I used to just smoke them.
When I was a poor college student, I did not want to waste anything in my baggie, so I just smoked the stems.
I never liked the harsh smoke and I knew they did not have enough THC to make a difference, but I was poor. Every little bit helped.
I still don’t like to waste any part of my baggie. But I also don’t want to smoke the stems anymore.
That’s why I set out on a quest to find other good uses for the stems. And I found quite a few. Keep reading to see what they are.
- 1 What To Do With Weed Stems
- 2 How To Extract THC From Stems
- 3 Uses for Weed Stems: Final Thoughts
What To Do With Weed Stems
When you harvest cannabis, you end up with a large volume of stems that go unused. This is unfortunate, because they do contain some valuable compounds and can be used constructively if you choose to put in the effort.
Most hobby growers end up just throwing the stems away. But this is wasteful and not recommended.
Even if you decide not to use the stems in any kind of project, you should at the very least compost them, because they make great compost.
Throwing organic plant matter into the trash is not something we should be doing at this point in our human evolution.
There are so many constructive ways to use stems, there is no excuse for just tossing them in the garbage.
There are many more uses for stems than the ones listed here. These are the best ideas and they make for a good, rounded list, to give you some great ideas and keep you from tossing stems in the trash can.
- Extract the THC
- Make Hash (Charas)
- Compost the Stems
- Make into Edibles
- Make Keif
- Create Lotion
- Use the Stems to Enhance Your Alcoholic Drinks
- Make Bubble Hash
- Use for Cannabis Tea
How To Extract THC From Stems
There is still TCH in stems but nowhere near the amount present in the flowers/buds. You don’t want to smoke them, but you can make use of the THC they have by extracting it.
Everything on this list is technically extracting the THC from your stems, just in different forms and using different methods. The product of this extraction will be either tea, hash, kief, or some edible product.
Depending on how potent your plants are you may be able to extract a high volume of THC using the stems from a single plant. If your strain is not particularly potent, it may take many plants worth of stems.
Making Charas (Hash) With Discarded Stems
Charas is kind of like the poor man’s hash. It is just the THC and other residue from the stems. It ends up being a hash-like paste. It could also technically be considered a cannabis concentrate.
To make charas you need to start off with clean hands. Grab some stems and rub them briskly between your palms over and over.
Make sure you are doing this rubbing over a good container to catch the charas. Eventually, you will have a little string of putty from the residue on the stems.
Composting Weed Stems
Much like any other organic leaf or green matter, composting stems is a simple affair. Make sure you have a container suitable for composting. You can use a simple plastic storage bin if you have one laying around.
Just chop the stems up as small as you can and toss them in the bin with the rest of your compost. The reason you should chop them up is because the smaller the pieces, the faster they will be broken down.
With marijuana stems, you do not need to mince them or turn them into dust. Just cutting them into smaller pieces will do the job.
Make Your Stems Into Edibles
Because there are hundreds of edibles you can make with stems, I cannot possibly cover them all here. I will focus on 2 of my favorites: butter, and hot cocoa. Both are easy to do and are very enjoyable to make and consume.
Making cannabis butter is super easy and you can use the butter for anything that normally calls for butter. To make it, just get an equal part butter to stem ratio in a large saucepan.
Cut your stems into small pieces no bigger than ½ inch and let the butter melt and simmer on medium heat (do not burn it) for about 30 minutes. Stir it up for about a minute when the 30 minutes are done.
Strain the mix into a glass bowl and put it in the refrigerator to set.
Stoner Hot Cocoa
Another easy one. Just take your stems (the more the merrier) and some milk and heat up your stems with the milk in a saucepan over medium to low heat for about 10 minutes. This allows the compounds from the stems to infuse into the milk.
Once the milk has absorbed all the goodness from the stems you, can strain it into a cup and stir in the chocolate syrup.
You may need to reheat for about a minute since sometimes the chocolate syrup can make the temperature drop a little bit. Add marshmallows on top and some whipped cream and you are good to go!
Making Keif From Stems
You are going to need a heck of a lot of stems to make a good amount of keif so start collecting now and in a few months you may be ready.
First you need to crush your stems. You can do this with a traditional kitchen roller or just crush them in your hands.
Once you have a high volume of crushed stems, take them and place them in a sealed plastic bag (my favorite is the super large Ziploc freezer bags) and let them freeze for a day or two.
After the bag of stems has been freezing for a couple of days, you can take it out of the freezer and unzip the bag. Turn the bag upside down, making sure to keep the stems from falling out and shake the bag vigorously over a collection plate or bowl.
You will see the little keif crystals falling off. This is the simple way to make keif from stems!
Making Lotion From Stems
Place a mix of equal parts stems and coconut oil (or olive oil) in a covered glass bowl or container. Simply let it sit for a few days until the stems have completely infused in the oil. Strain the mixture and then you are ready to add the other ingredients.
Add about the same amount of beeswax to your mixture, and you can also add almond oil. Mix it all up and place in a glass mason jar. Now you have a lotion mixture you can use on your skin that has no artificial junk in it!
Enhancing Your Alcoholic Drinks
There are many ways to do this. You can simply dry out your stems and drop them in the glass of whatever you are drinking and some of the THC and other stuff will seep into your drink. This is the easiest way to do it.
One of the most popular ways to do this is by making cannabis vodka. This is done by taking a large amount of your dried out stems and placing in a large mason jar. Add vodka to the top of the jar and close it with the lid.
Shake the mixture vigorously for a minute or two and place in a cool dark place for a week. After the week has passed take the jar out and shake again, then strain the stems and pour the remaining mixture into a different jar.
Be careful doing this as this a potent mixture. Practice moderation here, this is not normal vodka anymore!
Making Bubble Hash
This method is quite different from the first hash making method. It uses a completely different method to extract the goods from the stems.
In the first method you were using heat and friction by rubbing the stems with your hands and allowing the heat and friction to get the residue off the stems.
In this method you are going to use ice to freeze the stems so the trichomes fall off.
First, chop your stems into small sections. You will need to get a bucket and some mesh bags to use as bubble bags.
Fill the bucket with some ice (you can make your own in the freezer or purchase it in bulk from any grocery store). Add your stems to the ice and pour in cold water. Let the mixture sit undisturbed for about 15 minutes to freeze the trichomes.
Finally stir the mixture for about 5 to 7 minutes, then remove the first mesh bag with the ice and stems.
Each layer of mesh bag will have a smaller, finer powder. You can either use only the finest powder which will be on the last layer or combine all of them into one. Take the material and roll it all up into a ball and you have a nice chunk of bubble hash!
Use Cannabis Stems For Tea
This is just as simple as it sounds. Here you want to be careful, because drinking weed tea can get you super stoned.
The key here is to use a conservative number of stems if you are doing it for the first time. Just start off with your favorite tea bag in some boiling water and place some stems in a coffee filter.
Roll up the coffee filter into a small ball and tie it shut with some string and steep it in your cup just like a teabag.
Steep for as long as you want. Keep in mind that just like tea, the longer you steep the more you are getting. You can add some milk and sweetener to your tea for a bit of a flavor boost or drink it straight if you prefer. Remember to start off conservative with your first cup.
Uses for Weed Stems: Final Thoughts
Those are some of my favorite uses for weed stems. What do you think? Have you tried any of them? Or do you have other possible ways to use the stems that were not listed here?
If that is the case, please let us know in the comments below. I am always looking for new ideas!