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5 Ways To Repurpose Your Weed Stems

Weed stems are often tossed to the side of the rolling tray with cigar guts and ashes. Did you know that cannabis stems actually contain precious cannabinoids that can be repurposed in edible, topical, and sublingual DIY products with precision decarb? 

We’re going to teach you 5 ways to repurpose your cannabis and hemp stems, because your trash might actually be your treasure!

How Much THC is Leftover in Weed Stems?

Our lab testing shows that the main stem (the primary stem located in the center of the nug) has roughly 2% of cannabinoids present. This means that in just a single gram of leftover main stems, you can expect to yield 20 mgs of THC or CBD! That’s a sizable dose coming from something considered trash! 

Then, we were compelled to test the side stems, which are the small branches holding the bud clusters together. On top of that, tiny pieces of the bud often stick to these smaller stems, giving them an extra boost in potency. In just one gram of side stems, we discovered over 6% of cannabinoids, yielding 60 mgs of THC.

But first, decarb:

It’s important to remember that the first step to making any infused product is decarboxylation. If you’re using sugar leaf, stems, concentrate, and kief, this still applies just as it does with cannabis and hemp flower. 

The difference in potency from material decarbed in the oven, toaster oven, crockpot, etc. vs. the Ardent Nova or Ardent FX is significant. With the FX, you’re guaranteed to activate between 97-100% of all available cannabinoids. So, in material with less cannabinoids, such as in the case of stems, you’ll find that using an Ardent device makes all the difference.

Cannabutter

Cannabutter is a classic. It can be used for light sauteing, can be tossed into pasta and rice to make it creamier, on corn to make the sweetness pop, and in baked goods of all kinds. 

To make cannabutter with leftover cannabis stems, add your stems to the Concentrate and Infusion Sleeve or unlidded Vessel inside the device, or place inside the device directly. Cover the Nova or FX’s lid. Begin a cycle in the Nova by pressing the single button interface and waiting for the light to return back to green. In the FX, use the A1 setting to activate THC or CBG-rich stems, and A2 to activate CBD-rich stems. 

Once the cycle is complete, add butter to the Sleeve, Vessel, or device, fully submerging the decarboxylated material. Place the Sleeve or Vessel back inside the device, and begin another Nova cycle, or start an Infuse cycle in the FX. Once your butter is infused, strain the butter of all stems and plant parts using the Frainer, Infusion Press, or a standard cheesecloth. Dispose of your raffinate and store your butter in an airtight container such as the Infusion Mold or Vessel in the fridge to extend its shelf life.

Cannabis Oil

Similarly to cannabutter, cannabis oil can be made using stems and other undesirable plant parts. Cannabis oil can be made using a variety of infusion mediums across different smoke points, flavors, and applications (including cooking, topical application, and tinctures.)  

To make cannabis oil with leftover weed stems, add your stems to the Concentrate and Infusion Sleeve or unlidded Vessel inside the device, or inside the device directly. Cover the Nova or FX’s lid. Begin a cycle in the Nova by pressing the single button interface and waiting for the light to return back to green. In the FX, use the A1 setting to activate THC or CBG-rich stems, and A2 to activate CBD-rich stems. 

Once the cycle is complete, add the oil of your choosing to the Sleeve, Vessel, or device, fully submerging the decarboxylated material. Choose between coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, sesame oil, grapeseed oil, avocado oil, peanut oil, canola oil, vegetable oil, walnut oil, among many others. 

Place the Sleeve or Vessel back inside the device, and begin another Nova cycle, or start an Infuse cycle in the FX. Once your oil is infused, strain the infusion using the Frainer, Infusion Press, or a standard cheesecloth. Dispose of your raffinate and store your cannabis infused oil in an airtight container such as the Infusion Mold or Vessel in the fridge to extend its shelf life.

Green Dragon Tincture

Green dragon, or cannabis-infused into a strong grain alcohol such as Everclear, is a handy infusion to have around for making cannasugar, cannasalt, and cocktails of all kinds. 

To repurpose cannabis stems for infused cannabis tincture, just add your stems to the Concentrate and Infusion Sleeve or unlidded Vessel inside the device, or inside the device directly. Cover the Nova or FX’s lid. Begin a cycle in the Nova by pressing the single button interface and waiting for the light to return back to green. In the FX, use the A1 setting to activate THC or CBG-rich stems, and A2 to activate CBD-rich stems. 

When the decarb cycle is complete, place your activated stems in a glass jar, then pour Everclear over top, fully submerging the plant material. Place this jar in a cool, dark place, like a pantry or closet, and agitate (shake) whenever you remember. Since Everclear is such a strong solvent, it will pull the majority of remaining cannabinoids in just a few hours. You can, however, leave the jar to finish infusing as long as you like. Do not, under any circumstances, place alcohol inside an Ardent device. It’s dangerous and will void your warranty.

Cannabis Hand and Body Salve

Cannabis salve starts with an oil or topical butter base. Our foolproof salve recipe begins with cannabis infused coconut oil. Though you can simply use cannabis-infused coconut oil topically on its own, it’s much more rich and effective with a few simple additives. 

Make cannabis-infused coconut oil out of your weed stems and strain out the raffinate. Add about ¼ cup of your coconut oil to a glass jar inside the unit, then add ¼ cup beeswax, ¼ cup shea butter, and a few drops of vitamin E to the jar (optional.) Feel free to add more beeswax for a more firm salve, or more oil for a softer salve. Place the jar inside the FX to warm. Once the mixture is fully melted, remove from the FX, then add 10-20 drops of your favorite essential oils and stir. Allow your salve to cool and harden, then enjoy!

Cannabis Capsules

Cannabis capsules are great for discreet dosing any time. Another wonderful thing about capsules is how easy they are to prepare. 

After you decarb your stems in the Nova or FX, carefully use a knife to break the stems down into smaller pieces, or toss them into an electric coffee grinder. Once the pieces are small enough to fit into capsules, just pop them inside and enjoy. 

For stomachs that need a little less…fiber… turn your stems into a cannabis infused oil, then use a tincture dropper to add cannabis oil into each capsule.

Repurposing your cannabis stems? Show us how it’s done on Instagram for the chance to be featured on our page.