It's pretty amazing.
You're removing cannabis trim because it's a byproduct you don't want.
Yet a small effort turns that waste into something valuable.
So don't toss those trimmings. Use them
Turn that waste into a big profit.
Or turn it into something nice for yourself.
Either way, waste can be valuable.
Here are 10 great little tricks to make use of your marijuana trimmings.
But before we get to that, we need to define exactly what we mean by trim. Because there are actually two types of leaves that are trimmed from the cannabis buds.
Two Types Of Marijuana Trimmings: Sugar Leaves Vs. Fan Leaves
Sugar leaves are the smaller one-fingered leaves close to the bud. They ae often covered in trichomes, which is where the get the name: they look like they are sprinkled with sugar. These leaves usually contain a decent amount of THC and CBD.
Fan leaves are the larger 5-7 fingered leaves. They contain some THC and CBD, but the amount is minimal. However, they are actually quite good for us, so even if you don't make use of them to get buzzed, you can still make good use of these leaves. We'll give you some ideas below.
What To Do With Sugar Leaves
Some people do not trim the sugar leaves and just leave them on the buds. This has the advantage of making the harvest heavier and the buds more appealing. In some cases, the sugar leaves are also packed with large amounts of THC.
Most of the time, however, they have far less THC than the buds. They are also much harsher to smoke, which is why many growers prefer to remove them. If you choose to remove them, definitely do not dispose of them You can still get a lot of use out of these leaves.
Here are some of the great uses for your trimmed sugar leaves.
Make Kief From Sugar Leaves
Turning those sugar leaves into kief increases the value considerably and is relatively simple. In fact, if you trim using a machine, the best automatic bud trimmers collect kief from your trimmings automatically. Others have optional kief kits to do it for you.
If you don't have one of those trimming machines, you can also collect kief by using a silkscreen. Simply rub the trim across the silk screen and the kief will fall through to be collected below. A dry sift tumbler can handle this process automatically.
Turn Sugar Leaves Into Hash
Hash is even more valuable than kief, but producing it is also more involved, depending on the quality you are looking for.
You can simply make hash by hand, but the quality is low. To do this, you handle the trim with your hands, which causes the trichomes to begin sticking to you. You will notice the resin on your hands.
Roll that off your hands and you have hash. Of course it will contain oils, skin cells and other impurities from your hands, so this is not the best way to make hash.
A much better way is to first produce kief and then use a pollen press (like this one) to press that kief into hash.
The highest quality hash is produced using the ice wash method, which is detailed in the second half of this article.
Press Trim To Extract Rosin
Now we come to my favorite use of sugar leaves: extracting rosin. If you have a rosin press, you can use it to press the trim and extract rosin. The process is detailed in this article.
Even better than pressing the trim is to first turn it into kief or hash and then press that. This process is a bit more involved, but it yields higher quality extract.
Make Edibles With Trim
THC is fat soluble, so you need to put the trim in some type of fat. The most common are oil, butter or milk.
Making butter or oil means you can use it in tons of recipes. Cannamilk is something you can drink anytime you want. Even better, use it to make a variety of milkshakes.
Whether you choose to infuse olive oil, coconut oil or make cannabutter, the process is the same.
First you want to grind up the trim as much as possible. This increases the surface area from which the fats can draw out the cannabis oil. Add the ground up trim to hot oil or melted butter.
Simmer for several hours to ensure as much cannabis oil is extracted as possible. Run the mixture through a strainer to strain out the plant matter. Be sure to give the remaining plant matter a good squeeze to get all the oil out.
And that's it: you have your oil or cannabutter. The remaining plant matter will still contain some trichomes, so you can save it and try to extract every last bit, if you want. Personally, I just toss it at this point.
You can use your oil or butter for cooking. The options are limitless.
There are other possible uses for sugar leaves, but I find most of them to be a waste. I think you get the most out of these leaves with the methods above.
Neverthesless, I will detail some of these other uses below, since I feel they are better uses for fan leaves, which contain far fewer trichomes and are thus less valuable for extracting trichomes.
What To Do With Trimmed Fan Leaves
While you generally only end up with sugar leaves after trimming your buds, you can end up with fan leaves even while growing. You should be trimming them from the colas, to keep them from blocking light and from trapping in humidity that could result in
Extract Rosin From Fan Leaves
Since fan leaves contain far fewer trichomes, you won't get a good yield, but there is no harm in trying. Especially if you already own a rosin press. That said, I'd press your sugar leaves and do something else with the fan leaves.
Make Cannabutter From Leaves (Or Make Oil Or Milk)
This is a good use of fan leaves, but you'll need a lot of them to get any potency. Usually, you end up with a CBD-heavy butter. The process is the same as was detailed above.
Juicing Fan Leaves
While fan leaves do not contain many trichomes, they are still incredibly healthy and are a superfood. So why not use them as a healthy food, instead of a means to get high?
You want to use fresh leaves for juicing. Simply wash them, perhaps cut them up a bit, then put them in a blender with other ingredients of your choice. There are a number of recipes online already, but feel free to experiment with a mix of fruits and vegetables you enjoy.
You can juice the cannabis on its own, but it is quite bitter. For that reason, you are better off mixing it with other juices. If you're looking for a place to start, try carrot juice. It goes quite well with the flavor of raw marijuana.
Use As Herb For Pizza, Etc.
For this, dry leaves are preferable. Simply grind them up and you can use them as an herb. Sprinkle it on anything you would normally season, like a pizza, a salad, or any other dish you like. Doing this lets you take advantage of marijuana's many nutritional benefits.
Make A Salve Or Cream
Cannabis can be absorbed through the skin and is said to be great for conditions like acne. Making a cream salve takes a few days, but it is not an especially complicated process. Here is a good guide.
Composting Fan Leaves And Stems
If you don't want to bother doing any of these things with your fan leaves, I would still recommend against throwing them away. Instead, compost them and turn them into a nutritious soil you can use to grow more cannabis or any other plants.
Can Leaves Get You High?
The amount of trichomes in leaves varies, so it really depends on that. But generally, sugar leaves can get you high, while fan leaves probably won't (you'd have to smoke a ton of them). Either way, smoking leaves is harsher than buds, so you would be better of vaping them.
Can You Smoke Fan Leaves?
Yes you can, but you probably don't want to. They don't contain enough trichomes to get you high and they are not exactly pleasant to smoke.
How To Store Sugar Leaves?
The best way to store sugar leaves is to freeze them, especially if you are going to use them to make bubble hash. If you don't want to freeze them, you can also just keep them in a cool, dark and relatively dry location.
If you are ready to start collecting trim, check out our article on the best trimmers for your needs.