5 things you can do with your extra cannabis trimmings in the winter

Published Feb 17, 2020 12:00 p.m. ET
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Now that all your weed is likely trimmed, dried, and stored away for the winter, you are probably sitting on a whole pile of what at first appears to be unusable plant materials. Giant bags that sit around as we plan and hope to eventually get around to some time-consuming extracting. Most cannabis growers believe that there is little else to do aside from tossing the stash, but after all of your hard work, it just seems like such a waste to throw away up to 70% of your matured plant.

Luckily, the cold weather has an upside, as it traps us inside and keeps us searching for the next cool project, movie, or endeavor to take on, and we’ve got a few ideas that can help by providing at least a bit of entertainment while putting all of your marijuana plant trimmings to excellent use.

1. Makes some weed tea or juice

A marijuana leaf isn’t going to contain anywhere near the same THC content as pure buds, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t use every drop of that natural goodness, and an excellent way to do that is with a weed tea, juice, or smoothie. Grind up your weed leaf, and then use them according to your beverage of choice.

A dry pot leaf mixture is excellent for adding to a teabag or steeping in a piping hot cup of tea using an old-fashioned strainer. It can also be used to infuse the milk, which could make everything from your coffee or tea to your bowl of cheerios a cannabis packed delight. Unfortunately, the juice is not quite so easy, as it requires fresh marijuana leaf and a juicer, but if you’ve got them along with a few fruits or veggies, then you can have some fantastic healthy juice in no time.

2. Turn stalks into high-quality mulch

The stalks are one of the least utilized portions of a cannabis plant, but there is plenty of goodness left in there and once you know where to look. Cannabis stalks are chock full of vitamins and essential nutrients, and once they’re ground up, they can make for a perfect mulch for indoor plants or for the next growing season.

The best part about this is that you can use them pure, or you can combine them with other ingredients like compost for a super boost for your plants, and all you need is a small wood chipper or a pair of scissors and some patience to cut them up enough to work.

3. Process the roots into topical lotions

You can use weed leaf for this project as well, but it’s best with the roots alone, as they are full of healthy fats that are excellent for improving skin health. They are also filled with inactivated cannabinoids, which are amazingly effective for treating a variety of skin conditions and pain, so despite their label of garbage to most growers, they can certainly be reused in this way.

All you need is a spice grinding bowl. Wash the roots thoroughly before you break them down to avoid a gritty dirt texture, and then grind the cannabis roots down to a powder. You will know when it’s ready once it resembles an off-colored flour with a similar texture. From that point, you can make your own lotions or creams from scratch, or just add it to some of the ones that you know and love already. Either way, your skin will thank you, and every bit of your marijuana plant will be used.

4. Vape the leaves

Smoking some ground-up marijuana leaf isn’t always the greatest experience, as the leaves are full of chlorophyll, which results in a really harsh hit and lack of taste, and that’s why so many people refuse to smoke it, but vaping offers an entirely different experience. When you use a vaporizer to inhale some ground up pot leaf, it gets rid of a lot of the harshness, because it only heats up certain components inside.

Leaving behind the bad, and utilizing only the best elements from the leaf, while delivering them straight into the consumer's mouth through inhalation. This, of course, is only something that you can do if you already have a vape, but it’s something that a surprising number of consumers really don’t know about, and it’s the perfect way to use up any cannabis trimmings that you might have lying around.

5. Make THC capsules

As we mentioned before, plain old marijuana leaf isn’t especially potent, but for some people, that’s a good thing. In its raw form, it can still make a beneficial nutritional supplement alongside micro cannabinoid doses that can help you to feel better. Most people don’t want to crunch away on a chewy dry bud or weed leaf because they just don’t taste very good, but an excellent way around that is to use capsules.

THC capsules are most often filled with highly potent cannabis concentrates or tinctures, and dry marijuana leaf can have a similar effect in what is called a microdose. There is essentially a small amount of the cannabinoids within that they won’t necessarily have an instantly noticeable effect, but they will work in the background to keep things running smoothly. To do this, all you need is a grinder to break down the weed leaf and an encapsulating machine, and in no time, you will have a bottle full of all-natural supplements at a great price.

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