Cooking with cannabis, it’s both an art and a science. You want a treat that’s not only going to provide you with the desired psychoactive effects but is also going to taste good. Many times, people will just quickly throw something together without any regard for the actual integrity of the food that they’re cooking.
However, by following just a few simple tips, you can make food with cannabis that will save you on stress, money, and time. Once you understand the basic science of infusion and decarboxylation, you’ll understand what does and doesn’t make an effective and tasty edible.
There isn’t one single method for making quality cannabis foods. Only through trial, error, and experimentation can you master this useful and fun craft. But if you’re interested in upping your cannabis cooking game, then you should continue reading and see how you can improve your edibles.
1. Don’t Spend Too Much Money on Flower for Cannabis Edibles
Too many amateur home chefs make the mistake of throwing a half-ounce of cannabis into a slow cooker because they believe that’s how much cannabis it takes to make a cup of infused butter. Instead, you should always remember the ratio: 1:1 – 1 cup of oil to 1 cup of ground cannabis (about seven to ten grams).
You need to understand that lipids in the oil can only bind with a certain amount of cannabinoids. So if you surpass this ratio, you’ll essentially end up wasting your cannabis flower.
One way to save money when cooking with cannabis is to buy less cannabis. But if you want to save even more money, then you should think about infusing your cannabis oil with cannabis flower, stems, or trim that’s been vaporized. These pieces are also known as “ABV” (already been vaped) cannabis.
2. Understand Decarboxylation
Decarboxylation is the process that activates the cannabinoids in Cannabis Sativa, such as THC. All of the cannabinoids that are contained inside of the trichomes of raw cannabis flowers also have an extra carboxyl group.
For example, THCA is synthesized within the trichome heads of cannabis flowers that have been recently harvested. In many regulated markets, cannabis is sold in dispensaries that have labels that detail the cannabinoid contents of the products.
In most instances, THCA is usually the highest cannabinoid that’s present in products that haven’t been decarboxylated. These products are usually cannabis concentrates and flowers.
There are a variety of benefits to THCA. Consuming THCA has neuroprotective properties and can also help with inflammation.
It should be noted, however, that THCA is not intoxicating and needs to be transformed into THC via decarboxylation before any intoxicating effects can be felt.
Basically, if you ate raw cannabis flowers, you probably wouldn’t feel a whole lot of intoxicating effects. That’s why decarboxylation is so useful.
3. Put Decarboxylate Cannabis In the Oven First
You should always decarboxylate your cannabis before you start cooking with it. You never just want to throw raw, unactivated cannabis flower into your dish or batter.
This won’t taste good and it also won’t let the cannabinoids bind to the lipids. If you do this, you’re not going to really feel any effects and are essentially just throwing your money and cannabis down the drain.
If you didn’t already know, an easy way to decarb is by using the oven.
However, if you really want to, you can simply add your raw flower to the slow cooker so that it can decarb in the oil. The issue with this though is that you may notice that it’s going to take a longer for the cannabis to soak in the oil. And the cannabis oil is also going to end up not tasting that good.
It’s also harder to control the temperature in a slow cooker than in an over. And you might end up burning away important compounds. In an over, however, you can set it to a low temperature and keep it constant.
4. Know how long and How Hot to Heat your Cannabutter and Cannabis
Not only do you have to decarboxylate the cannabis before you cook with it, but you also have to make sure that you’re decarbing correctly. This means that you need to set your oven to the proper temperature and let the cannabis heat for long enough. You also have to activate the most surface area possible.
In general, it’s best to:
Mix the buds every 10 minutes
Cook for thirty to forty minutes
Heat the oven to 245°F
If you don’t have a lot of time on your hands, then you can set your oven temperature to 300°F and then cook the cannabis for around fifteen minutes. You should stir every five minutes. With that said, the slower and lower method is going to deliver you the best results.
Also, when you’re steeping your ground cannabis in the oil with a slow cooker, make sure that you maintain a temperature that’s around 175°F. On a slow cooker, this is usually either low or medium.
Get a thermometer and check the temperature. Let the cannabis cook for around three hours with the cover removed.
5. Use a Hand Grinder to Get a More Coarse Grind
Have you ever felt that your edibles had some kind of strong, grassy flavor? If so, then you’re probably grinding your cannabis too finely. When you grind your cannabis with a coffee grinder or a food processor until it’s a powder, then it will:
Make it impossible to strain out undesired and bad-tasting plant material
Make your oil or butter turn green (which may look fun, but at the cost of flavor)
Introduce chlorophyll to your oil which will give it a strong plant-like taste
After you have decarboxylated your cannabis in the oven, you should grind it coarsely with a hand grinder. Cannabinoids will bind to the fats of the oil. By having a coarse grind, you’ll be letting the cannabinoids absorb effectively without having to pull out any undesired plant matter.
