What To Do With Your Weed Stems & Leaves

Being an experienced cannabis cultivator or a home grower, you may often find yourself with an excess of weed stems and leaves. Often considered leftovers, these can accumulate, leaving growers wondering how to put them to effective use rather than just discarding them. Fortunately, these plant parts are far from worthless. In this article, we delve into eight inventive ways to utilize your weed stems and leaves.

Understanding Weed Stems and Leaves

Before we delve into the practical uses of weed stems and leaves, it’s essential to understand their composition. While the concentration of THC and other active cannabinoids are highest in the buds or flowers, stems and leaves also contain these compounds—just in far smaller amounts.

The lesser concentration doesn’t mean they’re useless. Instead, by collecting and utilizing these parts, you can extract valuable benefits and make your cannabis cultivation more efficient and sustainable.

Innovative Uses for Weed Stems and Leaves

1. Cannabis Tea

Stems can make a flavor-rich, non-intoxicating herbal tea. To prepare, you need to clean and decarboxylate your stems, then boil them in water for 10-15 minutes. You can add additional herbs, tea leaves, or even a small amount of a fat source like butter, which helps bind the cannabinoids and increases the tea’s potency.

2. Cannabis Topicals

Both stems and leaves can be used to make healing cannabis-infused oils and balms. When applied to the skin, these topicals can provide localized relief from discomfort, inflammation, and some skin conditions.

3. Cannabutter or Oil

Processing stems and leaves in a slow cooker with butter or coconut oil over several hours can result in a potent and versatile cannabutter, which you can use in various edible recipes.

4. Extraction for Tinctures

Another extract possibility is creating alcohol-based cannabis tinctures. They require decarboxylated stems and leaves that are soaked in high-proof alcohol for several weeks before being strained and consumed, offering a potent, discreet way to medicate.

5. Cooking with Weed Leaves

Cannabis leaves, especially the sugar leaves, can be used as a cooking herb. They can be added for flavor in salads, smoothies, and other recipes. They can also be dried, ground into powder, and used in baked goods as a substitute for flour.

6. Kief Collection

Despite their low potency, stems still have a collecting of trichomes (kief) on their surfaces. By running stems over a fine screen, the kief can be separated and later utilized for its more concentrated cannabinoid content.

7. Cannabis-Infused Alcohol

Stems can be used to infuse alcohol, creating a unique, flavored concoction. The process requires decarboxylated stems soaked in a jar filled with clear spirits like vodka or rum, and it needs to sit for approximately one week before it’s strained and ready to consume.

8. Crafting and Artwork

Besides their practical and medicinal uses, dried cannabis leaves and stems can work splendidly for crafting and artwork creations, bringing a unique, botanical touch to handmade crafts.

Leaving No Leaf Behind

The uses for cannabis leaves and stems extend beyond the ones listed here, adding value to every part of the plant and promoting sustainability. While certainly not as potent as the buds, they still hold a place of usefulness in your cannabis journey, whether it’s for making tea, crafting topicals, or infusing your favorite recipes. So next time you find yourself with excess weed stems and leaves, don’t be quick to dismiss them—consider these creative and practical ways to repurpose them.

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