If you have been to a medical marijuana dispensary in the US, you must have noticed that edibles such as medicated brownies and gummies are the thing now. Medical marijuana cardholders now prefer edibles because they are discrete, convenient, and pack a less-intense high.
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Benefits of Cooking with Marijuana
Most people are now opting for edibles rather than smoking marijuana. And if you want to start cooking with marijuana, then you get the chance to express your creativity. When cooking with marijuana, you can change the concentration of CBD and THC to your preference. Working with marijuana in your kitchen should be as fun as it sounds. That is why you must have some tips before diving into a multitude of recipes printed out in cookbooks.
Now, do you worry about cooking with marijuana? Are you looking for some fantastic tips to take your cooking to the next level? Below are 7 amazing tips that guarantee to level up your cooking game with marijuana:
Choosing the right strain
Different strains of marijuana contain different concentrations of THC and CBD. And depending on the prescription given to you, you require different concentrations of both components for your medical issues. That is why you must choose the right strain of marijuana for making your edibles.
If you are a medical marijuana cardholder looking for an uplifting effect, go with Sativa. This strain energizes you and your guests, making you the best host.
On the other hand, if you are looking to relax and calm the nerves, Indica is the choice strain. Indica is renowned for its sedating properties. Therefore, it would be best to use the strain for your edibles at night.
There are dozens of marijuana strains from which you can choose. Popular medical marijuana strains include:
It is an Indica-prominent strain famous for its blissful high properties. When used for cooking edibles, the purple queen delivers hearty flavors with a hint of lemon. The Purple Queen is the perfect strain for brownies meant to be evening snacks.
It contains about 25% Sativa and 75% Indica. Also, this beauty tends to deliver a relaxed and euphoric effect on its consumers.
Lemon Shining Silver Haze
If you are looking for an optimistic effect from your edibles, then the lemon shining silver haze is the strain to use. It packs about 75% Sativa and 25% Indica. This strain of marijuana contains skunky undertones and a strong citrus flavor. If you are in the kitchen cooking with marijuana, and you feel like making cupcakes, this strain is the best. However, you may lose some of the terpenes during the baking process.
This Indica-dominant strain of marijuana contains 80% Indica and 20% Sativa and is the best when making a fresh batch of cookies. The royal cookies deliver a much-appreciated equilibrium between the body and the mind by striking a balance between relaxation and euphoria.
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Do you want to experience calmness? The sour diesel is the strain for you. When cooking with marijuana, this strain delivers both physical and mental calmness. With its 70% Sativa and 30% Indica, you are on your way to surfing the cosmos after consumption.
Any medical marijuana cardholder looking for an energized, yet relaxed effect goes for the white widow. Almost everyone who has been cooking with marijuana has used this strain before. This medical marijuana strain delivers a peppery and almost tart flavor that leaves you craving for more. With the perfect balance of Sativa and Indica in its composition, i.e., 50-50%, it provides a little sleepy and happy, euphoric effect to its consumers.
Of all medical marijuana strains, the sherbet queen is the one strain that delivers a creative yet relaxed feeling. With an 85%-Indica and 15% Sativa concentration, edibles made with this strain packs a sweet and tropical sour citrus flavor. And if you want that flavorful candy tone in your edibles, then the sherbet queen is the strain to use.
Cleaning the marijuana
Once you have determined the strain of marijuana that suits your needs, it is time to get into the kitchen. And the first step before cooking with marijuana is to clean the buds. Marijuana is no different from all the other ingredients you use in the kitchen.
So, how do you clean your marijuana buds properly?
For this, you need:
- A medium-sized pot
- A bowl filled with ice water
- A tea strainer
- Ceramic or tin pan
- Aluminum foil
- And a heat resistant glass
Following the right procedure removes all the dirt from the marijuana buds and ensures you do not lose it to the drain.
Pull the marijuana apart
Gently hold the marijuana in your hand. Then, pull it apart before soaking it in the water. This process ensures that you wash away as much dirt from the plant as you can.
