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LST Cannabis: How to Apply the Low Stress Training Technique

LST Cannabis: Low Stress Training growing technique

Friends & Customers of Annibale Seedshop, welcome back in this article about Cannabis LST: Low Stress Training! In the last chapter we explained what the Cannabis Fimming technique (FIM) is and how to apply it correctly, minimizing the possibility of making mistakes. In this new article of our “Cannabis Cultivation Manual” we will instead analyze another technique, equally rewarding. Low Stress Training, called LST: no LSD and high concentration!

What is Low Stress Training technique?

Low Stress Training, called LST, is a technique that provides, as the name suggests, a mild stress that can lead to various benefits.

When we talk about this technique we commonly mean the simple “bending of stem and branches” of the Cannabis plant, nothing further from the truth.

The acronym LST can in fact be better defined as an “open definition”, which is not limited to the simple technique of bending the bearing branches, but rather provides several techniques that can lead to the same purpose: breaking the hormonal balance of Cannabis, potentially going to change the typical characteristics of the genetics that are being cultivated, thus not changing its genetic characteristics, which will continue to show themselves in the offspring … and not only.

For example, if we bend a Marijuana plant downwards, being very careful not to break the trunk of the plant, we will reorganize the process of Auxin (the hormone mainly responsible for the growth priorities of the plant itself) and we will therefore obtain a different development. . In addition to being shorter, the plant will remain bushy as Auxin will redistribute itself proportionally in each branch, giving each one a higher development priority.

Or again, with a light and constant stress (such as a minimal continuous defoliation) the plant can be induced to develop more trichomes as a protective reaction.

Why use LST in Cannabis growing?

As anticipated, there is not a single reason for wanting to use the LST technique, but multiple.

For people who live in places where cannabis cultivation is illegal and decide they want to grow at their own risk, keeping plants low becomes almost mandatory.

Knowing how to fold plants correctly will, in addition to changing their hormonal rhythm, expose them to more surfaces of light, allowing more abundant harvests and no “Pop-Corn” buds … but not only. With a minimum base of experience it will be possible to test more techniques that can lead to the real creation of “perfumed Giants”.

Just think of the Mainlining technique, used by professional and commercial growers to maximize production and create plants that can become “outdoor” trees, once the season can act as an accomplice. Mainlining is a cultivation technique that mixes branch bending (LST) and apical pruning (Topping or Fimming).

As growing professionals we can admit that it is one of the fundamental techniques in optimizing the cannabis grow space. Highly recommended!

When to use LST in Cannabis cultivation?

Depending on the type of technique, and therefore on the purpose to be achieved, you can apply LST technique from the third week of growth, in the case of a Topping, Fimming (therefore Mainlining included) or simple inflection of the LST branches. For the defoliation you will obviously have to wait until the plant has thrown the first side branches, the future bearers of sparkling buds!

Applying the defoliation before the throwing of the first branches would not make sense, and would only have the result of strongly stressing the plant, inducing a possible block given the fragility of the newborns.

At the same time, too early pruning would risk compromising the entire development of the plant, slowing down its growth or stopping it altogether. Depending on what we want to achieve from our plants, we will have to set ourselves achievable goals, supported by a clear initial plan.

It will be completely useless to put 25 plants within a square meter and apply pruning techniques or LST: we would completely compromise the result!

The best choice is to carefully study the possibilities, the wills and the knowledge acquired in order to get to do what you want in the best possible way.

How to apply Low Stress Training in a Marijuana growing?

Knowing how to apply the various LST techniques in practice can often prove complex: understanding which is the best choice depending on the type of genetics, cultivation space, lighting, type of cultivation and objectives in place may not always be taken for granted:

  • In a confined space with only one plant it is possible to prune (Topping and Fimmng techniques mentioned above) and apply the LST stem flexion. You can choose whether to follow the Mainlining process, or alternate pruning more rarely until the SCROG mesh is filled (read more about it here).
  • In a confined space with few plants it is always preferable to opt for one, or more prunings, avoiding bending the stems of Cannabis plants: at the end of flowering these may not be able to support the weight of the flowers.
  • In a large space with few plants, we recommend to opt for more pruning, trying to follow the SCROG technique.
  • In a large space with many plants, we recommend a periodic defoliation.

However you want to grow your cannabis, study your spaces, times, possibilities and goals well!

Annibale Tips for LST technique

To flex the plants with the LST technique, you can opt for tying them with kitchen twine, conveniently on sale in every supermarket.

You will have to tie the plant under an internode of the same, towards 3/4 of the total height. Tie a knot tight enough but not too much, leaving half a centimeter of leftover left which will be used when the plant becomes stronger.

Once you have tied one end of the string to the plant, you will have to proceed by tying the second end to the base of the pot (if you are growing in pots), of the support (if you are growing in hydroponics and aeroponics) or directly fixing it with a stake to the ground (if you are growing in Outdoor).

Make sure you have made a well-tied knot, placed in the right part of the plant and fixed to a safe part of the pot.

It will only take a few days to see the difference in the development of the branches, so we highly recommend this technique to newbies who are approaching the world of cannabis cultivation for the first time.

And that’s all about Lst Cannabis, called Low Stress Training Technique. Keep following us in our next article to find out more about “Cannabis Mainlining“!


Greetings from Annibale Seedshop Team!


Davide, CEO Founder & Genetist