Whether you are a cannabis lover or a new person on the scene, creating a batch of edibles is a time-honored tradition. Whether you want to cook for yourself or as gifts for this holiday season, these tips will take your edibles to the next level.
It might seem easy at first, but if you are going to do things properly and make the most out of your cannabis, you will want to handle things like a pro.
You might already have a recipe in mind, but no matter what you want to make, these 10 cooking tips are going to leave everyone talking about your edibles for weeks to come.
1. Choose Your Cannabis
This is one of the most fun parts, choosing the bud. You may grow for yourself or be a customer at your local dispensary, either way, you are going to need to get your hands on some quality product before you can start the cooking process.
Which cannabinoid should you choose? If you don’t know that word, the two most popular cannabinoids are THC and CBD – sound familiar? There is a lot of information about THC and CBD and which one you choose will depend on your needs.
Some of us go a little further and choose a specific strain that we are fond of. Different strains offer different experiences, tastes, and medical benefits. Enjoy picking out this key ingredient for your medicine.
2. Find the Right Amount
Have you ever gotten a little bit too high? Maybe not all of us, but if you have, you will know it can be quite an interesting experience. The same can be said for edibles. Find the right dosage for you so that you don’t have an overly intense first-time experience. Remember, cannabis is completely harmless and even if you do eat a little bit too much on your first time, just try to relax and enjoy the ride – everything is going to be alright.
3. Choose Your Fat
THC and CBD get broken down by fats, which is why most people use oil or butter to make their extracts. It’s simple, you want to get all the cannabinoids from the plant into something that you can use for cooking, and fat is your answer.
Coconut oil is a very popular choice because of its ability to absorb the cannabinoids. There is a lot of science behind which fats work better, but if you want to make something that tastes nice, you will probably want to also choose something that you like.
4. Preparing the Cannabis
Let’s just start by mentioning the elephant in the room – you are not going to put the cannabis directly into what you are cooking. There is a preparation process that you need to follow in order to best utilize your cannabis.
Some people prefer to clean and blanch their cannabis before cooking with it. This way you are certain that there are no chemicals on the cannabis, as well as removing excess chlorophyll and other things that will affect the taste of your oil.
Strictly speaking, you don’t have to break up the cannabis, but it makes it a lot easier to get even results and working with it is also cleaner and hassle-free. Grind, break-up, or whatever you prefer, as long as you get your cannabis into pieces. You don’t need to grind it into dust because it will just make it more difficult to strain in the end, the actual size isn’t too important.
5. Decarboxylate Your Cannabis
This step is often overlooked but it is one that is quite important if you don’t want to waste precious cannabinoids. The cannabinoids are only active at a certain temperature. Decarboxylation (a fancy word for heating up) is the point when this happens. So instead of only heating it up when it is in your oil, you should do it before to ensure that all the cannabinoids are extracted during the cooking.
Layout your broken-up cannabis on an oven tray covered with parchment paper. Spread it out so that it is a single layer – you want it to dry evenly – and then put it in a pre-heated oven at 200ºF. How long you leave it in will depend on how dry your cannabis was to begin with. You want to end with nice and dry pieces, with a good crisp.
6. The Right Temperature For Cannabis Edibles
This is something you never want to forget. Cannabinoids start evaporating at certain temperatures, so if you go above a certain temp, you are burning away the potency of your edibles. Have a thermometer handy so that you can keep your temps under control. Adding some water to your oil or butter is another way some people keep the temperatures under control, but that is up to the chef.
THC and CBD have different temperature points, but as a general rule of thumb, you don’t want to exceed 200ºF. There is some debate about the perfect cooking temperature, so you can make your own decision, but going a bit slower never hurt anyone – why rush and potentially damage all your hard work.
A little bit of patience goes a long way when making cannabis oil. You want the mixture to sit for a long time at low temperatures, to really allow for all the extractions to take place. This usually takes a few hours, so be prepared for a wait.
Another area where patience is crucial is during mixing. If you are making a batch of brownies or another dish that requires mixing, you will want to do it thoroughly. Don’t rush this or you might find the cannabis oil isn’t properly distributed. One person is going to get an overly large dose, while someone else might get nothing – that’s not fun for anyone.
8. Use a Strainer
After a few hours, you are ready to collect your beautiful cannabis oil. Enjoy the smells and colors that you experience during the process and look at your masterpiece. At this point all of the cannabinoids are in the fat, so you can get rid of the leftover pieces by straining the mixture- cheesecloth works well.
You should be left with a clean, green, and healthy mixture, ready for storage or use.
9. Test Out of Your Cannabis Oil
You might be feeling brave, but otherwise, a test might be a good idea, especially if this is your first time. A small single dose of your oil should be enough to feel the effects within an hour or so. See how it goes and takes it from there. It will give you a good indication of how much you should use and whether or not you need to change your cannabis oil ratios.
10. Store it Properly
Unless you like surprises, it is best to label your oils to prevent accidental usage –especially if you have children or elderly family members living with you. Keep the mixture in an airtight container in the refrigerator and it will last for months. Keep some on hand so that the next time the occasion arises you have the special ingredient on standby.