JUN 07, 2020 8:23 AM PDT

Should You Smoke Cannabis Seeds and Stems?

WRITTEN BY: Annie Lennon

When smoking cannabis, people typically use either the flower, buds, or leaves. But what about the seeds and stems? Can these be smoked too? 

Although occasionally smoked after being ground into a powder, smoking seeds and stems is not a recommended practice. To begin with, both have either zero or very low quantities of THC and no CBD. Andrienne Santos-Longhurst from Healthline says that it therefore does not justify the negative effects of inhaling the substance as it burns. 

Like when smoking other parts of the cannabis plants, stems and seeds produce toxins and carcinogens that damage the lungs and increase your risk for various diseases. As stems contain cellulose, they tend to burn at a hotter temperature. That makes the smoke they produce hotter and thus harsher than that from regular cannabis on the throat and lungs.

More than this, smoking stems are known to have side effects, including intense headaches, a sore throat, and a cough. Anecdotal reports also claim that the practice may cause gastrointestinal symptoms like nausea and abdominal pain. Meanwhile, seeds tend to ‘snap, crackle and pop’ when ignited, making smoking an uncomfortable experience. 

Although smoking cannabis stems and seeds may not be the best idea, there are other ways to ensure they do not go to waste. While many prefer to compost them, some choose to turn them into food. For example, after they have been baked for around 45 minutes, they can be ground to create both tea and butter. 

Some choose to use them to make ‘marijuana liqueur.’ To do so, they place remaining stems inside a liqueur with an alcohol percentage of 40% or more, like vodka or whiskey, for around a week. During this time, any residues of THC should transfer into the liqueur. According to Royal Queen Seeds, replacing stems every week for a few months allows the drink to build up enough THC for a ‘cannabinoid’ effect.  

 

Sources: Healthline, Leafbuyer, Royal Queen Seeds

 

About the Author
  • Science writer with keen interests in technology and behavioral biology. Her current focus is on the interplay between these fields to create meaningful interactions, applications and environments.
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