From edibles to hash, learn about what you can do with cannabis trim and leftover fan leaves, and make the most out of the sugar leaves after trimming! Cannabis buds are harvested for THC, but what about leftover cannabis trimmings? Don't waste it—check out these 11 things you can do with your trimmings! You grow weed for its buds, but… do you throw out everything else? In this article we tell you everything you can do with its leaves, stems and root
Canabis Trim – What To Do With Cannabis Trim And Fan Leaves?
Don’t throw out the leftover plant material, it may have trichomes that can be turned into extractions or edibles.
- 1. What is trim?
- 2. Disposing of the trimmings responsibly
- 3. Choosing what to make
- 4. Making the most out of trim
- 5. Water hash
- 5. a. Materials
- 5. b. How to make
- 6. Dry sift hash
- 6. a. Materials
- 6. b. How to make
- 7. Decarboxylation
- 8. Cannabutter
- 8. a. Materials
- 8. b. How to make
- 9. Infused olive oil
- 9. a. Materials
- 9. b. How to make
- 10. Other ways to use trimmings
- 11. In conclusion
Trimming consists of removing the excess foliage on buds to make them appealing and ready for consumption. When trimming buds you usually have a lot of plant material left and depending on the amount of trichomes, you can use it to make different cannabis products. Those trichomes can be used to make extractions such as dry sift has, water hash, edibles, and even rosin, depending on the quantity and quality, so make sure you know how to trim weed before starting.
1. What Is Trim?
Marijuana trimmings and cannabis fan leaves are the plant leftovers after manicuring our buds. When our plant is ready to be harvested there is an excess of plant material, this excess must be removed before curing and (eventually) smoking our flowers. When trimming, we not only remove the small leaves coming out of the buds but also the big fan leaves, typical of cannabis plants. So when talking about cannabis trim we refer to all the plant material, including the fan leaves, small leaves, popcorn buds, and any other part of the plant that we may have removed.
Depending on the genetics and type of training and pruning you performed on your plant, there can be quite a lot of plant material left. If you did a good job growing your plants, the excess you removed can be covered in resin.
There are two different ways of trimming: one consists of trimming before drying (wet cannabis trim) and the other consists of trimming after drying (dry cannabis trim). In either one of them, you will have plant leftovers (aka trims and fan leaves) that may be covered in trichomes still.
Not always the leftovers will have trichomes. Sometimes the plant doesn’t produce trichomes on areas surrounding the buds. If you’re planning on benefiting from it, we recommend growing strains that produce an extra amount of trichomes, like our new Gorilla Cookies Auto.
2. Disposing Of The Trimmings Responsibly
After finishing your grow cycle you may want to use the trimmings and leftover cannabis fan leaves to avoid wasting precious trichomes but it’s unlikely you’ll use everything because some plants just don’t produce much trichomes and sometimes it’s not worth the effort or maybe you’re just not interested in making edibles or extracts.
It doesn’t matter if you make something out of the trimmings or not, you need to be aware of how you discard the leftover plant material because, first of all, you may get in trouble if someone finds cannabis leftovers in your trash, and in second place, because cannabis trimmings can potentially be psychoactive and you don’t want to endanger animals or kids that may find the trimmings and cannabis fan leaves.
This is why you need to be mindful of how you discard your trimmings. There are several ways to dispose of cannabis leftovers; You can compost them, or double-bag the trimmings to make it harder for someone to find them but, you can also make the most out of them by making edibles and extractions.
3. Choosing What To Make
The quantity of plant leftovers you will have depends mostly on the number of plants you’re harvesting at the same time. The training and style of pruning will also influence that amount, but obviously, harvesting 5 plants at the same time will result in more trim than 1 or 2 plants. There are several things to do with the leftovers, the most common are dry sift hash, water hash, cannabutter, infused olive oil, and vaping the leftovers.
What You Can Make With trimmings
|Preparation Time||Amount Of Trimmings||Yields||Products|
|30 min||10 g||1 g||Water Hash|
|20 min||10 g||1.5 – 2.0 g||Dry Sift|
|2 – 3 hs||10 g||0.3 g THC per 1 g||Cannabutter (500 g)|
|2 – 3 hs||10 g||0.3 g THC per 1 g||Infused Olive Oil (500 g)|
4. Making The Most Out Of Trim
Have in mind that for all these things except for the water hash, you will need to dry the trim if you have wet trimmed your buds. Water hash can be made with fresh or dried trim, as long as you prevent plant material in the final product. Dry sifting the cannabis trim while still fresh may leave the hash green and with a plant flavor and smell, but it will not have an influence on the effect.
