December 1, 2020 – By Angela Laufer
Cooking with cannabis is easy when you have the right essential infused ingredients to get you started. Below are some of the most important cannabis-infused staples you need to make in order to bring delicious cannabis edibles to any recipe you love.
What You Need to Know Before Making Cannabis Recipes
If you are brand new to cooking with cannabis in the kitchen, there are a few important things to know before diving in and enjoying all of these delicious cannabis-infused recipes.
Consuming cannabis orally is a delicious way to medicate, but it can also have some unintended consequences if you don’t know what you’re getting yourself into. Here are some important things to know about cooking and consuming cannabis edibles:
! Don’t Skip Cannabis Decarboxylation !
Raw and dried cannabis flower contains what is known as tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA) and cannabidiolic acid (CBDA). These cannabinoids are found in the raw cannabis plant material and contain their own powerful health benefits. However, these cannabinoids are not intoxicating in their natural state. Decarboxylation is a process that converts THCA → Δ9-THC and CBDA → CBD. Using heat and/or solvents is the most common way to decarboxylate the cannabis flower before enjoying it.
Check out our “A Beginner’s Guide to Cannabis Decarboxylation” for more insight on the how and why of “decarbing”.
For many people, getting cannabis may still be difficult, expensive or pose an issue in legality, and the thought of ‘wasting’ it in a botched recipe is enough to be hesitant to try. Because of this, trying a strain with a lower THC, perhaps a CBD strain, or finding one that is on sale or lower price, may be recommended while you experiment.
Cannabis Recipes Are Both an Experience & a Commitment
Consuming cannabis edibles is truly a self-experiment that requires both curiosity and patience. It will likely take several tries for you to find a dosage with an identifiable onset and duration time that you can rely on. One of the biggest things that hold people back from experimenting in the kitchen is the scary thought ‘what if I mess it up?’. Don’t worry about that, just enjoy the process of getting creative with cannabis in your kitchen!
It is important for people, especially if they are just beginning to explore the world of edibles, to consume cannabis edibles in the safety of their own home when they have a significant amount of time – at least 24 hours- to stay put and comfortably enjoy the experience.
Experimenting with dosages and duration times requires a time commitment from yourself. With the notoriously delayed onset and duration time of edibles, you should plan on devoting at least 6-12 hours to your experience. The reason why you may have a quicker or more delayed onset than someone else after consuming edibles, is due to the differences in every body’s unique body, metabolic rate, endocannabinoid system and its effectiveness.
During this time, plan to be safe in your home with no need to travel anywhere, no driving a car, and no operating heavy machinery.
Because Cannabis Recipes Have a Delayed Onset of Effects…
It is important to know that it could take anywhere between 30-minutes to several hours to feel the effects of your cannabis edible as it makes its way through your digestive system. Which means tempted as you may be to eat another serving after not feeling anything for 30-minutes, be sure to give yourself more time before eating it. This will prevent any accidental overdose of THC, which may cause unwanted side effects if that is not your intention.
Cannabis Recipes Can Be More Potent Than Smoking
When cannabis is eaten, it goes through the digestive system. As it passes through the liver in what is known as the hepatic first-pass metabolism, Δ9-THC is hydroxylated into 11-OH-THC, a potent psychoactive metabolite that readily crosses the blood-brain barrier.
This intoxicating metabolite causes more potent, increased intoxicating effects for most cannabis edibles consumers. Unknowingly or accidentally consuming too much THC, especially in the form of cannabis edibles, may result in disorientation, dizziness, drowsiness, anxiety, and tachycardia.
Additionally, each person’s body will react differently to different cannabinoids due to our own unique endocannabinoid systems (ECS). Understanding your own ECS will help you determine your own personal reaction to cannabinoids. Listening to your body is of upmost importance and benefit.
