Six simple steps to making canna-foods at home
(Photo Credit: Monica Lo of Sous Weed)
If you are curious about cannabis, you might be wondering how to make a cannabis infusion at home. While it may seem intimidating at first, incorporating herbal products into your cooking routine is easy once you learn a thoughtful approach that works.
Before making your first infusion, it’s imperative to educate yourself on edibles and understand how your body will react. Many people believe that eating an edible is the same as smoking cannabis, but this belief is false.
When eaten, cannabis passes through the stomach and metabolizes in the liver which converts THC to 11-hydroxy-THC, a different chemical than delta-9 THC which is created by heat when smoked or vaped. When processed through the liver, psychoactive effects can be ten times greater than when inhaled through the lungs. Effects typically kick in 1 - 2 hours depending on what else you’ve eaten and your metabolism, so being patient is critical. If you eat a hefty edible (50 milligrams or more), effects can last up to eight hours depending on how much you consume.
If you are new to cannabis, remember this golden rule, “Go Low, Start Slow.” We’d recommend starting with 1 - 5 milligrams and see how you feel. Do not keep eating medicated foods if you don’t feel anything right away. Overeating is a lesson many of us have learned the hard way. Be smart and consume responsibly.
Keeping this knowledge in mind, here are some other key insights that you should be aware of to make a medicated oil or butter that’s right for you. When you eat edibles the right way, there’s honestly nothing better!
Follow these six simple steps to create the perfect infusion.
Six Steps to Creating the Perfect Infusion
1. Know your metabolism
Knowing your body and metabolism is the first step to any edible or infusion experience. If you are a newbie, be smart. Start with 1-5 milligrams for your first time. If you feel like you can eat more, try increasing the dosage the next time you consume an edible. Don’t double up the first time you try one.
2. What effect are you trying to achieve?
Research has shown that cannabis can help treat over 145 different ailments. Before making an infusion, do your research and pick out a strain that’s right for you. Remember it’s not just about Indica and Sativa. To find the best flower for your infusion, you must fully understand the strain’s terpene profile and consider the “entourage effect” of THC, CBD, THCa, and other cannabinoids that are present. We are firm believers in full plant healing meaning you need a little bit of everything to receive the most effective therapeutic benefits of cannabis. Decide how you want to feel, then pick your strain.
3. Know the THC levels of Your Strain
Knowing the THC level of your strain is the most important step to creating an infusion. Once you pick out the flower that’s right for you, be sure to make a note of the THC percentage which will allow you to dose accurately and responsibly.
Once you determine the THC, how many grams you’d like to infuse, and the amount of butter or oil you will be infusing, enter these numbers into Jeff The 420 Chef’s THC Calculator. This fantastic tool will tell you precisely how much THC will be in each serving which is a must know when you are cooking with cannabis.
4. Blanch & Clean the Flower
After you figure out how much THC will be in your infusion, it’s time to prep your flower for cooking. You’ll want to make sure the cannabis is clean before infusing it into your food. Even though the strain may say organic and pesticide free, cleaning your flower is the only way to be sure you are not eating dangerous pesticides, mold, or microscopic insects. To do this, use a large pot to boil water. Once the water reaches a rolling boil, submerge the dry flower for 5 minutes. Debris will form a thin layer on the surface. Use a spoon to remove any unwanted material but don't worry, all of the desirable aspects of the cannabis flower (terpenes and cannabinoids) will not boil off. Quickly remove the bud and submerge it in ice water. Remove from the ice water and let the flower completely dry out before cooking. This process will also remove any undesirable flavors that you don’t want in your recipes.
5. Decarboxylate to Activate Cannabinoids
Once your flower has completely dried out, it’s time to Decarboxylate (Decarb for short). Decarboxylation is the chemical reaction that releases the carboxylic acids from THC to activate the cannabis, so it becomes psychoactive. Activation is achieved by exposing dry cannabis to heat around 250 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 - 60 minutes. For CBD dominant strains, activation begins at 295 degrees Fahrenheit which releases CBD's therapeutic properties.
Sufficient heating is done by placing dry cannabis into the oven at a controlled temperature. Be sure to keep temperatures low to prevent burning off desirable terpene characteristics.
6. Infuse the Flower into an Oil or Butter
It’s time to make your infusion! There are many approaches to infusing oil and butter depending on what equipment you have on hand. If you have a CrockPot at home, here are two ways we recommend making an infused oil and butter. If you have a French press coffeemaker, check out Jeff the 420 Chef’s method.
If you are looking for an even more straightforward way to make an infusion, LEVO’s state of the art device infuses butter or oil with a click of a button. Making an infusion has never been so easy. Their technology uses precise and consistent heating throughout the infusion process which in turn keeps desirable terpene profiles present so you can fully receive therapeutic benefits.
Photo credit: LEVO - use promo code HERBSOMM to save $10. Click here to purchase.
After you’ve infused butter or oil, it’s time to start experimenting with recipes! Click here to check out some of our latest creations.
If you’d like to learn more about infusions and cooking with cannabis, please join us in San Francisco for the Thursday Infused event series. Each month we are partnering with a different cannabis chef and brand partners to educate consumers on how to use herbal products safely whether it be in your kitchen, at home, with friends, or incorporating into a dining experience. Learn more by visiting www.ThursdayInfused.com
Peace, Love & Cannabis
The Herb Somm
Photo Credit: Monica Lo of Sous Weed