Stems are a necessary evil of smoking weed. While you don’t want too many stems in a bag of weed, you’re going to find them if you buy large amounts of weed. On one hand, stems don’t contain much THC and won’t get you high. They seem more like a hassle than a bonus, and many smokers just throw them out with the trash.
However, there’s more to stems than meets the eye. In spite of their reputation, stems do actually contain some THC – just not as much as buds do. Regardless, there are still many uses for marijuana stems, and plenty of applications and uses for them.
- Every bag of weed has some stems
- Stems have a variety of applications
- Save your stems to create THC-infused tea, edibles, liqueur, and more
Using Stems for Edible Infusions
One time-honoured way of getting the most out of your stems involves making edibles with them. Before you can make any edibles with stems, though, you’ll need to decarboxylate them. This process involves using heat to convert all of the naturally-occurring THCA in a weed plant into THC. You can do this by heating your stems in an oven at 220 degrees for about 30 minutes. Then, your stems will be primed to make edibles.
Also known as “Green Dragon,” marijuana-infused alcohol packs a potent punch. Be careful when you make any sort of infused alcohol: it will be exceedingly powerful, thanks to the combination of alcohol and THC within it. You’ll need to use some type of alcohol that 80 proof (40 percent ABV) for this trick to work. Whiskey and vodka make great choices.
First, pour the alcohol into a wide-mouthed, resealable mason jar. Then, add a handful of stems. Seal the jar and wait for about a week for the resin to dissolve. After you’ve waited the necessary amount of time, open your bottle, remove your stems, and add another batch.
Repeat this process at least four times (one month). Once you’re done, you’ll have a bottle of homemade Green Dragon that’s immediately ready for consumption. Just make sure you share – this stuff is strong!
Making cannabis tea is a millennia-old tradition, first practiced by Chinese emperors more than 5,000 years ago. They used it to relieve headaches, toothaches, and other chronic pain. While they used cannabis flowers and leaves, you can get along just as well using stems.
To make cannabis tea with stems, you’ll need to have a lot of them stashed away. Begin by breaking up your stems into tiny, small pieces. You’ll want them as small as possible – more surface area means more absorption.
Next, start mixing water and coconut oil in a pan. Then, stir in your stems. Keep stirring as you bring the mix to a gentle boil. Maintain the boil for about 8 minutes. Then, strain out your stems, and you’re good to go! Making infused tea is one of the most effective ways to ensure that your stems don’t go to waste.
You can add a variety of flavours to make your cannabis tea more palatable. Many stoners don’t like the natural taste of weed edibles, which this tea will feature strongly. If you find yourself in this camp, don’t worry. You can add honey, sugar, ginger, lemon, lavender, or another flavour to make your tea an infused delicacy. You can even use another tea bag to mask the flavour.
Using Stems for Smokables
Plenty of marijuana consumers out there aren’t fans of edibles and infused products. If you all into this category, don’t fret! There are still plenty of applications available to you.
It seems like a general rule that stems are not meant to be smoked. But who came up with this adage? It’s not ideal, but you can smoke your stems. However, there is a good reason that many smokers don’t use this technique. Stems have a significantly higher burning point than buds do. As a result, smoking weed with stems in it will cause your weed to burn hotter, with a harsher smoke. Instead of smoking, you may want to consider vaping your stems, although the vapour you inhale will still be pretty harsh.
You may be familiar with using flower to make kief. Kief is the leftover resin crystals that fall off of cannabis plants, featuring a higher THC concentration than anywhere else on the plant. Many grinders come with a “kief catch” to help smokers collect the kief from their buds. You can smoke kief alone for a super-potent high, or squish it together in aluminum foil to make brittle sheets of pressed hash.
Buds aren’t the only part of the plant that produce kief. In fact, stems make this powdery panacea as well. To get kief from your stems, break them up and put them in a plastic bag with a Ziploc top. Put the bag in your freezer.
As you collect more stems, continue this process, shaking the bag each time you add new stems. Shaking the bag will cause the frozen kief crystals to fall off and pool at the bottom. Once your bag is nearly full, remove all of the stems to leave only kief behind. Then, grab a pinch whenever you want to get extra high!
Save Those Stems!
While each of these techniques provides an effective and simple way to use your stems, you’ll need quite the stockpile to make them work. If you don’t have enough stems saved up, you likely won’t feel anything when you try any of these methods.
Treat your stems like kief. Save them up over a span of months, then use them all towards making one of these infused delicacies. Then, begin the process all over again. The next time you open a bag of weed and despair at the sight of a stem, take a step back and reassess your situation. It’s actually a blessing in disguise!