During your visits to your dispensary, you may have likely noticed the array of available edibles. Cannabis can be added to a wide array of edible products, including brownies, cookies, and gummies. Perhaps you’ve partaken in a few yourself. Did you know that you could make your own at home though? Here’s what you need to know about cooking with cannabis.
Choose Your Strain
One of the easiest ways to cook with cannabis is to use a tincture. Depending upon the amount of cooking you plan to do, however, using a tincture can get expensive. Instead, you can create your own infusion from your favorite flowers.
The first step is to choose your strain. If you know what you want to make before you visit the dispensary, you can match terpene profiles to the main flavor profiles of your chosen dish. It can also be beneficial to choose a strain with a terpene profile that will work well in several types of edibles.
No matter what strain you choose, be sure that it matches the intent of your food. Keep the THC and CBD content in mind when making your purchase.
Make Your Infusion
When cooking with cannabis buds, you can’t just throw them into the recipe. You won’t get the effects you’re looking for. You need to create an infusion. The first step is to decarboxylate your cannabis.
Decarboxylation is the process of releasing the carboxylic acids from THC to activate your cannabis. This process is done by heating dry cannabis buds at 250°F for 30 to 60 minutes. A low temperature is essential. Exposing cannabis to high temperatures can result in burning off terpenes and losing their desired effects.
Once your cannabis has been decarboxylated, you can then create your infusion. You can make an infused oil (CannaOil) or butter (CannaButter). No matter which one you choose, be sure to select a quality oil or butter. Don’t just buy the cheapest option available.
To make CannaOil, heat the oil on low heat until you can smell it. Then slowly add your decarboxylated cannabis, stirring to coat. Simmer on low for approximately 45 minutes and then remove from the heat to cool. Then strain the mixture, pressing the cannabis leaves to extract all of the oil. You can then compost the used cannabis. You can store your infused oil in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two months.
For CannaButter, heat your butter with water over low heat until all of the butter melts. Stir in your decarboxylated cannabis and reduce heat to low. Cook the mixture for four to five hours, stirring every hour. Add more water as necessary to keep the cannabis off the bottom of the pot. Strain the mixture into a bowl, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place it in the fridge overnight. The butter will harden and the water will separate out. Get rid of the water and your butter is ready to use.
Prepare Your Edibles
Once you have your infused oil or butter, you can use it just like you would use regular oil or butter in a recipe. CannaOil can be used for:
- Roasting or sautéing vegetables
CannaButter can be used for:
Macaroni and cheese
These are just a few examples of how to use your cannabis infusions. The options are practically limitless. No matter what you make, keep in mind that it can take up to two hours for the effects of your edible to take effect.
Cooking with cannabis is really no different than cooking with regular ingredients. After making your infusion, you can use it just like you would regular oil or butter. Just be sure to select the right cannabis for your intention and use quality ingredients. You’ll soon find that you can make just about anything using your favorite cannabis strain.