Determining Final Recipe Potency
Without knowing the concentration of CBD or THC in your starting raw material, and without lab testing, it is difficult to estimate the precise final potency of your homemade cannabis recipes. If you know the cannabinoid concentrations of your starting cannabis flowers, you may be able to use an online calculator to estimate the potency of the final product.
Mastering these 6 infused ingredients will allow you to convert just about any recipe you already know and love into a cannabis-infused recipe.
If you enjoy learning about and mastering these staple ingredients, visit our recipe page so that you can explore and widen your world of cannabis cooking even more (:
Below we will cover the most important cannabis infused ingredients:
Cannabis butter, or cannabutter, is one of the most essential cannabis recipes for anyone looking to make their own edibles at home because it is so versatile and easy to make.
Once you have your cannabis butter made, you can use it in just about any recipe you can dream of that traditionally calls for butter. This versatile recipe can then be used to make a variety of your favorite edibles. Typically, those who make cannabutter at home, do so in a crockpot or water bath.
From sweet to savory recipes, like brownies to chocolate chip cookies, even casseroles; there is a use for cannabis butter in just about every recipe you can imagine.
CANNABIS-INFUSED COCONUT OIL
Cannabis-infused coconut oil is the holy grail of all cannabis recipes as it can be used as the base of not only cannabis edible, but cannabis topical recipes and is naturally vegan, plant-based, and dairy-free. This particular infusion process allows the cannabinoids to bind to the fat in the oil.
Once you have your cannabis coconut oil made, you can easily swap it in anywhere a recipe calls for fat. This allows you to make just about any recipe a cannabis-infused recipe.
Beyond just cannabis edibles, cannabis-infused coconut oil is the perfect base for many topical recipes like cannabis salve and cannabis lip balm.
CANNABIS-INFUSED OLIVE OIL
Cannabis-infused olive oil is a light, delicious, and versatile cannabis infusion that is an important staple recipe for any cannabis consumer to master.
The final product is a cannabis-infused olive oil that can then be used to make a wide variety of delectable recipes, like pesto, and salad dressing.
CANNABIS ALCOHOL TINCTURE
A cannabis alcohol tincture is traditionally a medicinal preparation that is oftentimes added to recipes, especially cocktails. Once you have a cannabis tincture made, you can use it as is, or evaporate it down to make full-extract cannabis oil or cannabis-infused sugar.
The idea and practice of making cannabis sugar is exciting, because once it’s made it can act as a staple recipe to easily infuse all other recipes.
The versatility of cannabis sugar alone, is a seemingly endless world; once it is made you can use it for almost any recipe that calls for sugar, including cannabis brownies, chocolate chip cookies, and even cocktails and drinks or a scoop in your morning coffee. (Giving you a whole new spin to wake &bake 😉)
Plus, if you’re looking for a more potent recipe – you could use both cannabis butter AND cannabis sugar together for a double dose of CBD or THC.
FULL-EXTRACT CANNABIS OIL
Full extract cannabis oil, is a concentrated, whole-plant, full-spectrum cannabis extract. This means that all of the important plant compounds, from cannabinoids to terpenes and other plant materials, are present in the extract. Once the extract is prepared, it can be used in a variety of application methods including sublingual absorption, topical preparations, and cannabis edibles. It is not recommended however, to use it for inhalation or vaping.
Now that we are learning more and more about cannabinoids, terpenes, your endocannabinoid system and exploring the cannabis world in depth now deeper than ever, the expansion of cannabis knowledge -especially in cooking- is unfolding in the most wonderful way. It allows us to be informed, and able to enjoy cannabis responsibly.
It is important to start with one low dosage first and to monitor your body’s reaction. Beginning with one very low dose to start with ( >5mg THC if you know the final potency). And if you are new to consuming edibles and are using cannabis to improve your health, it is essential to take notes on each cannabis edible experience. This will help you to repeat the good experiences and avoid bad experiences, allowing you to track your dosages and progress over time.
Bon Appetit! (: