13 Tips for Cooking with Cannabis By CHEF 420
THC/Marijuana cooking Tips&Tricks
The average pot enthusiast is more likely to dump an ounce of shake into some brownie batter, rather than whip up something actually digestible and effective, so I decided to share some of the best edibles tips to up your cannabis cooking.
Concocting your own pot brownies has long been a haphazard and inexact science for recreational stoners—instructions will vary on the amount of bud and method of infusion, and often DIY cannabis cooks pay no mind to the potency of the strain they’re using. And while residents living in states where medical marijuana is legalized can buy a wide-range of edibles from dispensaries, the average pot enthusiast is more likely to dump an ounce of cannabis into some brownie batter, rather than whip up something digestible if left to his own devices.
Don’t Throw Actual Weed into the Recipe
That’s not the way it works. A lot of people say, “Oh yeah, I put a gram of Blue Dream into my brownies and they were amazing.” No, they really weren’t. First of all, I don’t believe you, because if you’re going to put the actual ground-up bud into your brownies, sure, there’s going to be some form of decarboxylation that occurs, and you’ll get some of the potency of the herb into your brownies. But they’ll taste horrible, will give you about half the high, and take longer to take effect.
Potency Isn’t Everything
Amateur edible makers will often talk about how strong their brownies are, but I don’t think they really understand what that means. When I first got into this industry, I went to a dispensary with some friends who wanted to get some edibles. I was hesitant because I’d already had a bad experience with a highly potent edible that didn’t taste good and I thought it was a waste of money for me. Meanwhile, my friend was like, “Oh, a 150 milligram brownie, I’ll get that!” It was like $30, and I don’t even think he knew what he had just bought.
If there’s one message I want to get out there, it’s that people need to understand that the typical dose is 10 milligrams of THC. If you want to have a good experience, you should aim for that. Buying a 150 milligram brownie doesn’t mean you’ll have a good time—you most likely will not. Once you understand the basics of dosing, then you can actually have a really enjoyable experience with edibles.
Pay Attention to THC Percentages and Get Your Ratios Right
You have to know the percentage of THC in the bud you’re using. I cook with a lot of high CBD (cannibanol, a non-psychoactive compound also found in marijuana that is often used for medical patients) strains as well, so understanding that is also very important if you’re cooking specifically for medical patients. But the thing is, you can’t really have too much CBD. The worst that can happen if you overload on CBD is you might get tired and fall asleep.
The bigger issue is having too much THC, because if you are inexerienced and have too much of that, the negative effects are you might get excessive psychoactive effects —You don’t want that. You have to know the percentage you’re starting with, and then you have to know how thc incorporates into the butter, oil, or tinctures that you infuse it into. You also need to understand the quantity and how to deal with it when making edibles. For example, let’s say you’re doing a simple boxed brownie recipe that calls for a third of a cup of oil.
A quick fix would be just replacing that with a third of a cup of canna-oil. However, if you do that and you don’t understand the potency of the cannabis oil you are using, you can’t say how many milligrams of THC are in each brownie, you might actually over-medicate your brownies. But if you understand the potency, you can figure out something like, If I use a third of a cup of oil, each individual brownie’s going to be 15 milligrams, and I don’t want that. I want each of my brownies to be five milligrams, so I’m just going to make one third of that third be canna-oil, and the other two-thirds will be regular oil. You can actually use a online calculator to figure out how much oil to use based on the THC potency of the bud in order to make edibles with the potency you desire.
Cleaning Your Weed?
Let’s just say you took your weed and put it into a crock pot, like a lot of people do, with some butter, oil, and let it simmer. What you’re really doing, in addition to simmering all of those cannabinoids into the butter and oil, is also adding in any impurities that are in it. So anything that tastes really bad could be something as horrible as insecticides, dirt, or it could just be the chlorophyll, which also has a specific taste that’s pretty powerful.
If you have taken a look at you weed with a magnifier, you will notice trichomes growing like little mushrooms all over. these trichomes are delicate and too strong of a water flow will wash away your high, I try not to wash in water beforehand. If you don’t know where your cannabis comes from, and your not sure if pesticides have been used in the growing process, I like to use a spray bottle and gently let the water with any pesticides drip off, try not to place your weed under running water.
Don’t Cook Above 350 Degrees Fahrenheit
What temp to cook cannabutter?
