3 Things You Need To Understand Before Cooking With Cannabis
Admittedly, the last thing you want to see when you look up cannabis recipes is scientific terminology. Don’t freak out though – it’s not as scary as it sounds.
In its bud form, cannabis doesn’t have any psychoactive properties. This is why if you eat raw cannabis nothing will happen, it simply doesn’t contain the compounds that get you high. This is why most forms of cannabis consumption rely on heat – it’s the only thing that will convert THCA into the sweet sweet THC we know and love. And decarboxylation makes that happen.
One of the easiest ways to decarboxylate cannabis at home is to simply put it on an oven-safe tray lined with parchment paper. After this, preheat your oven to around 245ºF. Place the cannabis in and heat it for around 40 minutes (bear in mind, that older or dryer cannabis may require more time). During this time make sure to keep an eye on it, mixing and turning it every 10 minutes to ensure that the entire surface area is evenly heated
See? Not so scary after all.
Alright, the next thing you need to know about and the next step to delicious and powerful weed-infused food is to convert it into a form that can be used in a recipe. A common method is to infuse it into a cooking oil to create a canna oil (although you can also create cannabutter if that’s more your jam).
Canna Oils are super popular with medical users who want a way to infuse a whole range of foods with the plant. They can also act as a healthy (and depending on the oil, vegan) substitute for butter in a whole range of recipes.
To make it, just put 6 cups of extra virgin olive oil (or whatever oil you want) into a saucepan and slowly heat it at a low temperature. Once you start to smell the aroma of the oil wafting out of the pot, start adding finely ground decarboxylated cannabis to the oil (you can just use your grinder to grind it up, but the food processor works pretty well too). Add it in small amounts, constantly stirring until you have added it all and it’s mixed through thoroughly. Finally, strain the plant matter out, and bottle the oil for use!
If you’re new to weed you might not be aware that cannabis varies massively in potency from strain to strain and of course, this can have a big impact on whatever foods you’re infusing it with. Generally speaking, most strains come to around 10% potency. So, when you’re cooking with cannabis at home, you can presume that each gram will contain roughly around 100mg of THC.
Now, how much THC you want in your food is entirely up to you. And it goes without saying that if you’re an experienced stoner you aim a little higher (pun intended) and if you’re a novice you should probably ease into it more carefully. For a guideline of how much to use you can also look to the example set in Colorado law. Here, it’s said that a single-serving size for edibles is around 10mg of THC. You can use this as a guideline to inform your recipes to ensure that your edibles aren’t over-potent.
It’s also important to remember that edibles take longer to kick in than when you smoke or vape cannabis. If you don’t feel the effects of your edibles, be patient, don’t simply eat another edible; this could easily lead to an experience you won’t want to repeat.