Soak the marijuana
Failure to properly clean the marijuana results in a bitter and greasy taste in your edibles. So, to clean the marijuana properly;
- Soak the marijuana in distilled water for about 36 hours
- Ensure that you change the water at intervals of 12 hours. Here, you wash away all the chlorophyll from the plant—the chlorophyll is responsible for the bitter taste in your edibles
- Once the 36-hour period elapses, transfer the marijuana into a large tea strainer
Blanch your marijuana
Edibles chefs recommend blanching cannabis before making edibles to remove any impurities. When not correctly done, these impurities transfer a terrible taste to your infused foods. So, how do you Blanch your marijuana?
- Take your medium-sized pot and bring the water to boil.
- Next, place the marijuana in your large tea strainer in the boiling water for 5 minutes.
- Then, place the tea strainer-containing the marijuana- in your bowl filled with ice water for about 1 minute.
- Finally, remove your marijuana from the ice water and the strainer.
Drying the buds
Failure to dry your cannabis in the right way could have adverse effects on your final product. Also, taking the right steps in drying your marijuana improves their quality and conserves their properties. So, what is the proper way to dry your buds before cooking with marijuana?
- The first step is to squeeze the marijuana buds to remove any excess water.
- Then, spread the buds on double paper towels and keep them there for about an hour. This process ensures that the paper towels absorb as much moisture as they can.
- Next, take a pan, place the marijuana buds in it and cover them with an aluminum foil.
- Finally, in an oven preheated to about 240°F, place the pan for about 90 minutes.
One key factor to note is that the water does not remove any Indica or Sativa from your marijuana. Conversely, it removes excess salts, chlorophyll, and inert properties that would instead introduce unpleasant flavors to your edibles. Also, the water prevents the breakdown of marijuana to glandular material.
If you worry that your marijuana is not pesticide-free, and you want to tone down the chlorophyll, it is necessary to clean your marijuana buds. Besides, cleaning before cooking with marijuana delivers the near tasteless infusion to your edibles.
Decarboxylate your marijuana
Decarboxylation is a crucial step when you want to rip all the benefits from your marijuana. And there is no way you can go ahead with this crucial step without knowing what the word means.
So, what is decarboxylation?
Decarboxylation is the process of activating cannabinoids such as THC and CBD in marijuana by using heat. During this process, a molecule of CO2 escapes from the inactive forms of cannabis, THCA, and CBDA.
Why is it important?
Raw marijuana does not deliver the effects as promised in its compound composition. You know why? Because the main components in marijuana, THCA, and CBDA, are inactive in its raw state. These compounds require heat to be activated.
So, by heating the marijuana buds, you activate them to THC and CBD, which then provide the therapeutic effects promised in medical marijuana strains.
However, exposing your marijuana buds to certain temperatures might fail to do the trick. So, what are these factors you need to consider when decarboxylating your marijuana buds?
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Time is crucial in the decarboxylation process. Heating the marijuana buds for too long makes them less effective when cooking. On the other hand, heating them for a shorter period may result in the THCA and CBDA not being activated. Therefore, you need to strike a balance when it comes to time.
For instance, maximum activation of the inactive compounds THCA and CBDA to the active compounds THC and CBD respectively occur at 70% decarboxylation. And for this to happen, you need to bake your marijuana buds in the oven for 30-40 minutes.
Temperatures for the decarboxylation process differ depending on the equipment you are using. Therefore, the toaster, crock-pot, and oven require different temperature settings to achieve maximum decarboxylation.
For example, when using an oven, maintain the temperatures between 102-115°C (220-240 F)
Remember that the right temperature selection preserves the active compounds in your cannabis. Therefore, invest in a quality thermometer to monitor temperatures when decarboxylating your marijuana buds.