Most recipes call for you to hit 350F, and that would be fine if most ovens were precise and didn’t fluctuate between ten and twenty-five degrees of where they say they’re at, (All recipes are different cannabutter cookies cook at a different temperature than say, chocolate cake, make sure you fallow the recipes recommendations) Unfortunately that’s not the case, and THC starts to degrade at 365 F. So if you’re cooking at 350 F, you’re most likely going to start degrading and evaporating the THC. Use a internal thermometer and test the oven before hand, to make sure there is not a large fluctuation in temperature.
Also, when you’re cooking in a pan to, say, sauteing something, you have to be very careful. Obviously people use butter and oil to saute all the time, but if you’re thinking of using canna-butter or recipes using canna oil,
just be aware that you can not use it in the same way you would use anything else. When you’re cooking a dish that requires a stove top, what you have to do is put the canna butter or canna oil in at the end. Basically, you shut the heat off and you mix the butter or oil around to coat everything while the pan is still hot. That way, you won’t lose any of the potency.
I would like to Answer some of the most Common Questions that are posed to me on a daily basis
Q. Do I have to bring the temperature up to 350?
A. No,THC becomes active at 212 F. for decarbing or infusion and begins to turn into CBD above 365 F. and starts to burn at 380 F. All recipes are different cannabutter cookies cook at a different temperature than say, chocolate cake, make sure you fallow the recipes closely.
Q. When is cannabutter done cooking?
A. I usually let the weed cook for around 3 hours. You can tell it’s done when the top of the mix turns from really watery to glossy and thick. If you have a Herbal Infuser Butter can take as little as 45 min. no guesswork.
Q. What’s the most important thing people should know about edibles?
A. Be careful making them, be careful that you actually understand the properties of what you’re working with, and really do take precautions when you’re eating edibles for the first time. If you’ve smoked marijuana, that’s an entirely different animal from actually absorbing this in your digestive system, and it’s great, it’s helpful, it’s wonderful, and it’s a really unique opportunity, but just take it slowly. Put the brakes on. I know we’re all excited; I know that this is something that everybody’s talking about. But just take a deep breath, make your edible, take a small portion, see how it affects you, and then wait a couple of days or the next day and then go from there.
Q. What to do with leftovers from making cannabutter?
A. The “dregs” or leftovers from making canna butter are pretty much spent, there is some THC still in there, you could do a second round, but the result would be weak. If you make edibles often, wrap it up in plastic (ziplock), throw it in the freezer, and make a batch when you have several saved up.
Q. Can you get high from making cannabutter?
A. If your inhaling right from the pot, you might pick up a little something. you would probably hyper-ventalate and pass out first. As you can tell I’m not 100% sure, I’m usually “stoned” anyway. I would say no, but if I had to take a drug test, I wouldn’t want to be around it.
Q. What is best oil for edibles?
A. The best I’ve found, for me, is Coconut oil for effectiveness, but it’s flavor is distinctive. My go to oil for cooking is a pure Vegetable, it works in whatever you need oil for. Meny chefs like to use olive oil, and it’s great for main courses, saute’, salads, etc. For baking though, a connola, veggie oil works best.
Q. My cannabutter turned black?
A. Well this could happen for meny reasons, the Temp was too high, or was cooked too long. If your Bud was not well cured and was not dried enough. or even an excess of dirt. Make sure your temps are good, your weed is cured, and decarbed before you begin, and don’t go much beyond 3 hours.
Q. How long to cook canna oil on the stove?
A. Canna oil like canna butter require the same time/temp. ratios for infusion. I like to go 3 hours at 220F. this is a good even temperature and ensures a quality THC oil or butter infusion. If you are making CBD infusion, you will need to increase the Temperature but not the cooking time.
Why we need to watch out for the Newbies
Educate & Elevate
A 62-year-old woman visited Colorado, bought some marijuana candy, ate it in her hotel room, got way too high as a result, and penned an account of the experience that captivated the nation, or at least the part of the nation that spends too much time giggling on Twitter.
“I felt a scary shudder go through my body and brain. I barely made it from the desk to the bed, where I lay curled up in a hallucinatory state for the next eight hours, ” Maureen Dowd, the New York Times columnist and spiritual descendant of Hunter S. Thompson, wrote on June 3. “As my paranoia deepened, I became convinced that I had died and no one was telling me.”
