Repurpose your cannabis stems to make the most of your crop!
Before anything, if you want to make use of the THC content of your stems, decarboxylation is key. It might seem like a confusing process based off the name, but it really just means you’re heating them up to a certain point. This process creates the easily absorbable and immediately psychoactive THC from its precursor chemical, THCA. This, in turn, makes the stems perfect for tinctures, hash, extracts, and edibles.
Even on the small scale, stems and small stalks can be stripped of their outer fibre. This process, called decorticating, involves one of the most sophisticated tools out there: your hands. Held together by a cellulose matrix, these fibres need to be rubbed between the fingers to be separated into individual strands. These individual lengths of fibres can be twisted into tough lengths of raw twine. If you save up enough, you’ve got tons of creative possibilities! Might we suggest a tasteful homemade bracelet?
If you want to get this process started, just take your stems, break them down, and throw them into a resealable plastic bag. Place this bag in your freezer, and let it sit until you’ve got more to add. When you add to the collection, give the bag a healthy shake. Each time you shake, the now-frozen resin crystals will begin to detach from the stem fragments. Slowly but surely, you’ll build up an impressive pile at the bottom of the bag. Once you sift out the stems, you’ll have a whole bunch of kief ready to smoke!
The possibilities get even wider, though, if you’re a home grower with even more stems lying around. When you strip trunks and main branches of their much longer fibres, you can start making decorations, baskets, and even yarn if you work at it long enough!
For example, our cannabis-infused tea recipe only requires 2 teaspoons of weed stems and is ready to drink in about ten minutes. This recipe is flexible and allows you to customize with different tea flavors until you find your ideal combination.
Much like the infused butter recipe, you can decarboxylate any leftover weed stems with 7-10 grams of dried cannabis. After this process has been completed, you can infuse the cannabis and stems with coconut oil. This creates the base for many cannabis topical recipes, like lip balms and lotions.
Weed stems are the small, stick-like pieces that sometimes end up in the cannabis flower you buy from the dispensary. Depending on the quality of flower you bought, you may end up with a few or more stems in your haul. For example, shake bought from dispensaries tends to contain more stems than non-shake flower. Unlike the dense buds of the cannabis plant, weed stems contain very little to no THC (the main active ingredient in cannabis).
Start saving your weed stems
In other words, it’s simply not worth it.
Did you know you can use discarded weed stems to help make a cannabis-infused butter? If you have a good amount of stems saved up, toss them in with the rest of your flower when you start the decarboxylation process. These stems won’t bring any potency to your final product, but they will add some cannabis-inspired umami. Butter containing cannabis is a good thing to have on hand because it is the foundation of most edible recipes.
As you can see, the life of a weed stem can go above and beyond the time it spends in your grinder. If you want to get better about keeping your stems (given your new knowledge of their magic), we recommend that you keep a jar to collect your weed stems over time. That way, you’ll always have a fresh stash ready when you want to tackle any of these projects.
If you find yourself wondering this very thing, you’re not alone. It’s a common question we get from people who are new to smoking cannabis. And since no question is a dumb question when it comes to having a great cannabis experience, let’s unpack all the details on weed stems.
Now that your stems have been taken care of, what about your seeds? One of the most popular myths — or hopes rather — is that planting seeds found in dumpy weed will grow into beautiful marijuana plants.
Growing weed isn’t always easy. Getting that little seed up to a healthy and lush plant can at times require a good amount of patience and effort and then the one or the other expense too. Having to throw away most of your precious plant at harvest time really seems like a huge waste and let’s be frank, it really is. You can actually save most plant material from your weed plant and put it to good use. Here are some tips of what you can do with your leftover cannabis stems.
Weed Stems: Don’t Throw Them Away!
When done, take your decarboxylated stems out of the oven, let them cool off a bit and grind them, but don’t grind them up too fine, since this can make for a very bitter taste.
The stems consist mostly of plant matter, which doesn’t have any benefit or psychoactive effect. The only valuable parts of the stem that have some small amount of THC are on the outside. Or said differently, if you smoke the stems you combust a good amount of unhealthy plant matter, that will accomplish nothing. Worse, it’s more likely that you will get a bad headache when you smoke them.
If you’re growing weed and just got done harvesting and hanging up your buds to dry it may well come about that you become curious about what to do with all those leftover stems and leaves. It sure wouldn’t be the first time that someone has the idea to smoke them. But don’t!