Even though we sell the best weed in Scarborough and Niagara Falls, we also love to support your efforts to grow and produce your own cannabis. All month long we’ll be sharing content that will help you get the most out of your home grow. If you’re looking for tips and tricks to harvest, check out “When To Harvest Weed” for a soup-to-nuts guide. If you’ve already harvested and want to know what to do with all the leftover trim, then read on!
Before we dive into recipes and expert advice on what to do with cannabis trim, we want to answer some basic questions about it. If there’s something we missed, comment or email us and we’ll add it in:
Once you’ve chopped your cannabis plant, hung, dried, trimmed and stored your homegrown bud, the next step is dealing with the leaves and trim. Of course you’re free to compost the leftovers but this article will also show you how to turn them into cannabis gold.
The short answer is no, they can’t. However there’s a difference between fan leaves and sugar leaves. Fan leaves are the large cannabis leaves that you’ve been trimming all season. While these leaves make excellent nutritional supplements (see below) they won’t get you high. However, the sugar leaves will. These are the leaves directly around the bud where trichomes will be collected. You’ll want to create two piles: one are the fan leaves that can be used for various things and the other with the trim and sugar leaves to be used for edibles, concentrates and topicals. You can also grind up the sugar leaves and trim to smoke but it might not be as pleasant or as impactful as smoking your beautiful buds.
We wouldn’t recommend it. Even if you dry these leaves they won’t get you very high. The best use of fan leaves is to make juices and other food supplements (smoothies, etc). They do contain some CBD and small amounts of THC so you can also use them for topicals but they won’t usually be that potent.
If you’re not ready to use them, the best thing to do with sugar leaves and other trim is to freeze them. This will maintain the terpenes and flavour best. However, you can also drop them into your masons jars with a moisture pack, especially if you want to smoke them later.
If you’re an experienced home grower this may be a little recap to what you already know. However if this is your first season growing here are some terms you should learn as they will be an essential part of what to do with cannabis trim. If you’re interested in learning more, check our recent post: Cannabis In Canada 101.
Terpenes are aromatic compounds found throughout nature, not just in cannabis plants. In cannabis, they contribute to the distinctive flavours and scents of different strains. When it comes to what to do with cannabis trim, terpenes are important based on how to harvest and store. Usually freezing trim or using it right away will maintain the highest terpene levels.
Topicals are when you take cannabis trim or bud and infuse them into skin creams oils. They act like medicated ointments and people use for household cuts, burns and skin care. While we don’t cover topicals in detail here, you can definitely use your trim to make them.
In order to consume cannabis and get high, you first need to decarboxylate it. That’s why you light a joint or bong or add heat to your dab rig or vape. When it comes to edibles you need to first heat cannabis trim to at least 110 degrees celsius for approximately 45 minutes. More about this below.
Edibles are defined as any cannabis product that’s consumed through the digestive system. This includes beverages, traditional sweet treats and culinary use. You can turn your trim into cookies, cooking oil, bbq sauce or salad dressing with a little beginner canna-science (see below).
When you’re talking about edibles of any kind it’s important to understand your dose. If you aren’t precise in how you prepare your edibles you can always start with a tiny amount to see how it impacts you. Remember that edibles can take up to 90-minutes to be metabolized by the body so don’t double-dip unless you’re sure you can handle it. Also keep well out of the reach of children or pets once you’ve decarbed your weed.
Instead of combustion methods like joints, pipes or bongs, vaporizing is a popular way to consume cannabis. Depending on your device you should be able to set the perfect temperature to enjoy maximum terpenes and cannabinoids. If you’re looking to vape your trim, we recommend turning it into kief, hash or rosin first.
When it comes to homegrown weed there are obviously costs associated with seeds, food, pots, lights and a tent (if you’re growing indoors). In order to get max value you’ll want to save your trim and even fan leaves for various methods of consumption.
In theory if cannabis is stored correctly it can last for months or even years. However, the terpenes and flavour profile will change over time so the best way to enjoy products is with fresh or frozen trim. To learn more about storing your cannabis for maximum freshness and curing, check out our recent article <Link to When To Harvest Weed>.
We all need to do our part for the environment. Instead of throwing your cannabis waste into the trash, saving the trim and fan leaves for other uses is a great way to help out Mother Earth. At the very least see if you can compost the waste from your cannabis plants. If you’re into better understanding the environmental impact of cannabis check out Lisa’s blog, A Greener Future For Cannabis Packaging.