The immediate response to Dowd’s bad trip was a shudder of not-undeserved gleeful cackling. “She largely suffered her fate due to an overdose of stupidity,” wrote VICE’s David Bienenstock, who scoffed at the columnist for apparently not doing any “research regarding a proper dosage of THC for a novice user, the amount of time the drug will take before you begin to feel its effects, or even the overall potency of the product she selected.”
Though Dowd did get warned that THC-infused edibles can really mess you up if you can’t handle your bud , she “was focused more on the fun than the risks,” according to a statement she wrote in response to the post-column brouhaha. “In that sense, I’m probably like many other people descending on Denver.”
The longtime Times writer may be such a weed neophyte that she doesn’t know how to roll a joint, but she’s not wrong that the new regime in Colorado makes it easy for newbies to overdo it and end up tweaking out. The emerging legal weed industry in the state is still in an odd, transitional stage, and it can be downright unfriendly to casual tourists like Dowd who want to try this “marijuana” thing everyone seems to be talking about. For starters, the bud sold in the state is the most powerful weed anyone has ever smoked. Pot potency has increased dramatically over the past two decades: According to Todd Ellison, the CEO of Weed Media, a Colorado-based marketing company, weed in the 70s contained about 14 or 15 percent THC, whereas today an average strain in Colorado will be 24 or 26 percent.
“Because of the environment you’ve created here, a lot of people have high tolerances,”. As it’s the heavy users who buy the most pot, many dispensaries cater to these ounce-a-week connoisseurs by selling the most powerful weed they can get their hands on.
“Edibles are in the same environment,” added Ellison.“Because we’ve created these people with these high tolerances, we’ve also created the environment where 15 to 25 milligrams (of THC) is really not enough to break the ice for a lot of people.”
This increase is potency is great for medical marijuana patients who need a strong dose to relieve their aches and pains and for proud potheads who smoke the most primo of the primo shit—but it’s bad news for out-of-staters who can’t toke like a “stoner”.
Statistics on people who’ve lost their shit after smoking some chronic or overdoing it on the edibles are understandably hard to come by, but there’s plenty of anecdotal evidence suggesting not everyone can handle the THC-heavy products sold in many dispensaries. “Some hospital officials say they are treating growing numbers of children and adults sickened by potent doses of edible marijuana,” reported the New York Times in a recent article about the downsides of legalization in Colorado. And there have been a couple high-profile tragedies linked to edibles, including the time an African exchange student named Levy Thamba Pongi jumped off a balcony and died after eating a pot cookie that was much, much too strong for him.
Edibles, which are particularly popular among tourists, often don’t contain the THC concentrations listed on their packaging. And the general trend toward making marijuana products as powerful as possible has made it more likely that first-timers like my friend and Dowd will have themselves a bad day.
“Are the edibles too strong? Yes,” VICE weed columnist T. Kid wrote in Paper magazine this week. “When you consume a lot of weed regularly, you lose track of how little it might take to ruin a novice’s evening. A cookie probably shouldn’t have six regular doses in it because, seriously, who eats a sixth of a cookie?”
In all likelihood, growers will find ways to make their crops even more potent in the future, and the THC-hungry crowd that makes use of intense techniques like dabbing will embrace the chance to get higher than ever before. But as the industry grows and more states fully legalize weed—pretty much a foregone conclusion at this point—chances are the pot industry will start to resemble other businesses. Edible makers will find a way to be more consistent with the amount of THC they include in each batch, and just as the most popular beers today are lighter lagers that go down easy and don’t get you too messed up, a market will emerge for what Ellison has called “mid-grade” weed—a type of bud that’s not high in THC but will be easy to grow in massive quantities and won’t give anyone the Fear. In other words, fake articles about Phillip Morris coming out with marijuana cigarettes will become a reality.
In the meantime, Ellison said, the edibles industry is reacting to the bad publicity it’s received lately by, for instance, selling six-packs of chocolate truffles where each one contains a single dose. Dispensaries should make it clear to the tourists that they shouldn’t be screwing around with the hard stuff, he added. “I believe that the tourists should get the lesser grade cannabis that won’t blow their minds right away,” Ellison added. “Or be given the option to understand that ‘here is the good stuff. And here—it’s expensive, it’s hard to get, it’s limited in quantity—but here is the really, really, really potent native stuff.’ That would be a good paradigm.
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