PSA: Don’t Smoke Those Stems
These are crazy times, so it’s not that weird that you’re looking at your bowl of weed stems and contemplating smoking them. Waste not, want not, right?
As nice as it is to reduce waste and be resourceful, smoking stems isn’t the way to go.
If stems are all you have left, then you’ve already smoked the good stuff.
Stems contain almost no THC. What little may be in there doesn’t even come close to being enough to produce a high.
The negligible amount of THC in stems isn’t worth the unpleasant effects and risk to your lungs that come with smoking.
Inhaling smoke harms your lungs. It doesn’t matter if it’s bud, seed, tobacco, or burning wood. Toxins and carcinogens (cancer-causing agents) are released from the combustion of materials, even stems. This damages your lungs and increases your risk for cancer and heart and lung diseases.
Smoke effects aside, smoking stems can cause:
- a raging headache
- a sore throat
It’ll also taste like you’re smoking wood chips.
Some people on Reddit and other forums who admit to having smoked weed stems also reported uncomfortable gastrointestinal symptoms, like nausea and abdominal pain.
Nope. You shouldn’t smoke those either.
Marijuana seeds aren’t going to get you high no matter how many you crush and smoke. There’s just not enough THC in the seeds to produce any effects.
Lighting them up will create a lot of snap, crackle, and pop. The acrid smoke will irritate your throat and damage your lungs like other smoke. But that’s about it.
Stems and seeds aren’t worth smoking, but that doesn’t mean they’re entirely useless. You may be able to use lingering stems and seeds. Exactly what you can do with them depends on how many you have.
If you just have a few seeds kicking around, you could plant them and try growing your own stash (if you live in an area where this is permitted, of course).
Have an abundance of stems and seeds to play with? Consider eating it.
Here are some ways to make it appetizing.
Brew some stem tea
Before getting your brew on, you’ll want to bake the stems on a baking sheet in the oven for around 45 minutes at 225°F (107°C). When done, let the stems cool, and then grind them up.
Put your ground stems in a tea diffuser and let them steep in boiling water for 10 to 15 minutes. If you don’t have a diffuser, you can steep your ground stems in a pot of boiling water and then place a coffee filter over your mug and pour so it strains your brew.
Make stem butter
Who doesn’t like butter?
Just like when making tea from weed stems, you’ll want to bake your stems in the oven at 225°F (107°C) for 45 minutes and let them cool before grinding.
Place some butter in a pan and melt over low heat. Once the butter’s completely melted, add the ground stems and let simmer for around 30 minutes, stirring often.
To strain it, cheesecloth works best. Just secure the cheesecloth over a glass jar with a rubber band, and slowly pour the butter over the cloth. Let the butter cool and — voilà — stem butter!
It might be tempting to smoke all those stems that are gathering dust in your jar, but you may want to think twice before lighting up.
What To Do With Leftover Marijuana Stems
In this current era, saving some cash is more important than ever, especially when it comes to weed. And one hack for sticking to a budget is reusing and recycling, like harvesting kief from a grinder, or coming up with creative ways to use your stems. Once you see that stash get down to the stems and dregs, you’re bound to wonder, is there THC in stems? Though smoking stems remains a possible choice in using them up, it isn’t the biggest hit for your buck. Stems, while they hold the same risk for your lungs as smoking the bud itself, hold less THC value. Instead of the high you’d expect from ground flowers, you’ll get a taste of wood chips and likely, a nasty headache.
Instead, learn how to extract THC from stems, and feel confident in your savvy and earth-wise approach to using the whole nug from the bag.
When looking to reduce, reuse, and weed-cycle, it’s important to know the answer to the question, do weed stems have THC? Once you know that, the options are endless for reusing the stems. But start with something easy, like brewing tea. Try this simple recipe:
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup stems (either ground or broken up, brewer’s choice)
- 3 cups water
- tea bag of choice
- coffee filters
- 2 to 3 teaspoons a favorite alcohol
If you prefer to stay away from alcohol, try a 1/2 cup milk (dairy, almond, soy, or coconut) or half teaspoon of butter or coconut oil. Remember that in order for bud tea to work, it’s necessary to decarboxylate the cannabis.
First fill a kettle with the water. Then, add the milk or butter or oil, but if using alcohol, wait until after the water is boiling and off of the burner to incorporate into the water. Add broken down stems to boiling water and stir for ten minutes, infusing the liquid. If using ground stems, consider a reusable tea bag to make the straining process easier. If not, simply place the coffee filter over the kettle’s spout. Then after mastering how to extract THC from stems for tea with this recipe, try something more advanced with your stems like Bud Boba or Matcha Green Tea. Have a tea party, and your friends won’t even have to ask, “Do weed stems have THC?” because they’ll be blazed off your brew.
Infuse Your Booze
Though the weed market today offers an assortment of bud beers or wines to try, learning how to extract THC from stems to infuse in your booze is a great DIY project to use up leftover stems. Recipes for infusing with ground flowers provide a reasonable foundation to follow for infusing alcohol with THC from stems. Simply increase the amount by a quarter cup for a deeper high, if desired.
Alternatively, if you want the cheater’s method and you’ve the time, take a bottle of strong clear alcohol, such as everclear or vodka. For every ounce of liquid, grind up 1.5g of stems. Let the bottle sit in a dark room for three weeks, occasionally shaking to stir up the contents. Because of the intense taste, consider taking 1/4 or 1/2 shots of the finished product at a time to see how it will affect you. Also try blending it with your favorite mixer, like bloody mary mix. Then, when you have weed-minded guests over for a gathering, give them the low down on the question they’ll surely be asking of your stem-infused cocktails, “Really? Is there THC in stems?”
Extract Bubble Hash
Even the most experienced bud smokers wonder if weed stems have THC. Is it worth the experimenting and time to find out? If you decide to make some bubble hash, it may very well be worth your while, and you’ll never wonder if there is THC in stems again.
Start first by gathering broken down stems or putting them into a blender (amount is to preference, just remember it should be almost double what it would be with just flowers). Put them into a mason jar with 90% isopropyl alcohol. Shake the closed jar for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Strain with a coffee filter into a pyrex glass container, like a brownie or casserole dish. Adjust a fan to blow onto the mixture and wait until all the liquid evaporates. This waiting period could last over 3 hours, but it may be best to wait a full 24 before indulging the in the product. Once the waiting process is done, simply scrape and smoke. Now you know how to extract THC from stems to make hash.
Baking to Get Baked
Finally, knowing the answer to “is there THC in stems” opens up a world of opportunity in baking. Stuck with leftover stems, you can experiment with new recipes, made with cannabutter or cannaoil from stems. Simply adjust your recipe by increasing the amount of stems in lieu of the ground flowers. Remember to adjust your flavoring and seasoning depending on what you decide to make. The stems will have a more potent, woody taste than regular flowers. Learning do weed stems have THC may make your edibles cheaper and more effective than ever.
Get Crafty: What To Do When Not Extracting THC
Sometimes knowing is there THC in stems doesn’t matter. Getting crafty with your stems doesn’t have to stop at how to extract THC from stems. Stems grouped together can make for a workable screen or filter for a piece. Depending on their size, they can also be woven or glued together to make baskets. Or carve them sharp for skewers for your next dank cannabis cookout. Though knowing that the answer to do weed stems have THC is yes, it may seem a waste of a valuable high not to use them up through infusion, baking, or brewing. Nonetheless, by committing to using the whole product, you’re enjoying your green while keeping the earth a little greener too.
When it comes to cannabis, having leftover stems is just part of the package. Here's how to use them.