The recent spread of marijuana legalization in the U.S. has created a boom for the edible marijuana business.
Dispensaries all over the country are selling wildly creative new edible choices. While the process of making cannabis-infused edibles may seem stressful to beginners, it’s really quite easy. This list will help you avoid some of the most common cooking mistakes and put you well on the road to making great tasting potent cannabis edibles!
While too much heat will kill your THC, some heat is necessary. Most people do not realize the raw cannabis plant contains no THC at all. It does contain THC-A (or THC-acid). It takes the process of adding heat or decarboxylation to make the chemical reaction that converts THC-A to THC. Just put your concentrates in an ovenproof dish and heat for about 20 minutes at 250 degrees F. Once decarboxylated the kief or hash is ready to cook with.
2. Over Grinding
For some reason, the majority of internet sites tell people to finely grind the marijuana being used to infuse butter or oil. There is even an electronic gadget for making marijuana butter that includes a built-in electric grinder. However, this may be incorrect. The plant’s resinous trichomes are ON the buds and leaves not IN them! Grinding just makes it seem like a complete process.
3. Over Heating
Lower cooking temperatures are better. THC is completely degraded at temperatures in excess of 392 degrees F. You will also need to pay attention to cooking temperatures when using the infused butter and oils, or when cooking with marijuana concentrates. Do not use infused marijuana oils for direct sautéing for frying unless recommended. If you are making something battered, make sure the medicated part is inside the batter. You can cook at oven temperatures up to 375 degrees F, as the food itself will not get that hot.
4. The Water Myth
Whether you infuse butter or cook oil in a slow cooker, always add water to the mix along with the plant material or butter or oil. Especially in a pot, the water will help things infuse at a lower temperature. In addition, it will help avoid things burning and scorching which will result in unappetizing taste. Remember, THC is rendered useless by being cooked at too high a temperature! The water also helps with appearance and flavor by washing away some of the green color and strong herbal flavor. The recommended ratio is 60:40 butter to water.
5. Adding Too Much Cannabis
There is no easier way to ingest too much marijuana than by eating it. Sometimes people are impatient and think they haven’t had enough. But minutes later they are too high. While “overdoses” are not dangerous in that they are never fatal, they can make you feel anxious. Dosing edibles are somewhat of an art, a lot of factors need to be taken into consideration and people’s tolerances run in a wide range. An amount that one person does may not be enough to make someone else experience a high. Keep in mind that cooking can intensify potency. Remember edibles are processed through your liver!
6. Undermedicating your Edibles
Likewise, if you ever find yourself with a weak batch of food, eat more! If you make a batch of infused butter or oil that is less potent than you’d like, you can always augment it later. You will heat gently to dissolve some decarboxylated kief or hash into it before using in recipes.
7. Adding Weed Directly to your Recipe
Marijuana or weed should not be added directly to your edibles recipe. The reason being that the human digestive system is not equipped to digest THC in complex form. It will throw it out of the system immediately. Therefore, you need to perform an extraction procedure with an oil-based solvent like butter or oil. This is because THC is fat soluble. Finally, the mix has to be strained well to eliminate residues.
Most people do not like the green herbal flavor of marijuana shining through their foods. Likewise, edible recipes with lots of spices and flavors are going to mask this better. Use as much or a little more seasoning. Also, flavor adding ingredients (such as onion and garlic) when cooking with cannabis is a great added bonus to the flavor pallet.
9. Cleaning Your Cannabis
It may sound silly, but that is exactly where many people fail. Imagine that you have taken your cannabis and let it boil. But if you had not cleaned your weed it will be the most disgusting food you have ever eaten. Marijuana may contain mold and heavy-duty pesticides or even chlorophyll that is equally powerful and horrible. The easiest way to clean your weed is to soak the buds in distilled water for a couple of days. Then you need to blanch it, remove it from the water, and dry carefully. By blanching, you can get a much purer flower to infuse into the butter. The color may change a bit because of this, but not to worry, just means it’s cleaner!!
10. Do not do the following:
- Use a paper coffee filter for any straining process. Cheesecloth works great, is cheap, and can be found at almost any grocery store in the baking aisle.
- Use a microwave. Some people may have had success, but many fail miserably. Unless you have already had repeated success using your own microwave, it is probably best not to experiment with one.
- Make a weed tincture or “Green Dragon” extraction using the stove-top method if you are inexperienced, clumsy or accident-prone.