Making cannabutter, oil, or simply vaping the wet trim will leave a strong plant flavor and it’s recommended to dry before making anything with it. Due to not being dense like buds, it shouldn’t take that much to dry properly. Have in mind that for every plant you harvest you will have between 10-30g of trim and you will need quite a lot of cannabis trim for some of the following ways to make the most out of trim. The amount and quality of trim depend on a lot of things, mainly on the quality of the genetics and on how you train and prune your plants.
5. Water Hash
Water hash is recommended if you have a lot of plant material to work with, usually water hash has a 5-10% return rate, depending on the quality of the trim. That means that for every 200g of cannabis trim you will get around 10-20g.
This technique is usually recommended for more experienced users because you have to be aware of a lot of things for it to be done properly.
- Frozen cannabis trim
- Dried cannabis trim
- Bubble hash bags
- Big metal spoon
- Water hose
Have in mind that you can use a water hash machine to automate the process.
How To Make
For this method, you will have to place the bubble bags on the bucket, the bubble bags are the filters that will separate the residues from the trichomes. First, mix the water, ice, and frozen trims or cannabis fan leaves and let the trims hydrate for a couple of minutes (if dry). If the trims are not dry, you need to mix the water, trims, and ice gently so the trichomes fall down from the trims and mix in with the water. After 2 -3 minutes of gently mixing, lift up the bubble bags and use the water hose to wet the sides of the bubble bags to make the trichomes stuck to the sides go down to the bottom of the bubble bags.
At this point, you should be able to see a bit of trichome together on the bottom. Repeat this process until you see the trims and fan leaves starting to disintegrate. When you see the cannabis trim starting to disintegrate, use the hose to wash the sides of the bubble bags and remove the hash with a metal spoon. Place it flat on a piece of cardboard, away from heat or strong sunlight, and let it dry. After a couple of days, it should be ready to be consumed.
6. Dry Sift Hash
For dry sift hash you don’t need as much trim as for water hash because it has a higher return rate of about 15-20%, as said before, it depends on the quality of the trim.
This means that for every 200g of trim you will get around 30-40g. This technique is one of the easiest and simplest, and you will only need a couple of things.
- Bubble bags or specific micron filter mesh
- Card to collect kief
- Clean and big surface
How To Make
There are a couple of ways yo make dry sift hash, one of the most common ways is to freeze the trim, place it in the bubble bags and shake it. By shaking it, all the trichomes will fall through the filter mesh and fall on the surface under, that’s why you need a big and clean surface. After shaking for around 5 min, you can collect the hash with a card (like a credit card) and shake again.
The more you shake the more hash you will have, but be aware that the quality will be lower on each cycle after the first. You can do this after you see small pieces of plant matter starting to fall through. There is also special equipment available that has the mesh on top of a bucket, so you don’t have such a hard time collecting the kief. This is one of the easiest methods to make full-spectrum extractions.
Now, when making dry sift and water hash there’s no need to decarboxylate the trimmings because they will get carboxylated (aka transform THCA into THC) when exposed to fire (smoked) but for the edibles to actually get you high you’ll need to activate the THC, this means that you need to heat the plant material, so here are 3 ways to do it:
Decarbing By Sous Vide
The nature of sous vide makes this method super easy but it’s definitely more expensive than the other ones because you will need an immersion circulator which can cost up to $100. Despite the high price, the immersion circulator lets you dial in the exact temperature you need, which preserves the flavor and cannabinoids while producing almost zero smell.
In order to decarb your cannabis this way you’ll need:
- Immersion circulator;
- A large container;
- Plastic resealable bag;
- And a vacuum sealer.
Decarbing In An Oven
Decarboxylating cannabis in an oven is probably the easiest method of all because you don’t need to buy anything. The downside is that the temperature dial shows an approximate temperature, not an exact one, so you need to be careful to avoid burning your plant material.