Methods of Decarboxylation
Three methods have proven to be effective when decarboxylating marijuana buds. These techniques include:
- Decarboxylation is an oven
- Decarboxylation is a mason jar
- Decarboxylation in sous vide
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Decarboxylation is an oven
As you have learned before, decarboxylation is an essential step in making super-potent edibles. When cooking with marijuana, decarboxylation in an oven involves a series of six steps. These include:
- Preheat the oven to 240F– You notice the lights in the oven going off once it reaches the set temperatures.
- Break up your buds into smaller pieces- Although you had broken down the cannabis into smaller chunks, do so again to increase their surface area. However, do not grind them into overly fine particles as this increases the chances of your marijuana burning.
- Spread the cannabis on a piece of baking paper. If you do not have this, an aluminum foil does the trick. Then cover the foil with another piece of foil after ensuring that there are no overlapping pieces of the marijuana chunks.
- Place the foil or baking paper in the oven for 25-30 minutes. When you remove the foil from the oven, the marijuana should be brownish and completely dry. If not, return the foil into the oven and keep checking after every 5 minutes until they are dry. This process needs you to be keen because you do not want to cook with burnt marijuana.
- Finally, remove the marijuana from the oven and let it cool for some time.
Decarboxylation is a mason jar
The mason jar is another alternative to activate your cannabinoids. The steps include:
- Preheat your oven to 240F
- Grind your marijuana coarsely to increase the surface area in contact with the heat
- Place your marijuana chunks in the mason jar
- Cover the mason jar lightly, just enough so that the lid does not come off
- Place your mason jar onto the baking tray
- Place the baking tray into the preheated oven and set the timer for 30 minutes
- After 30 minutes, remove the mason jar from the oven, shake it up a bit
- Then, set the oven for another 30 minutes
- Remove the marijuana from the oven and check whether it is scorched
- If so, then your marijuana is ready for infusion in your kitchen
And that is how you decarboxylate your marijuana using a mason jar.
Decarboxylation by sous vide
This process is also known as the low-temperature long time (LTLT) cooking technique. It involves cooking your marijuana buds in a vacuum-sealed pouch for a long time at low temperatures.
The guiding steps are as listed below:
- Grind your herbs into small chunks.
- Place the herbs in a plastic bag and remove all the air from the bag by using a vacuum seal.
- Fill a pot of an appropriate size-one that accommodates your circulator-with water.
- Set the temperature in the circulator to 203F.
- Once the water attains a steady 203F, submerge the vacuum-sealed plastic bag into the circulator and let it cook for about an hour.
- Allow your herbs to cool before you can use them in the kitchen.
To grind or not to grind
The choice of whether or not to grind your marijuana is solely your choice and depends on the products you intend to make.
For instance, products such as resinous trichomes are found on marijuana plants’ surface, not on the inside. Therefore, when infusing cannabis in butter and oils, there is no need to grind marijuana if you wish to enjoy these products’ benefits.
On the other hand, if you intend to inhale or smoke marijuana, it is highly recommended that you grind your plant. This way, the marijuana burns entirely, releasing compounds such as terpenes and cannabinoids to be absorbed through the lungs. Grinding can be a challenging and lengthy process, but it doesn’t have to be.
Is the weed grinder worth it?
How have you been breaking down your marijuana into manageable pieces? Did you use your knife, scissors, or a weed grinder? If the answer is a knife and scissors, then you must think that you are fine. The whole point of cooking with marijuana is to make the job a lot more fun and a lot less tiring. You do not have to settle for okay, because you need, no, deserve to have the best experience.
So, is the weed grinder worth it? Absolutely!
Without costing you an arm or foot, the best 3-piece weed grinder in the market brings tremendous improvement to your kitchen experience. It makes the seemingly impossible task of breaking down the sticky herb much more enjoyable and achievable.
Main parts of a grinder
A weed grinder comprises 3 main parts;
- The grinding chamber
- Teeth to grind
- And a lid to contain the product
What do you gain from using a grinder?
