What Is Shake Weed?

cannabis flower in small pouches

Table of contents

  1. What Is Shake Weed?
  2. How Shake Weed Works
  3. Potential Health Benefits and Uses
  4. Potential Risks and Side Effects
  5. Frequently Asked Questions

Shake weed, also called “shake” or “marijuana shake,” is a term used to describe the leaves, stems, and trimmings of a cannabis plant that fall from buds and collect in the bottom of cannabis storage containers. It can be compared to the crumbs at the bottom of a chip bag.

Shake weed is typically reported to have less potency than standard marijuana buds, but the active ingredient concentration is variable. It’s important to note that shake weed is not the same as kief (resinous trichomes), although shake weed may contain some kief.

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What Is Shake Weed?

Shake weed refers to the parts of the cannabis flower that fall off during handling or packaging. It is generally of lower quality than the rest of the buds because it has had the longest time to dry out and degrade.

In some cases, products labeled as “shake weed” can also include what is really “trim,” which further lowers the quality. “Trim” is made of unwanted parts of the cannabis plant that are typically removed before curing, such as dead fan leaves. These are high in chlorophyll and can produce a harsher smoking experience. This is one reason it is crucial to purchase cannabis from suppliers or dispensaries you trust, so they will be honest about what is in the products they sell.

How Shake Weed Works

Shake weed often contains the same active ingredients as other kinds of cannabis, such as cannabidiol (CBD) and cannabinol (CBN). This means it works similarly to other types of cannabis.

However, because the amounts of the active ingredients tend to be more variable with shake weed, the exact effects of any particular batch can be harder to predict. This is partly due to the possible “trim” content and the fact that shake weed is often made of shake from different strains of cannabis plants with varying amounts of active ingredients.

If you want a more consistent form of shake weed, you may be able to find products labeled “premium harvest shake,” which are made of shake from single strains of cannabis.

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Potential Health Benefits and Uses

Shake weed typically has higher CBN content due to aging and exposure to light. When tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) degrades into CBN, you have a more powerful sedative effect.

Shake weed can be used in many ways as normal buds, including in joints and dry herb vapes. Vaporizing the shake maximizes the remaining THC while tasting the same as other buds.

And since shake weed already consists of small pieces of flower, there is no need to grind it like other kinds of cannabis. However, this can also make it harder to roll into joints or pack into bowls. For the best shake joints, it is recommended to lay out the shake as evenly as possible, so it burns more evenly. Before using, you may also need to sift through your shake to remove unwanted pieces of stems and seeds.

If you’re not a fan of smoking joints, you can also use shake in other ways. You can add it to tea, make edibles, or craft your own shake tinctures.

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Tea

Adding cannabis to tea has been shown to unlock some of the potent non-intoxicating effects of CBD. However, tea will not usually unlock the full effects of cannabis as the cannabinoids are not very water-soluble. One way to extract more cannabinoids into your tea is to use hot milk instead of water, as cannabinoids like to bind to fat.

Edibles

Shake is commonly used in various edibles, including cannabutter, cannabis coconut oil, and cannaflour. But you have to decarboxylate or “decarb” the cannabis before using it to activate the cannabinoids. This involves heating the plant material to 230 degrees F for 30 minutes to convert inactive forms of THC and CBD into more active forms. The low potency of shake weed can be transformed into quite a powerful product when made into an edible.

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Homemade Tinctures and Infusions

You can also use shake weed to prepare tinctures and infusions. To prepare a tincture, soak your decarboxylated shake in a container of high-proof alcohol and leave for at least 24 hours, with occasional shaking or mixing to help dissolve the activated ingredients. The solution can then be strained and transferred to a dropper bottle.

Infusions are a good way to gain more “bang for your buck” from shake weed as they extract and concentrate the active ingredients into an easily drinkable liquid. Infusions are usually made by heating cannabis in milk with some additional oil or fat, as this extracts active ingredients such as CBD, which is fat-soluble.

Examples of oils and fats that you can use are butter, cream, coconut oil, or cocoa butter. Other ingredients, such as cinnamon, vanilla, coffee, and cocoa, can later be added to enhance the flavor. Boiling in water and discarding the water before heating in milk can also improve the taste by removing a lot of the chlorophyll from the shake weed.

Potential Risks and Side Effects

Compared to “regular” weed, shake weed’s main risk is its inconsistency. Shake can have more or less cannabinoid or terpene content than regular cannabis flowers, and the amount of THC is not typically controlled like in buds. Shake can be gathered from multiple strains, and it is challenging to determine dosage. For this reason, medical patients should not use shake to treat medical conditions.  

Frequently Asked Questions

Is shake just as potent as flower?

Shake weed has been reported to be less potent than the typical buds from cannabis plants. But this does not always hold true. In some cases, shake can integrate kief and trichomes that have detached from buds, increasing overall potency.

Is shake worth the money?

Shake is generally cheaper than buds. If users prefer edibles and consistency isn’t an issue, shake weed can be a cheaper alternative.

But, if you are a medicinal cannabis user, shake weed is probably not your best option due to the inconsistency of its effects.

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