Set the temperature at around 90 – 100 °C but keep an eye on, if it turns brown too quickly or if it smells like its burning, turn the oven down. You can also use an oven thermometer to help you with the process, but it’s definitely not obligatory. In order to decarb your cannabis in the oven, you’ll need:
- A baking tray;
- Aluminum foil or parchment paper;
- And an oven.
Decarbing In A Glass Jar
Decarbing in a glass jar or mason jar is basically the same as in the oven but it has a couple of benefits over decarboxylating on the baking sheet. Doing it in a jar minimizes the smell and it can be harder to burn your plant material, so you don’t have to worry about burning your trimming as much. To decarb your cannabis this way you’ll need:
- A glass jar with a lid, preferably a mason jar;
- Baking tray;
- Kitchen towel;
- And oven gloves.
Cannabutter is usually used in edibles like brownies, cakes, and cookies. You don’t need nearly as much trim as when making hash.
You can make cannabutter with as much trim as you want, the amount you use will influence the potency of the edible. Usually, a potent edible will have around 20 or 30g of trim, depending on the quality.
- Cannabis trim
How To Make
Preheat your oven to 100°C, place the trim on an oven-safe tray, cover with parchment paper or tin foil and leave in the oven for around 20 – 30min. Every 10 minutes gently mix the buds gently so that they don’t burn and everything to decarboxylates equally. After everything has cooled down, place the decarboxylated trims in a glass jar along with the butter and put it in a water bath until the butter melts.
Be careful to not let the mixture exceed 95°C and it NEVER should come to a boil. Remember, adding more water to the water bath helps keep a lower temperature. After 2-3 hrs in the water bath at 95°C, strain the cannabutter and refrigerate until the butter solidifies and the excess water forms at the bottom of the jar. At this point, it is ready to use.
The best way to use cannabutter is to incorporate it as a topping or filling after you have baked the cake, cookies, brownies, or whatever you make. If you bake the cannabutter, it may lose its potency.
You can also make infused milk, it works the same way but instead of using butter you use whole milk.
9. Infused Olive Oil
Infused olive oil is a great way to consume cannabis without having to smoke it. Just like cannabutter, it should be consumed cold, in a salad, or in a way you don’t apply too much heat to it.
Also remember that this infused olive oil can be used on your skin and will have the same effect as when eating it, although it won’t be as strong. Another great alternative is to make infused coconut oil which is better to apply on your skin and leaves a delicious smell!
- Olive Oil
- Cannabis trim
How To Make
Infusing olive oil is kind of similar to making cannabutter but simpler. You will need a good quality olive oil, place it in a pot or saucepan on medium heat until it almost boils. When it is starting to bubble turn it off and add the trims, you can also add other herbs such as rosemary, thyme, or basil. The extra herbs will not only mask the strong cannabis flavor but will also make the oil taste better.
After around 2 or 3 hours of letting the herbs (including the cannabis trims) simmer in the olive oil, you can remove it from the stove, strain it and store it in a glass container. As long as you store it in a cool place it will be good for up to a year.
10. Other Ways To Use Trimmings
Due to cannabis trimmings containing the same cannabinoids as the flowers (although in much smaller concentrations), you can consume the trimmings in the same ways as you would consume flowers.
Apart from making hash and edibles, you can vaporize the trimmings, pack a bowl or even roll a joint with it. Now, the trimmings won’t get you as high as smoking the flowers but it’s a good alternative if you’re looking to microdose or if you don’t want to get super high.
With the weed trimmings, you can also infuse the milk and make your own cannabis milk at home. All you need to do is mix milk and ground-up weed, stir the mixture for 30-40 minutes on low heat until the milk turns into a yellowish-green color. Then strain the trimmings and store the cannabis-infused milk in the fridge for as long as the milk’s expiration date. This is a great way to make cannabis milkshakes, coffees, or smoothies!
Infusing store-bought Topicals
But, if you want to keep things simple and easy, all you have to do is follow the same process but infuse coconut oil instead of aromatic oils. Once you have infused the coconut oil, all you have to do is mix it with your favorite skin topical or cream and you’re set!
