Pros and Cons of High Stress Training Cannabis Plants

High stress techniques, the different types, pros and cons and top tips when it comes to H.S.T and Cannabis plants.
11 May 2020
4 min read
Pros and Cons of High Stress Training Cannabis Plants

  • 1. What is h.s.t?
  • 1. a. Super cropping
  • 1. b. What to know about super cropping
  • 1. c. Mainlining
  • 1. d. What to know about mainlining
  • 2. Advantages of h.s.t
  • 3. Disadvantages of h.s.t
  • 4. Top tips for high stress training
  • 5. In conclusion

As a grower learns more about growing Cannabis, they will come across two types of plant training. Low stress and high stress, which both have varied results, so In this article, we explain about H.S.T, how it is done, pros and cons associated, and our top tips.

1. What Is H.S.T?

High stress training is a way to manipulate the growth structure, vigor, and canopy of Cannabis plants. The hands-on methods used are classed as highly stressful to the plants, however, will structurally produce the strongest plants with an increase in growth hormone.

Super Cropping

The way that high stress techniques such as super cropping affect the plants, is by causing a spurt in a repair-growth hormone. As the plants recover and begin to form hard wooden knuckles around the original break, the branch repairs itself causing the rest of the plant to become stronger.


Pros and Cons of High Stress Training Cannabis Plants: H.S.T. What is cropping

How to perform super cropping on your cannabis plant.

What To Know About Super Cropping

•  Snapping between internodes to break the inner cell walls.

•  Growth repair hormones are distributed to fix the break.

•  Recovery time of 3-5 days is required before the wooden knuckle forms.

•  Growth structure and vigor are improved.

•  Plants that have been super cropped will produce heavy yields.


Mainlining, for example, is another high stress technique, that involves letting plants grow to the fifth or sixth node, then stripping away everything apart from the top node. This high stress technique requires a much longer vegetative time, with the end goal of producing symmetrically grown branches.


Pros and Cons of High Stress Training Cannabis Plants: H.S.T. Mainlining technique

How to perform mainlining on your cannabis plant.

What To Know About Mainlining

•  A technique based on symmetry and plant pathways.

•  Training the plants to grow evenly is key.

•  An excellent way to keep a plant height low.

•  Mainlining can produce enormous yields.

2. Advantages of H.S.T

Low stress and high stress training should only ever be applied during 18/6, or prior to plants showing preflowers when growing outdoors. There are many advantages to training Cannabis plants from seedling until they transition into bloom.

High stress techniques such as super cropping cause Cannabis plants to grow with a strong thickness and develop hardwood side branches. Growth repair hormone is emitted throughout the plant causing enhanced production and resistance.

The height of the canopy is also manipulated to remain at the same height as the plants were snapped. Super cropping is an excellent way to limit the vertical growth of the upper canopy, making this technique ideal for growers with limited head height.

Mainlining requires much more work than a simple super cropping session, however, it has enormous advantages for those who can only grow a few small plants. There is a great deal of pruning that takes place during the vegetative phase, and it is necessary to tie the side branches down with a symmetrical system in mind. 

3. Disadvantages of H.S.T

As the name suggests, H.S.T can be very stressful for Cannabis plants, and despite it being very rewarding when applied correctly, at the best time using the ideal cultivar, to the beginner grower there can be a world of potential dangers.

If Cannabis plants are not given time to recover before being put through more high stress, then this can cause a stunt in growth and even cause parts to grow weak causing potential infection.


Pros and Cons of High Stress Training Cannabis Plants: Recovery time for a cannabis plant

Most common mistake is not to give recovery time to your plant before the wooden knuckle forms.

This will often occur due to inexperience and down to the grower not being familiar with recovery time. 

The downsides to super cropping plants may not be mature enough to squeeze and pop, which may result in an open wound that can become infected, or even for the growth above the internode to die.

4. Top Tips For High Stress Training

1. Always use clean and sterile tools when pruning your plants, and make sure you have clean hands when applying the super cropping techniques.

2. Give plants plenty of time to recover before performing H.S.T. You will see branches recover with a thick wooden knuckle, which will be an indication of the break is fully healed.

3. Never apply any high stress training once plants have entered the flowering stage. The combination of hormonal change and high stress levels may cause hermaphroditism to occur.

4. Training Cannabis plants takes time and lots of patience, and there should be a goal set in mind before you flower. Be prepared for long vegetative periods indoors if choosing to use H.S.T.

5. Mainlining is a great way to become really hands-on with your plants and to understand the importance of energy transfer.

5. In Conclusion

We recommended learning about low stress training before attempting H.S.T, as a way to become familiar with how versatile, tough and well adapted the cultivar being grown is. 

When choosing a strain to practice your newly discovered H.S.T techniques, remember to look for a strong and steady cultivar, such as Purple Lemonade. She is ready for a challenge and will respond well to a well-performed training.

Purple Lemonade Auto
5 out of 5
Beautiful colour and she did turn purple two and a half weeks before harvest she smells like a fruity stardawg can't wait til curing is done
Verified customer
Reviewed 7 July 2021

As you gain more experience, adapting low and high stress techniques will be part of your standard training regime allowing you to really get the most out of your plants.

11 May 2020