How to grind weed seeds stems

3 ways to use your weed stems

Weed stems can be a gray area for the average cannabis smoker.

Can you smoke them? Should you smoke them?

If you find yourself wondering this very thing, you’re not alone. It’s a common question we get from people who are new to smoking cannabis. And since no question is a dumb question when it comes to having a great cannabis experience, let’s unpack all the details on weed stems.

What are weed stems?

Weed stems are the small, stick-like pieces that sometimes end up in the cannabis flower you buy from the dispensary. Depending on the quality of flower you bought, you may end up with a few or more stems in your haul. For example, shake bought from dispensaries tends to contain more stems than non-shake flower. Unlike the dense buds of the cannabis plant, weed stems contain very little to no THC (the main active ingredient in cannabis).

Can you smoke weed stems?

Although you may be tempted to, you should not smoke weed stems. Smoking stems from cannabis plants will not get you high due to their lack of THC. If you do decide to smoke stems, you’ll likely experience a few of the negative side effects that come with smoking, like coughing and sore throat, without the fun of a THC high.

In other words, it’s simply not worth it.

Alternative uses for weed stems

The good news is your stems don’t have to go to waste. Although you can’t smoke them, stems still have some surprisingly useful purposes in life. Here are a few of the most popular ways people are making good use out of their weed stems.

1. Cannabutter

Did you know you can use discarded weed stems to help make a cannabis-infused butter? If you have a good amount of stems saved up, toss them in with the rest of your flower when you start the decarboxylation process. These stems won’t bring any potency to your final product, but they will add some cannabis-inspired umami. Butter containing cannabis is a good thing to have on hand because it is the foundation of most edible recipes.

2. Cannabis topicals

Much like the infused butter recipe, you can decarboxylate any leftover weed stems with 7-10 grams of dried cannabis. After this process has been completed, you can infuse the cannabis and stems with coconut oil. This creates the base for many cannabis topical recipes, like lip balms and lotions.

3. Cannabis tea

Another excellent way to make use of your stems is by making a cannabis-infused tea. Cannatea is a good choice for when you only have a small number of stems you want to use.

For example, our cannabis-infused tea recipe only requires 2 teaspoons of weed stems and is ready to drink in about ten minutes. This recipe is flexible and allows you to customize with different tea flavors until you find your ideal combination.

Start saving your weed stems

As you can see, the life of a weed stem can go above and beyond the time it spends in your grinder. If you want to get better about keeping your stems (given your new knowledge of their magic), we recommend that you keep a jar to collect your weed stems over time. That way, you’ll always have a fresh stash ready when you want to tackle any of these projects.

What do you think about cannabis stems?

Have you done anything special with your leftover weed stems? Are they more useful than we originally thought? We want to hear about it! Join the conversation on Twitter, or leave us a comment below.

How to grind weed without a grinder

Grinding your weed is a key preparation before smoking. The best way to grind weed is with a grinder designed specifically for herbal applications. But what if you don’t have a grinder on hand? If you find yourself in this situation, you’ll want to know how to grind your weed without a grinder. This guide will equip you with everything you need to know about how to grind weed without a grinder.

Why it’s important to grind your weed

Before you get started with actually grinding your herb, it’s important to understand why you should focus on getting a good grind prior to smoking.

The specific reasons for grinding your cannabis before smoking differ depending on your smoking method. For starters, if you are trying to roll your herb into a joint, spliff, or blunt, then breaking your cannabis down into smaller chunks is obviously the only way you can fit the herb into your rolling paper. There would simply be no way to roll up an entire nug all on its own. But when you grind the weed into small pieces, you can spread it evenly across your wrap and then roll the whole thing up into a smokable form.

When you grind the weed into small pieces, you can spread it evenly across your wrap and then roll the whole thing up into a smokable form. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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Grinding weed is also necessary for other forms of smoking. For example, if you are smoking out of a bowl—whether it’s part of a spoon pipe, a handheld bubbler, a bong, or anything else—you should always grind your herb first if you want to get the most out of your cannabis. Technically speaking, you can get away with dropping a full nug into your bowl and smoking it. But doing so is incredibly inefficient. That’s because there is a very limited amount of surface area that can be exposed to the flame, which will result in an uneven burn and make it hard to tell if there’s unburned green in the center of the nug.

However, if you grind that same nug into smaller chunks, you will be able to pack it evenly into the bowl. And when you ignite the weed in your bowl, there will be a larger surface area to burn. This technique gives you a more uniform combustion across all of your herb and ensures that you ignite the entire quantity, leaving nothing behind. To put it simply: grinding your marijuana ensures that you thoroughly burn and smoke your entire nug so that nothing goes to waste.

