If you have grown your supply of weed while harvesting the flowers you might wonder what else could you do with the rest of a cannabis plant. The flower buds have always been the only part that is marketed for either recreational or medical use. Though weed can always grow out new buds until their next flowering period, it does put lots of the other parts of the plant go to waste. But a frequent question is can you smoke weed stems?
Thus, growers feel the need to regularly prune and trim around the plant just to sustain the plant and to produce quality flowers. We are often told to just discard the stems, when in fact they can still be put to use. This will save you more time from waiting until the next harvest, and reduce the waste you dispose of. Plus, you can maximize more of your plant for more ways to enjoy weed.
Can You Smoke Weed Stems?
The short answer is yes.
Smoking: Stems Compared to Buds
Of course, the buds are the most appealing part of the plant. Flavorful, aromatic, and packed with THC and CBD. Stems go unnoticed for a reason: they do not have much to offer, unlike the blooming competition. Weed stems have an unpleasant taste, no satisfying smell, and barely any THC. Although the stems should have some traces of the resin crystals seen on the flowers that can add a little bit of potency to your smoke if you have gathered enough.
Medical professionals have strongly advised against smoking with the stems of cannabis especially if you have not tried weed before. Smoking stems are more harmful to the lungs than regular smoke and cause adverse effects worse than the normal side effects from weed such as severe migraines, vomiting, abdominal pain, and damage to cognitive function.
So can you smoke weed stems? Yes, but you have to be careful. You can follow the procedures here so you can smoke those stems safely. If you are new to smoking or would rather not take the risk, there are also plenty of other ways to repurpose the stems for you to check out below.
How to Harness the THC from Weed Stems
To make things clear: you cannot grind stems like flowers and use them right away. If flowers need to be dried first, so do stems through a process called decarboxylation. This will help extract the little THC found in the stems so you can still experience some mild effects while you use them. Trust us, it is easier to do than it sounds. Here is how you can do it to prepare the stems for smoking:
- Gather all your stems and lay them flat on a tray.
- Set your oven to 110 degrees Celsius and let the stems bake for one hour. If you are using a fan-assisted oven, the temperature can be adjusted to 100 degrees Celsius.
- Take out the stems and let them cool.
Safe Ways to Smoke Stems
Though grinding them stems into a joint or throwing them into a pipe would be the easy route to go about smoking weed stems, they are not advisable in this case. This is mainly because the more common methods are available to enhance the flavor, aroma, and heighten the effects of smoking, all of these cannot apply to stems since as mentioned earlier, they are far from the features of buds.
There are alternatives available that only require tools you already have around the house and really basic skills. Once the stems undergo any of the processes listed here, then you can smoke them with your favorite pipe or roll them into a blunt.
Charas will require lots of handworks but it will be well worth it. The process is also a bit tedious and is the traditional method of creating the hash. Note: Charas will require fresh stems. Do not decarboxylate them. To make your chart, grab a few stems and rub them against your hands.
After some time you should notice a nice dark green hash starting to build upon your palms. Rub the stems until no more hash comes off from them. Discard the stems then scrape off the hash from your hands into a bowl or tray. Repeat this process until you have a good enough pile of charts to smoke. Roll your charas into a log or use blunt wraps if you prefer.
Hash is a modern approach to making charas and is a mess-free option if you do not want to get your hands dirty. You can either take frozen stems and strain them or use fresh ones and store them in the freezer first. Both methods will still result in separating the THC and trichomes from the stems.
If you opt for using fresh stems, gather a bunch and freeze them for a few hours, not until they are nice but at least cold and moist. Rub them against a silkscreen or stretched out gauze and have a bowl under your strainer to collect the sap from the stems.
In the bowl, you should see some sediments separating from the sap or juice. Take another bundle of stems and repeat the process until you have enough hash settled at the bottom. Carefully pour out the juice until only the hash at the bottom is left. Roll them into logs or scoop them into a pipe to smoke.
If you want to take a quick and easier route, the blending method is perfect. Throw in one part of your decarboxylated stems into a blender with one part water and some ice. Blend the mixture for one minute.
Pour the mixture into a clear glass and wait for the trichomes to settle at the bottom. Pour out the water and pour in a new glass of cold water over the sediments. Repeat the process until all the hash settles. Scoop out and smoke as you like.
The Kief is similar to the blender method for the hash, but your hands will be doing more action. Break the stems and put them all in a resealable bag. Freeze your stem bag for a few hours. Pop the bag out of the fridge and start shaking it.
You will start to see the trichomes separate from the stems. Keep shaking until the stems shake off clean. Remove the stems from the bag and all you will have left is a bag of kief.
Other Ways to Repurpose Stems
If you think you can’t handle the smoke from fresh stems or do not want to risk experiencing the side effects of smoking stems, there are other ways for you to enjoy the little THC stems have. Like smoking, you will also want to decarboxylate the stems before trying out any of these projects:
Cooking and Delightful Eats
You can add a twist to your meals by infusing it with stems as an alternative to flowers. Some ideas are adding it to your favorite butter or oil to cook with, and chopping them up to throw into cookies and brownies.
Raise a glass and bottoms to drinks you can also enjoy by adding stems to create your unique buzzing concoction. For alcohol, open up your choice of liquor and drop in some stems into the drink. Let it sit for about a week or more and you can now sip your way to a tipsy high.
If you want the THC to blend into the alcohol, let it sit for a few months like fine wine. If you want to cleanse and detoxify, tea with weed stems is one way to boost your health. In a pot boil the stems with your choice of tea leaves, flowers, or for extra flavor. Pour your tea and add honey or sugar to sweeten and enjoy it.
Repair and Recovery Creams
If you rely on cannabis for its inflammatory and analgesic properties, there is a recipe for you to use those stems as a topical ointment or lotion to relax your muscle and heal any redness or swelling.
Just combine coconut oil, beeswax, crushed stems, and medical oils in a pot and let them heat up and mix evenly. Let the mixture cool and settle then transfer to a bottle or small jar. Take it anywhere with you if you need fast and soothing relief.
For an organic and affordable mulch, use those trimmed and pruned stems instead. Just cut them up into smaller bits and spread over the soil of your cannabis plant so it can stay hydrated and get the most out of its nutrients.
Can you smoke weed stems? Stems are probably one of the most wastes we produce as growers from maintaining our plants but that does not mean they should head straight to the garbage bin. There are plenty of uses for stems with the right steps and a bit of creativity, you can still enjoy the effects of weed even with parts that go unnoticed.