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Ultimate Guide to High Stress Training

HST High Stress Training

Table of Contents

What is High Stress Training?

High stress training (HST) is a form of cannabis training technique in which the plant is purposely injured to gain various possible advantages.

Cannabis plants’ growth structure, vigor, and canopy may be manipulated through high-stress training cannabis plants. It is an extremely stressful strategy for the plants, but it will result in stronger plants with increased growth hormone production.

You should only use high stress training techniques on healthy plants; weak or ill plants may not be able to endure the added stress. High stress training cannabis plants involves deliberately bending a supple stem until it is perpendicular to the plant. This should provide an about 90-degree tilt. The branch or branches must be fastened in a way that does not injure the plant.

High stress training

You can utilize the flagging material tape. String or wire can wrap the plant, putting it under severe stress. For maximum outcomes, high stress training cannabis plants should be done before the vegetative stage, but definitely before stressing plants during flowering phase. The tape should be left on for up to a week. If the plant “bounces” back after being removed, carefully break up the stem at the curve with a fingernail or knife.

Different types of H.S.T


Supercropping is bending stems at a 90-degree angle such that the plant grows horizontally rather than vertically. Super cropping main stem of plants helps your cannabis to concentrate on mending, strengthening the branches, and preparing them for higher bud formation later on. A bent or twisted branch can be totally mended in a matter of days. When the damage isn’t too severe, i.e. the branch hasn’t entirely broken off, the damaged region can heal stronger than previously—a thick knuckle-like scar forms, which protects and supports the branch. Horizontal development also enables more light to reach the lower parts of the plant.

Cannabis High Stress Training
Tying stems is an essential part of general high stress training.

When you create a surge in a repair-growth hormone, extreme cannabis training techniques such as super cropping influence the plants’ growth; likewise, branch repair occurs when the plant recovers and forms hard wooden knuckles around its initial break. It strengthens other branches.

Pros and Cons of Supercropping

The plant’s inner cell walls are damaged by super cropping, which causes the plant to release growth hormones to repair the damage. Thus, plants are not simply growing horizontally, but their growth structure and vitality are also enhanced. By super cropping the main stem, you can provide much larger ultimate yields.

When done incorrectly, super-cropping may be harmful to your plants. Plant bending techniques might cause them to be permanently damaged. Roll the stem a few times before bending it using your thumb and index finger. As a result, the stem is more malleable and less prone to sustain harm when bent.

  1. Many cannabis plant training techniques are quick and straightforward — you don’t have to start with the difficult things.
  2. Super cropping main stem can generate larger, more potent harvests.
  3. Super cropping necessitates the use of little equipment.
  4. Super cropping is excellent for limiting plant height.
  1. Cannabis cropping errors may be expensive.
  2. Super cropping might necessitate a lengthy recuperation period.
  3. Plant infection may occur as a result of super cropping.


Trimming down the bottom portion of a plant’s development to leave just the top bud is known as “mainlining“. It includes popcorn buds and other little blooms that are not part of the canopy.

Mainlining is removing most of a plant’s lower growth, leaving just the top buds. This comprises the lower leaves, branches, popcorn buds, and little flowers that are not part of the canopy. It is also crucial to use mainlining gradually so that plants are not overly stressed or have too many open wounds at once. By removing the leaves, energy is directed to the top of the plant, resulting in just primary buds. It makes harvesting a pleasure.

Pros and Cons of Mainlining

This removing leaves drive energy to the top of the plant, which results in just primary buds. It’s a breeze to harvest using this tool.

Unfortunately, due to the protracted vegetative period required by this high-stress training method, branches with symmetrical growth patterns are not likely to be produced.


The most significant advantage of mainlining is that it produces higher yields. It’s also a relatively simple skill to master. It is not necessary to maintain your plant after you have created the primary hub. Finally, and probably most critically, mainlining decreases the amount of height required by your plants.


The most significant hazard to be aware of while consuming cannabis is plant damage. Mainlining may be stressful for branches, and stem breaks are prevalent at node locations.


Topping gone wrong, but with an unexpectedly positive effect, is what we call the ‘Fuck I Missed’ method. By fimming, the leaves are shaved above their primary stem rather than the whole upper shoot of new growth (including the stem).

