Defoliation is a technique used by expert growers as a way to increase the overall yield of their harvest, though it comes with a whole array of risks and so should only be used by people who really, really know what they are doing. Here's a rundown on what defoliation is:
Every grower wants to increase their yields, that is, increase the amount of product that can be harvested at the end of a cycle. There are lots of different way to do this, such as making sure your plant has the proper nutrients or lighting to thrive, though there are some other, riskier methods to get more for your buck.
This can be stressful
Defoliation is a controversial way to improve yield and, as such, there are some growers who love it and some who don't. the process involves taking away the small leaves from the lower nodes of your cannabis plants as they grow. This has to be done slowly and carefully because if you strip a young plant to excess too early in its development, this can be stressful for the plant. The idea is to concentrate the plants attention to the buds up the top of its structure. This is because these buds are exposed to much more light and thus, will grow much more densely. The defoliation method, when done properly, is incredibly effective and has been said to increase yield ten-fold.
Defoliation is, essentially, tricking a plant into changing the way that it grows and develops, but you don't want to stress it. Instead, you want the plant to feel groomed and properly looked after so that it develops the desire to expand.
This is not for beginners
Start by removing the ragged leaves, the ones that will impede bud growth. This also involves taking away some upper leaves if they create too much shelter for those lower down. Although, most defoliation happens at the bottom of cannabis plants. This ''pruning'' process will help to shape the growing plant, as well as encourage the growth of dense, thick flower in all of the right places.
All in all, defoliation is a fantastic way to increase your yield, but it really should not be used by beginners. Although, practice does make perfect and so if you have the disposable income, it may be a good idea to test out the method on a few plants. It is true to say though, that you should perfect other aspects of your grow technique first before you attempt this method.