The hard work has paid off: you’ve nurtured your weed seedlings, kept your plant healthy, and learned how to trim the cannabis leaves for the best harvest.
While you’re waiting for those sticky buds to cure, you might be wondering what to do with all the leftover trimmings you’ve collected.
Here’s a hint: DON’T throw them away!
Many growers assume that leaves, stalks, and stems, are worthless, discarding them without a second thought. It's actually an awful waste, and you’re about to find out why.
Read on to learn more about cannabis trim and the best ways to start using it today.
What is cannabis trim anyway?
Cannabis trim refers to the leaves intentionally snipped away during the pruning and harvesting of a weed plant. It’s different from “shake,” a term that describes the leaves and stems that fall off naturally.
Weed trimmings contain less THC and cannabinoids than shake, so some people think they’re worthless. Of course, this isn’t the case at all (as you’ll see below).
Sugar leaves and fan leaves
Sugar leaves are the dainty one-fingered leaves that grow out of the bud. They’re often covered in resin-inducing trichomes and contain a fair amount of CBD and THC. As their name suggests, these leaves appear to be coated in sugar.
On the other hand, fan leaves are much larger and protrude from the branches of the plant. With 5-7 fingers, they’re the universal weed symbol we all know and love.
These blades contain minimal amounts of THC and CBD, but they’re jam-packed with other nutrients. While they won’t get you high, they still have loads of uses.
Keep in mind that the kind of marijuana plant you’ve grown (and its conditions) determines the quality and content of your trim too. For instance, Girl Scout Cookies sugar leaves will have more of a THC kick than ones from Cannatonic, a strain known for its high CBD content.
Remember, if you want a world-class harvest of colas and cannabis trim, you’ll need superior quality seeds, like the ones you’ll find at SeedSupreme. Take a look at our seed bank for your next mind-blowing yield.
Prepping your weed trim
Just like all things Mary Jane, there’s a bit of prep involved before you start using your cannabis trim. It also depends on what you’re planning to do with it.
Fresh weed greens
If you’re using raw marijuana trim as a herb or additive, then there’s minimal effort required. Stick to fan leaves - their lack of THC and CBD means that you don’t have to cure or decarb them. Just make sure they’re rinsed thoroughly beforehand.
How to cure wet trim
To retain maximum potency and flavor of your sugar leaves while preventing mold, you’ll need to dry, cure, and decarb them - just like buds. Simply spread your wet trim out on newspaper and keep it in a shaded, dry area until crisp.
After a few days, it should be ready for curing. Store your weed trim in a sealed jar or another container and keep it in a dark place with ideal humidity levels of between 60% and 65%.
Remember to check on your leaves regularly during the day, allowing them to breathe. They usually cure a lot quicker than buds, so they should be ready in a couple of days.
The heating process that activates cannabinoids is known as decarboxylation. It turns THC-A and CBD-A into their psychoactive counterparts (THC and CBD).
Decarbing trim is essential if you want to keep its high-inducing properties. All you need to do is spread your sugar leaves out on a baking tray and pop it in the oven for one hour at 245 ℉.
What to do with cannabis trim - Top 5 uses
Now that you know how to prep your marijuana trim, here are the best ways to use it, all tried and tested by our SeedSupreme canna connoisseurs:
- Add weed trimmings to your food and beverages.
- Make cannabutter, oil, and edibles.
- Create creams and salves with your cannabis trim.
- Make kief, hash, and other concentrates.
- Turn marijuana trimmings into compost.
You can find the specifics of each one below:
Add weed trimmings to your food and beverages
Complementing your meals and drinks with fresh cannabis leaves isn’t only one of the easiest ways to use your trim, but it’s also one of the healthiest methods.
Just ask leading expert and long-time advocate for the use of raw cannabis, William L. Courtney, MD. He believes that the beloved marijuana plant is one of Mother Nature’s most nutrient-dense creations, essential for a healthy life.
