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Edible Infusions: Things To Know If You Plan on Cooking With Cannabis

Written by Cristine Felt

There are still many people who think cooking your own cannabis edibles is hard, scary, and really complicated, but the truth is that it’s actually incredibly easy. It is basically a simple process of combining your ground cannabis and fat.

Nevertheless, crafting the perfect batch of edibles does require a certain amount of knowledge, both of cannabis and cooking. You want to make something that is potent and tastes good, and we’re here to tell you what you need to know to make that happen.

STEP 1: Choosing The Strain

Before you get out your measuring cup and mixing bowl it’s a good idea to get advice from the budtender at your local dispensary concerning the strain you’re gonna use. It can make all the difference, just like when you smoke weed. Besides the fact it will determine the effect you’ll feel when cooking with cannabis, the strain will also change the aroma and flavor of your finished edibles. Some will have a coffee aroma and others a fruity flavor, so take your pick.

STEP 2: Securing Your THC

Since the THC is what makes us feel high, the first step is to make your cannabis decarboxylated. This is basically a process of heating the cannabis in order to convert THC-A to THC. So what is THC-A? It is the acidic form of the cannabinoid which raw cannabis contains. And decarboxylation matters because these cannabinoid acids do not bind to CB receptors in the central nervous system, which simply means you won’t get high if you skip this part.

When you’re infusing your cannabis with oil or butter and baking cookies from it the decarboxylation automatically happens, but it’s mandatory that you put the raw cannabis in the oven beforehand in order to make sure you decarboxylate it to its full potential. This process is quite simple – place the roughly chopped cannabis in an ovenproof dish, cover it with foil, and place it in a preheated oven on 240F/115C for 40 minutes.

STEP 3: Grinding

The next step is to grind the buds. It’s good to have a dedicated coffee grinder that will serve solely for this purpose, but it’s not mandatory. A mortar and pestle will do the work just fine. If you do have a designated coffee grinder, just make sure you don’t grind it up too much since it won’t strain properly.

STEP 4: Find the Right Ratio

cooking cannabis

Finely ground cannabis is essential to the cooking process

When it comes to infusing the oil the amount of cannabis depends on the desired potency, but a standard is an ounce of ground flower for each cup of oil. The recommended ratio for butter is four sticks for each ounce. As for the fat, most recipes don’t require an entire cup, but you can always save leftovers for your future edible endeavors. Just freeze them in ice cube trays and they can last for at least a year.

STEP 5: Making The Oil

For this step, there are three methods you can use. You can concoct it in the slow cooker where the oil becomes incredibly potent and it’s impossible for buds to burn. Nevertheless, this process requires some planning and it takes a while but requires very little actual work. All you need to do is to fill the slow cooker with water halfway and keep it on low while placing the cannabis and oil in a jar. Then simply place the jar in the water – six hours should be enough to extract all you need from the cannabis.

The second method is using a dutch oven instead of a slow cooker. Your oil mixture needs to be in an oven-safe jar which you’ll place into the oven set to 180F and halfway filled with water. Then cover the oven and cook for at least six hours.

The third method is cooking on the stove, which is probably the most popular one but also the riskiest. The pan where you’ll warm your oil needs to be at super low heat, and then you add in your ground cannabis. You’ll need to stir constantly for about 20 minutes so it doesn’t burn. You’ll end up with the mixture that’s quick to make, but not as strong as with other two methods.

STEP 6: Straining Out

Once your bud and oil mixture has become one, you’ll need to strain out the leftover plant pieces. You should do it while the mixture is hot and it’s best to use a wire strainer first that’ll remove the biggest chunks. Then you should run it through a cheesecloth or a coffee filter, and you should do this in small batches. Cheesecloth is a better option since you can strain a greater volume at one time, but make sure to use several layers.

Final Thoughts

And this is it – the rest is entirely up to your cooking imagination – add cannabis to a chocolate bundt cake, blueberry muffins, banana bread, you name it. Just keep portion control in mind since it could take more than an hour before you feel the effects.

The high experienced from ingesting cannabis is much different from the one that occurs from smoking – it’s no instant gratification, but it’s longer-lasting and stronger.

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About the author

Cristine Felt

Cristine Felt is an ex nurse and medical cannabis enthusiast that has a passion for writing. Spent 10 years working as a nurse in Colorado Springs, CO and hoping to become a health journalist in the near future. You can find her online, tweeting about health, or at home preparing healthy meals for her family.