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Can You Smoke Weed Stems?

Ask anyone what the most valuable part of a cannabis plant is and it will almost certainly be the buds (or flower). But that doesn't mean that the rest of the plant is completely useless. In this article, let's take a deep dive into one part that gets overlooked too often: the weed stems — you'll learn how to make the most of them without any wastage.

Table Of Content

  • 1. What are Weed Stems?
  • 2. Can You Smoke Weed Stems?
  • 3. Can You Smoke Weed Seeds?
  • 4. Leftover Weed Stems? 4 Alternatives to Smoking Them
  • 4.1 Weed Stem Tea
  • 4.2 Cannabis Topicals
  • 4.3 Cannabis Tinctures
  • 4.4 Cannabutter for Edibles
  • 5. To Recap

What are Weed Stems?

weed stems and buds

A weed stem is the branch that connects the cannabis flower to the rest of the plant. If you're growing marijuana at home, how many weed stems you have after every harvest will depend on the strain and size of the plant. Unlike their flower counterparts, weed stems have negligible amounts of cannabinoids cannabidiol (CBD), and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

So you might be asking yourself what to do with weed stems. Anyway, what we can say for sure is that, throwing them away directly is not your optimal choice.

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Can You Smoke Weed Stems?

The big question on everyone's mind is: can you smoke weed stems? The short answer is yes, but you really shouldn't. There's barely any THC and it's not worth the side effects and risk to your lungs.

First, smoking weed stems is not a pleasant experience. According to Healthline, it will "taste like you're smoking wood chips" -- yuck. It can also lead to coughing, nausea, sore throat, abdominal pain, and a raging headache.

Second, smoking weed stems is bad for your lungs in general. Most of us know this; smoking anything, whether it be buds or tobacco, can release toxins and carcinogens that could cause cancer. Not only does it pose a risk to your lungs, it can also increase your risk of heart disease.

Even if you were to smoke the stems, you wouldn't get a head-high to make it worth the hassle. There are better ways to enjoy the effects of weed stems without having to suffer the unpleasant side effects though.

So to recap: can you smoke weed stems? Yes. Should you? Not really. Oh, what to do with weed stems then? We'll teach you a few alternatives shortly, including how to make tea from weed stems.

Can You Smoke Weed Seeds?

can you smoke weed seeds

The follow-up to "can you smoke weed stems" is usually "what about the seed". The answer is still no, for similar reasons. Cannabis seeds don't have enough THC to give you the desired effect. Heating them up will just cause them to pop and crack. The smoke it creates is very irritating to your throat and can similarly damage your lungs.

Leftover Weed Stems? 4 Alternatives to Smoking Them

Can you smoke weed stems? No. But you don't have to throw them out just yet. They are far from useless. While they're not as potent as cannabis buds, they can still be used for everything from weed stem tea to edibles and more.

1. Weed Stem Tea

weed stem tea | how to make tea from weed stems

Image via ecurrent

A crowd favorite for it's simplicity and calming side effects. Whether you're using a THC or CBD strain, it will provide relief from anxiety, depression, insomnia, headaches, low apetite, and more. Whether or not the tea itself will get you high will depend on your tolerance, body compensation, as well as the weed stems you're using.

The key to effective weed stem tea is this: use a binding agent. Cannabinoids are not water-soluble, which means they need another chemical to bind to so you can feel any effect when consuming.

The following recipe is given per cup of water. If you plan on brewing 2 cups of tea, for example, you should double everything:

  • Bring water to a boil with the burner on high;
  • Use 1 oz of stems;
  • Use either 1/2 tsp of butter/coconut oil per cup of water OR 2 1/2 tbsp of whole milk/half-and-half/coconut milk (this is your binding agent);
  • Boil everything for 10 minutes, be sure to stir frequently (at least every 2-3 minutes). It would be even better to stir gently the entire time if you can;
  • Remove the pot from the burner;
  • Pour the tea mix through a strainer to seperate the weed stems from the liquid;
  • Optional: add a natural sweetner (agave, raw sugar, honey, etc). You can also steep your favorite tea for 5 minutes to enhance the flavor;
  • Enjoy!

2. Cannabis Topicals

cannabis topicals

Aside from weed stem tea, you can also make cannabis topicals. Topicals can help treat various conditions such as arthritic pain and acne. Depending on your desired effects, you can consider making creams, lotions, oils, salves, gels, and more!

3. Cannabis Tinctures

cannabis tinctures

Tinctures are a popular option for medical patients who want the benefits of cannabis but don't want to smoke it. It's much more discreet and suitable for a wide age range of patients, including minors. They are potent and start taking effect within just 30 minutes.

You can make your own cannabis tinctures at home with weed stems and 1/2 cup of cooking oil (either coconut or olive oil). We recommend Leafwell's step-by-step tutorial on how to make your own cannabis tinctures.

4. Cannabutter for Edibles

how to make cannabutter with weed stems

Cannabutter is just butter infused with cannabis. It's perfect as an ingredient for making a variety of edibles. Keep in mind, using cannabutter made from weed stems will be less potent than the type made from cannabis buds.

Here're the steps you can follow to make cannabutter on your own:

1. Decarb Your Weed Stems:

  • Spread ground-up stems on a baking tray (use a weed grinder to grind the stems);
  • Bake at 100-110°C for 40 minutes to convert THCA to THC. (Explore more details of cannabis decarboxylation in our step-by-step guide)

2. Simmer Them in Butter:

  • Melt butter and add 300ml of water, bringing it to a simmer;
  • Stir in stems and simmer for 3-4 hours, stirring every 15 minutes;
  • Add 50ml of water every hour.

3. Dry It Out:

  • Place cheesecloth or a clean tea towel over a heat-proof container;
  • Pour cannabutter through the cloth to drain;
  • Bundle cloth edges and squeeze them to extract the remaining butter.

4. Properly Store:

  • Put the container in the fridge to allow the butter to set;
  • Collect the butter layer from the top of the water;
  • Store cannabutter in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer.

To Recap

To sum everything up: can you smoke weed stems? No. But you can do almost anything else with them; drinking weed stem tea, enjoying topicals, or eating edibles. While they're not as potent, they will still provide you calming and soothing benefits.

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