After a tabletop vape session, it may seem like the only thing left to do with the remaining golden to toasted brown cannabis is to toss it. But think again. It may seem like that  leftover cannabis, often referred to as ABV or AVB (already been vaped, or already vaped bud; pick your favorite), is devoid of cannabinoids like CBD and THC, but that isn’t really the case. There’s plenty of life left in those buds, and plenty of ways to use them. 

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The Best Way to Use ABV

If you’ve ever considered making edibles with cannabis, but the decarboxylation process seems inconvenient – not to mention making the kitchen a bit skunky – using ABV is the perfect solution because the vaporization process does the decarb for you. Cannabis, before going through the heating process, contains the compound THCA, which has no intoxicating effects. When heated, THCA turns into THC, which has the psychoactive properties that we all love so much. So what can you do with your activated bud?


Making cannabutter is a great way to get some extra mileage out of your cannabis and save you some money, plus you can use it to make food both sweet and savory. As mentioned above, it is actually easier to make cannabutter with ABV as opposed to fresh marijuana, since the decarb has already been done during the vaping process. 

A pound block of yellow butter next to a pile of green cannabis buds. Use one pound of butter for your cannabutter recipe. Photo credit: Shutterstock
To make cannabutter, simply melt a pound of butter in a saucepan at 200℉. For one stick of butter, add about two grams of ABV (you can add more or less depending on your desired potency, and the potency of the bud), stir it up, and let it simmer for  around 20 minutes. The next step is to filter the cannabutter through cheesecloth or a fine mesh strainer, remove the grounds, then let the butter set in the refrigerator. You can also add ABV to oils for cooking and salad dressing by following essentially the same steps as those for cannabutter. Adjust amounts to your liking. If you’re curious about how to dose your edibles, click the link for a handy guide.

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Water-cure Your Herb

Using your ABV can be as simple as saving it up and adding it to smoothies, peanut butter sandwiches, stirring it into oatmeal, or practically anything else you can think of, though it will have a strong cannabis-like taste and smell. A good way to minimize the distinctive taste and smell is to water-cure your ABV. With a few supplies like cheesecloth and some bowls and baking sheets from your cupboard, the only extra thing you need to water-cure ABV is time. This process is similar to making tea, you simply wrap the ABV in cheese cloth and soak it in water for extended periods of time. Because THC is not water soluble, materials in the vaped bud will be leeched out, but the THC and other cannabinoids will remain. You will probably need to open the windows and light some candles, because this process, like decarboxylation, will be a pungent process. Water-curing the ABV allows you to become a novelty weed chef. Once the ABV has been properly prepared, you can cook with it just like any other dry herb now. 

Gel Capsules and Tincture

Making ABV into gel capsules, which can be found at practically any drugstore, is a very discreet way to use ABV. This method also minimizes the taste of ABV if it has not been water-cured, and is a good way to stay aware of how much you’re consuming. If you are the adventurous type, making ABV capsules with soy lecithin and a lot of kitchen implements will lengthen the amount of time the capsules can be consumed and offer a lengthy high.

Hands holding two gel capsules with yellow liquid inside them Making your own infused gel capsules are a great way to use your ABV cannabis. Photo credit: Shutterstock
With a high proof alcohol like Everclear, you can also make homemade tinctures with your ABV and use it as you would any other tincture. Tinctures are also a stealthy way to consume your cannabis, plus they are potent — a little goes a long way. 

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Tips When Using ABV Weed

It is always a good idea to have a high quality grinder on hand to make your ABV into a fine powder, making it easier to work with in the recipes listed above. However, it’s a good idea to either clean the grinder afterwards (before using it again for fresh bud), or use a separate grinder, as the ABV can leave some of its funk behind. Another thing to keep in mind before consuming ABV is that it can be a little less predictable than fresh cannabis. It might take longer to kick in, for example, or be more or less potent than expected. So, start with a small dose and wait around 30 minutes to an hour to understand its effects before consuming more. And never use ABV that looks ashy or black. That should go straight into the trash can. Be sure to store ABV as you would your other cannabis flower products. Put it in a container that is airtight, like a Mason jar or ceramic container with an airtight seal, and place it in a cool, dark place that is not too humid. 


All in all, giving your ABV weed a second chance at getting you high is just another perk of flower vaporizing whether you’re using a table top Volcano or a E-Clipse handheld vape. Once you’ve infused your oils, butters, or Everclear, the options are endless. Always remember to start slow when you start consuming, but otherwise the sky's the limit!