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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.

Brew Tea

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:

Ingredients

  • 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.

How To Put Your Cannabis Stems To Good Use

It’s common to hear people associate cannabis stems with low-quality bud, and you might think they’re nothing but a headache. Try saving them next time you find them, though. Whether you want some THC-kissed tea, cannabutter, hash, or even some twine or yarn, the possibilities are nearly endless if you save them and know what to do.

Repurpose your cannabis stems to make the most of your crop!

  • 1. What to do with your marijuana stems?
  • 1.a. Smoking
  • 1.b. Charas
  • 1.c. Kief
  • 1.d. Bubble Hash
  • 2. Don’t forget decarboxylation
  • 2.a. Tea and chai
  • 2.b. Marijuana liqueur
  • 2.c. THC butter and other edibles
  • 3. Topicals
  • 4. Arts and crafts
  • 4.a. Paper
  • 4.b. Weaving small
  • 4.c. Weaving big
  • 4.d. Mulch
  • 5. Put your humble weed stems to good use
  • 1. What to do with your marijuana stems?
  • 1.a. Smoking
  • 1.b. Charas
  • 1.c. Kief
  • 1.d. Bubble Hash
  • 2. Don’t forget decarboxylation
  • 2.a. Tea and chai
  • 2.b. Marijuana liqueur
  • 2.c. THC butter and other edibles
  • 3. Topicals
  • 4. Arts and crafts
  • 4.a. Paper
  • 4.b. Weaving small
  • 4.c. Weaving big
  • 4.d. Mulch
  • 5. Put your humble weed stems to good use

If you’re not the type to grind up your stems with your bud, you’ve either got a garbage bag full of them or an impressive collection. If you’re in the former group, we’ve got some information that might make you reconsider. If you’re in the latter, though, today just might be your lucky day.

WHAT TO DO WITH YOUR MARIJUANA STEMS?

You see, those stems are a lot more than scraps to throw out when grinding your cannabis flower. In fact, if you store up enough, you can get plenty lifted off those alone. And, if you don’t want to get high, you can even give them a second life as arts and crafts items, or even mulch! How? We’ll cover the details as we go along.

SMOKING

The simplest solution, although it’s the least recommended, is to grind your stems up and smoke them. This is always a harsh experience, and the smoke contains many unwanted compounds from the cellulose in the stems. The cellulose also makes stems burn extremely hot—more than enough to burn your throat and lungs. Again, it is not recommended, so please be careful. Very few people do this, but for some reason, some decide to light them up.

CHARAS

Hash doesn’t get much more hands-on than this. To obtain charas, start by rubbing your stems between your hands. After that, rub your hands together over a container to get a whisker of hash. It won’t be much in that moment. However, work through 100 grams of stems with average THC content, and you may be impressed at what you’ve managed to gather. The end result is a multi-flavoured pile of hash that’s as old-school as it gets.

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!

BUBBLE HASH

Similarly, if you want some quality bubble hash, the first step is freezing the stems. Rather than shaking, though, you’ll be throwing these in a blender. Use the blender method recipe from our full guide to making hash—just replace “flowers” with “stems”. If you follow all the right instructions, repeating the process about 4–5 times, quality bubble hash will be in your future.

DON’T FORGET DECARBOXYLATION

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.

To decarboxylate, evenly spread your stems on an oven tray and place in the oven at 110°C (or 100°C for a fan-assisted oven) for 60 minutes. Once decarboxylated, your stems are ready to go!

TEA AND CHAI

To get started, you’ll need a healthy handful of stems that have not been rubbed for hash. Start off by putting 450ml of water and a tablespoon of coconut oil into a small saucepan. Chop and add your stems and slowly bring to a gentle, but not rolling, boil, stirring continuously. Let them boil like this for 7 or 8 minutes, as the fluid needs to reduce. Strain out your stems, let the mixture cool for a bit, and enjoy!

Plain cannabis tea can taste a bit rough, though, so you might consider adding herbs and sweeteners to your beverage. For tea, mints, lemon, honey, sugar, or any flavoured tea bag can mask the taste. If you’re making chai, adding cardamom pods, pepper, and ginger for that traditional zing makes it a tasty and tingly delight.

MARIJUANA LIQUEUR

Whiskeys, vodkas, or tequilas that are 40% alcohol or more can all dissolve the resin of cannabis. We’ve got a great recipe for cannabis-infused vodka here, but it’s quite a simple process overall.

Decant your chosen alcohol into a mason jar to allow for easier access. Let the stems sit in there for a week or so at a time. By the time you’ve got another handful of stems ready to add, the old ones will have released their treasures into the mix.

For potency to build, this little project may take a few months and a few handfuls of stems. By the end of the process, though, you’ll have a strong cross-fade in one convenient, potent drink.

THC BUTTER AND OTHER EDIBLES

If you have enough broken-down stems to fill up half a saucepan, then THC-infused butter is on the menu! Replacing stems for buds in this cannabutter recipe will produce a similar product, but with a much milder effect. Where the recipe suggests “28g of flowers”, replace with “as many chopped stems as possible”. Using your butter in culinary creations will add a nice buzz to any course.

TOPICALS

Perhaps one of the most unconventional ways to enjoy cannabis are weed-infused topicals, which have become quite popular over the past couple of years. Along with moisturising your skin, cannabis-infused lotions and creams can help care for your muscles in a new way. They’re also a wonder for supple joints, along with tackling sensitive, red skin especially well. Thankfully, we’ve already got a recipe for cannabis lotion! Note, however, that you’ll be replacing “15–30g of flowers” with 2–3x the amount of stems, or the closest you can get.

ARTS AND CRAFTS

You might not think about it often, but there’s a good bit more you can do with cannabis outside of enjoying its effects. It’s a natural plant material like any other, and that means it can see a lot of use in arts and crafts!

PAPER

It might sound unconventional at first, but remember that hemp is one of the main alternatives to wood-based paper. Considering that, stem-based paper is far from odd, albeit a bit coarse.

The most challenging part of making paper is first making a vat. This can be pantyhose stretched over a wire armature, or old fly-wire screen stapled to a wooden frame. The idea is to have a flat, permeable surface that will let the water in the pulp drain away.

Then, in a blender, combine an equal amount of stems and regular paper. Add enough water for the mixture to move and blend freely. When the mix is a slurry with minimal bits left intact, pour it out evenly onto the vat. Gently shake the vat until the pulp is evenly spread. If you’re making a larger piece of paper, you’ll need a squeegee to get things even. Leave this to drain and dry. After 24 hours, gently peel your paper away and hang it out to dry. Trim to your needs, and enjoy!

WEAVING SMALL

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?

WEAVING BIGGER

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!

MULCH

Capping things off, you can even use your stems to grow yourself some more cannabis! Specifically, you can use a wood chipper (or another processing method) to turn the stems into a reliable mulch. This will protect the soil under it, making sure plants keep as much of their rainwater as possible. There’s a lot more information to cover when it comes to properly applying mulch in the growing process, but we hope to have sparked your interest in the idea!

PUT YOUR HUMBLE WEED STEMS TO GOOD USE

See? There’s no need to get mad at the humble stem! There’s a world of use to be found if you’ve got the right supplies, and you can even get high on them if you play your cards right! We hope this has helped you appreciate just how versatile the cannabis plant can be!

You might think cannabis stems are a waste. On the contrary, there are quite a few ways to put them to good use! Find out how inside.