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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.

Learn How To Make Cannabis Stem Weed Butter

Cannabis-infused butter, or cannabutter, is the gold standard when it comes to making weed edibles. Did you know that cannabutter can be made with weed stems? If not, no worries! It’s just as easy as making regular cannabutter, and a great way to utilize resources when times are scarce.

Is There THC In Weed Stems?

Although there is still THC and other cannabinoids in cannabis stems, the trouble is getting them out. In theory, you could simply grind it up and smoke it. However, smoking it raw will taste extremely harsh and likely cause headaches and no high. That’s why learning how to make weed butter with stems is so great, as you can enjoy the high from the weed stems without any nasty side effects!

High THC Strains

How To Make Weed Butter With Cannabis Stems

Other than the obvious fact you’re using stem instead of bud, making weed butter with stems is entirely the same as making it from flower. It’s a simple process, if a little time consuming, so gather everything you need and let’s learn how to make pot butter with stems!

Ingredients For Weed Stem Butter

Before making cannabutter with stem, you’ll need to prepare the following ingredients:

  • Cannabis stem – as much as you can get (minimum ¼ cup per person)
  • Unsalted butter – 250g (2 sticks)
  • Water – 300ml (10fl.oz) + 50ml (1.7fl.oz) per hour

You will also need some everyday household items:

  • A pot or saucepan – heavy-bottomed if available
  • Strainer – cheesecloth or clean tea towel
  • String

Once you have all the ingredients and equipment ready, you can start making weed stem butter – just follow our instructions.

Step 1. Decarb Your Stems

The first step to making stem cannabutter is converting the THCA into THC to make it readily available to the human body. To do this, lay your ground-up stems on a baking tray and put in the oven for 40 minutes at 100-110°c. This activates the THCA by decarboxylating it and converting it to THC.

Step 2. Simmer In Butter

The next step is to melt your butter at medium temperature and add the 300ml (10fl.oz) of water before bringing it to a simmer. Once simmering, add your stems and stir through.

Now the waiting begins. The longer you leave it for, the stronger it will be. However, 3 or 4 hours will be enough time to create a decent potency. Stir every 15 minutes or so and add 50ml of water every hour of simmering, or when you notice there’s only butter and stems left in the saucepan.

Step 3. Drain

Once you’ve waited as long as you can to finish off your cannabutter, set up your cheesecloth or clean tea towel over a heat-proof container and secure it in place with string. Then, slowly pour the cannabutter into the cloth, allowing the butter to drain through into the container. Once the butter has stopped flowing, bundle the edges of the cloth together and squeeze tightly, pressing out as much butter as you can.

Now all you have to do is put the container in the fridge and wait for the butter to set. In a few hours, you’ll see that the butter has formed into a layer on top of the water. Simply collect all this butter and store in an airtight container in your fridge or freezer.

Cannabis Strains For Concentrates

How Strong Will Cannabutter From Stems Be?

While making cannabutter from stems will still work, it won’t be as strong as cannabutter made from bud or leaf, as stems contain less THC. To get around this, use as much stem as you can get your hands on. Another excellent way to utilize stems is by adding it to your bud or leaf when making regular cannabutter. It will add some potency to any batch and will taste better than cannabutter made only from stem.

How To Dose Stem Cannabutter

We’ve all heard horror stories of what happens when you eat too high a dose of cannabis edibles. Luckily, as cannabutter made from stems is less potent, it’s a lot harder to overdo the amount. Still, care should always be taken when eating edibles, so start slow and eat more if you don’t feel the effects within about an hour, or if the effects are too mild. Before cooking with cannabutter, it’s always a good idea to do a test run – on a free day, have a teaspoon of cannabutter, and watch the effects – this wil give you a rough idea of how strong the cannabutter is, and how much you’ll need per portion of cooking

Many Ways To Enjoy Weed Stem Butter

Now all you have to worry about is how first to eat your weed stem butter! You can substitute it into any recipe that calls for regular butter, like brownies, cookies, and cakes, or you can simply spread it on some toast or pancakes, sit back, and enjoy the ride.

Most edibles recipes ask for cannabutter. What if we tell you, it can be made from weed stems too? Save buds for smoking and follow our recipe for cannabis stem butter ]]>