This week’s blog post is from Herb Hightower’s column bringing together the cannabis community through strain reviews, tips and tricks, and industry updates.
Cooking With Cannabis
Do you like incorporating cannabis into your daily schedule as a way to relax and relieve aches and pains? Do you enjoy cooking as a release or just to make great-tasting food? Do you like to save money and stretch your marijuana money even further? Well, then you’ve made it to the right place! This article will focus on all the amazingly rewarding benefits of cooking with cannabis and serve as a guide for how to make homemade edibles.
What are edibles?
Cannabis edibles are foods or beverages that have been infused with marijuana. The infusion can happen in many different ways, which we’ll discuss in this article but all modern options include binding THC, or CBD for that matter, with some sort of fatty base ingredient, typically butter or oil. Although today’s end product sold at dispensaries is virtually, chemically exact, from a dosing perspective, and comes in all shapes and sizes including gummies, chocolates, brownies, cookies, mints, tinctures, drops, and beyond, infusing cannabis into food and drinks isn’t new. Ancient Egyptians were found to use cannabis tea as far back as 1500 BC but even before that around 1,000 BC in India bhang was the first drink made from cannabis that is still consumed to this day in India. Even the founder of Buddhism, Siddhartha, ate one cannabis seed a day preparing for enlightenment so what I’m saying is clearly there is interest and always has been interested in eating cannabis for whatever reasons.
How do you cook or bake edibles?
So you can certainly go to your local dispensary and pick up a ten-pack of CBD or THC cookies and enjoy. Or, if you are more culinary inclined you can try your hand at an infusion process of your choice so you can pick what delicious meals you’d like to add cannabis to.
The first thing to note though, once you prepare to add cannabis to your food and drinks, you cannot just grind up weed and add it to a banana, strawberry, or kale smoothie. Just as when you smoke cannabis to heat up and release the cannabinoids that provide the intoxicating and relieving effects you need to heat up your cannabis before you eat it. This slow process of heating cannabis is called decarboxylation and this process makes cannabis ready to be absorbed into your body. Common methods of decarboxylation are heating cannabis plant matter in an oven on a sheet tray at 225 degrees Fahrenheit for 45 minutes. Once the cannabis cools you can mix it into any recipe, even the delicious smoothie mentioned above. If chewing cannabis is not your thing, whose thing would that be anyways, there are better ways to make edibles.
Infusing cannabis into oils or butter as a fatty base, see below for links to great cannabis recipes, makes cooking with cannabis amazingly easy. For instance, once you have cannabutter or cannaoil you can simply substitute oil or butter in recipes for your infused butter. Popular dessert manufacturers have some simple cookie and brownie mixes in a bag available at your local grocery store that you just substitute a tablespoon of oil for the traditional oil the mixture calls for and your baking pot cookies in five minutes. If that mixture is too strong try half a tablespoon of cannaoil or cannabutter and half a tablespoon of traditional oil. You get the idea and once you have the cannabis base ingredient the sky’s the limit for your food and your mind!
How long does it take to kick in?
Now that we’ve made some pot cookies from some tasty cannabutter or blended up that amazing smoothie I’ve been writing about we’ll all be thinking the same thing here, how long do edibles take to kick in? Well, the answer is easy, it all depends. Ok so it’s not easy at all and the answer to that question depends on the potency of the original cannabis product, a person’s weight, tolerance, and type of edible in general. Drinks tend to absorb faster while solids take some time to digest. What you should expect is thirty minutes to a couple of hours you should be feeling the effects. It’s important to go slow with edibles, especially homemade edibles. Most issues arise after too many edibles are consumed too quickly because effects aren’t felt immediately, like when you smoke cannabis because that type of consumption enters the bloodstream much quicker. Be patient with edibles and consume slowly so you don’t have 100 milligrams of THC hitting you all at once, generally wait at least an hour and a half before deciding to pop another cookie because you aren’t feeling the first.
How to store edibles after baking?
If you’ve baked a fresh batch of pot brownies and you plan on eating them slowly for the next month then you’ll find out pretty quickly that’s a bad idea. Cannabis baked goods are to be treated just like regular baked goods, 5-7 days in the pantry is about as long as they’ll last before spoiling. If you want to increase the shelf life you can put them in the fridge to buy you a couple of days but for the
long-term, storage wrap them in plastic wrap and then foil and place them in the freezer and you’ll get a few months out of them instead of a few days.
If you’ve infused oil or butter for your base ingredient then I highly recommend that it be stored in the fridge which will extend the life of the product to the same expiration date that was on the original product, to begin with.
Where do I find recipes?
If you liked this article and you are looking to take the next steps and start cooking with cannabis, we have some great posts that will get your culinary juices flowing like, how to make Cannaoil, Cannabutter, Concentrates 101, even using spent cannabis pulp for Pot Brownies.
Lastly, please visit any of our seven dispensaries for the finest and most-awarded cannabis products in Michigan and Colorado.
Herb Hightower is a freelance writer, and cannabis connoisseur reporting on all things cannabis for High Level Health.