Using edibles as a way to get your daily dose of cannabinoids has its perks. Unlike smoking or vaporizing your flower, cannabis-infused edibles provide a discreet way to get elevated.
The effects of ingested cannabis products may take a while to kick in — usually about 30 mins to up to two hours, so remember to be patient! But the effects can last about 6-8 hours, allowing you enjoy the benefits of the plant longer; the duration of effects make it a great option for those who struggle to get a full night of zzz’s.
Edibles are economical and require you to use less flower to achieve the desired results. This is because when THC is digested, it is converted into a more potent form. This cannabis compound makes it way to your brain and BOOM, 5mg of THC can go a long way.
Of course, this is why so many of us have had an unpleasant experience with edibles. They can take so long to kick in, so we eat more before our body has processed the THC, and the dose tends to be a little too high. Remember, when it comes to edibles, less is more! Because the effects of edibles are so long lasting, it’s better to start at a low dose and augment over time than to end up “greening out” from a brownie that ended up just being too much.
Since Canada’s current legalization plan will not allow for the commercial sale of edibles in the initial phase, those interested in consuming this smoke-free way will have to rely on home cooking for now.
This is a chance to get creative. Sure, you can make the traditional weed brownie (yum!), but you can also make raw vegan cakes, spaghetti, and even salad! It’s all up to you and the fats that you choose to infuse. Cannabinoids will basically bind with any fat, so long as you activate your flower and cook them together at a reasonable temperature.
Here’s a 5-step method for preparing your own cannabis-infused ingredients:
Choose Your Recipe & Prep
In order to prepare the right amount of butter or oil, you’ve got to know what you’re baking first. Also, buy a cheesecloth! You’re going to need that later. Figure out your dosing preferences. Here, you want to think about milligrams of weed. 1g of cannabis=1000 mg of cannabis, which means that a single gram of cannabis at 15 percent THC potency is equal to 150mg of THC. So, figure out what dose you’d like to infuse your fat with.
A good starting dose is 2.5mg-5mg of THC; dose out your fatty substance so that whatever you end up making, you can easily dose out the desired mg content of THC.
You have two choices. You can grind up your herb to increase your potency or chop it up to peppercorn size to make it easier to strain later. Place the herb on a baking tray and evenly spread out. Cover with tinfoil.
To activate the flower, you must decarboxylate it. Through this process you will be converting THCA to THC. THCA has its benefits, but for the purpose of edibles, it’s important to activate all of the flower. Heat up your oven to 220-240 degrees Fahrenheit and place the tray in the oven for 20-30 minutes, or until it has a golden glow.
Here you may choose any fat to infuse your flower. Oil or butter, it doesn’t make a significant difference other than what your recipe calls for; measure the amount of your infused ingredient as indicated by the recipe you’ve chosen.
Infusing on stove top is the easiest way to go. Place the fat into a saucer along with the decarboxylated flower. Mix them in together. Then, add 3 cups of water. The addition of water helps to ensure that you don’t burn the fat and allows for easier extraction of the infused product at the end.
Put your heat setting to simmer and cover it up. Allow it to infuse for 4-6 hours.
After this, you will observe a goopy, brown-green, fatty mess in your sauce pan. This is great – it means the hardest part of this process is over.
It’s important to mention that there will be an aroma involved in the infusion process if you’re using this method; take care to infuse when you’re home alone if you’re worried about other people cluing in!
Take a medium-sized bowl and place the cheesecloth inside of the bowl so that it covers the bottom and spills over the rim. Dump your fatty concoction inside the bowl. Take the extra fabric from the sides of the bowl and scrunch it up so that the infused fat is trapped inside. Strain the fat through the cloth. Beware, this can get messy!
Let it chill
You’ve probably been wondering what in the world happened to that water. It’s still there! Refrigerate your infused ingredient overnight to allow the water and fat to separate. The fat will solidify and rise to the top, making it so simple for you to extract the infused fatty substance. Dump the water and voila! You’re done.
Like all new things, creating edibles can be intimidating the first try. Everyone has their own way of doing things, so it’s important to experiment and try new methods that suit your style. We’re in an age of enlightened weed consumption — it’s time to build your relationship with cannabis and get to know your preferences through this reputedly healing herb. You are unique – as is your endocannabinoid system – so take the time to get to know yourself and your body through this new experience.
Story by Ljubica Kostovic
Graphic by Andrew Cooper
The preceding is for informational purposes only. It is not meant to condone the use or consumption of cannabis. For more information, please refer to our disclaimer.