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).
Can you smoke weed stems?
Although you may be tempted to, you should not smoke weed stems. Smoking stems from cannabis plants will not get you high due to their lack of THC. If you do decide to smoke stems, you’ll likely experience a few of the negative side effects that come with smoking, like coughing and sore throat, without the fun of a THC high.
In other words, it’s simply not worth it.
Can I consume weed stems in other ways?
Should you grind up your stems and add them to your bowl? No. But that doesn’t mean stems can’t be used in a consumable preparation.
One of the more popular ways people use cannabis stems is to add them to cannabis tea. If you don’t have a tea bag handy, you can use a coffee filter or pair of unused nylon stockings to steep your flower-and-stem tea. Some people like the flavor of weed. Marijuana stems may not have trichomes but they do have essential oils. Adding stems will add flavor without adding THC.
Can weed stems be added to topicals or edibles?
If you happen to have some weed stems, there’s no harm in adding them to flower and leaves when steeping a cannabis tincture. You can also include stems when making oil-based cannabis-infused concoctions. It’s best to make high-quality flower the feature ingredient if you’re looking to make potent edibles or topicals. But if you want to make use of your stems, it certainly can’t hurt to let them steep alongside your ground flower in topical or edible preparations. You can find many recipes online for cannabis-infused coconut oil, cannabutter, a cannabis cocktail or two, and other edible goods.
Can stems increase my cannabis concentrate yield?
Stems can be marginally useful in maximizing trichome yields for kief or bubble hash. Unless you’re a licensed manufacturer tumbling pounds at a time, it won’t help to add weed stems when you’re making kief or hash at home. While stems won’t turn a mediocre bubble hash yield into a spectacular one, trichomes are sticky and might have gotten attached to stems during processing. Including them helps get the most off the plant, but the amount of residual trichomes that may have gotten stuck on cannabis stalks or stems is negligible so place your hopes appropriately.
How To Make Stem Hash
Pick up a bottle of 99% isopropyl alcohol and gather your collected stems.
Grind up the stems until they are extremely fine. Place them into a mason jar and cover with the isopropyl alcohol.
Put the lid on the mason jar and shake vigorously for a minute or two.
Pour the liquid through a strainer in order to remove any excess plant material. Transfer the liquid to a wide bottom glass dish or bowl.
Let the dish sit in a well ventilated area until all of the alcohol evaporates. You will be left with a sticky, resinous coating along the bottom of the dish.
Simply scrape up the sticky hash and form it into a ball or pancake, smoke, enjoy!
This is exactly the same as making cannabis butter, except with stems… We won’t go into detail on this one, as we have already covered how to make cannabis butter in a previous post, so just replace the bud with stems and follow the same stems. Keep in mind that using stems instead of buds will result in a far less potent butter.
Arts & Crafts
If you are looking to re-purpose your stems into something that won’t give you a buzz, there are plenty of ways to do so!
Using stems in arts and crafts generally requires much thicker and longer stems than most people are used to getting in their gram bag. But we figured it was worth mentioning nonetheless.
Using a sharp blade, you can peel away the fibers of the stem and weave them into a bracelet or basket… or whatever people weave. Another awesome way to use stems is to use them in place of classic BBQ skewers. Simply gather a few long stems that are relatively straight, widdle the end into a sharp point and soak them in water for an hour or two. Skewer some chunks of meat, veggies or whatever you’re cooking and throw them on the grill. The skewers will impart a very mild ‘marijuana-ee’ flavor and aroma to the dish, just don’t expect any sort of buzz.
How are cannabis stems used commercially?
Beyond attempts to squeeze the last possible amount of THC out of weed, the fibrous plant material in hemp and marijuana, including weed stems, can be used to make hemp rope, hemp paper, wood chips, paper scraps, and even a plant-based concrete.
The textile industry has also historically used hemp as a substitute for cotton, and modern fashion has seen increased interest in hemp-based textiles for reasons of sustainability.
Sustainable agriculture means making better use of more leftover cannabis plant matter that doesn’t traditionally wind up in the jars that line dispensary storefronts.
Increasing marijuana legalization provides us the opportunity to look beyond the medical and adult-use benefits of the cannabis flower and toward the many benefits of cannabis as an agricultural commodity crop.
Instead of trying to smoke your stems, look to cannabis fiber-based goods, such as hemp paper, rope, fabric, and other textiles to support sustainable agriculture and promote the many beneficial qualities of cannabis that don’t come with a head change.
Start saving your weed stems
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.