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  • Writer's pictureKyle Holt

Zero Waste Cannabis: How to Use the Entire Plant

Updated: Dec 10, 2019

- What to do with your stems, leaves, and cannabis scraps instead of throwing them out.

We turn off the lights when we leave the room.

We stop the water when we’re brushing our teeth.

We install high-efficiency appliances, drive electric cars, and install solar panels.

There are a wide variety of ways that people are trying to change their carbon footprint and reduce their waste.

Does every cannabis consumer think about the waste from their consumption, however?

For every bud consumed, it’s likely that the stems, leaves, and scraps are going to the garbage.

This doesn’t include the waste that goes into packaging, but that’s a post for another day.

Here are some ways to help reduce your waste, especially if you grow your own cannabis.

What to Do with Cannabis Stems

Thinking about smoking your stems because you’re out of bud?

Better to wait.

Here are a few options you might enjoy instead.

● Make charras or hash

Though the stems themselves don’t produce the same cannabinoid profile as the buds, they do collect resinous glands that can be extracted mechanically.

● Use them as “screens”

If you don’t like putting metal screens in your pipe or bong, consider using the stems as an alternative. Break off a small, multipronged stem and drop it into the bottom of your bowl so that it prevents the ground flower from falling through while permitting smoke to pass.

● Turn them into fiber

Cannabis stems are full of industrial properties. The fibers can be used in everything from art projects to creating fireproof material to clothing someone from head to toe.

There is massive potential in the fiber of leftover cannabis stems.

● Make tea

Without additional ingredients and flavors, it may be a touch bitter, but cannabis stems can be decarboxylated and then used to make teas. Mint, honey, and lemon are tasty additions to cannabis stem tea.

What to Do with Cannabis Leaves

You can use cannabis leaves in many of the same ways that you can use stems. However, there are a few more interesting ways to put discarded cannabis leaves to good use.

● Eat them

Cannabis leaves can be thrown in a juicer or into a smoothie to give an added kick of cannabinoid acids, like CBDA and THCA, that you don’t get through smoking cannabis.

● Make cannabis cigars

With practice and patience, you can learn to use cannabis leaves in the same way they use tobacco leaves to roll cigars.

What About Cannabis Scraps?

● Use them in your compost pile.

Compost piles will help your garden get the nutrients it needs, adding cannabis scraps to your compost pile will help replenish your soil.

● Add them to other experiments

Add them to your smoothie, sprinkle them into a salad, or make tea or hash. Cannabis scraps can be added to any of your new cannabis waste-reduction strategies.

You just went green with your green.

Share this article with your friends if you’ve discovered a way to reduce your cannabis waste!

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