As a superfood, raw cannabis plant material is jam-packed with nutrients, including:
- Nine amino acids
- Dietary fiber
- Minerals like magnesium, calcium, and phosphorous
- Omega-3 fatty acids
There are also carotenoids, flavonoids, and terpenes, all of which have potential health benefits. Plus, raw cannabis contains unique phytocannabinoid-derived acids, only found in one other plant so far.
Early studies suggest that these non-psychoactive compounds in the form of THC-A and CBD-A have anti-inflammatory, antiemetic, analgesic, and even anti-tumor properties.
You’ll never have to wonder what to do with trim leaves again. You can toss them into a salad, add them to your smoothies, or juice them with other fruit and veggies.
Alternatively, you can use them as a herb. From pizza and pasta to sauteed and steamed, you can incorporate fresh weed leaves into just about any dish.
What about cured and dried cannabis trim?
You can use your dried, cured, and decarbed cannabis trim in dishes and drinks, too. If you want a bit of a buzz, grind it up to add a psychoactive edge to your oatmeal, stew, soup, smoothie, or tea.
Another popular way to use your weed trim is by making cannamilk. Here’s how:
- Heat your chosen milk (regular or plant-based) in a saucepan until it simmers.
- Add a fair amount of ground, decarbed leaves.
- Stir the mixture for a minimum of 30 minutes until it becomes yellowish.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat and let it cool down.
- Pour the mixture through a cheesecloth over a colander or mesh strainer to remove the plant matter. Repeat if necessary.
- Enjoy as-is, in your cereal, milkshakes, or whatever tickles your fancy. Refrigerate the rest.
Make cannabutter, oil, and edibles
Cannabutter is a super versatile condiment and the base ingredient of countless yummy edibles. With this easy-peasy recipe, you can get baked on your own home-baked goods - using cannabis trim.
- 1 ounce of decarbed sugar leaves
- 8 ounces of melted butter
- 2 cups of water
- Pour the butter and water into a pan over low heat.
- Grind up your decarbed sugar leaves and add them to the pan.
- Stir the mixture and cover it with a lid.
- Let it simmer for 4 hours, stirring every 30 minutes or so.
- Take the pan off the heat and allow it to cool down.
- Pour the mixture through a cheesecloth-lined colander or metal strainer.
- Use a spoon or spatula to squeeze as much butter through the grates as possible.
- Repeat the previous step if necessary.
- Once firm, store the mixture in an airtight container.
- Remember to keep your cannabutter in the refrigerator.
Make cookies, brownies, and other edibles, or use your cannabutter for cooking. You can also replace the butter with coconut, olive, avocado, canola, or another vegetable oil.
The trim to butter ratio for flowers is usually 1:1. The general rule of thumb here is to double the quantity for trim, which contains less THC and CBD than buds.
Create topicals with your cannabis trim
Research into the therapeutic and medicinal benefits of cannabis is always ongoing. Studies suggest that CBD-infused skincare products can aid in the treatment of conditions like:
- Jaw pain
- Nerve damage pain
Why spend a fortune when you can make your own topicals from your weed trimmings? Fan leaves are perfect for salves and creams because they usually have a higher CBD content.
First, you’ll need:
- 2 cups (16 ounces) of coconut oil
- ½ cup (4 ounces) of beeswax
- 1 ounce of decarbed fan (or sugar) leaves
- A few drops of essential oil (optional)
Now, follow these quick and easy steps:
- Grind up your decarboxylated leaves.
- Place the coconut oil in a low-heated pan and mix in your leaves.
- Let the mixture simmer for about 25-30 minutes.
- Take the pan off the heat, allowing it to cool down.
- Pour the mixture through a cheesecloth and metal strainer or colander.
- Set it aside for now.
- Melt your beeswax in the same pan, also on a low heat setting.
- Slowly pour your coconut-cannabis mixture back into the pan, stirring everything together.
- Add a few drops of essential oil such as tea tree or mint for a refreshing aroma if you like.
- Remove the pan from the stovetop and allow the mixture to cool down once more.
- Use a sealed container to store your salve, and remember to keep it somewhere cool and dark.
Make hash and other concentrates
A popular method to recycle weed trim among stoners is to extract the kief - those tiny, sticky trichome crystals covering the flowers, stems, and leaves.
