More people than ever are preparing their own cannabis edibles. Where states have legalized medical and/or recreational use, they have also specified how much you can grow.
For medical marijuana users, that permission allows patients to grow their own, saving money in the bargain. They can cultivate their own medical stash, converting some or all into edibles. For recreational users, it also offers the options of varying their intake options.
The new freedom means many will be coming to the cannabis kitchen for the first time. And, these newbies will make mistakes. It’s to be expected. But, because mistakes lose money, we thought it helpful to suggest ways you might avoid those errors.
10 mistakes to avoid
1. Cooking raw: You do not start cooking with cannabis straight off the stem or out of the bag. It must be decarboxylated. There are no THC or CBD until you heat up the cannabis to convert and release the cannabinoids.
You can learn to decarboxylate the weed by baking the cannabis scattered on a cookie sheet. You will roast it for about an hour at 212°F (110°C) to 248°F (120°C). Decarboxylating goes for the cannabutter called for in some recipes. You’ll want to slow cook the supply before you add it to the fat you are using.
2. Spending too much: One advantage to edibles is that you can make a little go a long way. So, don’t overbuy. The bud is way more expensive than flour and other baking ingredients. You are not simply adding or replacing an ingredient. A novice chef is inclined to make mistakes, so you don’t want to make them with the top dollar weed.
You can get all you need from the shake, flake, and leftover debris. What you must know is the potency of what you use. You cannot estimate your dosing if you don’t know what you start with. You can mix leftovers, but you still want to know what’s in your mix.
3. Grinding too fine: You must understand edible cooking isn’t like other pastry baking. The cannabis will not become the body of the product as flour does. So, you do not grind the bud or trim as fine as flour.
You want to use the cannabis trichomes on the buds. You will not find the resin in the leaf. If you want the flavor to come through, you must not over-grind. Overgrinding only produces more material, not more flavor or potency.
4. Holding back water: You must add water when creating butter or an infused oil. You should gradually and steadily add water will mixing the plant material with the butter or oil. A slow cooker helps because there is little boil away. But, if you are cooking on a stove, you should add cooler water to prevent scorching that ruins the taste.
Without tempering the heat with the added water (equal at least to the volume of butter or oil), you can void the THC content. The added water will also dilute the weed’s green color and off-putting herbal taste.
5. Boiling the mix: You cannot walk away from your job. Cooking edibles takes some care and watching. You cannot cook too long at too high a temperature, or you will destroy to THC. You will lose it if the temperature reaches 392°F (200°C). Water starts boiling at 212°F (100°C), the boiling is a warning to stir or add more water.
It’s also a warning not to use the butter or oil to fry or sauté as the high temperature will ruin your preparation. You can, however, bake or roast at temps above 375°F (190°F) without hurting the recipe.
6. Using too much: There is a considerable risk in consuming too much through edibles. Because the effect takes longer to hit you, you risk eating too much too frequently. Overdosing may not kill you, but it can increase negative side-effects, including anxiety and paranoia.
So, you must learn to dose. Some dosing depends on trial and error because everyone is different, and each strain has its own chemistry. If you cannot verify the potency, you might use a little before you start cooking with it. Cooking that strain may intensify the potency, so you need to determine what’s right for you with practice.
7. Using too little: Going light may be a safer and more prudent start. If your outcome is weaker than you expected, you can always eat more. Or, you can go back to the kitchen and improve your next batch.
But, you must also calculate the other impact of other habits. If you are also smoking or vaping cannabis, if you are smoking tobacco or drinking alcohol, you should apportion your consumption of everything.
8. Serving too much: You must segment your product. Cookies, brownies, or candies, they should each have approximately the same dose per portion.
Recipes usually have the number of portions or servings at the start. If you don’t know that, you won’t know how much cannabis mix to add. You can simply divide the amount of cannabis by the number of servings. You may wind up with some uneven potency, but you will learn to improve the preparation as you do more. Not paying attention to portion size.
9. Misusing concentrates: Using concentrates can be tricky. Kief blends nicely and quickly in liquids. And, you can use a grinder to reduce hash to a finer powder. You can use blenders, food processors, and mullers to reduce the dry stuff to a texture you prefer to work with.
However, you want some consistency to the product you are using. After preparation, it should have the same feel and overall appearance.
10. Seasoning carelessly: Everyone wants some cannabis taste and hint of aroma to confirm their pleasure. However, you’ll want to be generous with additional seasonings—to your taste, of course. Spices and other herbs can make or break a recipe, so you are free to use garlic, onion, pepper, and all the touches you would add in cooking. You may also add parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme if the recipe calls for them—or you want to remember the 1960s!
When cooking cannabis edibles, you must remember!
Edibles have been around for as long as cannabis has been in our history. Trial and error, as well as improved cooing technology, have made better edibles possible and effective. Cooking cannabis should no longer be about throwing things together.
There are more successful recipes, better cannabis strains, and more tools to make it easier. It will not be long before chef’s integrate cannabis with comfort food and haute cuisine or compete in cooking demonstrations and book sales. It’s a good time to join the fun for personal or shared use.