Cooking with Cannabis has come a long way in recent years. Years ago, if you wanted to cook with cannabis you likely made a brownie or cookie that was full of grinded cannabis flower. Today, cooking with cannabis is an ever growing culinary trend that is pushing the limits of edibles. You no longer need to chew through coarse cannabis laced within a dry overcooked brownie to eat cannabis; the possibilities are endless with a good imagination.
I have long since made my own cannabis butter by grinding my buds and placing it in melted butter in a crockpot on low. I try to keep the temperature as low as possible to avoid lowering the THC or CBD content and too ensure the flavour is not bitter. I came across this method after ruining several batches of stove top cooked cannabis butter. The crockpot method ensures I can set it and walk away without any stirring or attention whatsoever. This method takes about 8 hours but its like they say, good things come to those who wait.
Cannabis Tinctures and Oils
CBD and THC Tinctures, edible cannabis oil, and THC and CBD olive oils, have made infusing any of your favourite food or cocktail recipes quick and idiot proof. That’s why these days I rarely go through the trouble of making my own cannabis butter. With Cannabis infused coconut oil, olive oil, butter, and alcohol products being so widely available, I just stock my cupboard with several different cannabis infused oils. My personal favourite is cannabis coconut oil as it can handle higher heat (390 f) without producing a bad flavour. It is also very versatile as it can be fat substitute into many of my favourite recipes. Weather I’m popping popcorn on the stove, or making 420 themed breakfast muffins, cannabis coconut oil is always a welcomed ingredient in my kitchen.
THC & CBD
I personally like having both THC and CBD oils on hand at all times. Having both ensures your high won’t cause panic and stress. THC is my favourite as I enjoy the psychotropic effects, but I have been known to over indulge now and again and having a dose of CBD on hand can bring me back down to earth. Commercially sold cannabis products list the quantities of THC and CBD levels so you can control your buzz. I currently have THC coconut oil, and CBD infused olive oil and CBD isolate powder. These ingredients not only help me unwind and relax, they also allow me to experiment in the kitchen.
Heat concerns & Proper Temperature
One of the biggest questions I had about cooking with cannabis was: how much heat can THC and CBD handle before it starts to diminish? I came to discover that 350-370f was the highest temperature I would bake or cook with THC or CBD to ensure that the effects wouldn’t diminish. This is a very common temperature range for the majority of baking recipes, and works for many proteins. Using the oven is a great way to ensure that you stay below 370, but if your recipe requires a pan, be sure to monitor the temperature.
Fat Content is Key!
Another lesson I learned was to embrace fatty or rich foods when making edibles. THC bonds to fat and helps your body absorb the CBD or THC. High fatty foods help your body gradually digest the THC leading to a great long lasting mellow buzz. Also, DO NOT enjoy edibles on a completely empty stomach. Even smaller doses of THC and CBD can kick like a mule on an empty stomach. My go to foods to have when taking edibles are pizza, ice cream and chips. I mean this isn’t rocket science, munchies and weed are ALWAYS a great combination.
As Always - Low and Slow
The last piece of wisdom I wanted to share is what I consider to be rule number one of cooking with cannabis: take it slow when consuming cannabis. Have a small amount and wait. I have heard some can feel the effects in as soon as a half an hour. Me personally, I wait at least two hours before I have more. Everyone is different but you will not feel the effects as quickly as if you smoked a joint. There is no rush, take it easy and learn your limits. Measure and be aware of the milligrams of THC and CBD.