Wondering what to do with weed stems?
If you’ve been smoking weed for at least the last several decades, then you’ll be intimately familiar with the pain and aggravation that is removing the weed stems and de-seeding the bag. Picking through all that brown frown, which wasn’t necessarily bad weed at the time, it was just forced to grow in less than favorable conditions due to this ridiculous drug policy. But I digress, when you get a bag that needs a landscape service to come in and handle all log removal, what the hell do you do with all that extra timber?
Or maybe you don’t. Maybe you’re one of those stoners that packs the bowl, weed stems and all. I definitely appreciate someone like me who will take the time to pick the calyx off the stem so that when we fire up the trees, we’re not burning the whole forest down. The worst is when you get a bowl passed to you, and the lingering smell of burning beans and weed stems follows right into your mouth. I’ll be the rude one who’s like, “Nah thanks, I’m good” and pass that shit on to the left hand side. It’s not always bad weed if your sack is full of stems, I mean the shit has to grow from somewhere. But that definitely doesn’t mean you should be smoking them. Or should you?
Can you smoke weed stems?
I mean assuming you have lungs, the capability to light something on fire, and the ability to suck, you can pretty much smoke anything you want. The more important question is, should you smoke weed stems? Personally, I do not smoke weed stems, and I’m that ocd stoner who will finger fuck a bud all to hell simply to remove the stem. It’s always a much smoother smoke for me that way. Or it’s just all in my head.
Smoking weed stems is going to be a severely harsh mistake. Unless you have some wolverine style lungs that heal as soon as you exhale, a fat bong rip of stems will send you straight to the floor, coughing body parts out of your asshole all the way down to Funkytown.
So what’s in weed stems? Lucky for us, there’s already been a little citizen science done in this area. A post from MCR Labs goes through how these guys tested a few different samples of stems, and the results were pretty interesting. Of course more research is always needed, but they found that two of the three samples they tested had just over 1% THC in them. The third sample, which came from some weed that tested just over 18% max THC, had 9.2% max THC in it. If that’s legit, this strain has a stem that has more THC in it then a lot of the flower we’ve been smoking before medical recreational marijuana were a thing.
I recommend checking out the full write up over on the MCR Labs blog. The bottom line is yes, there is definitely THC in there.
Rather than smoking nasty ass stems though, what else can we do with them? Waste not want not. As cutting edge cannabis consumers, we should strive to use the whole plant. If you aren’t running a hemp fiber processing facility or something like that, what else is there to do with all those weed stems? Here’s 5 ideas, and if you have some of your own, let’s chat about it in the comments.
Weed Stem Tea
Take it old school and do a basic hot water extraction aka make some weed stem tea. Remember, the positive effects of cannabis aren’t achieved solely by smoking. We have a whole digestive system full of enzymes that want to break all your ingested cannabinoids down and turn them into other helpful cannabinoids. THC for example, when ingested through the mouth hole, goes through the digestive tract, where some biological magic happens, and what ends up getting pooped out the other side is 11-Hydroxy-THC. A totally different compound with totally different effects. Science yo. Definitely stuff stoners like.
I’m not going to get too in depth on how to make weed stem tea. There’s lots of guides online, plus if you read stuff stoners like, I’m sure you’ve made your fair share of different plant medicine teas. The summary short version is this. Decarb your stems, thus converting whatever THCA is in there into THC. This will give you the more psychoactive effects. But, if you want the health benefits without the serious edible body high, skip the decarboxylation step. Eating THCA still has benefits, plus if they are stems, chances are they have aged a bit, in which case nature will have done some like decarboxylating for you.
So decarb them or don’t, then grind the shit out of them. Toss the powder in a tea bag or however else you want to get it in the hot water, and let it sit for a day or so. Add some flavor to the weed stem tea, or just be a weed stem tea boss and drink it straight. You get extra points for ballooning the weed stem tea bag when you’re finished.
How to extract THC from weed stems
People wondering what to do with weed stems search on the internet all the time about how to make hash from stems, or how to extract THC from stems. There’s definitely more than one way to skin a cat in this aspect, but messing with hydrocarbons and pressure and all that business is best left to the professionals.
Closed loop extracting, or even open blasting weed stems is not going to be worth it for the normal everyday smoker, at least not for the equipment and time and risk involved in performing hydrocarbon extractions. Hell, it’s not even really worth the time it takes to do a run and recovery for the amount of crude oil you get out.
Mainly though it’s a safety thing. If you aren’t fully trained on the equipment you are using, or open blasting, you can very easily hurt yourself, those around you, or worse. From personal experience running extractions and thin film molecular distillation equipment I have to tell you, please leave this to the trained professionals.
The amount of dabbable extract you will get out of even a kilo of stems isn’t anywhere near worth the amount of dicks your life will get thrust upon it if something catastrophic happens during one of these runs. Plus, if you don’t end up dying, imagine how much shit your friends will give you when they find out you blew yourself up over a few hundred grams of weed stems.
For real, there are better ways. Make an alcohol or glycerine tincture that can be added to food or drink. But again, the amount of time it takes to make something like that and not have it taste like complete dog shit, far outweighs the benefit you’ll get from ingestion of said product.
Weed Stem Butter
Making weed stem butter, or adding your weed stems and bad weed to the material you’ll use to make the butter is a great, efficient way to discard of those pesky pokey weed stems, without just tossing them in the trash. There’s also a ton of different ways to make weed butter, the easiest of which you can find right here on SSL.
If you ever have any questions or comments especially on things like what to do with weed stems definitely drop them below and let’s chat. Just whatever you do, remember that smoking stems is a bad idea. If anything, use them to build little dioramas or something.
By Mat Lee