Many weed smokers have at one time wondered to themselves – can I smoke the stems? This is a pretty common question from weed enthusiasts. Others who have this question in their minds are most often than not too lazy to pick out each and every stem before they load their stash into a bowl. Some still, due to bankruptcy, smoke weed stems to get the much craved high they cannot afford at the moment.
But be it as it may, regardless of the reason why this thought crosses your mind, the question should actually be whether weed stems are safe or toxic when consumed. To help many save themselves from a bad habit, in this piece we focus on the reasons why weed stem smoking is recommended. And even before we get into the meat of it all, I should mention that weed stem smoking is a bad idea.
Is Smoking Weed Stems Unhealthy?
Without beating around the bush, smoking weed stems is bad for your health. It does not matter how broke you may be or how desperate. All you will accomplish by smoking a bowl of weed stems is a low high and a splitting headache. The weed stems do not contain THC levels. As such, they do not provide any high like cannabis strains. And even if they do, it is far too reduced to make an impact on a frequent weed smoker.
Many of the health problems that are normally associated with smoking the weed stems are similar to those that one would suffer as a result of inhaling any other part of a weed plant including the bud. But here is the thing. The weed bud contains a host of psychoactive components as well as cannabinoids which are beneficial. Weed stems feature none of these and have no benefits related to these components.
One can compare the smoking of weed stems to that of smoking wood chips. It is of no use. However, does this mean that you throw away any of the stem parts that you have after harvesting the buds? Not quite. Weed stems have their own specific uses which we shall explain in detail in this piece.
How Should Weed Stems Be Used?
Truth be told, even while the weed stems are not perfect for smoking, it still is painful when you discard any part of the weed you worked so hard to grow. Admittedly, it can feel as though you are throwing away a part of you. Luckily, you do not have to throw away the stems. There are some uses you can put them to. Here are some of those uses explained.
Make Stem Tea
Infusing your cup of tea with your weed stems is one of the best ways to relax after a hard day’s work (Note the use of the word relax here). The word relax is used since the stem tea does not provide you with a powerful high. It only helps you achieve an acceptable level of relaxation and euphoria. You should pair the weed stem with your favorite herbal mix. Chai tea, peppermint blend or chamomile tea will work just great.
How One Makes Weed Stem Tea
While making weed stem tea may sound like a straightforward process, it really is not. There are some steps to be followed to ensure that you get the very best from your weed stems. The very first step that you need to take is to decarboxylate the weed stems. This process is important as it helps to activate the cannabinoids at a cellular level. The other option is to make some cannabis butter and add a spoonful of this to the tea.
The Process of Decarboxylating Weed
The first step in this process is grinding the stems into tiny pieces. You should be very sure not to crush the weed into powder. Grinding it to a powder means that it will dissolve in the water and you will be left with a bitter taste in your mouth and cup.
Add some of the ground weed stems into a small pot, add water and coconut oil. Place the pot on your stove and let the mixture boil and then simmer for a period of 15 minutes.
When the time elapses, pass the water through a fine strainer. A cheesecloth or a coffee filter will work just fine. Be sure to squeeze all the liquid through the strainers.
Tincture – Green Dragon
Tea is not the only beverage you can infuse with weed. You can also add weed to alcohol. AS a matter of fact, people have been doing this for the longest time. More and more weed-infused beers and wines are finding their way into the market and gaining popularity. If you have high alcohol spirits, you can make this tincture for yourself. There are those who are specific in using everclear to get best results and there are those that are okay with whiskey and vodka that has 40% of alcohol.
How Does One Make Weed-Infused Alcohol?
The very first step, obviously, is to get whiskey, rum, vodka or whatever alcohol you prefer. The only requirement is that the alcohol you choose should contain 40% of alcohol.
Before you start the process, take a sip or two to make room in the bottle or can. Preferably, you can choose to use a resealable glass or a mason jar for this process.
Grinding the weed stems into small pieces and then decarb them. This should be done before you place them in the bottle/masons jar/resealable glass. You should ensure that the stems have been completely deep in the bottle.
Next, seal the jar or bottle and then place it in a cool and dark place. The process will take about 7-10 days. During these days, you should visit the alcohol and give it a quick shake. After the 7-10 days are up, you can retrieve your infused alcohol and strain it. This is to remove the stem pieces.
You can now enjoy your homemade weed-infused alcohol. Be responsible for your drinking. Note that infused alcohol delivers a different kind of high from alcohol and weed individually.
Stem Hash Oil
The process is similar to that of making hash oil only that you will be using kief or bud. The major difference between the two is the potency. When weed stems are involved, the potency is slightly lower.
The Process of Making Stem Hash Oil
You will need 99% isopropyl alcohol and of course, the weed stems.
Grind the weed stems. This time ensure that the ground stem is fine before you place them in a mason jar and drown them with isopropyl alcohol.
Cover the mason jar and shake hard for about two minutes. Afterwards, strain the liquid through a fine strainer to get rid of the fine weed stem grindings. Transfer the resulting liquid to a wide bowl.
Now let the bowl sit for a while to allow for the alcohol to evaporate. For this process to be seamless, you need to place the bowl in a well-ventilated area. Once all the alcohol has evaporated, you will be left with a resinous coating in your bowl.
Scrape off the coating, roll it into a ball or flatten it into a pancake and smoke.
The process is the same as using cannabis butter only that this time, weed stems are involved.
How do you make the stem butter? Easy. Grind the stems and place them in a saucepan along with your preferred butter. Allow the two to simmer for about 45 minutes. Stir frequently during the 45 minutes. Once the stem turns brown, turn off the heat and strain the butter to get rid of the stem. You can store the liquid butter in your fridge.
If cooking has never been your thing and you want to make use of your weed stems, how about making art with them? This obviously will not give you a high, but it will provide you with great satisfaction
You can grind the stems and use the fine pieces to draw famous persons or extract the stem fibers to weave mini baskets – whichever meets your fancy.
While it is not healthy to smoke weed stems, clearly, there are other roles that they can play and have you enjoy them nonetheless. So stock up on those weed stems and have a blast with your infused tea, alcohol or art.
Ivan is a professional cannabis journalist. He has his work featured on websites like Cannabisradar, Leafly, Hightimes and few others.
When he is not writing or discussing about cannabis, he likes to drive & spend time with his wife & kids.
Table of Contents
- 1 Is Smoking Weed Stems Unhealthy?
- 2 How Should Weed Stems Be Used?
- 3 Conclusion