Medically Reviewed by
Jason Crawford

Article Last Updated on December 23, 2022

Both cannabis growers and cannabis users continuously find new ways to incorporate parts of the cannabis plant to make new cannabis products like topical creams, edibles, tea, coffee, etc. But what about other parts of the weed plant, like the marijuana stems? Can they be used to make products that have psychoactive effects on users?

The use of cannabis stems for making cannabis products isn’t as explored as other parts of the cannabis plant are. Apart from the cannabis flower, people mostly use sugar and fan leaves to make products like cannabutter and cannabis tea, but also the already vaped buds to make tinctures using solvents, and edibles like the popular weed brownies.

However, if you find yourself wondering whether you can use cannabis stems in the same manner, this article will cover that particular topic. We’ll explore how you can use weed stems to make different cannabis products as well as discuss the cannabinoid content in weed stems compared to weed flowers, so read on.

What Are Cannabis Stems?

Marijuana stems are the stick-like pieces which are found together with the cannabis flower you buy from the dispensary. Compared to the buds of the cannabis plant, weed stems contain only a small amount of THC, therefore, using them to make cannabis products isn’t likely to result in psychoactive effects (as the trichomes are mostly located on the cannabis flower and the sugar leaves).

As the weed market expands, we’re witnessing new THC and CBD products almost every day, as companies are trying to use every part of the cannabis plant. But, can you actually smoke the weed stems? Let’s figure that out.

Is Smoking Weed Stems a Good Idea?

If you’re to learn one thing from this article, it would be that smoking weed stems isn’t good for you. Since the THC levels in the stems are very insignificant, they won’t give you a high similar to the one you get from smoking cannabis buds. Rather, smoking stems may give you some side effects like a nasty headache, cough, or sore throat. Some Reddit users even reported experiencing abdominal pain and nausea, which in our opinion isn’t worth it. 

But, does that mean that you need to throw away this plant material? Not really. You see, you can collect weed stems and use them to make other cannabis products rather than smoking them.

How Can You Use The Marijuana Stem?

Just because it’s not a good idea to smoke cannabis stems, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t repurpose them. Even though they don’t contain a lot of THC, they do provide therapeutic and relaxing health benefits since they contain the cannabinoid CBD. 

Prior to using the cannabis stems to make cannabis products, you need to decarb them to make use of the cannabinoids which they contain. To decarboxylate your weed stems, you’ll need to spread them on a baking tray and place them in the oven for an hour at about 230°F (110°C). 

After you’ve decarbed the stems, you can proceed to making your cannabis stem teas, butter, and other weed products and drinks. In the paragraphs below, we’ve included the most popular ways people use cannabis stems.

Make Cannabutter

If you’ve already collected a good amount of weed stems, this is one of the best products you can make with them as it’s the base for making all kinds of sweet and savory weed edibles. 

  1. To make your cannabutter, you first need to grind your weed stems if you haven’t done that already (so they can better incorporate into the butter).
  2. Next, you need to decarb them if you haven’t done that beforehand.
  3. After you have your decarboxylated stems, place the butter of your choice in a pan on the stovetop and melt it on low heat. 
  4. After the butter is melted, add your stems and simmer the mixture for 30 minutes to allow the cannabinoids and terpenes to blend with the butter.
  5. After 30 minutes, strain the plant matter with a cheesecloth and place the final product in a mason jar.

Make Cannabis Topicals

Another cannabis product you can make with your weed stems is an infused oil which is the base ingredient for topical creams, lotions, and lip balms.

  1. Similar to how you made cannabutter, the first step is grinding your weed stems together with some cannabis flower.
  2. Next, decarb the weed stems and the cannabis flower.
  3. Place some coconut oil in a pan on the stovetop together with the decarbed weed flower and weed stems and infuse the oil for about 30 minutes on low heat.
  4. Use the oil together with your favorite ingredients to make homemade cannabis topical lotions and creams. 

Make Stem Tea

Another great way to use up your cannabis stems is to make some weed tea. For this recipe, you’ll need your favorite tea and some collected weed stems.

  1. The first step is always grinding the cannabis stems, followed by the decarboxylation process.
  2. After you’ve decarbed your weed stems, take about 2 teaspoons and put them in a pot of boiling water together with a tea bag for 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. The final step is to strain the mixture with a mesh strainer, and your weed tea is ready for drinking.
  4. You can add milk, sugar, lemon, or any other flavorings you enjoy in your tea. 

Collect the Kief

Kief is another product you can get from weed stems.

  1. If you have collected a decent amount of weed stems, break them into smaller pieces, and place them in a plastic bag.
  2. Place the bag in your freezer.
  3. Shake the bag so the resin crystals begin to detach from the stems.
  4. Take the stems out of the bag, and you’ll be left with a decent amount of kief which can be added on top of your joint, to edibles, or other cannabis products.

Bubble Hash

If hash is more your cup of tea, you can also use your leftover weed stems to make hash.

  1. To make bubble hash, you’ll need bubble bags made of fine mesh screens. 
  2. Place them in buckets filled with ice and cold water together with the chopped weed stems.
  3. Let the stem sit for about 10 minutes so the trichomes have enough time to freeze, and stir the water for an additional 5 minutes.
  4. Remove the bubble bags and collect the final product.

Final Thoughts on Getting High on Weed Stems

Even though you can use the weed stems to make a lot of cannabis products, the cannabinoid levels in stems are much lower than the ones in the cannabis flower, especially the THC levels. Therefore, you won’t get an intense psychoactive high if you don’t combine additional cannabis flowers to the products you make.

Nevertheless, you can make a lot of different cannabis products and repurpose the weed stems you would otherwise throw away, and make weed tea, cannabutter, topical lotions, and even bubble hash. Don’t be afraid to get creative when using your accumulated weed stems, just know that these products won’t get you high. Lastly, remember that smoking weed stems is not a good option since the experience can result in a bad headache and nausea, so we don’t recommend that at all. 

A passionate advocate for the benefits of cannabis. Fraser Horton, who has a background in botany and a strong love of nature, has spent years researching how cannabis affects the body and mind. He established Leaf Nation in 2020, where he has devoted himself to educating people about the legalisation of marijuana and its safe and responsible use. Fraser is committed to highlighting cannabis’ potential for improving wellness and working to dispel the stigma associated with its use.


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