smoking seeds

PSA: Don’t Smoke Those Stems

These are crazy times, so it’s not that weird that you’re looking at your bowl of weed stems and contemplating smoking them. Waste not, want not, right?

As nice as it is to reduce waste and be resourceful, smoking stems isn’t the way to go.

If stems are all you have left, then you’ve already smoked the good stuff.

Stems contain almost no THC. What little may be in there doesn’t even come close to being enough to produce a high.

The negligible amount of THC in stems isn’t worth the unpleasant effects and risk to your lungs that come with smoking.

Inhaling smoke harms your lungs. It doesn’t matter if it’s bud, seed, tobacco, or burning wood. Toxins and carcinogens (cancer-causing agents) are released from the combustion of materials, even stems. This damages your lungs and increases your risk for cancer and heart and lung diseases.

Smoke effects aside, smoking stems can cause:

  • a raging headache
  • a sore throat
  • coughing

It’ll also taste like you’re smoking wood chips.

Some people on Reddit and other forums who admit to having smoked weed stems also reported uncomfortable gastrointestinal symptoms, like nausea and abdominal pain.

Nope. You shouldn’t smoke those either.

Marijuana seeds aren’t going to get you high no matter how many you crush and smoke. There’s just not enough THC in the seeds to produce any effects.

Lighting them up will create a lot of snap, crackle, and pop. The acrid smoke will irritate your throat and damage your lungs like other smoke. But that’s about it.

Stems and seeds aren’t worth smoking, but that doesn’t mean they’re entirely useless. You may be able to use lingering stems and seeds. Exactly what you can do with them depends on how many you have.

If you just have a few seeds kicking around, you could plant them and try growing your own stash (if you live in an area where this is permitted, of course).

Have an abundance of stems and seeds to play with? Consider eating it.

Here are some ways to make it appetizing.

Brew some stem tea

Before getting your brew on, you’ll want to bake the stems on a baking sheet in the oven for around 45 minutes at 225°F (107°C). When done, let the stems cool, and then grind them up.

Put your ground stems in a tea diffuser and let them steep in boiling water for 10 to 15 minutes. If you don’t have a diffuser, you can steep your ground stems in a pot of boiling water and then place a coffee filter over your mug and pour so it strains your brew.

Make stem butter

Who doesn’t like butter?

Just like when making tea from weed stems, you’ll want to bake your stems in the oven at 225°F (107°C) for 45 minutes and let them cool before grinding.

Place some butter in a pan and melt over low heat. Once the butter’s completely melted, add the ground stems and let simmer for around 30 minutes, stirring often.

To strain it, cheesecloth works best. Just secure the cheesecloth over a glass jar with a rubber band, and slowly pour the butter over the cloth. Let the butter cool and — voilà — stem butter!

It might be tempting to smoke all those stems that are gathering dust in your jar, but you may want to think twice before lighting up.


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Smoke Your Own

SERIES 28 – Episode 25

Professor Kingsley Dixon shows how to get native plants to germinate using smoke

What You’ll Need

  • BBQ kettle (with lid)
  • Plastic container (Professor Dixon uses a rectangular takeaway container). If the container begins to melt, the kettle is too hot!
  • Native plant seeds
  • Straw (e.g. oat straw)
  • Some dried leaves (avoid eucalypt leaves and myrtles)
  • Matches/flame
  • Bellows (optional – fire can be fanned manually)

Tip: You need a mix of leafy material and straw, not wood, to create the correct quality of smoke for germination


  1. Place a few handfuls of straw and dried leaves and place in the bottom of the barbecue kettle to one side.
  2. Light the dried materials.
  3. Use bellows (or manual fan) to encourage the fire.
  4. Sprinkle seeds into the plastic container.
  5. Place grill plates over the smoking leaves and straw, and place container filled with seeds on the opposite side of the smoking material.
  6. Place the lid on the barbecue kettle.
  7. Open the lid and check the seeds every few minutes to check that the leaf and straw material is still smouldering.
  8. Smoke for approximately 20 minutes. The seeds should have a light-brown covering on them. This coating that is formed on the seed contains the smoke chemical.
  9. Once the seeds have dried off they can be sown anytime over a 12 month period. Once seeds are planted, water gently to prevent washing the chemical from the seed surface.
  • Contact your local wildflower society to source native seed suppliers or visit the Australian Native Plants Society Region and Group Directory for more information.
  • A good rule of thumb – if a native plant species requires smoke to germinate, it is likely that plants from the same genus will do too!


  • Remember to consider weather conditions before smoking seeds and check for any fire restrictions before starting.
  • Always have a responsible adult supervising and make sure children cannot reach any hot surfaces.
  • Remember to extinguish all fires after you have finished seed smoking.

Josh learns how to smoke native plant seeds to aid germination