The fimming technique gets its name from an acronym. It was formed after a grower made a mistake while attempting to top. This turned out to be an excellent accident, as the grower ended up with a larger final plant. Fimming is a little more complex type of topping. A well-done fim is an excellent next step if you’ve tried topping a few times and are ready to move up. Fimming, unlike topping, can be done entirely with your fingertips.

Pros and Cons of Fimming

FIMing recovery is substantially quicker than topping since we aren’t severing a major artery from the body.

F.I.M. is a little more complex topping method. Taking the next step up to the F.I.M. ranks is a fantastic option for those who mastered the art of topping.


Recovery is substantially quicker than topping since you aren’t severing a primary plant body.

  1. Fimming is more complicated than the topping technique.
  2. This method is suited for experienced cultivators who have adequate skills.


It has been shown that a bit of stress during blooming may increase the productivity of plants. Lollipopping accomplishes exactly that.

Lollipopping is a cannabis pruning method that includes trimming the lower growths during the third week of blooming. By that time, your cannabis plants should have started to grow bud sites (colas), which may dissuade you from lollipopping cannabis because the buds have already formed. However, you must wait until the third week to select which colas you want to prune. In all cases, the primary colas are at the top, where the term “high stress training” (HST) comes from. Moreover, if utilized too early in the vegetative period, the popcorn buds may sprout before blooming is complete, so bending stems during flowering is essential.

Pros and Cons of Lollipopping

The removal of leaves and flowers that will never completely develop makes more sense than spending energy on parts of the plant getting light that will ultimately generate larger buds nonetheless.

If used too early in the vegetative phase, the popcorn buds may regrow before blooming has completed, and that’s where bending stems during flowering comes in.

  1. Energy conservation – By leaving only the primary colas on your cannabis plant, you may help it preserve energy by focusing on the vital bud locations.
  2. Enhanced circulation – With fewer growths to pump nutrients, circulation can now focus entirely on the central colas.
  3. Larger colas – Because there are no competing growths for nutrition, lollipopping creates larger colas.

This method can reduce yield with Autoflower seeds. This is because Autoflowers perform best when pruning and trimming are performed minimally. 


Topping cannabis is a frequent method of regulating the height of plants in indoor environments. New growth on the main stem or side branches is snipped off during topping.

Topping is one of the most basic kinds of high stress training. It is a wonderful place to start if you’re new to it. There are no specific tools required. Topping is simply removing the plant’s top at the start of the vegetative cycle.

The plant is generally weak enough that you may remove it with your fingertips alone; however, some people like to use scissors. As a result, the upper buds will branch off into two new branches. This results in a plant with many buds, which increases your overall production.

Furthermore, most growers are curious about ‘how many nodes before topping their plants.’ They should wait until there are at least three or four nodes before topping. Waiting until six or so nodes appear will yield much better results. If you wait too long to top your plants, you may cause more harm than good, mostly when stressing plants during flowering phase.

Pros and Cons of Topping

So, how many nodes before topping? If you are new to high-stress training, you may want to start with topping, a simple yet effective method. It can be done with only your hands. At the beginning of the vegetative stage, all you have to do is remove the plant’s top.

Unfortunately, it leads to topping results in a bushy, wide-structured plant that is both short and bushy.

  1. Instead of a single main top, your plant produces several side tops. As a result, energy is better distributed throughout your plant, resulting in increased yields.
  2. Light distribution – Because your cannabis plants grow in width, they catch light over a larger surface.
  1. This technique takes a long period to heal on cannabis plants.
  2. This technique requires more precision than fimming.

Advantages of High Stress Training

Both low-stress training and high stress training should be implemented before a plant’s pre-flowering stage. Training cannabis plants from seedling to full bloom has several benefits. Techniques such as hyper cropping lead cannabis plants to grow thick and robust with hardwood side branches resulting from step-by-step high stress training. Plants can produce more and have greater resilience to disease because of the release of growth repair hormone.

Before and after high stress training
Before and after high stress training.

For this reason, the canopy’s height is likewise controlled so that it remains at the same height as when the seedlings were snapped. Using the method of super cropping, producers with restricted head height may control the vertical development of the top canopy.

