These days, finding mouth-watering recipes for just about anything you want to cook is only a few clicks away! But recipes are not the only factor to consider when cooking with cannabis.
You want to make sure you understand a few basic concepts about cannabinoid ratios, dosage calculation for your infusion, and other fundamentals.
It is okay if this all sounds overwhelming for now. Many people will simply buy their cannabis-infused products from an online dispensary instead of going through all the hassles to make DIY edibles.
But cooking with cannabis is simpler than it appears, and this guide will show you simplified steps to infuse the immensely beneficial plant into your favorite recipes.
Let’s get started, shall we?
Before You Put on Your Stove
Before you head to the kitchen and cook up a storm, it is super important to keep a few guidelines in mind.
These guidelines apply, whether you plan to cook with CBD oil or want to start from scratch and make tinctures, topical, candies, or even your oil.
Start From The Known
Smoking cannabis is one way to ingest it. But switching to cooking the plant and infusing it into your cooking can be a lot trickier if you’ve never tried store-bought edibles before.
The first thing you want to do is get your hands on some edibles and try rockstar strain from trusted online cannabis dispensary . This will help you figure out the products you like and the dosage that works for you.
After a few tries, you’ll be in a better position to attempt a DIY recreation of the dosage and cannabinoid profile of your preferred product right inside your kitchen.
Some people skip this experimental phase to avoid the cost of buying dispensary products. But it is usually best to start from the known and work your way up. This way, you will prevent possible not-so-good experiences and save yourself some time, money, and unnecessary hassles.
Figure out Your Dosage
Math might not be your strong subject, but you don’t necessarily need to be a math genius to calculate dosage math for your infusion.
Many people with poor math skills enjoy cooking with cannabis because measuring dosages is pretty straightforward. You can use a simple edible dosage calculator to figure out how strong your cannabis-infused products will be.
An online calculator will save you the headache of complicated formulas and minimize making excessively strong or weak batches.
Choose Good Plant Material
It’s difficult to be certain about the materials in store-bought edibles. But you can be sure about the plant you use if you grow your cannabis.
Okay, growing cannabis in your backyard may not be feasible for so many reasons. However, you can take steps to buy your plant materials from a reputable farmer who applies organic farming practices.
Avoid plant materials grown with toxic chemicals. The best way to do that is to find out where and how the plant was grown.
Set Clear Intentions for Cooking with Cannabis
Do you want something you can reach for when you’re low on weed? Perhaps you want a delicious way to relieve pain or anxiety. Maybe you need to sleep well, or you’re looking to get a bit high? Or you want something to snack on where smoking weed is not allowed.
Figuring out precisely what you want to accomplish is the first step to creating edibles that suit your purpose.
Decarboxylating and adding lecithin are steps you should avoid if you’re not looking to have an elevated experience. Cannabis with a high CBD strain is your best bet if you want to avoid getting high from THC.
Make a Cannabis-free Batch
Lastly, you want to make a backup batch of whatever you are cooking but make sure they are not infused with cannabis.
Here’s the thing; the chance of eating more than you plan is high, especially when your cooking is delectable. Consuming too much cannabis can lead to unpleasant effects of THC.
With a non-infused batch at hand, you can eat as many edibles as you want without any adverse effects.
How to Cook with Cannabis
Now that we have the basics out of the way, let’s get into the nitty-gritty details of infusing cannabis into whatever you want to cook.
The same procedures apply whether you prefer to cook with CBD or THC.
Step 1: Decide on the Correct Strain or Product
With over 700 strains of cannabis available, you have plenty of options to choose from. But it also means you could easily get confused if you’re a newbie.
Here’s a quick way to solve this seeming problem of choosing a flower to infuse: sniff a few different strains to determine what smells best to you.
Even if you don’t have lots of experience with cannabis, your body usually knows what terpene profile it needs, and you can know this by smelling the strains and noting the flavors and aromas that appeal more to you.
Some of the common terpene aromas and their benefits include:
- Pinene: This has a woodsy aroma with anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory effects. It is also a bronchial dilator.
- Humulene: This has a spicy aroma with an anti-inflammatory effect. It also acts as an appetite suppressant.
- Limonene: This has a citrus flavor with anti-depressant and anti-anxiety effects.
- Borneol: This has minty and metallic aromas. It acts as an analgesic and has anti-inflammatory effects.
- Myrcene: This has earthy, fruity, and musky aromas. It causes a euphoric feeling and increased relaxation.
Alternatively, you could take your pick out of several professionally-made products from a local dispensary if you prefer to use these instead of cannabis flowers.
Some of the cannabis products you can infuse into your cooking include:
- CBD oil
- Cannabis-infused cooking powders
- Cannabis-infused honey
Step 2: Consider the Combination of Ingredients
If you’ve been cooking for a while, you probably already know that not all ingredients go well together.
The same applies to cooking with cannabis. Some flavors don’t go well with certain products or cannabis strains. However, there is no hard and fast rule about these things because everyone’s preferences in terms of flavor and taste are not the same.
You may want to enhance the plant’s flavors and natural characteristics. Some other people may prefer to mask them. Finding the right combination of ingredients – things that complement your product or strain – is crucial.
For example, you may want to remove off-flavors by combining contrasting components, such as peppers, citrus, oregano, and sage, with cannabis. Suppose you want to create a sophisticated flavor that retains some of the slightly bitter notes of cannabis. In that case, you could mix bitter grapefruit or bright fruit flavors to create a herbaceous beverage with a botanical flavor.
