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How To Use Cannabis Trim?

Created by
JoshuaHolt JoshuaHolt
Added 7 October 2021

Cannabis cultivators exercise a lot of patience to harvest their cannabis plants. At the end of it all, though, they are left with so much trim that they use other creative ways to use them rather than disposing of them. 

If you’ve been throwing away your cannabis trim, you’re rejecting a majority of the plant’s goodness. 

In this article, you will find out many ways to use your trim without wasting any. 

What is Cannabis Trim?

Cannabis trim refers to both fan and sugar leaves of the cannabis plant. You can use them both, depending on what you want to create. 

Fan leaves are those big leaves the plant develops as it grows. You remove them as you prepare to cut the plant down. While you can use them to make cannabis tea, they won’t produce any of the effects you’re looking for because of the low cannabinoid content. 

If you want something substantial from the trim, pay attention to the sugar leaves. 

What are Sugar Leaves?

Sugar leaves are tiny leaves that peek out of the cannabis buds. Cannabis cultivators love growing marijuana partly because they get to lay their hands on those delicate leaves filled with awesome goodness. 

Sugar refers to the resin found on the leaves and buds. These trichomes or sugary crystals are filled with medicinal benefits where they produce cannabinoids, esters, terpenes, flavonoids, and more. 

Many growers throw away their cannabis trim because they don’t know what to do with it. Although the bud is the star of the show, there are many things you can do with the trim, so don’t throw them away! 

Can You Smoke Trim or Sugar Leaves?

dry trim

Image Credit - Photo by Patrick Slade on Unsplash 

The answer to this question depends on a few factors. First, there are two ways to trim cannabis buds. One method is to cut all the small or sugar leaves, leaving nothing behind. However, some growers prefer the second method, where they allow most of the sugar leaves remaining on the buds. 

Cannabis buds undoubtedly look pretty with their sugar leaves sticking out of them. They are filled with so much resin that it feels like a crime to dispose of them. As the buds dry, the leaves become so small that you don’t even notice them. So, yes, it’s possible to smoke the sugar leaves when they are dry. 

However, the experience it offers is a different matter altogether. Sure, sugar leaves contain resin, but they also have lots of chlorophyll that makes for a harsh smoke. So whether you roll a joint or pack a bowl, it’s going to take a toll on your throat. 

In addition, smoking only sugar leaves is a definite no-no. They don’t contain as many cannabinoids as the buds themselves. If you want to smoke the sugar leaves, though, simply leave a few on the buds so that you can use them along with the buds. The smoke will still taste a little harsh, but it’s better than smoking only the sugar leaves. 

How to Use Cannabis Trim?

There are various ways to use the trim, including:

  • Making concentrates such as hash and kief
  • Making edibles like cannabutter 

Making cannabis oils, salads, and juices

  • Infusing them in your beverages
  • Infusing them in cosmetic products like balms and salves

How to Make Concentrates with Trim?

1) Concentrates 

Cannabis concentrate

Image Credit - Photo by Hakuna Matata on Unsplash 

Ensure that you dry the trim first to make concentrates. Then, treat the trim like you’d treat the buds. Here are a few ways to turn dry trim into potent concentrates. 

A) Kief 

Kief

Kief or dry sift is nothing but the trichomes or pollen that breaks down when the buds are dry. You usually see them collecting at the bottom of your grinder as you grind away. 

Commercial cannabis cultivators accumulate a lot of trim. In such cases, it’s best to invest in dry sift tumblers or kief tumblers to increase speed and efficiency. These tumblers turn over the dry trim gently on micron screens to collect kief. 

However, if you’re a home-grower with a small grow room, investing in a dry sift tumbler is not economical. Instead, you can mimic dry sift tumblers using a silkscreen. You also use micron screens too. Pay attention to the size of the screens or micron size — the smaller the size, the better the kief. If you get large micron screens, you’ll end up with kief containing lots of plant material that just doesn’t taste very good. 

Here's how you can convert cannabis trim to kief:

  • Use a silkscreen. Spread the trim on the screen and agitate it enough, so the kief separates itself from the trim and collects below the screen.
  • Invest in dry sift tumblers if you're a commercial producer.
  • Grind the trim in a grinder and let the kief collect below, just like you'd grind buds to collect kief.
  • Get a bud trimmer to collect kief automatically while you harvest.
  • You can either use the kief as is or convert it into rosin or hash or simply sprinkle it on buds. You can also infuse them in edibles.

B) Dry Ice Hash

dry ice hash

Image Credit - www.ogcrush.com

Much like kief, making dry ice hash is a straightforward process. All you need is some trim, dry ice (compressed CO2), and micron or rosin bags. Rosin bags come in several sizes, but anything ranging from 90u to 180u should be good for trim. If you want finer hash, go for smaller micron sizes to prevent the plant material from mixing with the hash.

Once you have all the materials ready, cover the dry trim with dry ice and let it sit for about 5 minutes. Next, dump the trim and ice mixture into the rosin bag and shake it as much as possible to allow the hash to accumulate below. Of course, you'll have to place a sheet to collect the hash. This is one of the easiest methods to get high-quality hash that you can convert to rosin if you prefer. 

2) Edibles 

There are various ways to infuse trim with many ingredients to convert them into cannabis edibles, but you'll have to decarboxylate the trim before you proceed.

Decarboxylation is nothing but heating the material to activate the cannabinoids. In simple terms, spread the dry leaves and trim on a baking sheet and let it cook at 240°F or 115°C for about sixty minutes to activate the THC or CBD. Do not skip this step, or you'll end up with leaves that don't do anything at all.

A) Salads and Juices

Cannabis trim makes for an excellent additive to various edibles, including salads, juices, etc. Some people use both sugar and fan leaves like regular greens.

To make cannabis juice, blend your raw material with coconut water or plain water. You could also incorporate the trim with fruits like watermelon and herbs like coriander and parsley to get added benefits.

B) Cannabis Tea

If tea is your thing, let the leaves steep in water along with other herbs like lavender or jasmine for a delicious result. You can also replace the water with milk and let it simmer until the concoction turns slightly yellow. Then, sieve the mixture, and drink away!

C) Cannabutter

Cannabutter is used to create cannabis edibles. Here's a simple recipe:

Ingredients 

  • 2 cups unsalted butter
  • 2 cups water
  • 30 grams Decarboxylated cannabis trim and a few buds (add 10 grams more if you're not using buds)

Be careful with the potency since edibles are more potent than regular buds. To make cannabutter, mix all the ingredients (butter, water, and trim) in a pan and let it simmer for 3-4 hours. Ensure that the heat is low so it doesn’t boil and eliminate beneficial cannabinoids.

Next, strain the homogeneous mixture in a cheesecloth and collect the liquid in a bowl. Squeeze as much oil as you can with a spatula, and your cannabutter is ready. It's best to freeze the butter since it contains water and could spoil quickly. It should last for at least 4-6 months if you freeze it. However, refrigerating it could turn the butter rancid within a week.

3) Cannabis oil

cannabis oil

Image Credit - Photo by Enecta Cannabis extracts on Unsplash 

Many companies use butane to extract cannabinoids from cannabis trim. However, you should try it only if you have the equipment and experience necessary to handle butane. The final product may have a few residues left behind. In addition, butane is flammable, so you shouldn’t try it at home.

On the other hand, it's pretty easy to make cannabis oil using coconut oil. Here's a simple recipe:

Ingredients 

  • 15 grams Decarboxylated cannabis trim
  • 1 cup coconut oil

You’ll need a double boiler to ensure that the oil doesn’t burn and lose its benefits. Or, you could use a slow cooker.

First, heat some water in a pan. Carefully place another bowl on top of it, and you have a temporary double boiler. Once the bowl is hot, stir in the coconut oil and let it heat up a bit. Add the dry trim and let the mixture simmer for an hour or until you see a golden yellow-colored oil. You have your cannabis oil ready!

4) Cannabis Topicals

Replace the cannabis oil you made above with other oils to make balms and salves. Here’s a basic recipe to make a salve:

Ingredients

  • ½ cup cannabis trim 
  • ½ cup beeswax
  • 2 cups coconut oil

To make the salve, place the coconut oil in a pan and let it heat up for a few minutes. Next, add the decarboxylated trim to the oil, and allow the mixture to simmer for 30 minutes. Again, remember to use low heat and prevent it from burning. Finally, add in the beeswax and stir it once. 

Strain the solution into a container with a cheesecloth and let it sit. Your cannabis salve is done!

Summary

Cannabis trim refers to both fan and sugar leaves. Sugar leaves with lots of resin are best to make concentrates like kief and hash, while fan leaves can be used to make tea, juice, cannabutter, oils, and salves. 

Never let your cannabis trim go to waste because they are full of healthy cannabinoids. You can use it just like you’d use regular buds, although they won’t be as potent. 

Many cannabis users use dry trim to enjoy a quick vaping session. However, note that regardless of how you want to use the trim, except smoking and vaping, decarboxylate them first to activate the cannabinoids. 









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