How to use the Whole Plant

When your smoking buds are dried and cured in their jars, that is relatively a small amount left of the entire plant you grew.

Getting rid of waste is not much of a problem in a legal state, I have seen garbage bags of roots, stems and leaves at the refuse station and in garbage bins on the street before pick-up. A few of the growers in my area give me donations of their throw away stuff.
You can sure tell how clean a grow was by their throw-a-ways.

What do you do with your waste? I have a few suggestions…

First thing I do when we pull a plant is clean the roots and let them dry. Wet roots will mold so if you can’t process them right away, leave them in the dirt or in a paper bag in a dry place.
Cannabis roots are not water solvable, they do infuse well into olive or coconut oil. They can be cooked whole or ground up, 4 hours in a crock pot on low.
The roots of the cannabis plant have been used since ancient times as a diuretic and to stop hemorrhaging (especially during child birth).

  • Dried and ground into a paste (poultice) to reduce pain and swelling of bruises or broken bones.
  • Boiled as a tea can relieve joint pain and gout.
  • Roots decocted in coconut oil, a tablespoon in the morning and another at night has been known to reduce arthritis pain when taken daily.
  • Add beeswax to the root oil and make a salve that has incredible skin healing properties.

canna roots.jpg

The roots contain the alkaloids cannabisativine, isocannabisativine, anhydroccabisativine, piperidine and pyrrolidine. The latter two act as a stimulant, bronchidilatory (dilating bronchial tubes) and a sedative.
The terpens found in roots are friedelin, epifriedlin, ß-sitosterol, carvone and dihydrocavone which are anti oxidents and have properties known to protect the liver.
Also found in the roots is pentacyclic triterpene ketones. These are antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and target cancer cells and causes them to die.

Large woody stems can be soaked in alcohol or oils. Unless you have a lot of them, it is hardly worth it.
This is the part of the hemp plant that is the most fibrous and makes me think the woody stems would have uses other than medical. They make great kindling for the wood stove.
My dogs have also developed a fondness of chewing on them. They do not eat them, which creates quite a mess! They actually beg me for them and salivate while waiting for me to give them one.
I have heard that cannabis is toxic to dogs and some dogs do get ill when accidentally ingesting cannabis.
My small dog ate some canna butter seasoned pumpkin seeds (The seeds she ate) and was quite high until she slept it off. This was the second time she had acted this way, lethargic, paranoid, and a lot of drool, but it was easier for both her and us knowing she would be ok.
All vertebrates have cb1 and cb2 receptors, dogs do respond to cannabis although due to their size and tolerance the effect is much higher.
When they chew the stems, there are no noticeable ‘highs’, they may chew the stems because they like to chew.

Fresh fan leaves along with trim and buds can be used for juicing. At harvest is the best time to harvest for juicing. Leaves can be stored in an air tight container in the refrigerator for up to 10 days. Freezing leaves is not recommended, but freezing the undiluted juice works well. It takes 25 to 30 leaves, a fresh bud, and 1 cup of water each day to juice. Freeze the undiluted juice in ice cube trays to keep all the goodies fresh and convenient for daily juicing.
It is also important to use a masticating juicer, household blenders and food processors create heat and will start to activate the cannabinoids.
Raw cannabis has a bitter taste, so mixing with fruits and vegetables will help the palate.
There is no psychoactivity when you juice, but you get all the cannabinoids in their acid form where they get processed by the liver and on to your endocannaninoid system.

Smaller stems, popcorn buds and trim can be processed with a variety of methods. These are usually not ‘fresh‘ but have dried with your smoking buds. After the final trim as your buds go on to the curing process, you can get a lot of medicine out of this material.
Since this material has been dried, a small amount of the cannabinoids have converted from their acid form. Further heating while infusing into oils or fats, can decarb it a little more (although not a full decarb), which may give some euphoric effects to a person with low tolerance when ingested.
The synergy of all the cannabinoids in their various stages of decarbing, may give us the best medicine.

Trim and stems can be used instead of buds in any procedure.
Trim and stems can be decarbed for medical and psychoactive effects.
By not decarbing trim and stems there is no high while having medical benefits.

You can make an oil by infusing stems and trim in avocado oil and coconut oil. I have found that a mixture of the 2 oils makes it taste better. Avocado oil is a very healthy fat, good for your liver, is a good source of vitamin E.
This canna oil has been reported to ease symptoms of psoriasis from the inside out, joint pain and arthritis.
Usually taken 2 to 3 times a day, one Tablespoon at a time or you can cook with it!

