One of the problems and pleasures of harvest are the many leaves and branches left after your bud is trimmed. They are too useful and valuable to throw away, but they also demand to be processed while you are overwhelmed with all of the other tasks associated with the harvest. Even after cleaning up my trim work area and fortifying and mulching the soil where my plants were, I usually have to catch up on anywhere from 3 to 5 days of housework and laundry that was neglected during trimming. There often just isn’t time to deal with leaves and stems.
What do you do with your extra trim?
Like any other produce from the garden, fresh trimmed weed leaves and stems must be consumed or processed quickly before spoilage occurs. You can use fresh weed chopped and added to a salad, or green smoothie, juiced or scattered over cooked vegetables. You
won’t get high as the THCA hasn’t been decarboxylated to convert to THC, the psychoactive ingredient needed to get stoned, but you will get a healthy dose of calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, vitamins, and minerals. Unfortunately, you can only eat so many salads, and your secondary crop must be either processed right away or stored. Drying is an option, but if you have much bud drying at all, you might not have the space to hang and air dry the leaves. With any method of processing trim for later, don’t forget to label with the name of the strain, and the date of processing.
How do I store my trimmed cannabis?
One option is to trim off the healthiest leaves, dry them, then decarbed in a low oven set at 220*F for 20-30 minutes. Remove from oven and cool. Once cooled, gently crumble and store in jars in a cool, dark place until ready to use to make tincture or elixirs, butter, oils, etc. You can also cool and crumble into zip-seal freezer bags and place in the freezer for later use to make elixirs, butter or infused oils.
If you prefer, you can separate out the healthiest stems and leaves, make sure they are dry, place in zip-seal freezer bags, and freeze fresh. Later, use to make bubble hash, butter, elixirs. Take special care when handling frozen weed, as the cold makes the trichomes brittle, and they break and fall off easily. This is the very reason bubble hash must be kept very cold while being made. Where I live, it’s often still pretty warm after harvest. By freezing, I can store my trim until it’s cold outside, and I have more time to deal with making bubble hash.
The Mighty Green Dragon, Cannabutter, & More
Both drying and freezing make it possible for me to make Green Dragon, or kinds of butter and oils to use for cooking, baking or making salves and balms at a later date. I don’t like to make Green Dragon when it’s warm, and all of the windows are open to catch a breeze. The smell is too much of an advertisement that I have a crop in. Later, on a cold day, I can put a slow cooker of elixir on, vape some weed, read a book while it simmers, and enjoy a cozy home filled with the scents of my happy harvest. If I’m patient and lucky, my bud will be dried and cured by then and I can vape the corresponding strain.
Personally, I like to keep my strains separate to make an elixir, before making a final batch of my special “Leftover Blend”. By keeping the strains separate, I can sample and learn the properties of each batch of elixir and create blends for the desired effect. The “Leftover Blend” is just, well, you have to do something with the leftovers.