If you have never made edibles before, you may speculate and wander around the actual process of turning your marijuana buds into a consumable form.
The process is relatively simple, but without proper scientific gadgets can end up being a game of observation and experience, as much of the growing and drying process is.
In order to make edibles that are effective at getting you high, with weed nugs or otherwise, you need to understand the science behind what’s going on when we smoke weed versus consuming it.
Once you understand the basic elements of this process, the actual creation of edibles with marijuana flowers can be a pretty straightforward practice that you will get better at as you learn and observe.
Understanding THC Conversion
The biggest cause of failure in the marijuana kitchen is that the ambitious stoner doesn’t understand the conversion of THCa to THC through decarboxylation. This occurs with most forms of marijuana in order for us to consume them and feel their psychoactive effects.
THCa is the ‘dormant’ form of THC. THCa is also the natural state of the compound while in marijuana. This is why eating raw weed does nothing to you. You have to decarboxylate the marijuana to transfer the THCa into THC.
When smoking, THC is created immediately by the burning of the marijuana and is sent directly into most of our body, efficiently dosing the smoker – this is a little different when eating weed.
If you just put weed in brownies, or just ate weed, nothing would happen except a few upset stomachs. In order to get high, you must decarboxylate, or ‘decarb’ the marijuana with heat to effectively feel the effects of THC.
Moreover, even if you have THC, you need to bind it to a fat so that your body can absorb the THC effectively. This can be easy, and naturally happens as you make cannabutter, or cannamilk – there is a reason these products are often based on fatty products.
How To Decarboxylate Marijuana
To decarboxylate marijuana you need one simple thing, heat. But sometimes it isn’t this simple, although we will try our best to explain it.
The amount of weed you are decarboxylating will depend on your desired dose for the edibles. Understand that once decarboxylated you can no longer smoke it.
Spread your weed nugs out on a tray lined with parchment or wax paper, totally feel free to leave the ‘shake’ or the superfluous plant parts (stems, leaves) on if you wish. You could even do this with pure shake and no buds, just use double the dose you desire in weight.
The best route to decarboxylation is a ‘low and slow’ approach that prevents loss of yield most effectively. Most cannabis experts suggest that 230-250 degrees Fahrenheit is a good sweet spot to hit. At this heat, many of the terpenes and cannabinoids are protected.
Generally, leave the weed at the bottom of the oven for around 20-25 minutes at 230-25- degrees Fahrenheit for the best results.
After this period, your weed is decarboxylated and ready to cook with, you can keep it for up to two 3 months before having to use it, but we suggest doing this straight afterwards when your house already stinks of weed!
How To Make Cannabutter
Cannabutter is probably the best way to try to make edibles as it is the easiest way that has the least frills but is also pretty effective at transferring dosage. Let your decarbed marijuana cool completely before adding it to the butter mixture.
To make cannabutter, you need a ratio of butter to (decarbed) marijuana to be effective. The general ratio we suggest is a pound of butter for every four ounces of marijuana, this can be adjusted by how much potency you want, but also by how much marijuana you have.
If you choose to use shake, add double the amount you want. If you want edibles that are the same potency as 2 ounces of marijuana, use 4 ounces of shake to achieve the same dose.
Get the amount of decarboxylated marijuana you need and place it into a cheesecloth, or something similar. Tie it up so no weed can get into the actual liquid.
Fill a pot with water that you have let come to a boil, then add your amount of butter into the pot and reduce the heat. Once the butter is melted add your weed contained in the cheesecloth.
Once the weed is in the butter make sure a slow simmer is occurring and you should leave the mixture for a couple of hours, at least 2-3 hours and potentially more.
Once you are happy with how long it has been, let the mixture cool in order to extract the marijuana float. We really suggest giving the cheesecloth float a good squeeze to get every last drop of THC out of it.
Then place your butter and water mixture into the refrigerator. As the mixture cools, which will take a while, the butter (fats) will separate from the water.
Once cool, there will be an obvious layer of hard butter that has separated from the water, this is your cannabutter. Make sure to extract every last bit and as little water as possible.
Using The Cannabutter
Once you have this cannabutter, the great thing is you can use it as any recipe requires you to use normal butter. For any recipe that needs butter, you can substitute it for cannabutter.
This could be pasta, spreading it on toast, putting it in coffee, using it in brownies, cookies, meat dishes, anything that uses butter!
With this basic cannabutter recipe, you can find multiple applications for it in almost any cooking application that requires butter. So once you have the recipe down and have got your dosing figured out you can have a whole world of culinary cannabis cooking experiences.
The process of making cannabutter and using it to make edibles is pretty easy and once you understand the processes you can easily put it to practice in your cannabis cuisine.
The main thing to understand is the difference between THCa in the weed and the need to transfer it to THC in order for us to digest and get high properly. The biggest mistakes are often bound up in decarbing the weed incorrectly.
Once you have these processes down to a tee you can easily reproduce this cannabutter recipe with ease and a little preparation, opening a whole world of opportunities and fun.
If you enjoyed this article, then you might like to read our post on ‘How To Make A Gravity Bong‘.