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What Can You Do With Cannabis Stems

02 March 2023
When harvesting, most growers throw out the stems, here are some tips to make the most out of your plant material.
02 March 2023
7 min read
 What Can You Do With Cannabis Stems

Read more
  • 1. Cannabis stems
  • 2. Is there thc in stems?
  • 3. Can you smoke stems?
  • 4. What can you do with stems?
  • 4. a. Make tea or edibles with cannabis stems
  • 4. b. Alcohol
  • 4. c. Wicks to light joint or bong
  • 4. d. Topicals
  • 4. e. Mulch
  • 4. f. Get crafty
  • 5. In conclusion

Often growers forget that every part of the plant can be used, from the stems to the leaves (even the cannabis seeds!). Even though stems don’t contain a lot of cannabinoids, they can still be used to make cannabutter, teas, topicals, and edibles.

1. Cannabis Stems

Cannabis stems can be gathered in different ways, you’ll get more when harvesting your plant but you can also collect them when grinding your flowers. Every single part of a weed plant can be used, and while the stems do contain a much lower THC, CBD, and terpene count than the flowers, they do still contain some of that sticky gold we all know and love. 


What Can You Do With Cannabis Stems: Is There THC In Stems?

Cannabis stems contain less than 0.4% of THC.

In the past, growers and consumers alike would more often than not just discard cannabis stems. And while it is not always recommended to smoke the stems, there is a surplus of ways you can extract the hidden sticky-icky and put it to great use. Even though most growers throw them out, you can make a couple of different things with them, although you will have to collect quite a bit because they don’t contain too much cannabinoids.

Cannabis stems is a common leftover plant material, either from trimming your plant or left in your grinder. If you’re an avid consumer it’s easy to gather a good amount. Despite not having too much THC cannabis stems still can be used to make cannabutter, teas, topicals, and edibles.

2. Is There THC In Stems?

While not as heavily packed with the good stuff as the buds, cannabis stems can be used to make cannabutter or cannabis coco-oil, cannabis-infused teas and coffee, topicals, tinctures, bubble hash, or with pretty much any other technique used for cannabinoid and terpene extraction that would be used on other parts of the plant. Yes, stems contain THC but a much lower concentration than found in the flowers. With today’s genetics, it is not uncommon for buds to contain 25% THC or higher. Although this study did not test the larger stems and branches, the common consensus is that they contain anywhere between 0.4% to 0.03% THC depending on the strain and the quality. 

This means that stems actually content a minimal amount of THC. If you collected stems from the buds, then they will have a little bit more because of the trichomes on them, but if you are collecting branches then the THC level can be lower than 0.03%. This means you can make different things with them but you will need a lot. For example, if you have 1g of flower with 20% THC, you will get around 200mg of THC while if you have 1g of stems, you’ll get around 4mg of THC.

3. Can You Smoke Stems?

Even though you can smoke the stems, a lot of cannabis consumers agree that it’s bad for you. Stems contain a lot of chlorophyll and taste bad.


What Can You Do With Cannabis Stems: Fresh stems

Even though you can use stems, you will need quite a lot because of their low THC level.

They also have the same negative effects that come with smoking bud (combusting plant material and inhaling smoke) but you won’t get a strong or any effect at all, although it can help you through times where you can’t get flowers, it is better to avoid smoking stems.

4. What Can You Do With Stems?

Despite the low amount, stems and branches contain THC so, in theory, you can do (almost) everything you can with flowers. Here are some ideas on what you can do with the stems and branches of your precious plant:

Make Tea Or Edibles With Cannabis Stems

Before making tea or edibles with stems (or buds) you have to decarboxylate the plant material. To decarboxylate, spread your stems on an oven tray and place in the oven at around in between 90-110 celsius for around 40min (depending on the amount) and until they’re “toasted” (brownish color). When you’re finished decarboxylating let them cool down and cover them with warm water and butter, this will make the butter melt so the cannabinoids can dissolve in it. After this, use a strainer to remove the plant material and you’re ready to make your favorite tea.


To make a cannabis-infused drink, you can add the stems (preferably bud stems) to a bottle of strong alcohol, like vodka for example. Add the stems (at least 3-5g) to a bottle of strong alcohol and let it rest in a dark place for 3 weeks, shaking it at least once a week. Also, be careful when trying it for the first time, try a small dose to see how it will affect you. You can also use infused alcohol to make your favorite drinks.


What Can You Do With Cannabis Stems: What Can You Do With Stems?

Since stems and branches contain THC you can still consume it.

Wicks To Light Joint Or Bong

As you may know, when lighting a joint or bong bowl we may inhale the butane coming out of the lighter, for this reason, grow shops sell hemp wick which is a string made out of hemp used to light joints or bongs when consuming cannabis. If you smoke too much, it’s a good idea to make hemp wick out of the stems. To make your own hemp wick, use a sharp blade to cut the stem into several long strings, twist the fiber strings into a rope and dip it in beeswax and allow it to dry so it keeps the rope form.


What Can You Do With Cannabis Stems: Stem hemp wick

Stems can be used as hemp wick to avoid the ingestion of butane.

If you don't care about it looking good, you can just light the stem and use it to light your joint, either way, you won’t be inhaling butane and it’s a simple and effective way of using the stems.


Cannabis stems, while low in cannabinoids are a great source of fiber, which can be used to make topical treatments and salves. The stem fibers can be combined with natural oils and beeswax to create a luxurious moisturizing balm. This balm can provide your skin with essential nutrients, anti-inflammatory compounds, and antioxidants.

The stems also contain flavonoids, terpenes, and other bioactive molecules that may have beneficial effects on skin health. This can provide anti-aging benefits, reduce redness and swelling associated with acne, moisturize dry skin, and protect against free radical damage.


Depending on the number of stems at your disposal, you can make a great mulch for your garden. Simply chop the stems into small pieces and spread them around the base of your plants. This can provide your plants with extra nutrients and moisture for a healthier crop.

Get Crafty

Say you have a downright ridiculous amount of cannabis stems and branches laying around after you have finally finished harvesting your bumper crop, and you're also an artsy sorta person. You can get crafty with your cannabis stems! With some patience and effort, you can turn those stems into intricate works of art, but that is just the start of it.


  • Make hemp paper - The process is pretty easy. Just boil the stems for an hour and then blend them into a pulp. You want to add equal amounts of water and stems to the blender, and then blend it for long enough to get rid of all the bits. Lay out your mixture in thin sheets on wax paper, allow it to dry and you have yourself some homemade hemp paper. Hemp paper is stronger than regular wood paper and is said to last much longer, so it's perfect for a whole range of uses.
  • Make jewelry - Cannabis stems have been used to craft unique jewelry pieces for centuries, from bracelets to necklaces. You will need a few tools like a drill bit, wire cutters, and string in order to craft your own handmade jewelry pieces.
  • Weaving - Hemp fibers have long been used for weaving fabrics and baskets. With a few stems you can make some interesting items such as hats, small bags, or even wall hangings. To get the fibers free from the stem, it's best to use those god-given hands of yours and strip the hemp fibers from the stem. Once you have collected enough, you can start weaving your own pieces.

5. In Conclusion

With the leftover plant material you can end up with a lot of ways of consuming cannabis and is a great way of exploring other ways to get high and how the effects differ. If you don’t grow a lot of plants, collecting the stems may not be ideal, even though you can still use them, if you have a lot of plants or your growing cycle allows you to harvest every month you can use them in several ways, even if they don’t contain too much THC.