Make a Cannabis Tincture
You can infuse cannabis into practically anything as long as it contains alcohol or lipid to absorb the cannabinoids. This means you can also make cannabis tincture with the trimmings. All you have to do is get some high-proof alcohol and let your trimmings ask in it for a few weeks. Shake or mix the mixture once or twice a day to speed up the infusion process. If you’re looking to make a more potent tincture, let the alcohol and weed mix in an open-air container for the alcohol to evaporate and the cannabinoid content to become more concentrated. Or you can speed up the process by doing the same in a double boiler, but remember that alcohol is flammable so you should be extremely careful. This cannabis tincture can be added to any type of food or drink or absorbed orally for a fast-acting “edible”.
Topicals and Creams
Cannabis trimmings and fan leaves are also a great way to make skin topicals and creams. All you have to do is decarboxylate your weed, as explained above, then grind it into a fine powder and mix it with the essential oils of your choice such as lavender, rosemary, clove, or lemon. Then place everything in a glass bottle and let infuse for 3-4 days up to 1 week, mixing thoroughly every 12-24 hours.
Another way to consume the benefits of cannabis is to make cannabis juice with the fan leaves and trimmings. Now, cannabis juice will not get you high at all but cannabis leaves contain lots of proteins as well as Omega-3 and Omega-6. This is a super healthy way to reduce waste, just remember that the leaves should be healthy!
Use for Garden Compost
And finally. You can use the cannabis trimmings or fan leaves to make compost. Compost is also a great way to reduce waste while enriching the soil. Remember that you can compost trimmings and fan leave but you can also compost the stems, stalks, and everything else. This leftover plant material is a great way to add nitrogen to your compost pile which can be recycled and used on your next cannabis grow cycle. This compost can not only be used mixed in the substrate but can also be used to make compost teas that will help you correct minor deficiencies and provide the micronutrients your plants need.
11. In Conclusion
There’s no need to throw away any part of the plant when in the process of marijuana trimming, especially if you know how to trim marijuana, have in mind that even the roots and branches can be useful if you know how to use them.
Remember the amount of trichomes in the cannabis trim will vary according to how you grow your plants, the type of nutrients, environment, training, pruning will have a direct influence on the quality and quantity of your trim, and this may dictate if it’s worth to actually make something with the trimmings and fan leaves or not, and what to make. Apart from these elements, genetics are the main factor that influences trichome production, so make sure you start with THC-rich strains such as our Strawberry Banana auto.
it made me very very relaxed and sleepy with a nice happy vibe i think ill get the perfect sleep medicine once curing is fully over
As mentioned, making cannabis products with weed trimmings and cannabis fan leaves is not obligatory, you can always dispose of the weed trim and fan leaves but you’ve spent time and money growing your plants so you might as well make the most out of every single thing you have available.
If you have more tips on how to make the most out of trimmings and cannabis fan leaves such as homemade edible recipes or other cannabis-infused products, feel free to help fellow growers by leaving a comment in the comment section below!
11 Ways You Can Utilize Leftover Cannabis Trimmings
The flowering buds of the cannabis plant have always been the star of the show due to their high concentration of cannabinoids like THC and CBD that create effects for consumers. But what many don’t know is that other parts of the plant—specifically the trim removed after harvesting—can be used for a variety of purposes.
In this guide, we’ll walk you through some ways to repurpose your seemingly useless cannabis trimmings to avoid being wasteful with this amazing plant.
What Exactly Is Cannabis Trim?
Cannabis trim is everything that’s removed from cannabis plants after they are harvested, including the sugar leaves, fan leaves, and bits of cannabis buds. After cannabis plants have fully grown, professional cultivators and home growers pick the plants and trim them with trimmers (trimming scissors). This is often done by hand, though larger commercial operations will sometimes use machines to complete the trimming process.
The purpose of trimming cannabis post-harvest is to create a more visually appealing and potent product by removing excess plant matter. Although trim is not nearly as potent as buds are, it does contain some trichomes that house cannabinoids. Trim should not be confused with shake, the loose buds and trichomes that fall off naturally in storage. Trim is generally not smoked due to its harshness and low cannabinoid content, whereas shake is sometimes smoked for a cheaper high.
