Learn how to make delicious, versatile cannabis sugar using a cannabis alcohol tincture and white sugar for a basic staple cannabis recipe that can be used to make a wide variety of other cannabis-infused recipes.
WHAT IS CANNABIS SUGAR?
I have to admit, at first, it took me some time to wrap my head around the art and science of making cannabis edibles the right way.
Now that I feel a bit more advanced in my culinary cannabis skills, I wanted to try something new.
Most of my cannabis recipe inspiration comes from my Well With Cannabis Facebook Community, and somewhere along the way, I saw someone making cannabis sugar.
I love the idea of cannabis sugar because, just like cannabutter or cannabis-coconut oil, once it’s made, it can act as a staple recipe to infuse all other recipes easily.
I also love the versatility of cannabis sugar.
Once it is made, you can use it for so many different recipes, including cannabis brownies, chocolate chip cookies, cocktails and drinks, or even a scoop in your morning coffee or tea.
Plus, if you’re looking to increase the potency of your cannabis recipes – you could use both a cannabis-infused oil AND cannabis sugar together for a double dose of CBD or THC.
HOW TO MAKE CANNABIS SUGAR
Unfortunately, this is not a quick recipe, there are a few things you need to do before you can get started making infused sugar.
Cannabis decarboxylation must occur before cooking, baking, or extracting oil from the dried flower buds of the cannabis plant in order to reap the benefits of activated CBD or THC. Learn more about how, when, and why to decarboxylate cannabis for making edibles, medicine, and more at home.
A GENERAL OVERVIEW OF CANNABIS DECARBOXYLATION
If you have never decarbed cannabis before, the process can be understandably confusing.
Don’t worry; I’m here to help you understand this process (and I promise, it’s not as hard as it sounds!)
Decarboxylation is the first step to take before transforming cannabis flower into cannabis coconut oil, cannabis butter, cannabis olive oil, or a cannabis tincture and more.
You will often hear this process referred to as ‘decarb’ or ‘decarbing’ cannabis flower, and it truly is an important step to take if you plan on making homemade cannabis edibles.
So what exactly is decarboxylation, and why do we need to do it, anyway?
If you were to eat a whole dried or raw cannabis flower bud, it is unlikely that you will feel the intoxicating effects of THC.
That is because raw cannabis does not naturally contain high amounts of CBD or THC, it actually contains what is known as cannabinoid acids.
Cannabinoid acids, known as CBDA and THCA, and more, have potential health benefits – but they are not intoxicating in nature (meaning you won’t get high).
To convert these nonintoxicating cannabinoid acids into the activated cannabinoids we want to consume, the process of decarboxylation must occur.
By definition, decarboxylation is is a chemical reaction that removes a carboxyl group and releases carbon dioxide.
Decarboxylation occurs when cannabis is exposed to heat, light, cofactors, or solvents, all of which can be manipulated within your own kitchen.
Cannabis decarboxylation is necessary to experience the activated effects of CBD or THC when making cannabis edibles, cannabis topicals, oil infusions, and more.
VARIABILITY OF DECARBOXYLATION METHODS
If you ask one hundred different members of my Well With Cannabis Facebook Community how they decarboxylate their cannabis, you will get 100 different answers.
While the variations in each method are often slight, they are also usually accompanied by years of experience and personal preference.
Ultimately, we will all arrive at the same goal – activated CBD, THC, or other cannabinoids that can be used in homemade edibles.
Now it’s important to remember that this is not a perfect process in a controlled environment, nor does it need to be.
Each cannabis plant is highly unique and contains a full-spectrum of compounds including different cannabinoids, terpenes, and more.
The cannabinoid and terpene profile varies from plant to plant, and each cannabinoid and terpene decarboxylates at a different temperature, making replicating and reproducing consistent results challenging.
On top of that we all have different kitchen set ups with equipment available to work with. Temperature fluctuations can vary greatly from oven to oven.
Finally, it can be difficult to determine the final percentage of a specific cannabinoid in your final product without expensive lab testing.
While this sounds like one big science experiment going on in your kitchen, it really can be as simple as putting a mason jar of flower in the oven and baking.
This can be good or bad depending on your desired experience.
Raw cannabis flower contains tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA), a non-intoxicating substance that can be converted into the intoxicating substance tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC) through the decarboxylation process .
This process also converts cannabidiolic acid (CBDA) into cannabidiol (CBD), although both forms remain non-intoxicating in their respective states.
While THCA and CBDA have potential health benefits in and of themselves, for preparing cannabis edibles, most people prefer them decarboxylated into the active forms of THC and CBD.
While there is a general understanding of the science behind the decarboxylation process, truthfully, it is all just one big experiment in a home kitchen.
Ultimately, they all get you to the same place – decarbed cannabis flower.
CANNABIS DECARBOXYLATION WITH HEAT
As mentioned before, decarboxylation occurs when cannabis is exposed to heat, light, cofactors, or solvents.
For this process, we prefer to decarb with heat, as this is the easiest method to control in an at-home kitchen environment.
Decarboxylation can easily be done in your own kitchen at home by baking the dried cannabis in the oven at a low temperature for a certain period of time.
The goal of cannabis decarboxylation is to heat the flower at a low temperature to allow decarboxylation to occur without destroying the other beneficial plant matter such as the terpenes or flavonoids.
Again, this becomes difficult because each cannabinoid and each terpenedecarboxylates at its own specific temperature.