What to Do With Leftover Leaves and Stems

weed stem benefits

Are you one of those who grow cannabis for personal consumption and end up having a ton of leftover stems, shake, leaves, and more? If yes, you must wonder, what the heck to do with all this leftover cannabis plant material. The good news is, this plant matter, although not the most popular part of cannabis, it can still be extremely beneficial depending on how you recycle it.

Once the flowering is done, you are left with a considerable amount of biomass that can be utilized in several creative ways. Even though you might have discarded the leftovers in the past, you can actually get so much more out of your harvest than just the bud itself.

Instead of disposing of the remaining plant material, you can use it in an environmentally-friendly and cost-effective way. However, you may not be sure of how to go about it. You could keep the leftovers and use them to improve your next harvest or make extracts, edibles, and other consumables. We have compiled a useful guide below to help you make the most out of your hemp leftovers.

making trim from cannabis plant
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    Used Soil

    Let’s talk about the ground you’re growing your hemp seeds in. The quality of soil plays a vital role in the growing process, and it’s a shame to waste it after the harvest is complete.

    Although the nutrients and minerals in the soil may have been depleted during the previous use, you can still reuse them for the next harvest by mixing in some new fertilizer. This will save you the hassle and cost of buying and replenishing all the soil.

    If you’d rather not reuse the soil, composting is an excellent alternative. Simply mix the leftover soil with mostly equal parts of green material (such as vegetables, fresh leaves, and stalks) and brown material (such as dried leaves and flowers). Within a few months, you’ll have nutrient-rich soil that’s perfect for growing your next harvest. Starting your own compost bin is also an eco-friendly way to use leftover materials and reduce your environmental impact. The resulting soil will help you grow healthy plants for years to come.

    top soil for growing food

    The Root Of All Goodness

    Cannabis roots are often overlooked as a source of biomass, but they can be incredibly beneficial if used properly. The roots contain essential nutrients and anti-inflammatory properties that you don’t want to go to waste.

    For centuries, people have been using roots for medicinal purposes, either by boiling them to create a salve or drying them to grind them into a powder. Research shows that hemp roots have been effective in treating hemorrhoids, rashes, gastrointestinal issues, and even menstrual pain.

    One of the simplest ways to use leftover roots is by making weed stem tea. When boiled, the result is a strong and bitter-tasting tea. To improve the flavor, add a splash of milk or coconut oil. The fat in the milk or oil will enhance the release of terpenes and reduce bitterness.

    Check out our Weed Stem Tea recipe for utilizing this portion of your cannabis plant.

    plant showing roots

    Using Those Beautiful Leaves

    After harvesting the buds, one of the most valuable resources is the remaining leaves. There are two primary types of leaves on a cannabis plant:

    1. Sugar Leaves: These leaves grow around the buds and contain high levels of resin and cannabinoids. You can use them to create a hash, a concentrated material composed of leftover trichomes with high THC levels. Another popular way to use sugar leaves is to infuse them in butter or oil, which is versatile and can be used to make all sorts of recipes. The pulp left after straining the butter can be used to create coffee cream, smoothies, firecrackers, or as garnish. If you don’t want to use the leaves for infusion, you can always dry them to create eco-friendly, all-natural rolling paper for joints or cigars.
    2. Fan Leaves: These iconic large leaves do not contain many cannabinoids but can still be beneficial. One popular option is to juice them to create a detoxifying green juice similar to wheatgrass juice. Green juices are believed to increase energy and boost your immune system naturally. Alternatively, you can boil the fan leaves to make a tea that is less bitter than root tea or weed stem tea.
    3.  Trim: Typically I use trim to roll joints and pack bowls. However, using the trim that falls during cutting, for use in some of the best edible recipes, is really where it is at. Try it in our Cannabis Brownie Recipe for a little delicious kick.

    what to do with cannabis leaves

    Stalks Are Perfect For Composting and Other Uses

    The stalk of a cannabis plant is a versatile resource that can be used in several ways after the harvest.

    Firstly, it can be broken down to create fiber, which is one of the most versatile materials in the world. This fiber can be used to make clothes, paper, and even nutritious milk.

    Second, the stalks can be mulched by shredding them and spreading them across compost or soil. This mulch contains valuable nutrients and helps the soil retain moisture, which is beneficial for any crops you’re growing. Additionally, it creates a healthy environment for bacteria and bugs to thrive.

    Third, some people use the stalks for crafts and other DIY projects. For example, you could use them to make homemade baskets, decoration pieces, or even furniture.

    After a successful harvest, don’t let the excitement end with collecting the flower. You can make use of almost all the leftover biomass for environmental or personal purposes. The remaining materials can be used to create a wide range of products, including edibles, tinctures, compost, mulch, and more. If you feel guilty throwing away your leftovers, it’s time to change that and start taking advantage of these overlooked and valuable resources.

    Waste Not, Want Not

    As more states move towards legalizing cannabis, Insta Pot Spot will continue to provide coverage on the latest news, exciting products, and infusion recipes. Stay up-to-date on all the trends in the cannabis industry by checking back often. Don’t waste it, use it!

    Common Questions About Cannabis Stems

    No, smoking weed stems can be harmful to your health. The stems contain harsh and unpleasant-tasting compounds that can cause throat irritation and coughing.

    While using stems to make edibles is technically possible, they do not contain a high enough concentration of THC to make it worthwhile if your goal is to get high. However, stems do contain compounds that help with inflammation and do have some limited benefits when adding to edibles.

    While it's technically possible to use weed stems to make tea, it may not be the most pleasant-tasting beverage. The stems contain harsh compounds that can make the tea taste bitter and unpleasant, however, if you can handle it, weed stem tea has beneficial medicinal properties.

    Yes, you can compost weed stems. They break down quickly and add valuable nutrients to the compost pile. However, make sure to shred them first to speed up the decomposition process.


    Kharma Dee

    Kharma Dee

    Hi there! My name is Kharmadee and I'm an expert in harnessing the power of cannabis for holistic health benefits. In my work, I teach others how to naturally manage pain, anxiety, and stress, empowering them to lead happier, healthier lives. I believe that by incorporating cannabis into our daily routines, we can all experience greater joy, productivity, and well-being. Let me show you how!


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