How To Make Weed Edibles
Updated: Aug 13, 2018
Edibles are a great way for cannabis consumers to obtain their dose. A big bonus with edibles is that they offer a similar effect as smoking without having to put stress on the lungs. For people undergoing certain types of cancer treatments or those with asthma or other respiratory problems, having an ingestible option is a lifesaver.
Many dispensaries offer a variety of cannabis infused foods like brownies and gummies. Some even stock exotic edibles like spiced meats or ice-cream. Although medibles only make up a small portion of overall cannabis sales, they are a continual source of income for dispensaries and a welcome sight to many patients.
But you don't have to be dying of lung cancer to enjoy edibles. Even recreational users enjoy the surprisingly powerful effects of a quality medible. There is even a growing number of restaurants that offer THC and CBD infused creations. The real kicker is that these groundbreaking chefs can create cannabis infused dishes that don't even taste like they have weed in them.
Everyone Wants To Know How Much Weed To Put in Edibles
But the truth is more complex than a simple number. There are natural variables in every batch like potency, form and cooking methods. These elements can make two seemingly identical products provide a drastically different user experience. So knowing what you want is the first step to ensuring you have the right recipe.
Dried flower is the most common form of cannabis used in home cooking. But more experienced users along with commercial kitchens often use concentrate or distillate instead of raw flower. Flower needs to be ground or otherwise processed in order to allow the THC within to permeate the dish being prepared. Concentrate on the other hand is easy to mix into almost any recipe without additional steps.
Concentrates also tend to imbue the food with less of the traditional cannabis flavor than flower does. This can be great when trying to make highly potent concoctions. Be careful though because it may make it difficult to tell which batch of food has the cannabis in it. Nobody wants to mix up their $300 batch of infused brownies with the $5 ones meant for a bake sale.
The Real Question is How Potent Do You Want The Edibles
A weed cookie that gives a heavy smoker a good buzz may be too potent for a light consumer. The difference is important because once an edible is consumed, there is little to be done if the dose is too high. Because there is no release valve, many people get too high and wind up in the ER because of severe anxiety.
The standard size dose for most light consumers is between 5-10 milligrams of THC. But a hardcore stoner might need close to 100 milligrams of THC to feel high. It is generally better to err on the side of caution than risk the consequences of overindulging. So finding out how much weed you need to make edibles can be a bit of a process.
Many classic recipes like brownies or rice crispy treats call for about an ounce of flower per batch. But they assume that flower is about 10-15%THC. If your weed is stronger or you don't know how much THC it has, trial and error are going to be your best friends. Just remember that higher THC weed takes proportionally less flower to create the same level of high.
There Are a Few Ways To Make Edibles
Putting weed directly in a recipe is the simplest way to infuse a dish with cannabis. But marijuana is coarse and can add a gritty texture to things like cookies and brownies. So many chefs infuse an ingredient with cannabis and substitute it for the normal stuff. If done well, a highly potent edible may not have any marijuana flavor to it.
Infused olive oil and unsalted butter are about the best way to make edibles with THC or CBD. Heating either to about 160-180 degrees and mixing it with ground cannabis will allow the THC or CBD to absorb into the butter or oil without cooking it off. Be careful not to get it too hot though, since THC can boil off once the oven temp reaches about 350 degrees.
Once strained and cooled, the oil and butter can be used as normal in any recipe. Just try to ensure the time spent cooking the end product is kept to a minimum. Cookies and brownies are especially susceptible to getting the THC baked out of them. The resulting pastry smells and tastes like weed but won't get you high.
It's Easy To Bake The THC Out of Food
It takes practice to understand how to bake with weed. Technically, the process is identical to normal but the THC changes some of the variables. Because THC begins breaking down at 365 degrees, any step that brings a dish close to that temperature (like deep-frying or sautéing on the stovetop) is dangerous. Instead of using canna-oil to fry a steak, chefs cook the meat in normal oil and coat it in canna-oil only at the very end of the process.
Baked goods normally don't allow chefs to wait till the end. Cakes, cookies and brownies need their oil and butter mixed in before baking. When baking, it is best to only use infused oil or butter if the temp is kept to 325 degrees or below and time in the oven is minimal. If the dish requires a higher temp or long cook times, it is generally best to infuse the frosting or other toppings.
Baking with cannabis can take some time to get right. The flavor, potency and overall texture of infused dishes can change throughout the cooking process. Cooking is an incredibly complex chemical reaction where every element contributes to the final product. It can take a while to get everything working together and tasting great. So don't get discouraged if things don't taste quite right the first few times.