6. Strain with a Cheesecloth and Let Gravity Do the Work
After you have infused the oil, you now need to strain out all of the plant matter. A cheesecloth is best for this process because it’s going to let the oil pass through the cloth while keeping the ground plant matter out. However, in order for this to work, you need to let gravity do the work for you.
You shouldn’t squeeze the cloth in order to get every drop of oil out. When you milk it like this, you’re only going to get a little more oil but you’re also going to end up with a lot more plant matter.
7. Test Potency of the Oil Before You Include It in the Dish
You shouldn’t have to anxiously eat your edibles, unsure how strong or effective they’re going to be. You can perform a “strand test” before you cook them in order to gauge how much infused oil you’re going to need in your recipe based on its strength. This is a very simple process.
Take 1/4 of the oil as a personal dose and add it to a beverage or food. Wait one hour and see if how you feel. This is going to help you figure out what a proper serving should be.
After you’ve figured out how much oil will give you the desired effects, multiply that dose per serving if you’re making a shareable batch. For example, if you’re making brownies or pizza.
You can also just scoop the appropriate dose onto each individual dish. This is a good idea if you’re infusing something like a slice of bread, a cup of tea, or a bowl of pasta.
8. Stir Well
One thing that you really want to avoid is ending up with an uneven potency in your batches. This essentially turns each slice of your dish into a game of Russian roulette.
If you and a friend have ever shared a dish and ended up with wildly different potencies, it’s probably because you didn’t stir the batter well enough. When you’re making a batch of infused food, you want to stir and then stir some more. This is going to help make sure that the oil is evenly distributed throughout the batter and that you’re going to end up with a perfect dose in every single slice.
9. Clean and Blanch Your Cannabis
Sadly, most cannabis isn’t actually all that clean and sanitary. From natural chlorophyll to fungicides to pesticides, your cannabis probably has a lot of impurities in it. These impurities can be toxic and also make your cannabis taste bad.
In order to achieve edibles that taste better and are healthier too, you should remember to clean your cannabis. You can do this by letting it soak in distilled water for around three days. You should change the water out every twelve hours.
Once you do that, you should go ahead and blanch your clean flower by adding it to boiling water. Leave it in the boiling water for five minutes. Then, place the buds in an ice bath for one minute.
Once you do this, you can go ahead and dry and decarboxylate the cannabis in the oven.
10. Always Taste Test
This tip applies to all home chefs, whether you’re making edibles or anything else. It doesn’t matter if you’re making cookies or pasta, you should always taste your dish before you serve it. This is to make sure that it tastes the way you intended it to.
Just make sure that you don’t taste it too much. These are edibles after all!
11. Store and Label Your Edibles
This tip usually ends up being forgotten. That’s a shame because it’s so important that you properly store your edibles.
Most edibles should be stored in sealed containers and kept in the refrigerator. However, what’s even more important is that you make sure that no children or pets get to them. You also don’t want to accidentally dose your roommates by not properly labeling your tasty treats.
Also, you yourself probably don’t want to accidentally munch on some edibles or mix them up with a non-infused food. You should label everything and even hide the edibles if you think that would be best.
12. Remember That THC is Fat-Soluble, Not Water-Soluble
If you want to cook with cannabis, it’s very important that you understand that THC is fat-soluble but it won’t dissolve that well in water. Because of this, it’s best to infuse cannabis with things like coconut oil, olive oil, and butter. This is going to be the ideal way to absorb the cannabinoids.
13. Choose the Right Recipe
Just because you can cook something with cannabis doesn’t mean that you should. Choose recipes that are going to taste good with cannabis infusion. You don’t want to have to struggle to eat something just to get some cannabis in you.
This should be an enjoyable and satisfying experience, after all.
Using These Tips for Cooking With Cannabis
Cooking with cannabis is both exciting and fairly easy. And by following the tips listed above, you should have a much more successful and fun time doing it.
Just make sure that you plan everything out ahead of time and remember to decarb. And you should also take small bites at first, in order to confirm that the dosing is correct.
Are you looking for other helpful cannabis articles like this one? If you are, then make sure to check out the rest of our blog today for more!