What’s the Difference: Sugar Leaves vs. Fan Leaves
Fan leaves are the larger leaves protruding from the branches of the cannabis plant and contain virtually no psychoactive properties (cannabinoids). Sugar leaves, however, are typically heavily concentrated in cannabinoid-rich trichomes, making them much more useful overall than fan leaves. Sugar leaves are much smaller than fan leaves and grow directly from the buds rather than the branches. When repurposing your trimmings, these small leaves are ideally what you want to use.
Things You Can Do With Cannabis Trimmings
Now that you understand cannabis trimming, let’s take a closer look at some things you can do with your trim. As you will see in the list below, trim is highly versatile and can be repurposed into something useful for everyone.
Use Cannabis Trim for Concentrates and Extracts
One of the most common things cultivators typically use cannabis trimmings for is the production of cannabis concentrates and extracts. Through various methods, any existing cannabinoids in the trim can be extracted and turned into concentrates like shatter, wax, and kief. To prepare your cannabis trimmings for extraction, simply grind them the same way you would grind flower for a bowl or joint. Keep in mind that some concentrates require solvents.
Add Trimmings to Food
Cannabis trimmings can also be added to foods both within recipes and as garnishes. The first thing you’ll need to do is activate any cannabinoids in your trim through a heating process called decarboxylation. After decarboxylation has been completed, the trim can be added to any food for a mild buzz. Consider adding leaves to a salad or grinding the decarbed trim finely for brownie mix. Trim can also be made into butter, oil, or flour for more effective edibles, which is discussed further below.
Add Trimmings to Drinks
You can also add cannabis trimmings to beverages. If you’re looking to make a psychoactive drink, you will first need to decarb the trim to activate the cannabinoids. However, you may lose terpenes—aromatic compounds—and phytonutrients during decarboxylation, so decarbing the trim is not suggested if you’re interested in adding flavor rather than CBD or THC to a drink. Let’s explore some of the most common cannabis-infused beverages.
To make cannabis milk with your trimmings, finely grind them after decarbing. It is recommended to use a quarter-ounce of cannabis trimmings per 4 cups of whole milk. Simply place the ground cannabis and milk into a pan on low heat and allow it to simmer for about an hour to an hour and a half (ensure the liquid does not reach boiling point). Finally, separate the milk from the plant material by sifting it through a micron silkscreen or cheesecloth and allow the milk to cool before consuming.
Alcohol and cannabis tend to increase the effects of each other, so cannabis-infused vodka is an efficient way to get the most out of your trim. One of the most common forms of alcohol to be infused with cannabis is vodka. In fact, vodka has been utilized for many years to make cannabis tinctures like Green Dragon. To infuse vodka with cannabis trim, simply grind your cannabis after decarbing it and soak it in vodka for a prolonged period of time before removing the plant material.
If you’re interested in getting something other than a high out of your leftover cannabis, juicing is the way to go. Dietary cannabis specialist Dr. William L. Courtney has long advocated for juicing raw cannabis to obtain the benefits of THCA and other essential nutrients found in the plant. Just throw your cannabis trimmings into a countertop juicer to create your own raw cannabis juice. To boost the flavor and nutrition, you can add fruits and vegetables to the juice as well.
Cannabis-infused coffee can be made at home with ease. First, grind your trim—the recommended combination is a half-gram of cannabis and 3 cups of water. Throw the water in a pot with a small amount of coconut oil or butter and bring to a boil. Next, reduce the water to a low, simmering heat and add the cannabis. Leave the mixture on low heat for 45 minutes to an hour, stirring occasionally, before straining the mixture and using the infused water to prepare your coffee like normal.
Make Edibles: Cannabutter, Cannaoil, and Cannaflour
Many folks use cannabis flower to create cannabutter, cannabis oil, and cannaflour, and trim can be used for this purpose as well (though the final product will be less potent than if flower was used). These substances can then be used in place of normal oil, butter, or flour to create cannabis-infused treats or condiments such as cookies and salad dressing. Before diving into the recipes for each infused ingredient (linked above), make sure to decarb and grind your trimmings to activate the cannabinoid content.
Create a Topical Salve or Cream
The nutrients and cannabinoids in cannabis can also provide benefits when applied topically. To make a topical cream, lotion, or salve with your trim, you will first need to decarb and grind the plant material to activate the cannabinoids. Then, you will need to create a cannabis-infused oil (outlined here). Feel free to add other nourishing or fragrant ingredients to your mixture like vitamin E or essential oils.