Regardless of what ingredients you choose, you will need to try different things to find out what works best for you, at least the first few times.
In any case, listen to your taste bud, palate, and nose. These organs know the exact flavor combination that you want.
Step 3: Measurements
Calculate the amount of CBD or THC required for your recipe. This is usually in milligrams and can be done using an online calculator, as mentioned earlier.
You seriously don’t want to start cooking with cannabis without measuring the cannabinoids present because that could lead to some serious unwanted effects.
Step 4: Decarboxylate
Even if you want to skip or ignore any steps when cooking with cannabis, you don’t want to skip this one; at least, not if you want a more elevated experience.
Decarboxylating is the process of converting the non-intoxicating chemical properties of the cannabis plant into psychoactive chemicals. In other words, it is heating the hemp plant at specific temperatures to convert CBDa into CBD and THCa into THC.
Here’s how to decarboxylate cannabis:
1. Preheat your oven to 225oF.
2. Line a dish with parchment paper.
3. Break up the cannabis buds into smaller pieces and place them in the dish.
4. Place the dish in the oven for about 15 to 20 minutes to remove moisture.
5. Remove the plant material from the oven when it turns a darker shade.
6. Turn up your oven to 295oF (to activate CBD) or 240oF (to activate THC). Allow the oven to preheat again while the plant cools down.
7. Wait until the cannabis cools, and then use your hand to crumble it lightly. Spread it evenly at the bottom of the dish.
8. Use aluminum foil to cover the dish, making sure it is sealed tightly.
9. Place the dish back in the oven and allow it to bake for about 45 to 60 minutes.
10. Remove the dish from the oven and let it cool completely before removing the foil.
11. Place the material in an airtight container and store it in a dry place.
Step 5: Add Lecithin
Next, consider adding lecithin if you want your edibles to feel even stronger. In reality, lecithin will not increase CBD or THC content in your plant. But adding it can boost absorption capacity.
In other words, you can stretch the effects of your edibles and perhaps save some effort and money by adding lecithin to your recipe.
However, you can leave out lecithin if you are not interested in enhancing the effects of eating DIY cannabis-infused products.
Step 6: Choose Your Infusion Medium
Oil and butter are the common ways to extract cannabis compounds. That’s because cannabinol and other active constituents of cannabis are fat-loving compounds. In other words, you can infuse your recipe with cannabis if it uses oil or butter.
Also, alcohol can be used to extract cannabis compounds. This means alcohol can also be a medium for infusing cannabis.
What if your recipe doesn’t use alcohol or fat? You’ve got another option: cannabis concentrates! You can create delicious recipes with cannabis concentrates, even without oil, butter, and alcohol.
Step 7: Incorporate your Infusion
Finally, you are ready to start cooking!
Infuse your cannabis first. To do that:
- Get butter, coconut oil, or olive oil
- Add water, decarboxylated cannabis, and fat (butter or oil) in a slow cooker and allow to heat for about 2 hours on low heat. Add more water if necessary).
- Strain the plant material using a metal strainer or cheesecloth.
Keep in mind that your infusion is considered an ingredient in your recipe. In other words, you want to be sure to follow the instructions for incorporating the infusion closely.
Stick to recommended measurements, temperature settings, and cooking times. The idea is to understand what you are doing and to get the safest results. You can introduce changes when you get the hang of it but not before.
Need some inspiration for your first recipe? Check out this quick and easy recipe:
Cannabutter (Weed Butter)
You will need:
- ½ ounce decarboxylated cannabis
- 1½ cup water
- 8 oz melted butter or clarified butter
- Wooden spoon
- Saucepan (medium-sized)
- Metal strainer or cheesecloth
1. Add water and butter to the saucepan on low heat.
2. Add the decarboxylated cannabis after the butter melts.
3. Thoroughly mix the combination using the wooden spoon and cover with a lid.
4. Allow the mixture to simmer for about four hours, stirring every half hour.
5. Remove from heat after four hours and strain with the metal strainer or cheesecloth.
6. Allow the cannabutter to cool to room temperature before using or storing in a refrigerator.
You can dress salads or eat hot soups with your homemade cannabutter.
With a little bit of experimenting, you can also master some of these popular staple recipes:
- Cannabis-Infused Alcohol Tincture
- Cannabis-Infused Butter
- Cannabis-Infused Coconut Oil
- Cannabis-Infused Olive Oil
- Cannabis-Infused Sugar
- Full-Extract Cannabis Oil (FECO)
Cooking with Cannabis: Is It Worth It?
Yes, making your edibles is worth it!
You are directly involved in making your batch of cannabis-infused products, and that’s a great thing. Beyond the joy of creating something worthwhile, here are some other practical reasons for cooking with cannabis:
- Getting your hands on edibles may be challenging in some regions. Apart from the legal battles, it might be difficult finding good-quality edibles in some dispensaries. If you can grow your plant and cook it yourself, you are entirely sure of what you consume.
- Cooking with cannabis allows you to experiment with different things and learn what works and what doesn’t. You are at liberty to make your product newbie-friendly or very potent. In other words, you can tailor your edible to suit your needs and include or exclude specific flavors and aromas instead of consuming something created with broad specifications.
Buy edibles from a weed dispensary is a good start. The next logical step is to collect your plant, wear an apron, and make your cannabis-infused products yourself! That way, you’re confident of what goes into your edibles.
The time you spend in the kitchen preparing your favorite CBT- or THC-infused recipe is worth it, considering the many benefits of cannabis.