Did you know that edibles represent one of the fastest growing consumer product categories within the Cannabis industry nationally? If you prefer to avoid smoking or vaping cannabis, or can’t tolerate smoke, cannabis infused edibles are a great alternative. This article will focus on both homemade and industry cannabis edibles. This first one will introduce you to the basics regarding the making and processing of edibles and your first steps in making your own.
The process of making edibles is very similar to making cannabis concentrates; the goal being a pure, therapeutic combination. The main difference is that edibles typically utilize a fatty, food-grade solvent such as butter, as opposed to a hydrocarbon like butane, to extract the cannabinoids from the originating material. There are literally hundreds of ways to make edibles, and most of them will work to some degree. Edibles can be made using nearly any cannabis product. Just keep in mind that the quality and potency of your starting material will play a large role in the strength of your edibles. For example, Edibles made from cured, ground buds will be significantly stronger than the same batch derived from “Already Vaped Buds” (AVB) buds, in which the flower is now dry due to having much of the liquid within it vaporized. That example having been given, most AVB bud use is by hobbyists. Most professional firms use a liquid form of THC (the psychoactive components of marijuana), CBD (the non-psychoactive that is also an anti-inflammatory component of Marijuana or Hemp) or a blend of the two, called an extract in the creation of their edibles.
Another aspect to consider is what type of effect it will have on you. You will want to know whether the plant strain used for obtaining the marijuana portion of your edible is Indica, Sativa, or a hybrid. Typically, Indica is used for relaxation, “body highs” and sleep, whereas Sativa is considered better for things like creative endeavors and mental stimulation. You can also seek out starting material with a specific profile, selecting the ratios of THC and CBD that induce the desired effects which may help you with your recreational and wellness goals.
In making your own, the first step is often to create “Cannabutter.” One of the recipes for it that some of our blog writers prefer is this:
Basic Cannabutter Recipe
- First, to decarb the cannabis, preheat your oven to 245ºF, and place cannabis buds in a single layer on a non-stick, oven-safe tray. (Covering the tray with parchment paper will prevent sticking.) Put tray in oven for 30-40 minutes. Older, drier cannabis may require less time. Every 10 minutes gently mix the buds with a light shake of the tray to expose the surface area of the buds equally.
- 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 will 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 160º F but never exceeding 200º F) 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 the worse-tasting plant material through). Refrigerate the jar of butter. Refer to dosing information below before adding your butter to any snacks, dishes, or desserts.
You can then use the butter to make different types of edibles. Many of those new to cannabis-infused foods fall victim to the same mistake: they eat too much. Edibles are a great choice when consumed responsibly; they’re very potent and body-focused, and often are suggested for people who suffer from pain, nausea, or lack of appetite.
When you smoke or vape cannabis, you feel the effects of the herb almost instantly. You’re also able to tell how much cannabis you have consumed and can easily decide when you’ve had too much. When you eat (or drink) activated cannabis, these signals go away. Different delivery systems are absorbed into the body at different rates.
After eating an edible, your body needs to digest and metabolize the food before you feel the effects. Something like a truffle needs to be processed by the liver before it affects the consumer. That means slower absorption time and more of the THC will be filtered out of your system. The amount of time it takes for the effects to kick in also depends on your metabolism. People with faster metabolisms may feel medicated after an hour, yet people with slower metabolisms may not feel the effects for two hours or more.
Let us know how yours turn out! We would love to see pictures or even better send our office a sample tray!
Tami Danielson is the main in-house blogger and Director of operations for Pop-Daze. She was raised in California and Florida and currently resides in Oregon. Tami has written for a variety of periodicals and has provided digital marketing services for a number of artists. She can be reached at [email protected].