One of the most popular ways to use cannabis trim is in cooking. Whether you’re creating edibles or infusing your food with weedy goodness, the process usually begins the same. The easiest way to cook or bake with cannabis is by first turning the weed into butter or oil. To do that you’ll first need to decarboxylate your flower or trim, otherwise you won’t get high. There are many fancy ways to do this, including accessories designed for it. However the simplest way is to place it in the oven for 30-45 minutes at 110 degrees Celsius (that’s 230 Fahrenheit for the metrically impaired 😉).
Warning: The smell of decarbing weed can be a little intense so if you live with non-cannabis consumers who are fussy this method might not be best. Another way to easily decarb weed is by mixing your trim with olive or coconut oil in a mason jar. Place the closed (but not fully sealed) jar inside the pot of boiling water, stirring every 15 minutes, for about 45-60 minutes. This method will create some yummy smells but not as much as if you oven decarb your trim.
If you’re into turning your cannabis trim into sweet treats, the best way is to start by infusing some butter. This will give you the most versatility since most desserts call for this golden fatty goodness in their recipes. Whether you’re making brownies, cookies, or crowd favourite lemon squares (mmmm lemon squares 🤤), your cannabutter will give your treats the extra kick you’re looking for. Here’s a quick and easy recipe to make canna-butter from our friends at Leafly:
“Making cannabutter is cheap, easy, and only requires a few items (plus some time and patience). Keep in mind that butter burns easily, so keep a close eye on your weed butter as it cooks.
When making cannabutter, we recommend a 1:1 ratio of cannabis to butter. If you want milder effects, use less cannabis.
Basic cannabutter recipe
If you’re looking to get a little sophisticated but aren’t that sophisticated in the kitchen, fear not! Turning trim into cooking oil, bbq sauce, hot sauce (aka pepper sauce for the Caribbean folks out there 🥵) or salad dressing is actually quite easy. Many people use coconut oil to infuse since it burns at a fairly high temperature but you can do this with olive oil as well. In fact it’s even easier than cannabutter since you can decarb and infuse at the same time. If you want to do that, grid up the trim and place it in the oil, add another 45-60 minutes to the cooking process. If you’re cool with the oven method, follow this simple recipe you can follow, that once done, will give infused oil that you can add to your favourite meals and snacks:
When making cannabis cooking oil, we recommend a 1:1 ratio of cannabis to oil. If you want milder effects, use less cannabis.
Note: Be cautious when using the oil to prepare dishes that require heating. Do not microwave, and choose low heat whenever possible. The best THC oil for you will depend on your tastes, preferences, and tolerance. Oils that have a higher fat content, like coconut oil, may bind to your cannabis better than thinner oils. Adding lecithin when heating and infusing your oil can also increase its potency. Store your oil in a cool, dark place, ideally in a glass container, to preserve it for as long as you need.”
One of the first methods humans used to consume cannabis was in milk form. Folks in what is now Central and South Asia used to crush cannabis with rocks and mix them with milk and other medicines. If you’re interested in how our beloved Mary Jane was used in ancient human history, we highly recommend Cannabis and the Soma Solution by Chris Bennet.
Back to the topic at hand, here’s a simple recipe on how you can make your own cannamilk. It’s a great way to infuse coffee, tea or hot chocolate to keep you warm in more ways than one this winter:
While the fan leaves from your grow might not get you high, that doesn’t mean you need to compost them. There are great nutritional benefits and there’s plenty of easy ways to use them. Consider adding them to your juicer and mix with other fruits and vegetables. If you want the fibre you can add them to your favourite smoothie as well. Although the easiest way to consume them is simply drop them into hot water, add some honey and presto, cannabis leaf tea!
While cooking and baking with trim is a fairly straightforward process, making concentrates is a few levels up on the degree of difficulty. But with a little education, equipment and practise you can impress the hell out of your friends when you share your homemade hash, kief or rosin!
Before you can make any of the following concentrates you first need to turn your trim into kief. Once you do that it can be pressed in a few different ways to create hash or rosin. You can easily turn your trim into kief in the following ways:
Using only water and agitation to press the kief or trim into pucks, many growers use their trim to create bubble hash. Here’s a quick-and-easy way to make bubble hash (aka ice water hash) at home:
“What you will need
Beginning at around a $500 investment and ranging to $2000ish you can buy a rosin press that will turn your trim (or bud) into dab-able rosin. Given that rosin can cost between $50-$100 per gram, you can see how homemade rosin can save you a bundle over time with this method.
Thanks for making it to From Trash to Treasure: Innovative Ways to Repurpose Cannabis Trim. We hope you’ve found at least one way you can stretch your homegrown harvest this year. At the end of the day there’s a lot to be done with your trim and fan leaves. From bubble hash to rosin to sweet and savoury culinary treats, if we’ve inspired you to get a little more high this winter than our job is done. If you need any great to help you consume your home grow, click here to shop for our assortment of accessories.