From trichomes to terpenes to the flower itself, there are many elements to the cannabis plant, but have you ever wondered about weed stems?
Weed stems are the small green sticks that can usually be found within your nugs. Depending on the quality of cannabis you’re purchasing, you may run across more or less stems: less if you’re buying top-shelf flower.
Before you ask if you can smoke stems, keep in mind they contain very little THC, the cannabinoid responsible for the “high” we experience when we smoke. Smoking stems will bring you much more risk than reward: you’re more likely to cough excessively or experience a sore throat if you add stems into the mix.
But don’t worry – this doesn’t mean you have to toss your stems out. There are a few other useful ways to utilize your weed stems without messing up your throat.
1. Brew Some Weed Stem Tea
You probably never thought to make some tea with twiggy sticks, but weed stem tea is surprisingly simple to make, and can be dressed up to become super tasty, full-bodied, and nutritious.
Make sure to pick as potent a strain as possible, since the stems will contain a much lower THC content than the flower itself. As for dressing up your beverage, you can throw in additional flavors of choice like honey, lemon, raw sugar, or another tea bag in your favorite flavor. Check out our pro tips for brewing stem tea here.
2. Make Cannabutter or Cannabis-Infused Cooking Oil
Rather than smoking your stems, you might want to try eating them, especially if you make edibles on a regular basis. When you begin the decarboxylation process, which activates the THC in your cannabis, add your stems into the mixture.
They won’t bring too much extra potency to your edibles, but they do add a nice savory, cannabis-y flavor. It’s also a great hack if you’re low on flower but in desperate need of some edibles.
You don’t want to actually eat the stems, but rather infuse them into your recipe. The stems can be infused into cannabutter or any other cannabis-infused cooking oil – try on our cannabis coconut oil recipe for size.
3. Make A Cannabis Topical
Similar to edibles, you can infuse those extra stems into an at-home recipe for a cannabis topical. This is ideal for anyone who uses cannabis to treat skin problems, chronic pain, or soreness.
Creating a topical is incredibly similar to infusing coconut oil with cannabis – you basically just add in some beeswax and a few drops of essential oils of your choice. As with edibles, simply toss your stems into the decarboxylation process. Soon enough, you’ll have a fresh batch of infused balm or lotion.
4. Boost Your Kief Collection
If you’ve been consuming cannabis for a while, you’re already familiar with the wonders of kief. In fact, most grinders have kief collectors at the bottom for this exact reason.
Kief is the cannabis crystals, a.k.a. resinous trichomes, that collect when your flower is ground down. Kief is super convenient, especially if you’re low on flower. Topping off your bowl with some kief is the perfect way to add extra potency without the miscellaneous plant matter.
It’s easy enough to scrape the bottom of your grinder for a nice pile of kief, but did you know you can make it yourself from stems? Simply break down your stems as small as possible and throw them into a sealed plastic bag.
Keep the bag in your freezer, adding more stems as they come and shaking the bag heartily each time. With each shake, the frozen crystals will fall off the stems. Slowly but surely, your kief will pile up just as it does in your grinder – ready to be used!
5. Make Your Very Own Weed Stem Paper
You may have heard of paper being made out of hemp – in fact, this was incredibly popular up until the 1930s, when all things cannabis were increasingly stigmatized throughout the U.S. Well, if you don’t have any hemp on hand, you can easily make yourself some weed stem-based paper.
Simply use a blender to combine an equal amount of weed stems and regular paper. Make sure you add water – enough for the mixture to blend easily. When the mix is about as blended as can be, pour it over a paper-making vat (can be substituted with some panthose stretched over wire coils – any flat surface that will allow the pulp’s water to drain properly).
Once you’ve spread the mixture evenly over your vat, gently shake the surface until the pulp is spread evenly. Leave it to dry and drain for about 24-36 hours, then gently peel the paper off and hang it up to dry all the way through.
6. Make a Hemp Wick
For those who are conscious about the negative health effects of using a lighter (butane fumes), hemp wicks are a great alternative, and you can easily create your own using weed stems.
In order to do so, strip the stems with some scissors or a sharp blade until you have some stringy, long fibers. Then, twist them tightly around one another to form a rope, folding and twisting tightly. Once you’ve twisted until you can’t twist any more, dip your rope into some beeswax and allow it to dry.
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