Grinding your marijuana ensures that you thoroughly burn and smoke your entire nug so that nothing goes to waste. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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Grinding weed without a grinder

By far the best way to grind your cannabis is with a dedicated herb grinder. This tool gives you a uniform grind so that the small pieces of herb are all more or less the same size, further enhancing the efficiency of your smoking experience and letting you get the most combustion out of your marijuana. Further, grinders can help leave intact a greater portion of trichomes—and all the cannabinoids they contain—since they’re not rubbing off onto your hands. However, with all that said, there are still times when you simply cannot access a grinder. In those cases, you can improvise and break apart your marijuana with your hands.

How to break apart marijuana with your hands

This process is best done using a rolling tray or flat surface that can catch your weed and allow you to use both hands to pull apart the nug and separate stems and seeds. But if you’re in a pinch and don’t have a flat, smooth surface handy, you can use the palm of your hand.

Hold your non-dominant hand flat. This will be where you collect your ground-up marijuana. Hold your nug in your dominant hand.

Gently but firmly roll the herb between your middle finger, index finger, and thumb. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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Gently but firmly roll the herb between your middle finger, index finger, and thumb. Be sure you roll the herb directly above your non-dominant hand so that all the little pieces fall into your open palm. Continue this process until you have crumbled the entire nug.

Carefully sort through the crumbled herb in your palm. Break down any especially large chunks with your fingertips until all the pieces of herb are roughly the same size.

Once you’re happy with the consistency of your grind, use your ground-up marijuana to roll up your joint, spliff, or blunt, or to pack your bowl.

Protect your trichomes

When you crumble weed with your fingers, the ultimate goal is to strike a balance between applying enough force to break apart the cannabis without damaging the herb.

Remember, you’re trying to protect the trichomes as much as you can, since this is where all the THC and other cannabinoids are concentrated. No matter how gentle or careful you are, you will still end up with sticky resinous fingers when you’re done, and there will be some degree of trichome loss as a result of the crumbling process. Do your best to be as gentle as possible while still applying adequate force to break apart the bud.

Other methods for grinding weed without a grinder

Crumbing weed with your hands is the classic go-to strategy when you find yourself without a grinder. But there are a few other methods you can try if you have access to some basic household equipment.

Method 1: Scissors and a shot glass

For this method, you’ll need a clean shot glass and a pair of clean, sharp scissors. Place your nug into the shot glass. Then poke the scissors down into the shot glass and slice apart the marijuana. Be careful that you don’t spill the cannabis as you work the scissors. As always, shoot for slicing your cannabis into pieces that are as uniform in size as possible. And remember, the sharper your scissors, the more precise your cuts will be and the more intact your valuable trichomes will remain.

Place your nug into the shot glass. Then poke the scissors down into the shot glass and slice apart the marijuana. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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Method 2: Coffee grinder

Did you know that you can also grind your marijuana in a coffee grinder? Doing so will give you a decent grind, but will leave the blades of your coffee grinder sticky with resin. Try this method only if you’re fine with having a resin-covered coffee grinder.

Method 3: Kitchen knife and cutting board

Another method is to chop your cannabis using a very sharp kitchen knife and cutting board. If your knife is too dull, you will end up tearing your bud rather than slicing it cleanly, and this could lead to significant trichome damage. But if you can get a nice clean slice, you’ll leave intact more of the trichomes and get a much more uniform final product. Of course, your knife and cutting board will accumulate residual sticky resin, so you should plan on washing them immediately after slicing apart your marijuana.

You can grind your weed by chopping your cannabis using a very sharp kitchen knife and cutting board. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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Bottom line

While a grinder is the single best piece of equipment you can use to grind marijuana, you can also improvise with household items and your own hands.

How To Use Weed Stems and Why Smoking Stems Is A Bad Idea

Many cannabis enthusiasts have found themselves wondering at some point whether or not it was a wise decision to smoke stems. Some are too lazy to pick out each and every stem before loading a bowl, others are dankrupt and all they have is a jar of stems to draw from. Let’s get to the meat of the issue and find out if smoking stems is a good idea (hint: it’s not).

Is Smoking Weed Stems Bad For You?

Simply put, smoking weed stems is bad for you.

It doesn’t matter how dankrupt you are, loading a bowl full of stems will accomplish little more than giving you a nasty headache. The THC levels found in the stem are virtually non-existent, any valuable part of the stem comes from the crystals that adhere to the outside.

