Many growers of cannabis focus on bud harvesting only, throwing the entire plant away after the precious flowers are collected. But have you ever thought of the immense value of other plant parts that you’re wasting every time? Cannabis has a rich history of various applications, ranging from medicine to manufacturing, and you can also harness the potential of this plant with a couple of simple steps.
So, what are the different parts of the marijuana plant, and what are their uses? Read our ultimate guide to maximize the output of your cannabis planting endeavor and avoid wasting any valuable part of your harvest.
What Does a Marijuana Plan Consist Of?
To understand various parts’ uses, you need to come to grips with the anatomy of a marijuana plant and its uses first. Here are the key components of a typical marijuana plant you might grow on the windowsill or in the garden.
- Every plant has a root from which it develops its upper part. The roots nourish the whole plant by taking the water and nutrients from the soil.
- The cannabis stem is the plant’s part that grows upward and is visible. It is typically thick and long, hosting all side branches, leaves, and flowers. Some plants may be grown laterally by cutting the upper part of the stem and propagating their side branches’ development.
- Leaves grow on the plant’s stem and branches. They can be large (fan) or small (sugar).
- Female cannabis plants also develop flowers, or buds. These buds are seedless, so they can be dried and smoked. A compilation of tiny buds is referred to as a cola.
Using the Whole Plant: Is It Possible?
The plant’s buds, or flowers, are typically referred to as the part of weed that’s used for medical uses. In other words, it’s the part that you can dry and smoke. But that’s not all a stoner can use from their home-grown plant, as other parts of the marijuana plant also possess therapeutic qualities due to the resin constituents, though in a smaller concentration than the primary buds have.
Here’s what you can do with the rest of your plant.
Popcorn Buds and Sugar Leaves
First, you can use the popcorn buds and sugar (trim) leaves for hash extraction or cooking. The sugar leaves also contain much resin giving the soothing and elevating effect of the plant’s buds, unlike the fan leaves that cannot be used.
Stems and Stalks
The stem of the cannabis plant may serve as a valuable material for producing paper, mulch, and even pet bedding for your home animals. However, such use is more suitable for large plantations as you won’t have enough material from one plant. A much more interesting application is steam soaking in alcohol for around 1-1.5 months to make weed-enriched medicinal oils and tinctures. Another popular technique is decarboxylation; it can be used to squeeze the maximum value from small stems on which buds grew and even larger stems. Decarboxylation allows to free the cannabinoids from the cannabis plant’s tissue and use them for butter or oil infusion.
Many growers falsely underestimate the value of fan leaves of their cannabis plants, simply throwing them away after harvesting. But the good news is that except for the low concentration of THC, they have no more drawbacks. The leaves of cannabis plants are rich in terpenoids and flavonoids that conceal a wealth of health benefits for every user. Besides, they also have a high concentration of cannabinoids, though not the ones causing you to feel high. Thus, you can harness the healing power of cannabis leaves by adding them to your green smoothies, salads, and using them in juices. Do it while they’re still fresh and juicy; don’t freeze them for the later times but try to take the maximum of your plant’s value right after harvesting.
Once you complete the harvesting, you can see a lot of weed trimmings left over after the process. Is it worth just throwing them away? Absolutely not, as they also have a high CBD and THC concentration that can be extracted via careful manipulations. The first thing you can easily do is infuse some edibles with cannabis oils. Thus, you can boil the trimmings in a rich portion of butter or coconut oil to get a weed-infused product. Otherwise, you can boil them in milk and prepare a relaxing bedtime drink for yourself.
Finally, it’s the root of the cannabis plant that can also give you value. Did you ever think of it? In fact, the cannabis plant’s root contains a unique substance – cannabisativine. This component’s therapeutic value is enhanced with piperidine and pyrrolidine, which possess a strong sedative effect and can heal the human bronchial tubes. So, please think twice before throwing the seemingly useless root away, as it can become a real gem in your herbal medicine kit.
As you can see, there are uses for each part of the cannabis plant, making it unique and valuable in medicine, nutrition, and even the manufacturing of clothing and fuel. With the proper use of all plant parts, you receive immense value for health coming together with a yield of buds suitable for smoking. Make food infusion intermediates, medicinal oils, soothing drinks, and fiber-rich smoothies – it’s all possible with one cannabis plant.