Marijuana growers and breeders make a lot of fuss about the cannabis plant’s flower. They do all they can to make buds larger and denser whether they are growing recreational or medicinal weed. As you buy the best marijuana seeds and grow your own marijuana plants, have you ever thought about using the stems? Are marijuana plants only good for its flower?
Why growers prefer marijuana flowers?
It is the marijuana flower where most of the plant’s cannabinoid compounds concentrate. Although you can still find considerable amounts of THC and CBD in the plant’s stems and leaves, the compounds are easily harvested from the buds.
The marijuana flower is also where most of the flavors are found. Terpenes are chemicals in cannabis that gives the buds their distinguishing smell and aroma. Terpenes are responsible for the citrusy, flowery, earthy or the skunky flavor and smell of cannabis.
The stems and flowers will not give off that delicious smell and flavor that you crave for in weed. This is why growers prefer to use the buds than the plant stems.
What can you do with the marijuana stems?
Create charas or finger hash by simply rubbing your fingers all over the stem. Move your fingers all over even on all the little bends to get charas hash. After a while, your hands will be all covered with charas. All you need to do is to save this in a suitable container.
Aside from harvesting charas with your hands, you can also check scrapings from your scissors or residue from your grinder. Pretty soon, you will have a substantial amount that you can even make a small block. Wrap this in parchment paper, store it and smoke it whenever you like it.
Grind and smoke
Dry your stems completely and decarboxylize the stems to improve its THC content. Decarboxylizing is baking the buds in the right temperature and for a specific amount of time (bake at 110 degrees Centigrade for 60 minutes or about 100 degrees Centigrade inside a fan-forced oven).
Once your dried stems and leaves are ready, grind these up and smoke them. The smoke can be quite harsh because aside from THC, the stems also contain other compounds. There are compounds that can be released once the cellulose in stems is burned. These compounds can become too hot enough to burn your throat so you need to be very careful. You can smoke the stems but it is not recommended because of its effects.
To make cannabis tea, use fresh stems and leaves. Place 450 ml of milk or plain water in a small bowl and the chopped stems. Bring this to a slow boil as you stir this continuously. Keep stirring for about 7 to 8 minutes; let the liquid reduce. Once the liquid is ready, strain the stems.
This tea is quite bitter so you might want to add herbs or a bit of sugar to improve its taste. You may add lemon, mints or honey or you can add cinnamon, pepper or other spices to maximize the mild stoning effects.
Marijuana in alcohol
You can use marijuana stems to make cannabis flavored alcohol. You can use vodka, whiskey or tequila that has 40% proof strength to be able to dissolve cannabis resin. Place your chosen type of alcohol in a mason jar. The jar has a large mouth to make it easier to add stems and remove old stems.
This project can take a long time to complete but with a little bit of patience, you will be able to enjoy your cannabis-flavored alcoholic beverage in no time.
One of the staples of edible cannabis is cannabutter. This is cannabis-infused butter that is added to marijuana brownie butter, cakes, bread and other types of pastries.
When making cannabutter, you need decarboxylized buds and plant parts to enhance the THC effects of weed. Just add the decarbed weed (stems and all) in a pot with melted unflavored butter. Let the cannabutter cook slowly in low heat.
After about 30 minutes, your cannabutter is already cooked. Use a cheesecloth to strain the plant parts from the butter. Cover the mouth of a large bowl with cheesecloth and just pour the mixture through.
After you have completely poured the mixture through the cloth, gather the ends of the cheesecloth and make a ball. Squeeze the cannabutter batter to remove remaining liquid.
Store the cannabutter in small bowls or microwavable containers. Keep this covered and kept inside the fridge overnight. In the morning your cannabutter will have solidified. Turn the butter upside down. Use a knife to scrape away the watery surface of the butter.
Now your cannabutter is ready. You can use this on toast or make all kinds of pastries and food. You may actually use cannabutter to replace oil or cooking oil in any recipe. Just be careful though because it’s harder to dose up when you use stems and leaves instead of using the only dried flower.
The stems of cannabis plants may be used to recycle paper. You can make strong paper when you mix cannabis stems from old newspaper and office paper. The finished product is a coarse paper which can be used to make notebook covers, boxes, fillers, frames and so on.
Papermakers say that the most challenging part of using cannabis stems to make paper is making a deckle. You can use a fine sieve made of an old pantyhose which will be stretched over a wooden frame. You must create a flat permeable surface where the pulp will drain away from.
To make paper-making easier, use a blender or a food processor. Combine equal amounts of cannabis stems and recycled paper inside a blender. Blend the dry materials first. Add water to create a creamy mixture.
When the mixture looks like a slurry, you may now add any coloring. Use only a small amount of food color. When the color has blended well, pour the slurry mixture through the pantyhose sieve.
Shake the mixture so that excess water will drain from it. Use a spatula to arrange the slurry on top of the sieve and for the mixture to cover the entire area. Make sure that the mixture is evenly spread before placing the pulp in a dry area.
The cannabis paper will be dry in a day. You can tell that the paper is dry when you can already peel it from the sieve. Once it is easy to peel, remove it from the sieve and then hang it to completely dry. You now have paper made from cannabis and recycled newspaper and office paper.
Use stems for weaving
Cannabis stems are among the strongest. You can use this to make simple arts and crafts projects or to make large-scale weaving projects as well.
Small stalks may be stripped of the outer fiber of the stems to prepare these for weaving. The cannabis fibers are actually held together with a strong cellulose matrix. These should be collected and rubbed together until these separate into smaller strands.
To make a tougher material to work with, you can combine fibers by twisting these together. With this material, you can make bracelets, belts, headbands and more.
Why make small trinkets and accessories when you can weave larger projects like baskets, mirror frames, ottomans, hats and more. For these projects, you may use stems as well as larger branches.
Strip off the outer bark of the large cannabis branches before using these. If you are making a larger project, use more branches and stems. You can even bend large branches to shape them into different items by using heat.
Making stem kief
Kief is basically small remnants of resin that you usually get when you grind weed. You can also get kief from stems but you will have to wait a long time to harvest a substantial amount.
To get stem kief, chop your stems into small pieces and place this in a plastic bag, Place the bag inside the freezer. Every time you add more stems inside the bag, shake it. The resin crystals that have frozen will break off from the stem surface when these are completely frozen.
Do this several times a week and soon, you will get a large amount of kief at the bottom of the bag. Continue adding more stems and shaking the bag until you get enough for your needs. Place the stem kief in a small container to use later.
Bubble hash made from cannabis stems
When you already have a lot of stems, you can make bubble hash. Place the stems in a blender and add equal amounts of water and ice. Blend this until you get a fluffy mixture. Repeat the steps until all the stems have been blended.
More stems will give you more bubble hash beverage to serve to friends. You can improve the taste by adding sugar or other ingredients. So, the next time you buy the best marijuana seeds to grow cannabis plants, save the stems for these awesome projects.