What To Do With Leftover Weed Seeds

Cannabis buds are harvested for THC, but what about leftover cannabis trimmings? Don't waste it—check out these 11 things you can do with your trimmings! When and if you find seeds in your flower, there are several options for utilizing them in ways that do not involve a trash can. What can you do with marijuana seeds you find at the bottom of the bag? Wonder no more. Here's what to do with weed seeds.

11 Ways You Can Utilize Leftover Cannabis Trimmings

The flowering buds of the cannabis plant have always been the star of the show due to their high concentration of cannabinoids like THC and CBD that create effects for consumers. But what many don’t know is that other parts of the plant—specifically the trim removed after harvesting—can be used for a variety of purposes.

In this guide, we’ll walk you through some ways to repurpose your seemingly useless cannabis trimmings to avoid being wasteful with this amazing plant.


What Exactly Is Cannabis Trim?

Cannabis trim is everything that’s removed from cannabis plants after they are harvested, including the sugar leaves, fan leaves, and bits of cannabis buds. After cannabis plants have fully grown, professional cultivators and home growers pick the plants and trim them with trimmers (trimming scissors). This is often done by hand, though larger commercial operations will sometimes use machines to complete the trimming process.

The purpose of trimming cannabis post-harvest is to create a more visually appealing and potent product by removing excess plant matter. Although trim is not nearly as potent as buds are, it does contain some trichomes that house cannabinoids. Trim should not be confused with shake, the loose buds and trichomes that fall off naturally in storage. Trim is generally not smoked due to its harshness and low cannabinoid content, whereas shake is sometimes smoked for a cheaper high.

What’s the Difference: Sugar Leaves vs. Fan Leaves

Fan leaves are the larger leaves protruding from the branches of the cannabis plant and contain virtually no psychoactive properties (cannabinoids). Sugar leaves, however, are typically heavily concentrated in cannabinoid-rich trichomes, making them much more useful overall than fan leaves. Sugar leaves are much smaller than fan leaves and grow directly from the buds rather than the branches. When repurposing your trimmings, these small leaves are ideally what you want to use.

Things You Can Do With Cannabis Trimmings

Now that you understand cannabis trimming, let’s take a closer look at some things you can do with your trim. As you will see in the list below, trim is highly versatile and can be repurposed into something useful for everyone.

Use Cannabis Trim for Concentrates and Extracts

One of the most common things cultivators typically use cannabis trimmings for is the production of cannabis concentrates and extracts. Through various methods, any existing cannabinoids in the trim can be extracted and turned into concentrates like shatter, wax, and kief. To prepare your cannabis trimmings for extraction, simply grind them the same way you would grind flower for a bowl or joint. Keep in mind that some concentrates require solvents.

Add Trimmings to Food

Cannabis trimmings can also be added to foods both within recipes and as garnishes. The first thing you’ll need to do is activate any cannabinoids in your trim through a heating process called decarboxylation. After decarboxylation has been completed, the trim can be added to any food for a mild buzz. Consider adding leaves to a salad or grinding the decarbed trim finely for brownie mix. Trim can also be made into butter, oil, or flour for more effective edibles, which is discussed further below.

Add Trimmings to Drinks

You can also add cannabis trimmings to beverages. If you’re looking to make a psychoactive drink, you will first need to decarb the trim to activate the cannabinoids. However, you may lose terpenes—aromatic compounds—and phytonutrients during decarboxylation, so decarbing the trim is not suggested if you’re interested in adding flavor rather than CBD or THC to a drink. Let’s explore some of the most common cannabis-infused beverages.

To make cannabis milk with your trimmings, finely grind them after decarbing. It is recommended to use a quarter-ounce of cannabis trimmings per 4 cups of whole milk. Simply place the ground cannabis and milk into a pan on low heat and allow it to simmer for about an hour to an hour and a half (ensure the liquid does not reach boiling point). Finally, separate the milk from the plant material by sifting it through a micron silkscreen or cheesecloth and allow the milk to cool before consuming.