Using a grinder to break down the ultra-sticky herb comes with a series of benefits. These include:
How does grinding your marijuana relates to its potency? Well, grinding marijuana ensures that finer particles are burning. With more surface area coming into contact with fire, the marijuana burns quickly, releasing all the cannabinoids into your lungs for consumption.
Also, by using a weed grinder, you minimize the contact between the marijuana and your hands. This way, fewer trichomes escape through your skin.
Finally, if you enjoy the aroma and taste of weed, the weed grinder restores it for you.
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It is time-saving
Well, machines are known to cut down working hours, and the weed grinder is no different. Using the weed grinder to breakdown your marijuana, you spend almost half as much time as you would have, had you been using your scissors or knife.
The kief chamber
What is kief? These are the terpenes and cannabinoids that separate from the trichomes during the grinding process. Using a weed grinder with a kief chamber allows you to isolate the pure and sticky part of the marijuana plant during grinding.
What do you consider when buying a grinder?
When choosing a grinder to use in your kitchen, always go for:
- The most number of teeth
- Aluminum or zinc grinders
How do you use your grinder?
Correctly using your grinder prevents damage and promotes efficiency. To do this, ensure:
- You do not overfill your grinder with the product.
- Turn the grinder upside down several times when grinding to shake up the product.
When you finish grinding, you can reward yourself with a cup of marijuana tea before you start cooking with marijuana. If you have time, you could get some oil, extracts, or a tincture from marijuana.
Calculating THC dosage for your edibles
Different medical conditions require different THC dosages. And if you are a medical marijuana cardholder, and you have been struggling to find the perfect dosage, well, your troubles are over.
When it comes to the discussion of cooking with marijuana, the THC dosage dominates. This is because the amount of THC in your edibles is responsible for the high effect. And rather than focusing on every little component in the marijuana, concentrate on the THC dosage in your edibles.
Now, how do you measure the concentration of THC in your marijuana?
If the plants you use are not lab-tested, there is no way to determine THC’s exact amount in your weed. However, there is a formula you can use to get a close approximation.
Keep in mind that most marijuana strains contain about 10% THC, while those with 15-20% are above average. The potent cannabis strains contain above 21% THC.
Remember that most strains of marijuana contain about 10% THC.
Now consider the following simple mathematics;
If 1 gram of marijuana=1000milligrams of marijuana,
Then;10% of the 1000 milligrams=100 milligrams
In short; For every gram of marijuana, there is 100milligrams of THC
Now, consider the example below:
Assuming you want to make butter, and you have 28 grams of marijuana, how many grams of THC is in the recipe?
Mathematically; mg of THC=Amount of butter×mg of THC,
=10% of the total weight of the marijuana
Therefore, 28 grams of marijuana will contain 2800mg of THC
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Say you use 28 grams of marijuana to make one cup of butter, and then use the butter to make 50 cookies, how much THC is in one cookie?
2800 grams of THC are in 1 cup of butter
∴2800 mg of THC are in 50 cookies
To find the amount of THC in one cookie, you divide the total amount of THC among all the cookies.
Amount of THC in one cookie=2800mg/50=56 grams of THC per cookie
This is to mean that:
Amount of THC per serving=Total mg of THC in the recipe/Number of servings in the recipe
With this simplified formula, you can now calculate the amount of THC in any edibles you cook.
You can agree that there is no point in spending hours in the kitchen cooking with marijuana, only to end up with a tasteless product. Testing your marijuana edibles ensures they deliver the therapeutic effect and tasteful delight.
If you enjoy the acidic flavor in your edibles, it is okay, but if you do not, here are some tips to improve the flavors in your marijuana edibles:
If you want to reduce the amount of cannabis you use to make your edibles, try a healthy infusion. By combining products such as butter and oils with marijuana, you use less and yet achieve the same flavors and aroma.
Go for quality butter and marijuana
As mentioned above, infusing your marijuana into other products present a healthier option. When you decide to go for it, choose top quality butter and the best quality marijuana. And although this might be a little expensive, it saves you from spending much time trying to gain the perfect results.
