How To Reuse Cannabis Stems
Published : Jul 5, 2019
Wondering what to do with those seemingly useless cannabis stems? They contain valuable resin, and can actually be used to make everything from hash to paper.
Once you’ve harvested your plants and trimmed your flowers, you may be wondering what to do with all of the stems that have been left behind. Sure, you could throw them onto the compost pile to return the nutrients to your garden, but they have so many other uses that they’re worth holding on to. Every part of the cannabis plant has a use, which is precisely why it’s been an industrial crop for so long. At first glance, stems might seem like a bit of a waste product, but wait until you see what you can do with them. Stems contain small amounts of resin, and therefore, THC. Check out the ideas below for some inspiration.
USE YOUR STEMS TO MAKE SOME TEA
After a hard few hours of harvesting and trimming, one of the best things you can do to relax is treat yourself to a fresh cup of tea. Before doing this, you’ll need to decarboxylate your stems just like you would when making edibles or extracts with bud. This process converts non-psychotropic THCA into active THC via heat. To do this, preheat the oven to 110°C and scatter your stems over a baking tray. Place them in the oven for 1 hour.
Your once dormant stems are now active, and it’s time to make some tea. Slice your stems into small pieces and add them to a saucepan with some water and full-fat milk. THC is lipophilic, meaning it likes to bind to fat. Bring the mixture to a light boil for 10 minutes, then strain it through a sieve. Add honey, stevia, or sugar to taste.
MAKE SOME CANNABUTTER
Cannabutter is a classic extract that is a staple for almost all edibles. There’s enough resin in weed stems to make a batch that can be used to bake cookies, brownies, and cakes that offer a psychoactive punch. To begin, decarb your stems using the method mentioned above. To make cannabutter using stems, you’ll need 1 part butter to 1 part stems in weight. When you have your ingredients prepared, begin by melting the butter in a saucepan over low heat, and then drop in the stems. Let the mix simmer for up to 30 minutes. Strain the cannabinoid-infused butter and place it in the fridge to set.
MAKE SOME BUBBLE HASH
Bubble hash is an extract that uses water to wash off resin from buds, but it’s just as effective when using stems. This extract provides a smooth and often euphoric high, and is a far better use for stems than throwing them away. The easiest way to make bubble hash is to use a specialised hand washing machine, although you can simply use a spoon or spatula to mix if you don’t have one of these. You’ll also need around 3kg of ice.
If you’re using a machine, layer it with an open micron bag and add one third of the ice. Place the stems on top of the ice, then add another one third of the ice on top and close the bag. Place the remaining one third of ice around the bag and close the machine.
Fill the machine with water up to the water mark, and begin a 12-minute cycle. Once complete, let the bag rest for another 10 minutes. Now, grab a bucket and strain the water through 3 micron bags (or specialised bubble bags), layering the largest micron size on top and the smallest on the bottom. Scrape up the collected bubble hash from each layer. Crush the hash up using a spoon and let it air-dry. Once dry, use a hash press to form your bubble hash into the shape of a coin for an end product that is pleasing to the eye.
OR MAKE SOME STEM HASH OIL INSTEAD
Stem hash is a neat little extract to add to joints and blunts for an added kick. Begin by decarbing the stems and grinding them up into a fine powder. Add the powder to a glass jar along with enough 99% isopropyl alcohol to cover it. Attach the lid and shake well for 2 minutes; strain right away. Pour the liquid into a glass bowl and place in a well ventilated space to allow the alcohol to evaporate.
MAKE YOUR OWN SKIN PRODUCTS
Depending on the strain used, the resin from the stems will contain small amounts of THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids. These molecules can be infused into oils and applied to the skin to activate the endocannabinoid system, which plays a major role in various skin processes. Simply heat your stem in an oil of your choice (coconut oil works well) and then strain. You can really get creative here by adding other herbs to the mix to tailor the scent and skin-nourishing properties to your preferences.
CRAFT SOME STEM BOOZE
Stems can be used to add a small amount of cannabinoids and some intriguing colours to your booze stash. Add stems to a bottle of vodka, whiskey, or anything that contains over 40% alcohol. Let this sit for a few weeks and you’ll have a resin-infused bottle with an impressive green colour to enjoy with friends.
MAKE YOUR OWN PAPER TO RELIVE HISTORY
Hemp has been used as an industrial crop for centuries, including in the creation of paper products. This act can be recreated at home using stems. Blend them up with equal parts recycled newspaper or office paper, and add enough water to allow the contents to mix well. When the stems and paper have become a smooth pulp, pour the mix out evenly onto a deckle. To make a deckle, stretch out some tights over a mesh screen that is raised above the ground. Let your paper drain and dry out on the deckle for at least a day before hanging it up to dry fully.
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Cannabis stems might seem like a waste product, but in reality they have many uses. Click here for 7 great ways to reuse your cannabis stems.
How to Make the Best Possible Pot Brownies
We may not yet know who our next president will be, but the 2020 election results have made one thing clear: Red state or blue, Americans love weed. Four states—New Jersey, South Dakota, Montana, and Arizona— voted to legalize recreational cannabis this election cycle, bringing the number of states in which it is legal to partake for fun to 15. Why not celebrate this excellent news with a really good pot brownie?
I’d wager a good portion of 14-64 year old humans ask “Is there weed in here?” whenever they are handed a homemade brownie. So ubiquitous are THC-laded chocolatey treats that this buddy comedy fuel is often people’s first foray into edible cannabis. (Likely attributable to chocolate’s powers of covering up nearly any unpleasant taste.) Too-strong brownies sometimes carry the deep bitterness of raw marijuana, but with the right proportions you can make a brownie that’s as delicious as it is dastardly.
Some bakers opt for chocolate ganache while others are in love with the cocoa (powder). Both will give you moist and gooey brownies on their own, but combining the two makes them addictively fudge-y and, pot or not, they stand alone. Brownies bake up like an extra-dense cake, and both the pan and the baking time dictate the degree of fudge you end up with. A big wide pan will give you a thick chewy result, whereas smaller portioned pans will bake up super fast and gain height.
To make Perfect Pot Brownies, we invoke a slightly more luxe version of King Arthur Flour ’s recipe. I like this one because it’s well-tested by professional recipe developers, but forgiving if you want to make tweaks—which we are going to recommend in order to max out the fudge factor. Make your cannabis butter in advance and store it in the freezer, thawing before use. (You can make it the day of; just make sure to give yourself three hours of butter prepping time before you intend to start baking.)
Prepare cannabis infused butter
Total newbies and novices to cannabis baking can rejoice that in 2020 you don’t have to dig deep in the annals of the internet to find some rando’s horrifying attempt from 1996 . “Heritage” recipes lean toward the coma-inducingly strong, which most people truly do not find to be a good time. Between devices like The Magical Butter Machine and Levo you can leave (most) of the guesswork to a device and come out with a consistent product prepared to your exact specifications.
We may not yet know who our next president will be, but the 2020 election results have made one thing clear: Red state or blue, Americans love weed. Four states—New Jersey, South Dakota, Montana, and Arizona—voted to legalize recreational cannabis this election cycle, bringing the number of states in which it is legal to partake for fun to 15. Why not celebrate this excellent news with a really good pot brownie?