At this point, you can either add the infused oil to a cream or lotion you already use or combine the oil with beeswax to create a thick topical called a salve. If you would prefer a thinner consistency, just add any kind of oil (coconut, olive, avocado, etc.) in small amounts until the mixture is how you’d like it. You can also play around with adding shea or cocoa butter to create a more lotion-like substance.
Create Herbal Cooking Spices
Cannabis trimmings can also be utilized as a cooking spice. Simply decarb the trim and then grind it to the consistency you desire. Your cannabis “spice” can be stored in a spice container and used just like any other spice—try using it on pizza, pasta, and salads for some extra flavor, nutrients, and possibly a slight canna-buzz depending on the amount you use.
Use for Garden Compost
If you have a garden, consider composting your cannabis trimmings. Composting is a great way to reduce waste and enrich soil. Cannabis stems, stalks, and leaves low in cannabinoid content typically have high nitrogen and low carbon levels, making them a perfect product to add to compost. You can also make the trim into compost tea for feeding plants during cultivation.
Smoke Your Cannabis Trim
If nothing we’ve suggested so far has caught your eye, you can always simply smoke your leftover cannabis trimmings. That’s right—just like with the trimmed buds/flower, you can dry out the leaves and smoke them. You won’t receive the same cannabinoid content and flavor profiles—and smoking trim is known to be harsher on the lungs—but it’s still a better use of your trimmings than throwing them in the trash.
Cannabis trim might not be the most desirable part of the marijuana plant, but there are many things you can do to increase its usability. It’s important to remember that trim-based products will have much lower potency than flower-based products. That said, you can definitely swap in flower for any of the above uses to get that higher potency.
Interested in growing your own cannabis or using any of the cannabis products included in this article to medicate? Sign up for an appointment with a medical marijuana doctor here!
This blog post was originally written by Chane Leigh and published on 1/3/20. Updated 1/13/22.
How to make use of the leftovers from your cannabis harvest
While the goal of cannabis cultivation is to produce beautiful-looking, resinous and potent buds that result in an enjoyable and effective smoking experience, there are many other parts of the plant that are often left unused and discarded, including stems, leaves and roots. While these components may not be the most desirable parts of the plant, instead of going straight into the trash they can be used in a variety of ways to ensure you get the most out of your grow.
Reusing cannabis leaves
One of the most (unfairly) undervalued parts when it comes to the pruning and trimming processes are the fan and sugar leaves. However, both types of leaves can be reused once the plant has been harvested.
- Sugar leaves: These are the small leaves that form around the bud of the plant, and are usually covered with resin, which is why they are called sugar leaves, as they have the appearance of being sprinkled with sugar. Due to the concentration of trichomes in sugar leaves, they are ideal for producing cannabis extracts such as bubble hash, dry sift, BHO or cannabis butter for use in various culinary recipes.
- Fan leaves: The larger leaves that protrude from the plant are named for their distinctive shape and serve as the main source of capturing the sun’s energy, tending to appear in greater quantity on sativa varieties. These leaves do not contain high levels of cannabinoids but are excellent for juicing and making teas and are of particular interest to people looking to produce creams and salves.
Sugar leaves surround the buds and have such a concentration of trichomes that they appear to be sugar-coated.
Cannabis leaf tea
Perhaps the most obvious use for cannabis leaves is to make a bookmark or use them as decoration, as their characteristic shape is a treat for the eyes. But if you decide to make tea with them instead, you’ll just need to follow a few simple steps:
- Heat some water in a pan, add the leaves and simmer for 30 minutes.
- Add half a tablespoon of coconut oil or a splash of full-fat milk to the tea and add honey, lemon or mint, according to taste. The oil or fat will absorb the cannabinoids, making the tea stronger than it would be with just water.
- Strain with a sieve or fine gauze to remove plant debris.
Now you have a drink full of therapeutic properties. Although to a much lesser extent than the buds, cannabis leaves also contain cannabinoids and terpenes that we can take advantage of with this delicious custom-made cannabis tea.
Some people also use the leaves to dress salads and make cannabis juice, recipes that also allow us to enjoy all of the plant’s properties. However, the THC content of leaves is very low, so they would not cause a psychoactive effect. The leaves will, however, help to cleanse the body of toxins, while also producing an anti-ageing effect. It has even been shown that the antioxidant properties can protect brain cells, as raw cannabis possesses neuroprotective qualities.
