What To Do With Your Weed Stems & Leaves: 8 Uses

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Ok, so you have grown some weed plants, you have harvested the buds, and are now drying and curing them for smoking, vaping, or cooking. However, you will have a bunch of weed stems left over, both the big stalk from the whole plant and the smaller stems from the branches.

Many people will just throw these out, but there are actually a few really neat things that you can do with your weed stems. This also goes for the marijuana leaves and trimmings which you removed during the harvest.

What to do with your weed stems and leaves is a really good question. You can use your weed stems, leaves, and trimmings for a few different things, some more creative and some less. They can be used to make weed or marijuana tea, you can try using them to extract the THC and infuse some butter or oil, you can use weed stems to make some pretty unique BBQ skewers, and much more.

Let’s go over all of the neat things that you can do with your weed stems and trimmings right now.


What To Do With Marijuana Leaves & Stems

Ok, so the marijuana plant stalks and branch stems are a bit different from the leaves and trimmings you removed during harvest.

However, both the pot stems and weed leaves or trimmings can be used for some pretty cool things.

First, let’s go over what you can do with weed stems, and then we will talk about what you can do with your weed trimmings and leaves.

What To Do With Weed Stems – 8 Cool Uses For Weed Stems

Let’s talk about 8 really cool things that you can do with your leftover weed stems, instead of just throwing them out.

1. Make Marijuana Topical Ointments

The first thing that you could try doing with your weed stems is to make a topical ointment. With your stems and some really basic supplies, you can make your own marijuana topical ointment at home.

Of course, stems don’t contain too much CBD or THC, but they still contain some. You can use a basic marijuana topical recipe and then add in some essential oils like lavender or peppermint.

These can be very relaxing and can even relieve muscle and joint pain, plus headaches too.

2. Make Stem Tea

Another cool thing you can do with your weed stems is to make stem tea, something which a lot of people do.

Now, as mentioned before, the amount of active THC and CBD in the stems is fairly minimal, but it is still better than nothing at all. You will need to decarboxylate your stems and then use either coconut oil or butter to extract the THC, which can then be used to make tea.

It will create quite a relaxing brew, nothing too strong, but it can still give you quite the buzz.

3. Make A Stem Pen

Yeah, this is a little out there, but people have done it before. If you have a big stalk or a fairly large weed stem, such as from a branch, you can turn it into a cool marijuana pen.

You will need a basic pen making kit, a drill press, and a few other tools, but it is really not that hard to get done.

It’s a really cool and innovative way to make sure that your weed stems do not go to waste.

4. Making A Stem/Hemp Wick

Yet another cool use for your weed stems is to make a hemp wick. A hemp wick is something you use to light your joints and pipe bowls. It is like a string, which can burn, and is made of hemp.

So instead of inhaling a bunch of butane and noxious gasses from your lighter whenever you go to smoke, you can light the hemp wick first, and then use this clean burning method to light your bong, pipe, or joints.

For this, you need to use a sharp knife to shave away long and very thin strings from the stem. You can then twist them together in a special way which then makes a wick.

Technically speaking, you could also use this to make a marijuana stem candle wick.

5. Making Weed Stem Skewers

Yes, this is another weed stem use that is a bit out there, so to speak, but some have done it before. If you have a bunch of long weed stems, usually the branches, you can shave them down, remove little protrusions, make them smooth, and use them for BBQ skewers.

Make sure to create a point at the end so you can stab the meat and veggies easily, and before you go to put them on the BBQ, make sure to soak the stems in water so they do not burn while they are on the grill.

This has been known to add some interesting flavors to meat and veggies being grilled.

6. Make Your Own Hemp Paper

This is another creative use for your weed stems, instead of throwing them out. Here, you want to cut apart and grind down your stems into a fine powder, as fine as you can get them.

Next, take these ground stems, add some small paper scraps, and soak them in water overnight. The next day, throw this stem/paper/water mixture into the blender until it is a slurry.