Grandma Roody’s Canna Oil

  • Place stems and trim in a slow cooker/crock pot
  • Add equal amounts of coconut oil and avocado oils to completely cover your material.
  • Turn crock pot on low. Do Not cover.
  • Cook for 4 hours
  • Cool then strain


Stem and trim oil infusions make nice topical salves when beeswax is melted with it. I add cocoa butter for a nice chocolate coconut smell and absorbing texture.

Stem and trim can also be infused with volatile solvents. For the purposes of this article, the methods will be safe solvents that you can do at home with every day kitchen items to make your own medicine.

  • Oils – Unprocessed Coconut oil, MCT oil (Fractionated Coconut oil), Avocado oil, Olive oil each have health benefits and extracts cannabinoids along with waxes, lipids and chlorophyll.
  • Fats – Butter, Ghee (clarified butter), and Milk extracts make easy medibles.
  • Glycerin – Vegetable glycerin and Propylene glycol extracts make tinctures and e-juice for vaping
  • Ethanol – Food grade grain alcohol for extracts (Where’s all the eth extractors) or tinctures. These QWET (Quick Wash Ethanol) extractions can be purged down to shatter/wax or evaporated down to an RSO like oil.
  • Dry Ice – Produces high quality hash with no solvent residue.Other solvents such as isoproyl alcohol, butane, and others that are not considered food grade are not recommended for medical patients to use in the home setting. Unless the right equipment and safety measures are used. Since we are making medicine in our homes for someone who is sick, without proper purging equipment toxins may be left in the medicine. We don’t want to harm, while trying to heal.

Solvent-less extracts use heat and pressure.
Check out this AFN test of the Rosin Tech rosin press.
One of our members made a DIY Rosin Press
Solvent-less extracts can even be done at home using a hair straightener.
Rosin tech pure solvent free wax

Kief is the collection of trichomes. Kief can be infused into solvents or heated and pressed into hash. The trim and popcorn buds hold a lot of trichomes which is where all the cannabinoids are. To collect kief, some herb grinders have a screen and bottom section. Screens come in micron sizes. Large trichomb heads are aproximately 130 micron size. A screen 150 microns will collect kief along with some plant material. Care should be taken to not crush plant material causing more contamination in your kief.
For a “cleaner” product, the kief can be further sifted with gradually smaller screens. Anything smaller than 70 micron size is dust and debris.
Freezing the material before sifting will make the trichomb heads brittle and fall off easier.

I was recently given the chance to test out a new product called the Trim Binby Harvest More. It has a 150 micron screen and is designed for comfort. It has a stacking three tray system with high sides and arm rests. See reviews of the Trim Bin at Trim Bin reviews on AFN

After undecarbed kief is collected it can be smoked on top of a bong bowl or used to lace joints. With a little pressure and heat kief can be made into hash, using your hand or a controllable heat source.
A Simple way to making Hash

I like using the QWET method with my kief. If I want to make shatter or wax, I do not want it decarbed. Using food grade alcohol soak the kief, then strain with an unbleached coffee filter, pantyhose or cheesecloth. The finesstrained out of your alcohol mix are empty trichome husks and can be thrown away. The yellow alcohol that remains can then be evaporated by heat or time, following the directions below. This must be done in a well ventilated area with no flames or combustion.
Using kief that has been decarbed, either before or after collecting, can be evaporated down to a RSO type oil that can be dosed from a syringe or put in capsules.
Kief can make a tasty tincture without the taste of chlorophyll.

Making Shatter with kief


Kief collected with 150 micron screen.


Add highest proof grain alcohol possible. 80 proof vodka will work, but take longer due to the higher water content, 190 proof is better. This was done using 153 proof grain alcohol.


Strain the fines with an unbleached coffee filter, squeeze and throw away.


The alcohol can be evaporated off by placing the container on a heating pad, double boiler on the stove or letting it set in a warm place for a couple of days.


When the alcohol is evaporated out it will be a dry and a little sticky.
Scrape it up with razor blades.


Gather it into a ball, and press between parchment paper or no stick sheets. These are Oil Slick pads specially made for concentrates so they don’t stick. They are made with medical grade silicon.

Important safety reminders

  • Always make sure you are in a well ventilated area. Alcohol fumes can cause respiratory distress.
  • When using volatile solvents keep away from open flame. Do not use a gas stove. Do not smoke or use ignition of any kind.
  • When using a stove or hot plate, always use the double boil system with water or oil to control your temperature. Never put your container with solvent directly on the heating element.
  • Take your time, don’t be in a hurry remove all distractions before you start. Not only is there risk of fire, hot oil and boiling water can scald you should an accident occur.

Using the whole plant,


Any statements made by Root are considered general information and discussion about medicine, health and related subjects. The words and other content provided in this article, and in any linked materials, are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice. If the reader or any other person has a medical concern, he or she should consult with an appropriately-licensed physician or other health care worker.




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