Edibles are favored in the cannabis community for their dosing ease, long-lasting effects, and, in some cases, extra strength. Pre-made edibles can carry a hefty price tag at a dispensary, or perhaps you’re looking for that just-right recipe for your dietary needs. If you have some flower and other ingredients lying around, you can make your own tasty treats in the comfort of your kitchen. Read on to learn how to make edibles at home.
How to dose cannabis edibles at home
The first thing you’ll do is make some cannabis butter. Correctly dosing your homemade edibles will impact how much cannabutter you use once you start cooking. Before making infused ingredients, buy flower that is clearly labeled with its cannabinoid and terpenes. If you want a particular type of experience, ask your budtender for a strain that matches your edible goal.
After you’ve chosen your flower, you’ll have to do a little math to dose your weed butter properly. Let’s suppose you start with 10 grams of flower containing 20% THC. That would leave you with 2,000 milligrams of THC total. After decarbing the flower (2,000 x 0.9), you will have 1,800 mg of THC. Following the extraction in oil or butter (1,800 x 0.6), you will have 1,080 mg of THC in that oil, which is sufficient for 216 standard portions containing 5 mg each.
A little cannabis goes a very long way when making edibles. You can reduce the potency in a recipe by having a regular-butter-to-cannabutter ratio that skews heavily in the direction of regular butter. You can also shop for cannabis with a low percentage of THC and a higher percentage of CBD. Just make sure to adjust the math accordingly.
How to make weed edibles
Before you can start making edibles at home, you must perform an essential part of any edibles recipe: decarboxylating the weed.
Decarboxylating, or decarbing, weed is the process of using heat to convert the non-psychoactive THCA in raw cannabis into THC, the cannabinoid responsible for the feeling of being “high.”
There are lots of possibilities for decarbing weed so choose what works best for you or experiment with different methods. Baking is simple but other methods include sous vide cookers, slow cookers, or simply cooking weed in a high-fat material such as butter. Just remember that a lower temp and a shorter time frame ensure better cannabinoid preservation.
Once the weed is decarboxylated, it’s time to start cooking.
How to make cannabutter
Once you’ve decarbed the weed, it’s pretty simple to make cannabis-infused butter. Weedmaps has two existing recipes for making your own cannabutter. One is an easier, streamlined approach. The other includes more detailed instructions, including all the tools you might need for canna cooking.
What are alternatives to cannabutter?
The reason butter is primarily used to infuse cannabis into edibles is that when heated, a high-fat material (such as butter) more easily extracts cannabinoids from decarboxylated plant matter. However, butter isn’t the only fat in the kitchen, and many dairy-free cannabis chefs have created alternatives.
Make your own rosin for fresh-baked munchies
If you have a hair straightener, parchment paper, a metal or glass poker, and some flower, you are ready to make your own delicious, potent 10-second hash oil, perfect for making fresh-baked treats like a batch of double-strength chocolate chip cookies.
Step one: First, gently break down a couple decent sized buds and place in a little taco of parchment paper. Set the hair straightener to 200 degrees or the lowest setting if it doesn’t show the exact temperature.
Step two: Carefully place the parchment paper taco inside and apply very firm pressure for about three to seven seconds. Be careful not to burn yourself! If you hear a little sizzle, that’s a good sign.
Step three: Next, pull the parchment paper onto a cool surface to solidify for a second, and then toss the flattened nug and remaining plant material. Now it’s time to grab your collection tool for the painstaking, sticky process of scooping up the goods.
Step four: Prepare your balls of cookie dough on a baking sheet, and top each with a small bit of the finished material from the parchment paper. Bake the cookies per usual and enjoy with caution! These will be stronger than the usual five to 10 mg cookies and it’s recommended to wait at least an hour after eating a second cookie. Those less experienced with using cannabis should start with half a cookie.
Pro tip: If you want a slightly cleaner finished product, use a silkscreen as an extra filter for plant material. Twenty-five to 37 microns if you’re starting with kief or hash, and something larger like 90 microns for bud.
Pro lazy tip: Works the same on a batch of store-bought Toll House dough, too.
Just take another hit and get weird with your current edibles
Are you halfway through an infused chocolate bar? Pop the rest in a glass bowl with a dollop of coconut oil, microwave it for one minute, stir well, then microwave it for another minute-ish, and boom: you’ve got yourself the makings for cannabis-chocolate-covered strawberries or whatever fruit you’ve got lying around. You know that dry, stale pot brownie your neighbor gave you – the one you totally forgot about? Break it up and crumble it over ice cream for an extra special topping. Getting high is in the eye of the beholder, and your options are limitless.
How to make cannabis-infused butter
Butter is a delicious and versatile carrier for THC and other cannabinoids, although it isn’t the only one. You can also use coconut oil, olive oil, or any other fatty oil for your infusions. Just keep in mind, butter burns easily, so keep a close eye on your cannabutter as it cooks.
- 1 cup of butter
- 1 cup (7-10 grams) of ground cannabis, decarboxylated
The essential first step: Decarboxylating the cannabis
Before making your cannabutter, you’ll need to decarboxylate, or “decarb”, the cannabis flower you’re working with. Skipping this step will result in a weak or inactive finished product. Here’s why: Cannabis buds produce a non-intoxicating acidic cannabinoid called THCA. When we smoke or vaporize cannabis, the heat converts THCA into THC, the molecule that delivers euphoric effects. If preparing CBD edibles, this same process should be applied.
Some recipes may instruct you to decarb cannabis in the hot butter directly, but the less time you spend soaking the buds, the better your infused butter is going to taste. For this reason, we recommend decarbing in the oven first.
Basic cannabutter recipe
- Decarb the cannabis. Preheat your oven to 245ºF. Place cannabis buds on a non-stick, oven-safe tray. Cover the tray with parchment paper to prevent sticking. Insert the tray into the oven and set a timer for 30-40 minutes. Older, drier cannabis may require less time. (Tip: you can also set your oven to 300ºF and heat for 10 to 18 minutes, although low-and-slow is the recommended approach when decarbing to better preserve the cannabinoids.) Every 10 minutes, gently mix the buds with a light shake of the tray to expose the surface area of the buds equally.
- Grind. Grind the decarboxylated cannabis coarsely with a hand grinder.
- Melt the butter. Add 1 cup of water and 1 cup of butter into a stock pot or saucepan. Simmer on low and let the butter melt. Adding water helps to regulate the temperature and prevents the butter from scorching.
- Add the cannabis. As the butter begins to melt, add in your coarsely ground cannabis product.
- Simmer. Maintain low heat (ideally above 160ºF but never exceeding 200ºF) and let the mixture simmer for 2 to 3 hours, stirring occasionally. The mixture should never come to a full boil.
- Strain the cannabutter. Set a funnel on top of a jar and line it with cheesecloth. Once the butter has cooled off, pour it over the cheesecloth funnel and allow it to strain freely. (Tip: Squeezing the cheesecloth may push more bad-tasting plant material through).
- Refrigerate the jar of butter. If excess water forms at the bottom of the jar, you can remove the solid butter with a knife and drain the water out. (The butter will need to refrigerate for about an hour before removing the water.)
- Dose carefully. Refer to dosing information below before adding your butter to any snacks, dishes, or desserts.