Living in a town that has always produced a lot of cannabis meant it was easy to get and forget. Throughout friends and bulk purchases, I ultimately ended up with a decent amount of old, dry, lousy, forgotten leaf, and of course, stems tossed back into the bag instead of properly disposed. The thing about organic plant matter is that there are loads of ways of giving it life once it’s too dry to smoke.
There are definitely different levels of re-usage… tea, in my opinion, would not be pleasant from years+ old stems and shake. That’s not to say it can’t be done, but I would rather pass on that. Edibles are also questionable, although I suspect creating cannabutter with trash flower parts would make for a minimal effect. Hopefully, you haven’t been as wasteful as me, and the weed you want to recycle is, beyond your doubt, worthy of being baked, by all means try it. At the worst, it could be tossed in with compost if you were so environmentally inclined. Yet, there are definitely methods of reaping the benefits of the plant without smoking it, as we all know.
My absolute favorite DIY project for un-smokeable flower is definitely making your own topical salve. There are so many great recipes, and easily enough, you can take whatever your preferred body oil would be, and infuse it with your recyclable product. Hot tip: coconut oil is better as a beauty product than a cooking product- we probably don’t need to be eating more saturated fats. As for your favorite body oil, if you have truly 0 idea where to begin, here’s a good basic recipe using coconut oil as a base:
-Toast your old cannabis on a baking sheet at 200ºF for 20 minutes, then increase the temperature to 245ºF for 40 minutes, then finely grind it.
-I like a heavy ratio for topical salvez, so I try to use a cup of flower to a cup of oil.
-In a double boil, or slow cooker, combine the cannabis and oil, and heat at a low temperature close to or under 200º, for at least 6 hours. The more time, the better, honestly!
-Strain the oil. If you would like less actual plant matter, allow it to drip through a cheesecloth or layered paper towels in a mesh bowl. After most of the liquid has seeped through, you can dispose of the soiled leaf in the trash.
-You can reheat the oil in your double boil with the extra materials that will turn the canna-coco infusion into soothing topical. You can fully use the oil at this point as a salve on your skin, and I have when I didn’t want to splurge on crafting… but making your own lotion is fun and satisfying and I recommend trying it out!
-Depending on your skin needs, you can research good additives. For my psoriasis and dryness, I add about ¼ cup of beeswax, 1 cup aloe vera, a few drops of vitamin E oil, a scoop of shea butter, and a swig of olive oil. As you can guess, the recipe is pretty lax, so experiment with what you like. Lavender is my favorite essential oil for scent and calmness, but there are so many to choose from.
-Keep your lotion in a jar because it won’t come out of a pump easy! Keep it in a dark, dry place, but use it regularly because these products do expire.
-Enjoy the delightful recycled relief of your labor!