3 Ways You Can Recycle Your Leftover Cannabis Leaves, Trimmings, and Pulp

Posted 6 years ago by Ian Shutts

So you have finally harvested your cannabis plants or maybe you’re done making your homemade cannabis butter. Of course, the next step would naturally be to dispose of the trimmings and the leftover leaves. However, throwing them away seems so wasteful, and what can you do with them, anyway?

Make Your Own Organic Compost for Your Cannabis Crops

To really get the full benefits of medical cannabis, you have to make sure that your crops are free from pesticides and fertilizers. While these chemicals can help plants grow and protect them from pests, they can also be pretty harmful not only to the environment but to you as well. You don’t want any traces of these harmful chemicals in your medical cannabis. They can be absorbed by your cells and produce additional health problems.

cannabis compost

To keep your cannabis plants healthy and strong, you can make compost out of your trimmings and leaves. Here are the things that you need:

  • Compost bin. Any clean bucket will do.
  • Your cannabis trimmings. You can also include fruit and veggie scraps, eggshells, dry leaves, old cartons and newspapers, and plant and grass clippings from your yard.
  • Earthworms. You can find these in your yard, or you can buy them online from compositing sites.

Place the twigs first as this allows drainage as well as aeration of the compost. Next, add the leaves. You can alternate with “greens” and “browns” as you add more layers to your compost. For example, cannabis leaves, newspapers, veggie scraps, shredded cartons or old boxes, fruit scraps, etc.

You can add more into the pile as it shrinks and decomposes, but see to it though that you mix them with the lower layers to aerate the pile and moisten the new ones. Of note, it’s important that you turn the pile at least once every two weeks to speed up the decomposition and composting process.

This process can take anywhere from four to six months, depending on the size of your compost bin. The finished compost is usually pushed to the top by the worms, bacteria, and other microorganisms that break down the pile. You’ll know the compost is done when it smells like the soil, not nasty like dead animals. The finished product will also be crumbly and dark in color.

You now have an environmentally-friendly organic fertilizer for your cannabis crops.

Create Your Own Cannabis Cream for Your Skin

This is actually quite easy to do. All you need are:

  • 1 cup of your leftover cannabis leaves and buds from your trimmings.
  • 1 cup coconut oil.
  • 30 grams beeswax.
  • Your favorite essential oil (lavender, mint, eucalyptus, tea tree, rose, chamomile, etc.).
  • Preheated oven at 225-degree Fahrenheit.


  • Grind your leftover cannabis leaves and buds, spread them evenly on a cookie sheet, and place the cookie sheet in your preheated oven for about 50 minutes.
  • Place a saucepan over low heat and pour in your coconut oil. Let it simmer gently.
  • Once the leftover cannabis leaves and buds are done, add them into the coconut oil. Stir the mixture continuously for about 20 minutes to let the oil absorb the cannabinoids.
  • Place a fine-mesh strainer over a glass jar and pour the mixture into the strainer. The strainer will catch the pulp and any woody parts.
  • In another saucepan over low heat, add the beeswax and the cannabis oil at a 1:1 ratio and then mix thoroughly.
  • Remove from heat and add a few drops of your favorite essential oil.
  • Let it cool and place in a clean glass jar.

You know have your own cannabis cream which you can use for your skin, muscle, and joint conditions.

Use Your Cannabis Butter or Oil Leftover Leaves in Your Cooking

You don’t have to throw away your leftover cannabis pulp. There are actually a lot of dishes that can be spiced up by adding a few morsels of your leftover cannabis pulp.

  • Finely grind the pulp and add it into your pesto dish.
  • Add a few cannabis pulp morsels into your fruit and veggie smoothies.
  • Enhance your veggie and meat stews with some crumbs of your leftover cannabis pulp.
  • Garnish some of your desserts with the cannabis pulp.
  • If you have a senior pet, especially one that’s suffering from painful arthritic joints, you can add a few morsels of cannabis pulp into their food. This can help relieve their inflamed and painful joints.

Of note, don’t add all your leftover cannabis pulp into one single dish. Use small amounts at first to prevent unwanted side effects. More importantly, don’t serve your cannabis-infused dishes to children.

Now, you no longer have to waste any trimmings or leftover leaves and buds from your cannabis.