Vodka

Alcohol and cannabis tend to increase the effects of each other, so cannabis-infused vodka is an efficient way to get the most out of your trim. One of the most common forms of alcohol to be infused with cannabis is vodka. In fact, vodka has been utilized for many years to make cannabis tinctures like Green Dragon. To infuse vodka with cannabis trim, simply grind your cannabis after decarbing it and soak it in vodka for a prolonged period of time before removing the plant material.

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Juice

If you’re interested in getting something other than a high out of your leftover cannabis, juicing is the way to go. Dietary cannabis specialist Dr. William L. Courtney has long advocated for juicing raw cannabis to obtain the benefits of THCA and other essential nutrients found in the plant. Just throw your cannabis trimmings into a countertop juicer to create your own raw cannabis juice. To boost the flavor and nutrition, you can add fruits and vegetables to the juice as well.

Coffee

Cannabis-infused coffee can be made at home with ease. First, grind your trim—the recommended combination is a half-gram of cannabis and 3 cups of water. Throw the water in a pot with a small amount of coconut oil or butter and bring to a boil. Next, reduce the water to a low, simmering heat and add the cannabis. Leave the mixture on low heat for 45 minutes to an hour, stirring occasionally, before straining the mixture and using the infused water to prepare your coffee like normal.

Make Edibles: Cannabutter, Cannaoil, and Cannaflour

Many folks use cannabis flower to create cannabutter, cannabis oil, and cannaflour, and trim can be used for this purpose as well (though the final product will be less potent than if flower was used). These substances can then be used in place of normal oil, butter, or flour to create cannabis-infused treats or condiments such as cookies and salad dressing. Before diving into the recipes for each infused ingredient (linked above), make sure to decarb and grind your trimmings to activate the cannabinoid content.

Create a Topical Salve or Cream

The nutrients and cannabinoids in cannabis can also provide benefits when applied topically. To make a topical cream, lotion, or salve with your trim, you will first need to decarb and grind the plant material to activate the cannabinoids. Then, you will need to create a cannabis-infused oil (outlined here). Feel free to add other nourishing or fragrant ingredients to your mixture like vitamin E or essential oils.

At this point, you can either add the infused oil to a cream or lotion you already use or combine the oil with beeswax to create a thick topical called a salve. If you would prefer a thinner consistency, just add any kind of oil (coconut, olive, avocado, etc.) in small amounts until the mixture is how you’d like it. You can also play around with adding shea or cocoa butter to create a more lotion-like substance.

Create Herbal Cooking Spices

Cannabis trimmings can also be utilized as a cooking spice. Simply decarb the trim and then grind it to the consistency you desire. Your cannabis “spice” can be stored in a spice container and used just like any other spice—try using it on pizza, pasta, and salads for some extra flavor, nutrients, and possibly a slight canna-buzz depending on the amount you use.

Use for Garden Compost

If you have a garden, consider composting your cannabis trimmings. Composting is a great way to reduce waste and enrich soil. Cannabis stems, stalks, and leaves low in cannabinoid content typically have high nitrogen and low carbon levels, making them a perfect product to add to compost. You can also make the trim into compost tea for feeding plants during cultivation.

Smoke Your Cannabis Trim

If nothing we’ve suggested so far has caught your eye, you can always simply smoke your leftover cannabis trimmings. That’s right—just like with the trimmed buds/flower, you can dry out the leaves and smoke them. You won’t receive the same cannabinoid content and flavor profiles—and smoking trim is known to be harsher on the lungs—but it’s still a better use of your trimmings than throwing them in the trash.

Key Takeaway

Cannabis trim might not be the most desirable part of the marijuana plant, but there are many things you can do to increase its usability. It’s important to remember that trim-based products will have much lower potency than flower-based products. That said, you can definitely swap in flower for any of the above uses to get that higher potency.

Interested in growing your own cannabis or using any of the cannabis products included in this article to medicate? Sign up for an appointment with a medical marijuana doctor here!