However, mainlining is a better option than a single super cropping session for people who can only produce a few little plants. During the vegetative period, there is a lot of trimming, and the side branches need to be tied down in a symmetrical pattern.

Disadvantages of H.S.T

While high stress training can be very fulfilling when used appropriately, at the right time, and with the right strain, novice growers might face a world of potential perils. The development of cannabis plants may be stunted if they aren’t given time to heal before being subjected to stress further, leading to weak areas that are susceptible to infection.

Inexperience and a lack of familiarity with recuperation times are often to blame for this. The internodes of super cropping plants are not developed enough to squeeze and pop, leading to an exposed wound that becomes infected or possibly dies.

Tips for High Stress Training

Use sterilized instruments and clean hands while trimming your plants and using the super cropping procedures. Before conducting high stress training cannabis, give plants time to recuperate. A thick wooden knuckle will appear on branches that have completely healed after a break.

When plants are in the blossoming stage, they should not be subjected to high-stress training. Hormonal shifts, coupled with high amounts of stress, may result in hermaphroditism. Training cannabis plants is a lengthy process that requires a lot of patience and persistence. If you decide to utilize H.S.T., expect to spend a lot of time in a vegetative state inside. An excellent approach to learn about the significance of energy transmission is by mainlining your plants.

Top tips for HST

  1. Always begin your growing venture with high-quality genetics from respected seed banks. Premium Cultivars is pleased to provide a collection of high-quality Feminized seeds for any producer.
  2. To minimize significant damage, use LST, supercropping, and plant bending techniques while the soil is dry. The branches might easily snap if your growth media is saturated with water. You can use clean bandages and tape to reduce harm if this occurs.
  3. To increase ventilation in the root zone, use smart pots or air pots. Some fabric pots have a one-of-a-kind “Aqua Breathe” geotextile layer that reduces transpiration and promotes optimum development. These pots come in four different sizes and are ecologically friendly and washable.
  4. Keep note of your technique combinations and recuperation times in a calendar or journal to identify the best way for you and your plants.
  5. When trimming, defoliating, and topping your pot plants, clean your trimming scissors with an antibacterial solution before and after usage. This will assist in limiting the possibility of fungal infection or the accumulation of other microorganisms. It is strongly advised to use a pair of professional scissors while working with rare sugar leaves!

Final word on H.S.T

You can maximize a little area by using high-stress training to develop thicker, tougher plants less prone to vertical growth. Even if you can produce a few little plants, rigorous stress training may boost your output dramatically.

If you are a novice, you should avoid high-stress training. Cropping is a good place to start before moving on to more complicated procedures like mainlining. As you exercise more and more, you will become adept at high-stress training and produce stronger, lusher plants.

High stress training can result in thicker, stronger plants while also restricting vertical development, allowing you to make the most of an area with restricted head height. High stress training can enormously enhance production for farmers who can only produce a few little plants.

If you are a novice, you should use extreme caution when engaging in high stress training cannabis plants. Begin with simpler approaches such as cropping before progressing to more advanced operations such as mainlining. You will eventually master step-by-step high stress training and create stronger, lusher plants as you practice.


Ed Rushford
Ed Rushford
Ed Rushford’s impact on cannabis growing is undeniable. Though he tends to focus primarily on 2 areas, plant training techniques and dealing with disease, pests, and other problems, he has offered many insights into how cannabis plants live and grow. That’s not to say that Ed is unfamiliar with the complete life cycle of cannabis, from seed to harvest, but he uses his widespread knowledge to hone in on the minutia and niche areas of growing cannabis. Ed’s goal is to spread knowledge and allow for everyone to become better growers. About this Author
Ed Rushford
Ed Rushford
Ed Rushford’s impact on cannabis growing is undeniable. Though he tends to focus primarily on 2 areas, plant training techniques and dealing with disease, pests, and other problems, he has offered many insights into how cannabis plants live and grow. That’s not to say that Ed is unfamiliar with the complete life cycle of cannabis, from seed to harvest, but he uses his widespread knowledge to hone in on the minutia and niche areas of growing cannabis. Ed’s goal is to spread knowledge and allow for everyone to become better growers. About this Author

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