Cooking with Cannabis: The Basics
If you’ve ever wanted to cook or bake your own cannabis-infused goodies, you might have been stopped by worries about getting it wrong. After all, some of us are already stressed out by the prospect of cooking even without the added complication of cannabis.
But cooking at home with cannabis doesn’t have to be any more complicated than standard cooking or baking— as long as you know the basics of cooking with cannabis. Here’s everything you need to know before starting your first homemade cannabis recipe.
What are Edibles?
If you’re new to cannabis, you might have heard about edibles but aren’t quite sure exactly what they are. It’s actually pretty simple— edibles describe any cannabis product that’s designed to be eaten and swallowed. If a food contains cannabis compounds, including CBD, THC, or others, it’s an edible.
These foods enter your bloodstream after first being swallowed and digested. As a result, they generally take a bit longer to take effect (1-2 hours) but can be more powerful than some other consumption methods. That said, it all depends on the dosage and potency of whatever strain(s) you include in your edibles.
You might think of pot brownies when you first think of edibles, but there’s a huge range of creative ways to eat your cannabis these days— cookies, butters, dips, sauces, gummies, mints, and a whole lot more.
Cooking Your Own Edibles
Cannabis plants in their natural state don’t have many of the positive benefits we associate with weed, including the euphoric high that comes from THC. To activate those effects, cannabis must be heated.
When it comes to cooking or baking edibles, the first and most important thing you need to do is heat the cannabis. Usually, this is done at a relatively low temperature when making edibles versus when you smoke, vape, or dab. This lets you add butter, oil, or other ingredients when cooking.
Many at-home cannabis bakers use an oven to heat their cannabis to the proper temperature (a process known as decarboxylation). A good starting point is to set your oven to 225 degrees Fahrenheit, break up your cannabis into small pieces, spread them on a baking sheet covered in foil, and bake for roughly 45 minutes. Pay close attention and visually inspect your cannabis so as to not let it burn. A nutty and woody aroma should begin to emanate from your oven and if your cannabis is a toasted golden brown, the decarboxylation is complete.
After this, your cannabis is ready to be added to any recipe as a cooking or baking ingredient. You can store it in a sealed container until you’re ready to cook.
Measuring Dosage When Making Edibles
The Green team of cannabis experts definitely recommends starting small when it comes to dosage in your homemade edibles.
Generally, cannabis is added to baking recipes by combining an equal amount of cannabis and butter or oil to create a cannabis-infused oil/butter mixture. So if you’re using 1 cup of butter, you would use 1 cup of cannabis. 1 cup of cannabis translates roughly to 1/8th to 1/4th of an ounce, or between 3-8 ‘doses’.
That said, we recommend you use less than that for your first time cooking edibles. It’s much better to experience a slightly more mellow high than you hoped for than to end up with a too-extreme high that’s unpleasant or uncomfortable.
Do You Need Special Gear to Bake Edibles?
Nope! The only thing you’ll need other than your normal baking ingredients is the cannabis itself, which is what makes at-home cooking with cannabis so rewarding and enjoyable. No special gear or special processes, other than the need to first decarboxylate your cannabis by baking it on its own as mentioned above.
(NOTE: There are many brands that sell cannabis-infused cooking ingredients, like canna-oils or cannabis-infused butter. These products are already decarboxylated and can simply be used for cooking like standard oil or butter).
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