Creating the Perfect Infusion
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, which is a different chemical compound than delta-9 THC as it's created by the body versus the plant. When processed through the liver, psychoactive effects can be ten times greater than when inhaled through the lungs. Effects typically set in within 1 to 2 hours depending on what else you’ve eaten and your metabolism, so being patient is critical.
If you are new to cannabis, remember this golden rule: start low, go slow. I recommend starting with between 1 to 5 milligrams of THC and see how you feel. Do not keep eating medicated foods if you don’t feel anything right away. Overmedicating 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. As a disclosure, this post may contain affiliate links.
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 new to cannabis, start low and go slow. Start with between 1 to 5 milligrams of THC 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 down if you don't feel anything right away. Be patient. 2. What effect are you trying to achieve? Research is showing that cannabis has the potential to help treat several 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 and organic compounds that are present. Decide how you want to feel, then pick your strain. 3. Know the Phytocannabinoid Percentages of Your Strain Knowing the THC and CBD percentages of your strain is the most important step to creating an infusion. Once you pick out flower that’s right for you, be sure to make a note of how much THC and CBD is present, which will allow you to dose accurately and responsibly. Once you determine these levels, you can then calculate an estimate of how potent your edible will be per serving. Find a reliable dosage calculation in my book, The Ultimate Guide to CBD. 4. Decarboxylate to Activate Cannabinoids Next, it's time to decarboxylate your flower! If you want more intense and enhanced effects, decarboxylating is your best option. Activation for CBD begins at 295°F (146°C) for 30 to 60 minutes and at 240°F (115°C) for 30 to 60 minutes for THC; however, some chefs prefer to decarboxylate at slightly higher temperatures. Chef Coreen recommends setting your oven to 275°F (140°C), line a pan with parchment paper, cut up your flower into pea-sized pieces, and bake for 20 minutes. No matter what method you choose, stay within the 240–295°F (115–146°C) range when decarboxylating and do not exceed 300°F (150°C) to best preserve your terpenes and cannabinoids!
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 prefer to use the Stovetop Method, click here. 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 HERBSOMM10 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 my latest creations. If you’d like to learn more about infusions and cooking with cannabis, please join me in San Francisco for the Thursday Infused event series. Each month, I am partnering with different cannabis chefs and brand partners to educate consumers on how to use herbal products safely and responsibly, 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