Brown your cannabutter
What is browning your cannabutter? Well, this is a process that involves heating your cannabis-infused butter, toasting it over low heat, and then cooling it. If you have never tried this before, then now is the time. The browning process delivers a nutty sweet and savory flavor that cancels out the weed flavor.
Use flavoring ingredients
Herbs, spices, and other flavoring ingredients go a long way in boosting the flavor of your marijuana edibles. Try using sugar-based supplements and notice the difference.
Cook with concentrates
Do you want to have a clear idea of cannabinoids in your edibles? Are you looking for a less herbal flavor in your medicated foods, yet sufficient potency? If that is the case, then cooking with concentrates gets you there.
Cooking some of the infused products such as butter and oils result in the loss of flavors. When cooking, say a medicated cupcake, it would be more efficient to add the marijuana to the cake rather than the buttercream frosting. Cooking marijuana eases the intensity of the weed flavor, making it more enjoyable to eat.
Finally, when cooking with marijuana, some edibles naturally add to the flavors. For instance, cookies, brownies, and candies taste much better when medicated with cannabis. Their sweet taste masks the taste of marijuana, which is the goal you are trying to achieve.
Storing your edibles carefully
Like any other food in your kitchen, cannabis-infused foods need proper storage. So, what are the factors to consider when storing your marijuana edibles?
- Light—Ultraviolet light has the potential to break down THC in your edibles. In effect, this lowers the potency of your edibles altogether. So, when storing the edibles, use UV-protected jars and store them in dark, cold places.
- Temperature—60-70F are the ideal storage temperatures for marijuana edibles. These cold temperatures prevent the growth of mold, which has adverse effects on the human body.
- Air—Cannabinoids disintegrate when exposed to air. So, when storing your edibles, make sure they come into contact with as little air as possible.
- Moisture—too little moisture leads to the deprivation of flavors and potency, while too much moisture promotes mold growth and introduces ammonia.
Now that you understand the best conditions for storing your marijuana edibles, it is time to consider materials to use.
Some of the best materials recommended by medical marijuana specialists include:
- Silicon containers—these are ideal for short-term storage. Choose a size that best fits the edibles you plan to store
- Airtight containers—these containers store your edibles for up to 30 days
- Glass jars—these containers include mason jars. And since the weed makes your edibles sticky, do not forget to wrap them in baking paper
- Fridge—oils and butter are very prone to mold. So, if you used any of these cannabis-infused products in your edibles, store them in the fridge for future use
Now, to finish, here are some useful tips for storing your marijuana edibles:
- Do not use transparent papers as your edibles are sensitive to UV light
- Avoid storing your marijuana edibles in direct sunlight
- There are millions of bacteria in your hands. So, if you decide to wrap your edibles in parchment paper, wear gloves to prevent the transfer of microbes
- Once you store your edibles in the fridge, make sure you only open it when necessary. The temperature fluctuations caused by opening and closing the fridge are not the best for your marijuana edibles
- To keep track of time, write the storage date on your containers
Now, what do you need to know about marijuana edibles?
- Eating marijuana preserves the effects for a more extended period than smoking
- Eating the edibles with proteins and fatty foods makes the effects last longer, compared to sugary foods
- If you have consumed marijuana, and you are yet to feel the effects, eat something fatty
- On the other hand, if you have taken more than necessary, drink something sugary
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Which is healthier, eating, or smoking weed?
Smoking or vaping marijuana means that it is absorbed almost immediately into your bloodstream. However, when consumed as an edible, it takes about 30 minutes to 2 hours to absorb. This means that edibles are healthier compared to smoking weed.
Cooking is an excellent way to release anxiety and stress. And cooking with marijuana brings your experience to a whole new level. Whether you are doing it for medicinal or recreational purposes, you deserve the best final product from your kitchen.
The 7 tips listed above ensure that you maximize quality and know just how much you need to consume for the best experience with marijuana.