Once separated from the plant, kief can be used to make hash, dabs, rosin,
and even wax or shatter. You can extract it with a bud trimmer that automatically separates the crystals from the rest of the plant as you prune and harvest your weed.
There are lots of other ways, though. Learn how to make hash with trimmings using one of these techniques:
A rudimentary and ancient method, this technique involves rolling the weed trimmings between your palms. You’ll soon notice a sticky layer of resin. Keep going until a small ball forms. That’s your hash. Keep your hands super clean to prevent impurities from tainting it.
Freeze your weed trimmings for a few hours beforehand to help separate the kief from the plant material. Next, grate the weed through a finely-meshed silkscreen. Keep at it until you have about 10% of your trim in trichomes.
Bubble hash method
Place your weed trim in a bucket together with dry ice and shake it up for a few minutes to separate those resin glands (kief) from the plant. Next, use bubble bags to cover the top and turn the bucket over.
Shake it again until you start seeing a fine layer of amber-colored dust form. Using a credit card or something similar, scrape the resin together. You can then turn it into hash by placing it in a pollen press.
DIY hair straightener technique
You can use this method to make solventless rosin dabs or wax from flowers or trim kief or hash. You’ll need:
- A hair straightener with a heat setting below 300 ℉
- Heat-resistant gloves so you don’t burn yourself
- Weed trimmings (or kief)
- Unbleached parchment paper
- A tool to collect the product
Follow these steps, but practice caution so you don’t get hurt:
- Pre-heat the hair straightener to 280-330°F.
- Fold a piece of 4x4” paper in half and place your weed trim in between.
- Lightly press the paper with your fingers before lining it up with the hair straightener.
- Close the hair straightener over the parchment, holding it in place for 3-7 seconds.
- It should sizzle to indicate the resin has melted before you remove the pressure.
- Take the paper out and unfold it.
- Use your collection tool to pluck the product off carefully.
- Repeat the process with a new piece of paper for larger batches.
Apart from making hash from trim, you can extract the kief and use it to:
- Add potency to your joints or bowls.
- Give your cannabutter and oil an extra kick.
- Make moon rocks by dusting your nugs in kief crystals.
Turn marijuana trimmings into compost
Last but not least on our list is composting. Shredding your cannabis stalks, leaves, and stems and adding them to mulch is one easy way to reuse your weed trimmings. It also helps soil retain moisture by preventing evaporation, ideal for dry, arid climates.
The micro-organisms found in organic matter like cannabis trim aid in producing nitrogen and other minerals. Packed with nutrients, it’ll make the perfect addition to your compost bin.
The micro-biome created from mulch also allows good bacteria and bugs to thrive.
Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about weed trimmings:
What about cannabis roots?
Marijuana roots have been used medicinally for thousands of years. Known for their anti-inflammatory and gastrointestinal relief properties, they’re often brewed into tea. You can also add cannabis roots to topical CBD creams, ointments, and salves.
Can you smoke trim?
Technically, yes. You can puff on THC-containing sugar leaves but prepare for a harsh inhale. Smoking trim isn’t easy on the lungs, so vaping might be a better alternative.
Can cannabis trim make you high?
While the THC varies from plant to plant, it’s only the sugar leaves that’ll usually get you high. You’d have to smoke a ton of fan leaves to feel slightly stoned.
How do you store weed trimmings?
It’s best to keep your unused, cured marijuana trim in an airtight container. Place it in a dark, dry, and cool place. You can also freeze the leaves - ideal for kief extraction and hash-making.
No more weed wastage
Cannabis is an incredibly versatile plant and a prime example of Mother Nature’s magic. From nutrient-packed additives and THC-laced edibles to CBD-infused topicals, potent hash, and rich compost, cannabis trim can do it all.
Now that you know how to use your weed trimmings, your next yield can be even more purposeful and rewarding. Whether you want a kief-heavy strain like OG Kush, a mouth-watering treat like Lemon Haze, or a CBD senorita like Gold Leaf, we’ve got you covered.
Make sure you have the right seeds for the job. Check out our mind-blowing selection of seeds for the ultimate harvest.