Homemade Edibles 101
If we play some word association, there’s a good chance at some point “edibles” will come up in relation to “marijuana.” The words are closely related, and most everyone has had some kind of edibles experience. The concept goes beyond just little gummy candies and brownies though, you can make weed infused, well, just about anything! In today’s blog we’ll walk you through the basics of homemade edibles so you garner an understanding of how they work. This information will help you get started making popular recipes others have shared, or they may inspire you to create new and original recipes on your own!
The Basic Idea
You’re first curiosity is probably how edibles work, on a basic level. If you’re thinking you just chop some ganja flower buds into a recipe, well, if only it were that easy. There is one recipe that utilizes this method, the Firecracker, but it’s a low quality edible (read: they’re gross). Trust me, we can do so much better! In reality, there are a few steps that need to taken to craft delicious, edible masterpieces.
The way to create cannabis-infused just about anything comes down to what I will refer to as the base. You may have a grasp on how we can make brownies, but what about other, more seemingly complex things, like popsicles or a shrimp alfredo? The answer is in the base. Simply put, your base will be the component of your recipe that is cannabis infused. The most common bases are butter, oil, flour, sugar, and honey. It should be easy to see how you can create a plethora of recipes if using one of those ingredients. Once you master basic infusions, your possibilities are literally endless!
In order to infuse a base, it is important to understand the process behind it. The foundational element to a solid base is called decarboxylation, or decarb for short. Decarbing is a chemical reaction that involves heat, molecules, chemical structures, and other science, as seen in the picture at right. If you want a full explanation for how it works and what it entails, complete with charts and graphs, check out this article here. For our intents and purposes, decarbing is simply the process of turning cannabis flower into a THC rich ingredient. You may be confused, isn’t weed THC? Well, THC is only extracted from flower in the presence of heat. That’s of course why marijuana is smoked-- a flame (heat) is needed. You may be surprised to know that if you took a handful of buds and ate them outright, you probably wouldn’t get very high. Buds don’t contain THC, they contain THCa, which is non-psychoactive (won’t get you high). When heat is introduced, this THCa turns into THC, which does get you high. Knowing that, decarbing is, in essence, “activating” THC in flower using heat.
Before we get to exactly how to decarb, let’s talk about how you can source your marijuana for your edibles, because let’s face it, cannabis is expensive. If a cookie recipe calls for an eighth of flower, well those may turn out to be some expensive cookies. Some great ways to save money is by saving your stems. Stems are great for edibles because they contain THCa just like like bud, but it’s not likely that you’re going to smoke them. So save up your stems and then use them to make a treat. You can also save money by using shake or cannabis leaves. Most dispensaries sell shake at a fraction of the cost of bud and some also sell leaves. Both are great for edibles since they will work just as well as bud while saving you money.
How to Decarb: Using Oven
So, know that you’ve sourced your stems, shake, and bud, how do we decarb flower to make edibles? The most common method involves the use of your oven, but boiling is also a viable method. Below you is a step-by-step guide on how to decarb using the oven.
Marijuana Buds, Leaves, or Stems
Preheat your oven to 220°F
Line your baking sheet with parchment paper
Evenly spread your buds, leaf material, and stems on the baking sheet, ensuring they are not overlapping. Note: Some sources will advise you to grind your buds prior to decarbing. This is not necessary, but nuggs should be broken down to smaller buds.
Place sheet in oven for about 20-40 minutes. The finished product should have a medium brown coloring and should feel dried out. In the even that it isn’t, place in the oven for an additional 5 minutes until it reaches the desired condition.
Take out of oven and allow it to cool.
Once cooled, place flower in food processor and pulse thoroughly to almost a powder but not quite that finely ground.
Congrats, you’ve successfully decarbed! The next step is to infuse your base.
Crafting A Base
This final section will serve as a comprehensive list to direct you to common recipes for popular, multi use bases. You will also find a related link to a premade product already on the market in the event you would prefer to buy your base. If you are unable to find that exact product, talk to your budtender about what brands they carry, most dispensaries are stocked with some kind of cannabis infused butter, oil, flour, etc.
Recipe: Cannabis Sugar- via The Social Weed
Premade: Sweet Amber Co.
Recipe: How To Make Cannabis Infused Honey - via Honest Marijuana Co.
Premade: Binske Wildflower Honey
Now that you have a base, it’s time to get cookin’! Armed with your bases, you will find thousands of recipes you can infuse. In the coming blog we will share some easy recipes to help you get started, as well as information on how to properly dose your edibles. So stay tuned! As always, if you’re looking for a perfect strain for all your needs, let the Cannacopia App help you, available in the App and Google Play stores.
Until next time, stay high!