Can You Smoke Weed Stems?

Can You Smoke Weed Stems?

With more people smoking weed than cigarettes in the US, it can be difficult to determine what parts of a cannabis plant can be smoked if you’re new to it. [1] That’s why many people wonder if cannabis stems can be smoked, if they are toxic, or should be better used for other weed products. 

In our article, we will answer this question by looking at everything that’s needed to be known about cannabis stems, including whether they can be smoked, if there are any known side effects associated with them, and what you can use them for if not to smoke. 

What Are Weed Stems?

Before looking at if you can smoke cannabis stems, it’s a good idea to learn more about weed stems like what they are. Essentially, a weed stem is part of a cannabis plant that the marijuana bud or flower is attached to and grows from, similar to how other plant stems are attached to flower heads. If an individual purchases weed from a dispensary, they may encounter these stems still attached to the flower. 

If you pick them off, you will notice they are a green or yellow-tinged color. Unfortunately, despite what many believe, cannabis stems contain almost no cannabinoids like cannabidiol (CBD), cannabigerol (CBG), and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), meaning it is almost impossible to get high from them. In fact, according to some lab results, a typical cannabis stem contains between 0.1% and 0.5% potential THC. [2] On the other hand, the average THC concentration for a cannabis flower is between 15% and 25%. 

Can You Smoke Weed Stems? 

It is possible to smoke weed stems, but it’s not recommended because there are no known benefits of doing so, thanks to the very low amounts of THC and other cannabinoids. [3] 

Often people are tempted to crush and smoke their stalks when their supply runs low, but it’s not a good idea. There are several risks associated with smoking weed stems, which we have further discussed below. 

The Side EffectsSmoking weed stems is highly unlikely to kill you, but it does have side effects, as does normal cannabis, and some of these side effects are similar. [4] For many people smoking the stems is not worth the risk to their lungs when there is very little to gain from it. 

Actually, this is because smoke can harm your lungs regardless of its source, and if you smoke the stems of a weed plant, you’re causing the combustion of materials. This combustion can result in toxins and carcinogens, which are cancer-causing agents. 

Overall, it has been determined that the damages of smoking, including the cannabis stems, increase potentially the risk of cancer, lung and heart disease, and damage to your lungs. Additionally, smoking the stems of a weed plant can also cause the following side effects: 

  • A sore throat;
  • A bad taste in your mouth;
  • Headaches;
  • Coughing.

Moreover, some people have also claimed to have experienced gastrointestinal symptoms like abdominal pain and nausea from smoking weed stems, but there is no scientific evidence backing these claims as yet. 

If You Can’t Smoke Them, What Can You Use Weed Stems For?


Like cannabis tea, if you have a lot of leftover weed stems you have been collecting, you can make tea with them, but you will first need to put them in the oven for around 45 minutes at 225 degrees Fahrenheit. [5] This process allows you to get the most out of the stems when making your brew. 

After the stems come out of the oven, leave them to cool, grind them and place them into a tea infuser. Once you’ve done this, you should let the ground stems steep in boiling water for about 15 minutes before you strain and drink your weed stem tea. 


Those who want to make topicals to help with skin conditions or aches and pains can use weed stems to make topicals. Often you will need to decarboxylate your weed stems in the oven. Then add seven to ten grams of dried cannabis before infusing it in an oil-based substance like coconut or avocado oil. Once added, you should be able to use it for balms and lotions. 

Wrap-Up On Smoking Weed Stems

Thus, smoking cannabis stems is not a good idea considering it’s side effects. Not to mention there are almost no benefits, and it’s likely to taste unpleasant. 

However, this doesn’t mean you can’t use your weed stems to create topicals, tea, and kinds of weed butter. So if you feel the urge to save your weed stems, put them to use in ways that don’t involve smoking them. 


  1. Archie, A. (2022, August 30). Marijuana use is outpacing cigarette use for the first time on record. NPR.,%25%20in%20the%20mid%2D1950s.
  2. Rigdon, C. (2021, November 30). Testing for truth part 8: Are there cannabinoids in stems and stalks?. Orange Photonics.
  3. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2023, January 11). Cannabis (marijuana) Drugfacts. National Institutes of Health. 
  4. Volkow, N. D., Baler, R. D., Compton, W. M., & Weiss, S. R. B. (2014, June 5). Adverse health effects of marijuana use. The New England journal of medicine.
  5. Hazekamp A;Bastola K;Rashidi H;Bender J;Verpoorte R; (n.d.). Cannabis tea revisited: A systematic evaluation of the cannabinoid composition of Cannabis Tea. Journal of ethnopharmacology.

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