leading to higher yields and healthier plants. The primary goal is to create an even canopy where all bud sites receive equal light, rather than just the topmost colas.

Types of Cannabis Stress Training

  1. Low Stress Training (LST)
    • What It Is: LST involves gently bending and tying down the plant’s branches to alter their growth pattern without causing significant harm.
    • How It Works: By tying down branches, you expose more of the plant to light, which can help develop multiple colas and improve overall yield.
    • Benefits: LST is low risk and can be performed throughout the vegetative and early flowering stages. It helps maintain a low profile, making it ideal for indoor grows with limited space.
  2. High Stress Training (HST)
    • What It Is: HST involves more drastic measures like topping, fimming, and super cropping, which cause more significant physical stress to the plant.
    • Topping: Cutting off the main stem to encourage the plant to grow multiple colas.
    • Fimming: Similar to topping but less drastic, removing about 75% of the new growth at the tip.
    • Super Cropping: Gently crushing the inner fibers of branches to make them pliable and redirect their growth.
    • Benefits: These techniques can lead to a bushier plant with more bud sites. While they can cause stress, cannabis plants are resilient and often bounce back stronger.
  3. Screen of Green (ScrOG)
    • What It Is: ScrOG involves placing a screen or net over the plants and weaving the branches through the screen as they grow.
    • How It Works: This method spreads out the branches horizontally, ensuring an even canopy and maximizing light exposure.
    • Benefits: ScrOG can significantly increase yields and is ideal for growers with limited vertical space. It also simplifies the maintenance of the plant’s canopy.
  4. Sea of Green (SOG)
    • What It Is: SOG is a technique where many small plants are grown close together and quickly moved to the flowering stage.
    • How It Works: By focusing on the top colas and minimizing lower growth, SOG optimizes light usage and maximizes yield per square foot.
    • Benefits: This method is fast and efficient, allowing for more harvests per year. It’s particularly useful for commercial growers or those looking to maximize production in a small area.

Tips for Successful Stress Training

  • Timing is Key: Start training early in the vegetative stage for best results, allowing the plant time to recover and adjust.
  • Be Gentle: Especially with LST, gentle handling is crucial to avoid snapping branches.
  • Monitor Plant Health: Regularly check your plants for signs of stress or disease. Healthy plants recover faster and benefit more from training.
  • Use Quality Materials: Invest in soft plant ties and sturdy screens or nets to avoid damaging your plants.


Cannabis stress training is a powerful tool in a grower’s arsenal, allowing you to manipulate your plants to achieve better light distribution, maximize yields, and improve overall plant health. Whether you opt for gentle LST methods or more aggressive HST techniques, the key is to monitor your plants carefully and provide them with the care they need to thrive. By mastering these techniques, you can take your cannabis cultivation to the next level, producing abundant, high-quality harvests. Happy growing!





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