Compost your cannabis leaves
If you’re not a fan of tea or detox juices, you can also add the leaves to your homemade compost and make use of the nutrients they contain in future grows, as well as reduce the use of chemical fertilisers. You can add both weed leaves and branches to your composter and thus turn what would have been waste into a rich source of life.
Home composting is by far the easiest way to get a purely organic harvest. The truth is that nature itself provides excellent soil for growing cannabis, but in most cases, it needs to be enriched, either because we are growing indoors or because the soil needs additional nutrients for optimal plant growth.
Compost is becoming increasingly popular, as it can greatly help plants to reach their full potential. This is why it is known by seasoned growers as ‘black gold’.
Cannabutter with sugar leaves
Now that you have made use of the large fan-shaped leaves, you can go for the sugar leaves. These leaves are rich in cannabinoids and are ideal for making delicious cannabis butter. Due to the fat-soluble nature of cannabinoids, meaning that they dissolve in oil, we can make the most of the plant’s properties by adding this butter to our recipes.
However, they must first be decarboxylated, i.e. heated to activate their cannabinoids and optimise their therapeutic and psychoactive properties. To do this you should chop the leaves or grind them in a blender and spread them out on a baking tray. Then bake in the oven at 100 ºC for 40 minutes.
Today we are going to delve into the cannabis decarboxylation process, by which cannabinoids lose their acid form and “activate” many of their properties. This is an essential process when preparing cannabis edibles, so they have the desired effect, and a basic step to make the best recipes.
Now you can make your own cannabis-based butter:
- Place 300 ml of water and 250 grams of melted butter in a pan and mix them together.
- Add the sugar leaves (ground up and decarbed) and cook gently on a low heat for 8 hours.
- During this time, add 50ml of water every hour, to avoid it drying out. Stir the mixture and ensure that it doesn’t boil too hard.
- Strain the mixture through a cheesecloth to leave a viscous, green-coloured liquid.
- Pour the liquid into one or more glass recipients, close them and place in the fridge. This will allow the butter to solidify which aids the removal of any excess water. The butter should now have the characteristic light green colour typical of this preparation.
When preparing recipes with it, you should keep in mind that, unlike other preparations mentioned in this list, butter made with sugar leaf contains enough THC to cause psychoactive effects. This makes it an ideal ingredient to prepare a really fun meal.
When using sugar leaves, choose those that are greener in colour and without symptoms of nutrient excess or deficiency
Reusing cannabis stalks and stems
Before you ask if you can smoke the stems, be aware that they contain very little THC, the cannabinoid responsible for the cannabis “high”. So smoking stems will bring you far more risks than benefits: you are more likely to cough excessively or experience a sore throat if you don’t remove the stems when you’re rolling a joint.
However, for centuries, the stalks of hemp plants, the low-THC variety of cannabis, have been used for their fibrous qualities, to make paper, rope, boat sails, uniforms and just about everything else you can imagine that is now made from synthetic fibres (curse you, nylon!). In fact, hemp has been one of the most important crops for the development of human civilisation in ancient times. And you too can use harvested cannabis stalks to make various materials.
Although it can be a bit laborious, cannabis stalks can be turned into paper and help to reduce tree felling. All you need is a mosquito net stapled to a wooden frame to give you a flat surface to strain the pulp from the stems and a blender.
If you want to make your own cannabis paper, follow these simple steps:
- Put a mixture of stems and paper in equal ratios (1:1) in the blender and add water so that you can stir the mixture easily, then blend well.
- Pour the blended mixture over the mosquito screen and allow the excess water to drain away to obtain the pulp.
- Move the screen frame gently to spread the pulp around evenly and obtain a square sheet of paper.
- Allow to drain for 24 hours then hang the resulting sheet of paper to dry.
Now you have a sheet of paper made with the stems from your harvest, enjoy it!
Textiles from stems
If you don’t need drawing paper and prefer to do your writing on the computer, you can also use the stems to make twine which can be used for many purposes. To turn the stems into fabric it is necessary to strip them of their outer fibres, a process called decortication. Rub the stems with your fingers to separate their fibres into individual strands, then twist the strands together and see what strong cordage they form.
