What are Stems?
Stems are the stick-like pieces left after you remove the cannabis flower. They have very minimal trichomes left on them, meaning you probably will not get “high” from them. They do still contain some terpenes which have many health benefits.
What is Trim?
Trim is the larger leaves removed from the cannabis plant during harvest. Two types of sugar leaves grow out of the flower and can contain some trichomes and fan leaves. Both grow out of the stems with minimal to no trichomes and they have a much less potency level than the flower or shake. It is not recommended to smoke trim; it can be very harsh on the throat. However, there are still many health benefits within the cannabis trim so do not throw it away.
What is Shake?
Shake is usually referred to as a collection of leaves, trichomes, and small buds that fall to the bottom of the bag or container you store your cannabis flower in. Shake is very valuable and can still contain many cannabinoids. The potency might not be quite as strong as the flower itself, but many people will still smoke it or make edibles and still get lots of efficient health benefits from it.
What to do with them
Topicals – Since there are terpenes remaining in the stems it makes perfect sense to make a topical out of them. They will still need to undergo decarboxylation to ensure you are activating THC or CBD.
Tea – Many people will infuse the stems into a tea. You can do this by putting the stems in a coffee filter or a pair of unused nylon pantyhose. Steep the cannabis in boiling water and enjoy a refreshing cup of tea.
You can treat shake the same way as your flower. It will not have as much THC or CBD potency compared to your flower. But you can still smoke it, make edibles, topicals, capsules, oils, concentrates, and many other things. A very popular method for shake is dry sift kief and bubble hash. Unless you are smoking or vaping the product ensure it undergoes decarboxylation before use.
Meals & Beverages – Many people treat trim like other herbs in the kitchen. You can infuse and strain the plant material out or just add as a chopped-up herb like you would basil or parsley.
Topicals – Great option for a topical, they will still need to undergo decarboxylation to ensure you are activating any cannabinoids that may be in them.
Juicing – Lots of people are talking about how cannabis leaves are the new superfood, you can juice the fresh fan leaves the same way as other vegetable leaves like kale.
There is a use for every part of the cannabis plant, so be sure you are not filling your garbage can full of nutrition instead of your body.