Can You Smoke Weed Stems?

Cannabis is available in lots of different forms, like topical creams, tinctures, and gummies, but many people still prefer to smoke cannabis instead of opting for these other varieties. 

While most prefer to smoke the main cannabis flower, some choose to separate the stems from the plant and smoke these instead.

Can You Smoke Weed Stems?

Weed stems can be high in certain cannabis elements, but is it safe to smoke weed stems, and are there any consequences for doing so?

We’ll cover the answer in this post, including what weed stems are, whether it’s safe to smoke them, and other things you can do with spare cannabis stems. 

Weed Stems: The Basics

Weed stems are often debated in the cannabis community. Many people wonder about whether they can be smoked, even experienced cannabis users. 

Before we can get into the answer, it’s important to go over what weed stems are and where they are sourced from. 

Weed stems are the sticky, small pieces you may see in cannabis flowers after purchasing them (see also “What Is CBD Flower?“). Higher-quality hemp items may have fewer stems, but less expensive ones may contain more. 

Weed stems are located at the root of the cannabis plant, like other plant stems. The stems connect with the ground to transport water and nutrients to the flowers in the plant.

If you have a lot of weed stems left over, you may be wondering if they are suitable for consumption. However, weed stems are different from the buds of the cannabis plant, as they contain close to no THC within. 

As weed stems don’t have any THC, you won’t experience any psychoactive effects from smoking them. If the stems are all you have remaining, you would have experienced all of the effects from the rest of the flower. 

If you’re interested in cannabis’ psychoactive properties, it’s best to purchase a new cannabis item instead of experimenting with the stems.

Is It Safe To Smoke Weed Stems?

Even though it’s possible to smoke weed stems, it isn’t advisable. Other parts of the cannabis plant do have benefits, except the stems, as they don’t contain much THC. 

Smoking weed stems will not lead to intoxicating effects, so you won’t feel high. If you do want to smoke the stems, you may endure unwanted effects.

The stems can lead to harsh plant matter entering your lungs, causing irritation and health issues.

Smoke inhalation is typically not good for your well-being. Whether you breathe in fumes from the flower, wood chips, tobacco, seeds, or buds, the toxins produced from these substances can harm your body. 

Smoking weed stems can lead to various issues, like headaches, sore throat, coughs, and in serious cases, cancer (see also “Can A Dentist Tell If You Smoke Weed?“). You may also experience negative side effects, like nausea and stomach pain.  

You don’t need to worry if you notice a few stems here and there. However, deliberately collecting the stems, grinding them, and smoking them should be avoided, as they will take away from the whole experience. 

Things To Do With Remaining Weed Stems And Seeds

Smoking weed stems may be inadvisable, but you won’t need to dispose of them all. You can use weed stems for other purposes, which vary depending on how much you have.

You can also use leftover weed seeds for other purposes. For example, if you have collected a small number of seeds, you may choose to be frugal and grow your own cannabis. 

However, it’s important to remember growing cannabis seeds may be legal in some places, but illegal in many more. Always check your state’s laws before growing cannabis seeds to prevent legal problems later on. 

Other than growing cannabis, there are lots of other things you can do with your weed stems and seeds instead of disposing of them. These include:

Weed Stem Tea

Weed Stem Tea

Even though smoking weed stems can be problematic, you won’t experience these issues with weed tea.  

Just make sure that you bake your stems before you start brewing them. Simply spread them on a baking sheet, then bake for 45 minutes at 107°C. 

Wait for the stems to cool, then start grinding them down. 

Transfer the ground weed stems into your tea diffuser, then steep it in boiling water for 10 minutes. 

If you don’t have a tea diffuser, simply immerse the ground stems in a pot of hot water. Place a coffee filter over your cup, then pour the tea into it to filter out the brew.

Topical Treatments

You can also choose to use the weed stems to make a topical treatment. There are lots of topical recipes to try online, which vary based on the topical you want to create. 

One way of doing this is adding the weed stems to an oil-based blend, like coconut oil.

Just remember that if you want to create a treatment that carries cannabis properties, you will need to add cannabis flowers alongside the stems.

Weed stems don’t have any effects, so you’ll need to use the flowers that carry the desired cannabis effects. 

You can also use other leftover parts of the plant, like the leaves, in conjunction with the stems, as this adds bulk to the treatment.


Weed stems can be used to create stem butter. Similar to the steps used to make cannabis tea, you need to bake the weed stems in your oven beforehand.

Spread them on a baking sheet, then bake at 107°C for 45 minutes. Allow the stems to cool fully before you start grinding them.

You’ll need to add butter to a pan and melt it over a lower heat setting. After the butter melts fully, add the stems to the pan and let the mix simmer for half an hour. Keep stirring frequently so the butter has a smooth texture. 

Next, strain the butter through a cheesecloth. Fasten a cheesecloth with a rubber band over a glass jar. Slowly pour the butter on the cloth, so it filters through into the jar. Leave the butter to cool, then use it however you wish! 

Final Thoughts

Smoking weed stems may be possible, but it isn’t recommended. 

The fumes from burning cannabis stems, as well as other parts, like the leaves and seeds, can lead to health problems. The carcinogens from the smoke can lead to coughs, headaches, or cancer. 

If you have some weed stems or seeds left over, you can use these for different purposes, like tea, cannabutter, or topical treatments.

You can also grow leftover weed seeds, but check with your local laws beforehand, as cultivation is illegal in several locations. 

Zack Finch
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