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Can You Smoke Weed Stems?

marijuana plant

Technically, you can smoke cannabis stems. But should you? No. It’s simply not worth it. It is unlikely that you will experience any psychoactive effect from smoking weed stems as they contain very few, if any, trichomes (tiny growths that make the majority of cannabinoids and terpenes found in the marijuana plant). Additionally, they are reported to taste very bad.

However, there are other uses for cannabis stems, such as adding them to edibles, tinctures, and hemp wicks.

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What Are Weed Stems?

Weed stems are the stick-like part of the cannabis plant attached to the flower. Depending on the strain and quality of the cannabis you buy, you may get more or less of the cannabis stem attached to a bud.

Cannabis stems contain minimal amounts of the main cannabinoids cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

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Can You Smoke or Eat Weed Stems?

While it’s technically possible to smoke or eat weed stems, there are no benefits as they contain very few cannabinoids. But there are some potential risks that make smoking or eating the stems raw not worth the hassle.

Potential Risks

Cannabis stems are more fibrous than the flower. Because of this, the stems burn hotter and faster than the flower does, resulting in more smoke. Users have reported that this smoke can cause some adverse side effects, including:

  • Severe headache
  • Coughing
  • Sore throat
  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea

Additionally, cannabis stems taste bad. Ultimately, it is best to use cannabis stems for another purpose (more on that below).

Alternative Uses for Weed Stems

Before you do anything with your cannabis stems, you need to decarboxylate them. Decarboxylation is a reaction that activates the cannabinoids in the cannabis plant and occurs when the cannabis is exposed to heat or light, such as when it is baked or smoked.

To decarboxylate your cannabis stems, spread them out in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake the stems in the oven at 225 degrees F (107 degrees C) for about 45 minutes. Once they’re done baking, you can use them for:


The stems can be used to make cannabutter, a butter infused with cannabis used in baking to make edibles. Cannabutter made with cannabis stems will be much less potent than if you were to make it with the flower.

To make cannabutter, you will need:

  • 225 grams of butter or coconut oil (1 cup)
  • Hot water
  • 5-10 grams of ground cannabis stem

When making cannabutter, you might want to increase the cannabis you use when making cannabutter as the stem contains much less THC and CBD than the cannabis flower.

Once you’ve made your cannabutter, you can use it in many recipes.

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To make tea from your cannabis stems, grind up about one teaspoon worth. Then, tip the ground-up stems into a tea diffuser and let them sit in boiling water for about 10 minutes.

If you do not have a tea diffuser, you can simply let the ground-up stems sit in a pot of boiling water and pour it through a strainer or cheesecloth before you drink it.

As cannabis stems don’t taste that great, you might want to add a sweetener or some honey to your tea.


To make cannabis tinctures, you can follow our recipe. Make sure you are using decarboxylated cannabis stems. You may also want to double the amount of cannabis stem you use as they contain much fewer cannabinoids. Once you have made your tincture, add it to food and drinks or place drops onto your tongue for faster effects.


Cannabis stems can also be infused with coconut oil to make topicals such as lotions and lip balms. Cannabis topicals can be used to help treat many different conditions, such as acne and arthritic pain.


There are two easy ways to make cannabis stem-infused cocktails.

You can grind up some decarboxylated cannabis stems and add them directly to the alcohol in the cocktail to infuse it. Alternatively, you can make a tincture and place a few drops into your cocktail.

Hemp Wicks

Hemp wicks are ideal if you don’t want to inhale butane from a lighter while smoking cannabis. To make hemp wicks, follow these steps:

  1. Cut a few strands of cannabis stems (about five inches long).
  2. Twist the stems into a rope.
  3. Dip the rope into beeswax and let it dry.

The Bottom Line

Smoking cannabis stems is not ideal. There are no benefits to smoking weed stems, but there are plenty of negatives. You may experience adverse side effects, are unlikely to experience any psychoactive effects, and they simply taste bad.

However, there are other uses for cannabis stems, such as making tinctures, topicals, edibles, and hemp wicks, as these methods can extract cannabinoids that are otherwise easily lost by smoking. If you have some cannabis stems left over, it would be best to try out these ideas instead of trying to smoke them.

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