Now, pour this over a fine mesh screen, flatten it out, and let it dry for a couple days. You should be left with a usable piece of hemp paper.

7. Weaving Stem Baskets

If you are more into arts and crafts, you can also try using your weed stems to make little baskets. For this, you can use the larger weed plant stalks and the smaller branches.

Soak them in water to ensure that they are flexible, because if you try to weave dry and brittle stems into a basket, they are just going break. To do this right, you will want to look up a basic basket weaving tutorial.

8. Use Them For Compost

Although this may not be particularly creative, you can always use your weed stems to start or add to an existing compost pile.

They will eventually turn into dirt that is rich in nutrients, and thus makes great fertilizer for a herb or veggie garden. It’s a good way to help save money on fertilizer.

What To Do With Weed Leaves

As you probably know, weed stems are different from the weed leaves and the trimmings. The leaves and trimmings have a bit more CBD and THC than the stems, and they are a bit easier to work with too, especially when it comes to making a weed leaf or trimming product that you can smoke or ingest.

1. Make Cannabutter or Cannabis Infused Oil

The first thing that you can do with your weed leaves and trimmings is to make cannabis butter or cannabis infused oil. We do want to note that these final products will never be as strong as if you used real weed buds, but they will still have a bit of a kick and provide a minimal buzz.

To do this, grind down the leaves and trimmings and decarb them in the oven to activate any THC which might be present. Then, you can boil the leaves and trimmings in a mixture of water and butter, or water and oil, in order to create cannabis infused butter or oil.

What is cool here is that cannabis oil and butter can be used for various edibles. You can make pizza, all kinds of dough, weed brownies, pot cookies, weed tea, and beer. (here is a list of 30 cool foods and snacks you can make)

On an interesting side note, you can also extract THC from leaves and trimmings into fatty milk. It does not taste spectacular, but technically speaking it does work.

2. Make Hash or Bubble Hash

Bubble hash and normal hash alike are usually made with real weed nugs or buds, or even with kief. Of course, this is the best way to make both of these products in terms of taste and potency. However, weed leaves and stems do still contain some active ingredients which you can use to make half decent hash or bubble hash.

To make hash, a process of pressing the ground up trimmings with a rolling pin, and then baking them in the oven, over and over again, until you are left with a brown block of hash is involved. You should definitely look up how to make hash in the oven before you do this.

If you don’t want to use the oven, and you do not mind investing some money for micro screen bags, otherwise known as micron bags, you can also make bubble hash.

Bubble hash involves a process of using ice water, a lot of mixing, and these fine mesh bags to extract THC, which can then be dried into so called bubble hash.

It won’t be too strong if you use trimmings and leaves, but it is still better than nothing at all.

3. Use Them For A Compost Pile

Yes, this is a repeat of what you can do with your weed stems, but it does still apply. If you are lazy or just don’t care that much, instead of throwing out your marijuana plant trimmings and leaves, you can always make a compost pile, which can then eventually be used as garden fertilizer.

4. Collect the Kief (THC crystals)

Something else you can do with your weed plant trimmings is to collect the kief. You can use a large and elaborate kief catching screen operation, or just use a good weed grinder that comes with a kief catcher.

Now, the amount of kief or THC crystals you will get out of leaves and trimmings will be minimal, but once again, it’s better than nothing. You can then use this kief to smoke, to cook with, you can vape it, and make all kinds of marijuana teas, butters, and oils.


As you can see, while at first your marijuana plant stems, leaves, and other trimmings might seem totally useless and nothing more than trash, they can actually be used for a wide variety of purposes. Making weed butter, weed oil, tea, hash, bubble hash, weed pens, baskets, and more are all possibilities that you can keep in mind.

Yes, a lot of people will throw stems and leaves in the garbage, but it is a waste considering all of the cool and creative things you can do with them.


My passion for the sticky icky started nearly a decade ago, and it all began when I first laid my eyes on the beauty that is the marijuana plant.

I cover all aspects of growing from equipment recommendations to plant health/care tips to help both new and experienced growers.