This blog post was originally written by Chane Leigh and published on 1/3/20. Updated 1/13/22.

What To Do With Leftover Weed Seeds

When and if you find seeds in your flower, there are several options for utilizing them in ways that do not involve a trash can.

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As cannabis consumers, you may occasionally find seeds in your bud due to hermaphroditism, stressed plants, light pollution, inexperienced growers, or just the luck of the draw. Before you call the dispensary and ask to speak with the manager to complain, relax. Don’t panic, either.

Seeds in your weed means that the buds have been pollinated — either from another male plant or from the plant’s own hermaphroditic male clusters (those dreaded banana-looking growths). When you buy feminized, autoflowering store-bought seeds, they are hand-selected and almost always better than random seeds found in bud by accident. This is because there are higher chances that the seeds will yield female end products. Regardless, when and if you find seeds in your flower, there are several options for utilizing them in ways that doesn’t involve a trash can.

Leading cannabis horticulturist Ed Rosenthal, who has grown and experimented with cannabis his whole life, was able to lend a hand. When we asked Rosenthal what the best course of action is in the event that you come across seeded cannabis, he told MERRY JANE, “Be sure to pick out all of the immature seeds. You don’t want to smoke those. And set aside the healthy mature seeds for later, which may be worth growing.”

The larger, darker, viable seeds are distinguished in appearance from the smaller, whitish, immature seeds, which are a little harder to find inside the bud. Seeded cannabis is generally lower quality than top-shelf sinsemilla, but it’s best used in edibles, says Rosenthal. This is because all seeds will be removed in the process anyways.

Now that you have picked out your seeds and separated them from the cannabis, there are a lot of different things you can do with them. Here are five ways novices can use leftover seeds.

Grow a Pot Plant

Why not test out your cultivation skills with a hobby plant grown in your window sill? While you shouldn’t expect a high yield, or even expert-level cannabis, experimenting with plants is fun. Look at master cannabis bonsai growers like Budzai or Bonsai Empire for inspiration. The possibilities are endless, and the stakes are low.

Go Guerrilla

Spread a little love on your next hike in a hidden wooded area — Johnny Appleseed-style. Then, simply walk away. Let nature run its course from there! Who knows? You may start noticing flourishing wild patches of cannabis wherever you dropped them. Or, if you’re inclined, plant the seeds somewhere public, like a park, and see what happens. Just don’t take credit for this, as it’s likely a felony!

Return the Weed

Try to return the seeded weed at the dispensary. In almost every case, the budtender will say “no.” That would be like trying to return fruit at the grocery store. But seeded cannabis is weighed down by the seeds, making it lesser quality, so inform them of the sub-par cannabis and move forward.

Save Them and Eat Them

Can you eat cannabis seeds like hemp seeds? According to Quora, yes. They can be unshelled, shelled, or roasted. Like hemp seeds, there are some benefits, though not the same benefits as, say, an edible infused with THC and CBD. Rich in Omega -3 and Omega -6 fatty acids, eating seeds can help protect your brain. It may also help prevent mental health issues, dementia, or Alzheimer’s. Seeds are also rich in vitamins A, E, D and B, plus they are chock full of minerals like sodium, potassium, iron, zinc, and sulfur.

Sell Them (check local laws first. )

As a consumer there aren’t many ways to distinguish one cannabis seed from another. Reputable seed sources are trusted for their consistent quality, but buying seeds off the street is pretty much a no man’s land. Perhaps someone you know could use seeds for one purpose or another. Be careful, however, because the murky definition of the legality of cannabis seeds depends on what state you live in.

Ambitious Bonus Tip: Start a Seed Bank

Grab a journal like Gold Leaf’s grow planners, or take a more modern approach with a growing app like GrowBuddy. Those notebooks can be used for seed data, too. Jot down your notes, and store seeds according to the strain that you found them in. Mystery seeds are great for future experimentation!

What To Do With Your Spare Weed Seeds

If you find seeds in your cannabis and were wondering what to do with them, you should know that you have quite a few options.