A cannabis stalk showing the fibres
Also, for those who are aware of the negative health effects of using a lighter (inhalation of butane fumes), a hemp wick is a great alternative, and you can easily create your own using cannabis stems. To do this, peel the stems with scissors or a sharp blade until you get long, strong fibres. Then twist them around each other to form a rope, bending and twisting tightly. Once you’ve twisted until you can’t take it anymore, dip the string in some beeswax and let it dry. You already have your own hemp wick to light your joints or to make a candle with melted wax, for those romantic occasions where you can win over your partner. Or for when we have to light our way in a blackout, which could also happen.
Tea with stems & stalks
If handicrafts are not your thing and you prefer to go back to a simple tea, you’ll be happy to know that you can also make a tasty drink from the stalks. Just don’t forget to decarboxylate them. Heat the oven to 110 °C and bake the stems for 60 minutes. Now you can make delicious tea from them.
Put a pot of water to boil and add the chopped stalks. Add a teaspoon of coconut oil and let it simmer for 7-8 minutes. Then strain the stems. Now you have an exquisite tea with a strong flavour that you can use to garnish a unique recipe and really impress your guests.
Mulch for your garden
You can use a wood chipper to break up the stems and create mulch. You can then add this mulch to your compost pile or return it to your garden. Mulch should only be applied to crops growing in living soil to ensure that it breaks down over time and becomes food and new habitat for beneficial insects. Also, keep in mind that you never want to use plants that have had disease or infestation; they are likely to spread that disease through the mulch.
Everything grown in the soil can be returned to the ground to close the recycling cycle
Now, if you found the stems of this plant useful, just wait until you see how you can take advantage of its root system.
Reusing cannabis roots
While not as commonly reused as stems and leaves, cannabis roots also have a purpose post-harvest. In fact, cannabis roots have been used in medicine since 2,700 BC, particularly in Chinese culture. The roots were processed and used to treat pain, gonorrhoea and even haemorrhages during pregnancy. Other cultures have also used cannabis roots to treat various conditions, such as fevers, wounds, ulcers and abscesses, as well as sciatic and joint pain.
Cannabis roots to make topical creams for the skin
So if you’d like to make your own homemade preparation to treat any of these symptoms, you can use the leftover roots from your harvest to make a topical cream. To do so, you’ll need to chop up the dried roots and grind them into a homogeneous powder. Use this cannabis root powder to mix with liquid or fats to make homemade creams and oils, to get the most out of the therapeutic properties of cannabis roots through your skin.
Other concoctions with cannabis roots
In addition, they can also be used to make a tea that is packed with therapeutic properties, such as relief from joint pain and cramps, relief from gout and other similar pains. In addition to tea, a kind of homebrew can be made from the root. To do this, the powder is boiled along with something aromatic (cinnamon stick, aniseed, etc.) in an earthenware pot for 12 hours. After that, it is cooled, strained and drunk. What’s more, if it is boiled again to reduce it after this process, a dark-coloured substance is obtained that can be used to make a tincture.
It can be difficult to remove any soil stuck to the roots, so using roots from hydroponics may prove less work
And now for a less conventional use. Gunpowder!
The roots of cannabis can not only be consumed. Throughout history, different civilisations found other uses for this material which many see only as a waste product, but nothing could be further from the truth. The ancient Chinese, in addition to its medicinal properties, made it into a component of gunpowder. Thus, according to old documents, once dried, ground and roasted, cannabis roots were mixed with bamboo roots, pine resin and other substances. This was used to create ammunition for weapons as varied as explosive catapults and a tyoe of hand grenade.
So that’s it for our list of applications for a harvest full of possibilities. We hope that some of them have inspired you to try them at home (except for the explosives and grenades, lest we have an accident) so that you can make the most of all the effort and patience you invested in your plants. Time to get to work!
The articles published by Alchimiaweb, S.L. are reserved for adult clients only. We would like to remind our customers that cannabis seeds are not listed in the European Community catalogue. They are products intended for genetic conservation and collecting, in no case for cultivation. In some countries it is strictly forbidden to germinate cannabis seeds, other than those authorised by the European Union. We recommend our customers not to infringe the law in any way, we are not responsible for their use.