Ew, weed stems...those small (or sometimes rather large) sticks at the end of the cannabis flower.
Sometimes when you buy cannabis flowers or buds from a dispensary or online at a cannabis provider like CannaSaver.com, there may be extensive stem—depending on the quality of the product.
Weed stems contain little to no THC, the active ingredient in marijuana.
Why Are Weed Stems Not Used?
Because they contain little THC, weed stems have often been discarded as worthless. However, these parts of the cannabis plant can be used for several products.
Why Not Smoke Weed Stems?
Although it may be tempting to use every bit of the cannabis you’ve paid for or grown, avoid smoking weed stems.
Low in THC, weed stems will not get you high.
There are also negative side effects. Healthline.com outlines some of them.
Smoke inhalation damages your lungs.
Toxins and carcinogens are released through smoking. These can cause cancer.
Breathing toxins can also increase the risk of heart disease.
Smoking stems can cause severe headaches.
Stem smoking may result in a sore throat.
Smoking stems may trigger uncontrollable and/or persistent coughing.
The smoke from stems is not pleasant. It tastes like charred wood chips.
Some stem smokers reported uncomfortable gas.
Uses of Weed Stems
Even though smoking weed stems is not recommended, there are some products that can be made using the stems.
Thrillist.com (https://www.thrillist.com/eat/nation/how-to-make-cannabis-tea-recipe) provides a recipe for making weed stem tea.
Grind a gram of weed stems
A tablespoon of unsalted butter or coconut oil
Teabag in the flavor of your choice
Four cups of water
Flavor ingredients like honey, lemon, mint, milk, sugar, or cinnamon
Cheesecloth, coffee filter, or a fine strainer
Boil water in a medium-sized pot. Add butter or coconut oil to boiling water. Allow to dissolve completely.
Add ground cannabis. Turn the temperature to simmer.
Simmer for fifteen minutes.
Use a cheesecloth or coffee filter to strain the mixture into an empty teapot.
Add the teabag and extras. Steep for three minutes.
Remove the teabag. Stir well. Pour and enjoy.
Decarboxylation is the removal of the carboxyl group from cannabis stems. The process toasts the stems converting THC into a psychoactive form called Delta 9-THC. This increases the consistency and the potency of the weed. The heat acts as a catalyst. You can use your oven.
Pre-heat oven to 215° F.
Put weed stems on a cookie sheet.
Toast for 15 minutes.
Raise oven setting to 240° F.
Toast for 45 minutes more.
Remove from oven.
Fine grind toasted stems.
Use immediately or store in a light-tight/air-tight container.
Break off weed stems. Place in Ziploc plastic bags. Put bags in the freezer. Let sit. Add additional stems as they become available. Give the bag a thorough shake each time you add stems. A pile will build at the bottom of the bag. The frozen resin crystals will detach from the stems. Sift the stems out of the residue and discard them. What’s left at the bottom of the bag is kief. You can smoke this or you can cook with it.
Separating the trichomes from the cannabis plant produces hashish. Trichomes are hair-like structures on the surface of the buds. Hash can also be made from kief.
RoyalQueenSeeds.com provides a step-by-step guide to creating hash.
Using solvents like butane, propane, or CO₂ extract the cannabinoids and terpenes from the trichomes or kief.
Before using, it is vital to purge the solvent. Whip it into a wax form, over a hot plate, or use a vacuum desiccation chamber. Be careful. The substance is highly flammable!
The Shoe Method is much safer.
Start with five grams of kief. You will also need a small piece of tape, parchment paper, and a pin.
Wrap kief tightly in parchment paper. Tape closed.
With the pin, punch a small hole through the package. This lets trapped air out.
Place package inside the heel of a hard-soled, closed-toed shoe.
As you walk, your weight will press the hash into a slab. This takes between fifteen and sixty minutes.
As the name suggests, cannabutter is a product created by infusing butter with cannabis.
Preheat oven to 200 F. Grind stems. Lay ground-up stems on a cookie sheet. Bake for 40 minutes.
Melt butter at medium temperature. Add ten ounces of water and simmer. Add ground, toasted stems. Soak for three or four hours stirring every fifteen minutes. Add a half cup of water every hour.
Set cheesecloth or a coffee filter over a heatproof container. Secure with string or elastic. Pour liquid slowly through the strainer. Bundle the edges of the strainer and squeeze tightly to extract all the cannabutter.
Place the container in the fridge. Let set. Collect the butter. Store in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer.
There are many ways to use cannabutter in the kitchen. This is an easy recipe from Emily Kyle. You can use kief or weed stems to create cannabutter.
This cannabutter won’t be as potent as cannabutter made from bud or leaf. But, cannabutter made from stems is less likely to cause an overdose.
When it comes to making edibles with cannabutter, you are limited only by your imagination.
Start with a bottle of strong clear vodka. For every ounce of liquid, grind one and a half grams of stems. Place the stems or kief in the bottle and leave it in a dark room for three weeks. Stir contents occasionally.
Strain the stems from the liquid. Serve the infused liquor as you would regular vodka. Blend with your favorite mix or fruit juice. This makes an awesome bloody mary, martini, or margarita.