Many of us dream of making edibles in our own home, but hesitate to take the plunge. Weed doesn’t come cheap and putting a quarter ounce into an experiment is scary! But if you learn about the process beforehand and prepare everything, the result is worth the risk.
First you need to decide to cook with. Somewhat traditionally, people have made cannabis butter for use in baked goods. This is certainly a time tested method and a good choice for many. But many make the mistake of swapping the butter for margarine without closer inspection of nutrition labels.
Cannabinoids acids are fat soluble, which means they can be combined with any cooking oil. It also means that oil with a higher fat content will absorb the cannabinoids better. Per tablespoon, butter has approximately 11.5 grams of fat, while margarine has only 9g. Beating out butter by 3-4 grams, is almost every nut and seed oil on the market. Coconut oil is a great choice, but if you don’t like the subtle flavor, canola oil is good too. You can even stay on theme and find hemp oil to cook with!
Next, you need to decide how strong you want your edibles to be, which depends on how strong the weed you put in it is. If you know how much THC is in it, you can use a calculator like this one to help estimate the strength of your extraction. If you don’t how strong your bud is, now is a good time to smoke some to test it. If you can’t smoke it, ask a friend to help you.
For 2 cups of oil, you’ll want 1 to 1.5 ounces of herb. You can adjust this based on your tolerance, experience, and desired effect. For those of us who can’t afford to put quite that much into a kitchen experiment, you can use ¼ to ⅜ of an ounce (or more straightforwardly: 7 to 11 grams) per ½ cup of oil. This should be plenty of oil for most brownie recipes.
After you have your herb and your oil, there is an important step known as “decarbing.” Many people make the mistake of skipping this step. Raw cannabis flower is not psychoactive. It needs to be heated to transform the cannabinoid acids into a form your body can ingest. To decarb your weed, grind it finely and spread it evenly on a sheet pan. Place the pan in an oven heated to 240°F for 30-40 minutes. Be careful not to heat your herb above 392°F at this stage or at any point as the THC will begin to evaporate. You can put the decarbed herb in a food processor to create a finer grind.
Now comes the most important part — actually creating the cannabis oil. Mix your oil and ground, decarbed herb. In a pan or crockpot, keep it on low heat for 3 hours and allow it to cool for 8. If you want to make your edibles a little stronger, you can repeat this process once or twice. When you’re satisfied with its potency, you’ll need to strain the ground herb from the oil. Some oil is liquid at room temperature, some you may need to warm slightly to liquify. Use the back of a spoon to push all the oil out of the herb through a strainer or sieve.
Your finished product can be stored like any other oil of its kind and is now ready for cooking or baking!