No matter the size of your grow room or harvest, in the end growers are always left with foil trays or tables full of cannabis trim, leaves and popcorn like buds. You may feel wasteful by tossing the piles in the trash and you’d be right. As you can easily repurpose leftover cannabis trim and leaves into even more cannabis goods, getting the biggest bang for your buck. So, what are some of the simplest DIY ways to use cannabis trimmings at the end of each crop’s life cycle? Keep reading to find out. 

What is Cannabis Trim? 

With each plant or plot harvest, cultivators are tasked with trimming their buds to achieve a manicured, smokable end-product. In doing so, you remove fan leaves and sugar leaves from the stems and stalks of the plant. These leaves and small popcorn buds that are typically not worth trimming, drying and curing are leftover at the end once trimming is complete. But, they can still be put to good use. 

Sugar leaves and small popcorn buds are still chock-full of beneficial cannabinoids and terpenes which provide cannabis’ notorious effects. While fan leaves are not. Either way, both can be put to good use since raw fan leaves have their own nutritional and wellness value all on their own. That’s why so many home growers are using their harvest to the fullest by repurposing the ‘waste’ of harvests into something new.

So, without further adieu - let’s get into the DIY ways you can use both. 

handful of cannabis fan leaves

DIY Ways to Use Leftover Cannabis Trim 

From edibles, to topicals, even concentrates - almost anything is possible with leftover cannabis trim. Here are the top ways you can repurpose sugar leaves, and popcorn buds that contain cannabinoids and terpenes for elevated effects. 

Prepping your Cannabis Trim for DIY Oils & Topicals 

To make cannabis infused cannabutter canna oil and even canna topicals, first you’ll have to decarboxylate the trim. Which is just a fancy word for heating up the flower, to activate its beneficial compounds. The same way you would apply heat to regular flower, with a light or torch to consume. By heating the material slowly, and on low heat, the cannabinoids and terpenes become activated for infusion into other goods. 

The easiest way to decarb trim is in a standard oven. You’ll set your oven to 220℉ or the lowest setting possible, and spread the trim on a baking sheet. Pop the baking sheet in the oven for 20-30 minutes, until the buds and trim are a light golden brown. As a tip, keep in mind this process will be highly pungent. Once complete, your buds are ready for the infusion process.  

DIY Oils & Butter 

By infusing common oils like coconut oil, olive oil or butters, you can then use your canna base in virtually any recipe of your choosing. Even better, the process is fairly simple to tackle with just a few supplies and ingredients. Below is a basic DIY recipe that you can follow - 

Supplies & Ingredients - 

  • Crockpot, double-boiler or saucepan 
  • The oil of your choosing (coconut oil, olive oil, or butter) 
  • Decarboxylated trim 
  • Cheesecloth 
  • Mesh strainer 
  • Jar & measuring cups 
  1. In your crockpot, saucepan or double-boiler combine your decarbed trim and oil or butter base (melted if coconut or butter). The recommended ratio to follow is 1 cup of oil or butter to 1 cup of trim. You can add water to the mixture if need be, to loosen up the mixture. 
  2. Turn the heat settings to low or warm for crockpots. Follow the timing below to infuse the cannabis trim, into the oil or butter base -
    a. Crockpots: 6-24 hours
    Saucepan or double boiler: 2-3 hours
  3. Once heating is complete, place cheesecloth over your mesh strainer and place the mesh strainer over a glass measuring cup, bowl or the jar you’ll be storing the oil or butter in. 
  4. Pour the oil/butter and flower mixture into the cheesecloth and let the oil/butter strain into the bowl, cup or jar. Avoid squeezing the cheesecloth and mixture too much, as that’ll just add extra chlorophyll to your end mixture. 

You can then store your canna-butter or oil in the refrigerator or freezer for up to 6 months and use the mixture in any regular recipe that calls for oil or butter. 

Cannabis leaf, tincture and seeds

DIY Topicals - Salve or Creams 

For DIY topicals, you’ll want to follow the recipe above to make your own cannabis infused coconut oil. As coconut oil is a common base in many skin creams, and salves. Once you’ve made your own cannabis infused coconut oil, you can easily make your own cannabis salve to use for skincare or pain relief on targeted trouble areas. To start your base for cannabis salves follow the simple steps below - 

  1. Gather 2 cups of coconut oil, and ½ cup of beeswax. 
  2. Add the beeswax to a saucepan and heat on low until melted. 
  3. Add your cannabis infused coconut oil and mix thoroughly. 
  4. Pour the mixture into the final container and store in a cool place. 

You can also elevate your DIY salve by adding common skincare ingredients like aloe vera, essential oils, shea butter or vitamin E oil. 

DIY Hash 

Bubble or water hash has become so popular that the method is even used by commercial cultivators and sold on dispensary shelves to use the most of their harvests. In addition, there’s a variety of bubble hash kits that make the process even easier to follow. The idea is the ice freezes the trichomes present on the trim, and with physical agitation they’re separated and isolated. Once complete, and strained through a mesh bag you’re left with a sift of hash of all the good stuff off of the trim. 

Going Raw with Fan Leaves 

Juicing with cannabis and cannabis tea is rising in popularity as home growing becomes more popular. Cultivators are getting crafty with the use of fan leaves to reap the raw benefits and nutritional value they can provide. Cannabis fan leaves are not only rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, but also in THCa. THCa is the precursor to THC, meaning when heat is applied it converts to THC. Without heat, and when consumed raw THCa has a variety of benefits itself without the psychoactive effects of THC. Including - 

  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Neuroprotective
  • Antiemetic
  • Anti-obesity 

To reap the benefits of raw cannabis, the DIY methods are simple. You can simply add a handful to any juicer, or smoothie like you would kale, spinach or other greens. Raw cannabis leaves can also be used for tea too like you would with any loose leaf tea. You can add the raw material to a tea ball, or tea bag, steep in hot water and sip on the natural benefits raw cannabis can provide. 

Increase ROI with DIY Cannabis Trim & Leaves 

When you learn how to use every bit of your cannabis harvest, you can successfully increase your return of investment with each pull. By using the simple DIY methods you’ve learned today you can use every bit of the plant towards a cannabis infused product. Doing so not only cuts down on unnecessary waste, but increases your harvest's overall value. In addition to helping you spend less on cannabis products chock-full of natural benefits for healing. So bookmark this page, gather your ingredients and get ready to make the most of your next harvest of premium top-shelf 420-seeds crops