For those who grow cannabis plants (where this is legal) - hobbyists or otherwise - there is a plentiful, ‘less potent’ by-product that often gets overlooked. Cannabis trim is the parts of the leaves, stalks and buds of cannabis plants that are left over once the buds have been harvested for smoking. Don’t underestimate cannabis trim, shake and other leftovers because methods of extraction can yield results fit for any cannabis connoisseur. When processed correctly, this ‘excess’ product can be used to create many different products like edibles, hashish and even things like BHO and cosmetics. Some methods of processing trim can be very simple and easily achieved at home, others take a bit of specialist equipment. Here we look at 5 of the most common ways to use cannabis trim to create useful byproducts, and also answer some frequently asked questions. If you’ve got more questions on this, or any of our products, get in touch with our team.
5 ways to use cannabis trim
How do people process trim to produce high quality cannabis products? Whilst we’ve focused on five methods, you are, however, not limited to what you do with your trim; you have creative license. Cannabis is an extremely versatile plant that can be used in a multitude of ways, each down to personal preference or individual needs. Remember, plants vary in quality; always ensure that you get your cannabis seeds from a reputable retailer, like ICE Headshop.
1. Make cannabutter
Cannabis edibles are popular because of their ease of use and positive effects, based on their CBD content. Edibles are favoured by people who do not smoke and/or who are seeking relief from conditions. Butter made with cannabis is delicious, nutritional and can provide a potent high when made correctly and when containing THC. Coconut oil makes a brilliant dairy substitute and proves delicious in many recipes. Before making cannabis products you must first decarboxylate your trim. This means heating it up to convert THCA (that is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid acid) into THC, a psychoactive cannabinoid. Decarboxylation also converts CBDA (cannabidiolic acid) into CBD - the much sought after cannabinoid. Here is a tutorial on how exactly to do this. Although this is not entirely essential, it will help to maximise the amount of THC, CBD and other cannabinoids you eventually extract.
2. Make hashish
The origin of hash is said to date back to around 900 AD and originates in arabic culture where it was eaten rather than smoked. Hash was also being made in India around this time by rolling the cannabis leaves and buds in the hands to make charas. Hashish is a resin made from cannabis plants, which can be smoked and eaten for medicinal, ritualistic and recreational purposes. There are many ways to make hash; all of them involve isolating the trichomes* and compacting them into a concentrated form. The simplest method is making charas, which involves rubbing the plant matter in your hands until the resin on them turns to small balls that can be pressed together. This method is somewhat rudimentary but it is tried and tested the world over. More advanced methods include the use of purpose-made machinery to tumble the trim and separate the trichomes from the plant, which then get collected and pressed. It is possible to make your own DIY tumbler and simple home size pollen presses are readily available on the internet. It is worth noting that different strains of cannabis produce different amounts of crystals and yields will vary crop to crop.
3. Make cannabis milk
Products containing cannabis don't just have to be eaten and smoked; you can drink them too! Cannabis milk is perfect for hot drinks, cocktails and even on your cereal. Making cannabis milk is very simple and can be done in under an hour.
- Bring your chosen milk to a simmer. This can be dairy or plant based.
- Add your chosen amount of cannabis trim and stir for around 40 minutes
- Add more milk if required
- Strain and allow to cool
- Store in a sealable container and be sure to use it by the use by date on the original milk container
Cannabis milk can be infused with other spices and ingredients too (like Bhang made in India). Bhang often contains yoghurt, fruit and nuts as well as things like rose water. Finished cannabis milk is yellowy green in colour and can pack quite a punch.
4. Make BHO
First of all, What is BHO? BHO is a solvent based extraction method that removes the trichomes, other cannabinoids and terpenes from the plant matter. It is popular with people who prefer concentrates and reputably it gives a cleaner result. People use specialist smoking equipment, such as dab bongs and vaporisers, for these concentrations. Butane, CO2 and propane are all used in the process of making BHO or what some people call shatter. Once the cannabinoids dissolve into the solvent, the solvent is then purged and you are left with a pure cannabis product. Although it is possible to do this at home with a solvent extraction tube, the process can be dangerous and is recommended to be left to the experts that use specialist industrial equipment.
5. Cannabis leaf as herbs
As cannabis gains worldwide recognition for its diversity in benefits, flavours, aromas and effects, many chefs and foodies are turning to cannabis to create unique flavours and to add variety to their food. When using cannabis leaf as herbs for flavouring be sure to remove any branches and stem to prevent any unwanted chewy experiences. Fresh cannabis leaves can be stirred through salad or baked on pizza, while dried and ground leaves can be used in much the same way as traditional dried herbs like basil and oregano. The smells and tastes of cannabis vary so greatly that it makes for perfect experimentation within food and drink. As it is hard to judge strength of the THC and CBD found within leaves (and almost certainly depending on the cannabis variety), it is recommended to make a butter or extract to use within your food and use the fresh leaves and dried herb as an addition or enhancement to your meal.
Cannabis trim FAQ
There are many things to remember when using cannabis trim to make an extract or food product, but by following simple recipes and instructions we can all make use of what would otherwise be a waste product. Here are some frequently asked questions about cannabis trim:
Is cannabis trim illegal?
Cannabis trim is in fact illegal. Any cannabis plants that are grown or imported and sold in the UK without special licence are illegal. Although medical use of cannabis is starting to gain traction, possession of cannabis is still illegal in the UK. Be sure to check the legality of cannabis in your country of residence before attempting to buy cannabis, cannabis trim or related products. For more information about cannabis law, check out our blog here.
Can I smoke trim?
Trim refers to the parts of the plant which are removed when the buds have been harvested. Although technically still cannabis, to get effects from smoking trim you would need to smoke an extremely large amount. For the best results concentrate or make your trim into an extract or edible.
How do I store trim?
Cannabis trim can be dried and frozen, or dried and sealed in an airtight container and kept in a cool dark place. Freezing helps with certain methods of extracting trichomes and is popular among enthusiasts. In essence, cannabis trim can be stored in much the same way as other herbs. Be sure that your trim is properly cured and in an airtight container.
Contact ICE Headshop
Shop now at ICE Headshop, the most comprehensive cannabis seed supplier in the UK. If you have any questions about any of the seeds you see here or are looking to complete a bulk order, get in touch. Email: [email protected] (24/7/365) Phone: Mon-Fri, 10am - 4.00pm Phone orders: 01626 903101 General enquiries: 01626 903102 Disclaimer: All of these beautiful seeds are only sold by us to be collected or used as fish bait or bird seed; in the UK it is illegal to germinate cannabis seeds to grow into cannabis plants. Once you buy seeds, you’re fully responsible to stay within the law and should always check the law in your country before purchasing. As laws change over time, ensure you stay updated with the latest cannabis laws wherever you are. Just to reiterate, collect our seeds, do not germinate them. Ever.