Ever find seeds in your cannabis and find yourself wondering what to do with weed seeds? When you buy a bag of weed from a competent grower, you should be getting sinsemilla, which is seedless clusters of cannabis flowers from female plants that have been protected from being pollinated. When female plants are not pollinated, they continue to grow more and more flowers, sticky with resin and potent in cannabinoids.

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But if female plants are pollinated because there are male or hermaphrodite plants growing nearby, the flowers will contain seeds. You’ll want to separate the seeds from the herb before you smoke. The burning seeds have an unpleasant acrid taste, and won’t get you high anyway. So what can you do with marijuana seeds?

What Can You Do With Marijuana Seeds?

What to do with weed seeds depends somewhat on how many you have. If you only have a few seeds, you might consider planting them and trying your hand at growing pot. Cannabis cultivation can be a fun and rewarding hobby. Many a master grower got their start by wondering what to do with weed seeds they had laying around.

If you have a lot of heavily seeded pot or have been collecting cannabis seeds for a while, you might have a source of food for yourself, or perhaps even your furry or feathered friends. And if smoking pot gets your creative juices flowing, another answer to what to do with weed seeds is use them as a fun new artistic medium.

Weed Seeds Uses #1: New Plants

What can you do with marijuana seeds? Plant them, of course! All flora that produce seeds do so in order to create the next generation of plants, and cannabis is no exception. If you give your seeds the right environmental conditions including moisture and temperature, they will germinate, or sprout, and begin to grow. Nurturing young plants with the proper light, water, and nutrients will allow them to grow to a size suitable for flowering.

When the nighttime period of darkness gets long enough, either through the change of seasons outdoors or by adjusting the on/off light cycle in a grow room, the plants you started from seed will begin to flower. If you observe your plants closely, you’ll be able to determine which are female and which are male. Unless you want to produce seed, remove all male plants as you identify them. A couple more months of diligent care, and you will be ready to harvest your own free weed! All because you wondered what to do with weed seeds left in the bottom of a baggie.

Weed Seeds Uses #2: A Tasty Snack

Some research suggests that humans have cultivated cannabis as a food source for millennia. Cannabis seeds are rich in healthy fats and have protein, all nine essential amino acids, potassium, iron, Vitamin A, and dietary fiber. The seeds also have zinc and magnesium and are naturally low in carbohydrates.

Whole pot seeds can be made into hemp milk by adding water and mixing well in a blender before straining. Whole seeds can also be eaten whole roasted or raw, but some find the shells unappetizing or difficult to digest.

Marijuana seeds can also be shelled and used as hemp hearts. To shell seeds, place as many as possible in one layer between two cutting boards. Tap the top board with a hammer just lightly enough to crack the shells without flattening the seeds. Place in a bucket of water and stir vigorously. The shells will float. Skim them off before straining and drying the hemp hearts.

Sprinkle hemp seeds over yogurt, salads, or oatmeal to add a mild nutty crunch that is packed with healthy nutrients.

Weed Seeds Uses #3: Animal Food

What can you do with marijuana seeds if you’re an animal lover? Share them with your bird and rodent friends! The nutrition found in weed seeds is good for more than just humans, so add some to the feed for pet birds, hamsters, mice, and rats. Or add them to an outdoor bird feeder as a treat for wild feathered friends.

Weed Seeds Uses #4: Be an Artist!

A recent visit to Etsy, the online marketplace for hand-crafted goods and art, revealed jewelry made from pot seeds suspended in acrylic for earrings, necklaces, and more. Pot seeds are also an interesting subject for photographers, particularly those who create macro images.

Marijuana seeds naturally come in a range of colors including white, cream, and green when they are immature. Fully mature seeds can be found in shades of tan, brown, and nearly black. An abundance of the full palette of colors could be the perfect medium for a 420-friendly mosaic for a patient and talented artist.

Usually, you won’t want to find yourself with a bunch of pot seeds. But if you do have a steady supply and are inclined to collect them, you can put the seeds to use in a variety of ways. Have you thought of any more?