Cannabis Science

Can You Smoke Weed Stems?

weed stems

When people smoke marijuana, they usually use the buds or flowers of the plant. If you want to get high, that’s your best bet. Maybe you grow your own weed plants and end up with lots of weed stems and don’t want to waste them. You may have wondered if you can smoke the weed stems instead of tossing them out? We wondered that too and here’s what we found. 

Photo: Unsplash

Can You Smoke Weed Stems?

Technically you can but you probably shouldn’t. According to Healthline, you can encounter some harmful side effects. These side effects include:

  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Coughing

In addition to that, you may be introduced to carcinogens smoking the stem. This is true for any part of weed actually. Healthline says, “Toxins and carcinogens (cancer-causing agents) are released from the combustion of materials, even stems. This damages your lungs and increases your risk for cancer and heart and lung diseases.”

Do Weed Stems get you High?

No, they don’t. There is almost no tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in them. As you know, THC is responsible for the high and since they’re mostly absent, you won’t get high if you smoke weed stems. Healthline states, “Stems contain almost no THC. What little may be in there doesn’t even come close to being enough to produce a high.”

What Can I do with Weed Stems?

So you shouldn’t be smoking weed stems but you definitely don’t need to throw them away. There are some DIY projects you can undertake that may actually prove to be useful to you. Here are some examples of what you can do with weed stems. 

How to Make Weed Tea with Stems

Did you know that you can make tea with weed? You absolutely can. This is great news for those of us who love a warm cup of tea or like to wake and bake. You can check out our guide on how to make weed tea here. Our recipe includes the entire bud therefore it will have THC. You can use Healthline’s recipe for weed stem tea strictly but remember, it won’t get you high. 

What You’ll Need for Weed Stem Tea

  • Weed stems
  • Baking sheet
  • Something to grind up weed stems
  • Tea diffuser or a pot of boiling water
  • Coffee filters (optional)

Step 1: Bake the stems

Place the weed stems on the baking sheet then bake them for 45 minutes at 225°F (107°C).

Step 2: Cool the stems

After 45 minutes, take the stems out of the oven and let them cool. 

Step 3: Grind up the stems

After they have cooled, grind up the stems using something like a grinder. 

Step 4: Time to steep!

Place your ground-up stems in a diffuser and boil them for 10-15 minutes. If you don’t have a diffuser, Healthline suggests boiling the stems in water. Afterwards, you can use a coffee filter to strain the liquid as you pour it into your cup. 

How to Make Cannabutter Using Stems

You can also make cannabutter using stems. Cannabutter is basically an infusion of weed and butter. You can make this using the flowers so you can get a high. However, if you’re just stuck with weed stems, you can still make cannabutter. In case you’re looking for ideas, you can use the butter on pancakes, popcorn, basically anything you’d use regular butter for. 

 Healthline outlines an easy-to-follow recipe, but first here is what you’ll need. 

Things You Need to Make Cannabutter

  • Weed stems
  • Butter
  • Something to grind like a grinder 
  • Cheesecloth
  • Glass jar
  • Pan 

Step 1: Bake the stems

Place the weed stems on the baking sheet then bake them for 45 minutes at 225°F (107°C).

Step 2: Cool the stems

After 45 minutes, take the stems out of the oven and let them cool. 

Step 3: Ground them up

Once the weed stems are cooled, grind them up. 

Step 4: Melt your butter

Melt butter in a pot over low heat. You can also use non-dairy alternatives such as coconut oil or margarine. 

Step 5: Add ground stems to the butter

Once the butter has melted (or the alternatives are heated), add the ground up the stems to it. Allow it to simmer for 30 minutes while stirring it frequently. 

Step 6: Strain it

Place the cheesecloth over the glass jar. Secure it with a rubber band and then pour the mixture over it. Let the butter cool before using. 


Coupled with all the negative effects you may experience, there isn’t really much of a reason to smoke weed stems. However, you don’t have to throw them away. There are many things you can do with them such as making tea and cannabutter. Keep in mind though that consuming it as food doesn’t seem to have the same effects as smoking it would. So the next time you catch yourself with stems left over, head to the kitchen and whip something up.


About Trevann

Trevann is Stoner Rotation’s Jamaica-based lead writer for the Science section of our cannabis blog. She graduated with honors receiving her Bachelor of Science degree in Molecular Biology from the University of West Indies, Mona. For the last three years, she has covered some of the biggest questions around cannabis and health underpinned with research from supporting studies, medical journals and scholarly articles. Got something on your mind? You can reach her at [email protected].