Wondering what to do with cannabis stems? Don’t throw them away. While you don’t want to smoke stems – hello headaches – there are plenty of other uses for them. Get the most out of your stash and reduce waste by putting your stems to good use.
Make a Hemp Wick
Hemp wick is an amazingly handy thing to have on hand. It is an easily renewable fire source that imparts no flavors. For those who want to avoid butane fumes when smoking off of a pipe, hemp wicks can be an excellent solution.
In fact, this method used to be known as “slow-match” and was used as a way to light cannons!
Thankfully you don’t need a lot of things for this, and the stuff is cheap, too!
- A clean glass vessel like a jar that you can dedicate to dipping things in wax (you’ll be surprised how many things benefit from a dip in wax with a little research)
a thin utensil to bring things out of the wax when done
- Beeswax (You can pick this up at your craft store of choice usually for $10-$12 for a pound, which will last you a VERY long time.)
- Hemp cord (Again something you can pick up cheap at your craft store of choice. Best buy is 400 ft balls of it for $5. )
- a sheet of paper or drop-cloth (not shown)
- Something to wrap it on or in (Usually this will be the lighter you’ll be using the wick with)
To make your own hemp wick, strip long stems or left-over stalks using a sharp blade until you gather multiple long, stringy fibers. Twist the fibers together tightly to form a rope then fold the rope over and twist again. Dip the twisted fiber in beeswax, wipe off excess then allow it to dry.
Cannabis Stem Hash Oil
Making stem hash oil is like making hash oil with bud. The only difference here is the potency is decreased when using stems. This how-to recipe starts with purchasing a 99% bottle of isopropyl alcohol.
Grind the weed stems until they become small particles, and deliver them into a jar of your choice, followed by pouring the isopropyl alcohol to the top. Place on the lid shake hard for about two minutes.
Brew Tea (or Hot Cocoa)
Tea is a popular choice for quick use of cannabis stems. It can be made with water (for flavor only) or a high-fat liquid like coconut oil or half-and-half (which will absorb the cannabinoids so you can get high). To make stem tea, decarboxylate your stems then grind them. Simmer on low heat for a minimum of seven minutes then mix with your favorite tea or hot cocoa.
Pair weed stems with your favorite herbal concoction:
- ¼ cup of ground stems
- 1 cup of half and half
- 3 cups of water
- 2 tablespoons of butter
- Your choice of your favorite tea
Craft Hemp Paper
Make your own holiday cards and gift tags with hemp paper. To make it, soak ground cannabis stems and paper scraps in water overnight. After soaking, add the paper/stem soak to a blender and blend thoroughly (adding water as needed). Next, pour the pulp evenly onto a screen, or “deckle” (make your own by stretching a pair of nylon stockings over a wooden frame), then allow it to dry. Depending on the thickness of the paper and moisture of the room, this should take about 24 hours. For best results, remove the hemp paper from the deckle before it is completely dry.
Do Not Smoke your Cannabis Stems!
The stems consist mostly of plant matter, which doesn’t have any benefit or psychoactive effect. The only valuable parts of the stem that have some small amount of THC are on the outside. Or said differently, if you smoke the stems you combust a good amount of unhealthy plant matter, that will accomplish nothing. Worse, it’s more likely that you will get a bad headache when you smoke them.