The health problems associated from smoking stems are from the fact that you are combusting and inhaling plant material, similar to the negative health effects of smoking the bud itself. However the bud has plenty of psychoactive components and beneficial cannabinoids, the stems have almost none. It’s closer to smoking wood chips than smoking bud, but that doesn’t mean there is no point in holding onto those stems you’ve collected.

How To Use Marijuana Stems

When looking for top-shelf cannabis, the resinous crystals are a tell-tale sign that the bud is going to be potent. These crystals are found on the bud itself, as well as the fan / guard leaves and even the stems. Harvesting the crystals from the stems is a great way to ensure you are getting every bit of goodness from your herb. This could be as easy as shaking the crystals off the stems, or as involved as using a complicated extraction process.

Here are a few different ways to put your stems to use.

Stem Tea

Infusing your favorite cup of tea with some of the cannabis stems you’ve saved up is a great way to relax. Stem tea won’t give you a super powerful high, but it will offer a deep relaxation effect and mild euphoria. Pair it with your favorite tea or herbal concoction. Personally I love adding it to a chamomile and peppermint blend or a chai tea.

How To Make Weed Stem Tea

First off you will need to decarboxylate your marijuana stems in order to activate the cannabinoids. Another option is to first make cannabutter and then add a spoonful to your tea.

Once you activate the stems grind them into small pieces, but avoid grinding them into a powder as this will leave a very bitter taste in your cup.

Put your stems into a small pot and cover with water and a dollop of butter or coconut oil. Bring this to a boil and let it simmer for 10-15 minutes.

Pour the water through a fine strainer, coffee filter or cheesecloth and squeeze all the liquid through.

Use the stem infused water to brew your favorite tea (throw a couple tea bags in) and enjoy!

Green Dragon / Tincture (Stem Infused Alcohol)

Infusing alcohol with marijuana has been around for quite some time, with the legal marijuana market currently booming there are even cannabis infused wines and beers available commercially. This is more of a home-brew recipe designed for high-alcohol spirits. Many people use everclear in order to get the best results, but a 40% alcohol vodka or whisky works just fine.

How To Make Stem Infused Alcohol (Green Dragon / Tincture)

Get a bottle of vodka, whisky, rum, or whatever you prefer. Just be sure it contains at least 40% alcohol.

Have a drink or two and make a bit of room in the bottle, otherwise you’ll need to transfer it into a mason jar or resealable glass container.

Grind the marijuana stems into small pieces and decarb them before placing them into the bottle. The stems should be completely submerged in the alcohol.

Tightly seal the bottle or jar and place it in a cool, dark space. Revisit the bottle every day and give it a good shake, repeat this for 7-10 days.

After a week or so you can pour the alcohol through a fine mesh strainer to remove any plant material.

Enjoy your homemade marijuana infused booze… responsibly. Marijuana infused alcohol delivers a very different sensation than cannabis or alcohol alone so start slowly.

Stem Hash Oil

This is exactly the same as making hash oil with your bud or kief. The biggest difference is the potency is quite a bit lower when using only stems.

How To Make Stem Hash

Pick up a bottle of 99% isopropyl alcohol and gather your collected stems.

Grind up the stems until they are extremely fine. Place them into a mason jar and cover with the isopropyl alcohol.

Put the lid on the mason jar and shake vigorously for a minute or two.

Pour the liquid through a strainer in order to remove any excess plant material. Transfer the liquid to a wide bottom glass dish or bowl.

Let the dish sit in a well ventilated area until all of the alcohol evaporates. You will be left with a sticky, resinous coating along the bottom of the dish.

Simply scrape up the sticky hash and form it into a ball or pancake, smoke, enjoy!

Stem Butter

This is exactly the same as making cannabis butter, except with stems… We won’t go into detail on this one, as we have already covered how to make cannabis butter in a previous post, so just replace the bud with stems and follow the same stems. Keep in mind that using stems instead of buds will result in a far less potent butter.

Arts & Crafts

If you are looking to re-purpose your stems into something that won’t give you a buzz, there are plenty of ways to do so!

Using stems in arts and crafts generally requires much thicker and longer stems than most people are used to getting in their gram bag. But we figured it was worth mentioning nonetheless.

Using a sharp blade, you can peel away the fibers of the stem and weave them into a bracelet or basket… or whatever people weave. Another awesome way to use stems is to use them in place of classic BBQ skewers. Simply gather a few long stems that are relatively straight, widdle the end into a sharp point and soak them in water for an hour or two. Skewer some chunks of meat, veggies or whatever you’re cooking and throw them on the grill. The skewers will impart a very mild ‘marijuana-ee’ flavor and aroma to the dish, just don’t expect any sort of buzz.