It seems like a cliché to talk about the munchies and bring up images of you raiding your fridge at 2:00 AM after a joint, but food, drink, and cannabis have always been deeply intertwined. Among other things, cannabis plays a huge role in stimulating appetite and reducing stress. GAGE CANNABIS CO.

So why not responsibly combine your favourite strain with a delicious meal you’ve crafted as well? Pot brownies. THC-laced gummy bears. Salads with infused dressings, pesto and chimchurri, waffles, pancakes. The possibilities are endless! There can be several advantages to cannabis edibles: you can eat cannabis in public or in private, it makes for a great party, and you don’t have to inhale any smoke. As one writer from Vogue put it, “nobody will know you’re not chewing on a Milky Way bar.”

But the path to edible perfection is fraught and treacherous, layered with many challenges that might change a night of pleasant unwinding to something far less pleasant. Below are several tips we’ve synthesized from various experts to help guide you on your journey in becoming a weed edible connoisseur.

  • Pick the right recipes.

Cannabinoids are drawn to fats and oils which allows the THC and other compounds to become active, so find a series of recipes that include olive oil, butter or coconut oil.

  • Choose the strain. And know your ratios!

Matching the most prominent characteristics of the dish to the turpene profile of the strain is crucial in capitalizing on tastiness. If you purchase through a dispensary, view some samples and be sure to ask what trim or shake they have for purchase. Be aware of costs. Trim or shake usually costs far less than full flower buds. Purchasing the flower already broken up will also save you time in the kitchen when creating the infusion. And be mindful of how much flower you use, so it is a pleasant experience. Generally, it’s 1:1 – 1 cup of oil to 1 cup of ground cannabis (about 7-10 grams). It’s important to also the percentages of CBD and THC in the product. This will determine your overall sensory experience. Pro tip: use JeffThe420Chef’s online calculator to figure out how much oil to use based on the THC potency of the bud in order to make edibles with the potency you desire.

  • Clean your weed thoroughly to remove that grassy taste. Soak the bud for a couple of days in distilled water, and then after that, start blanching it. This process will allow you to getting a much purer flower to start your cooking. It’s still going to smell like cannabis, but if you cook with it, you won’t taste anything.
  • Always remember to decarboxylate first, and create the infusion!

What’s decarboxylation, exactly? Well, it’s basically using heat and time activate and boost the psychoactive chemicals in weed. You can do this in multiple ways:

  1. With a standard oven set to some parchment paper, and a baking sheet. Finely grind your cannabis (with a hand grinder for a more efficient grind!) until the material can be spread thin over parchment and placed on your baking sheet. Allow the cannabis to bake for 30-45 minutes, or longer if desired.
  2. Cannabis can also be decarboxylated in a slow cooker by introducing solvents such as cooking oils or lecithin. According to Leafly, these methods create infusions that can be used in a variety of cooking recipestopicals, and even cannabis capsules.

Don’t choose the cheapest butter or olive oil that you can find at the supermarket. The better the product, the better the infusion. Remember it takes 4 – 6 hours to infuse olive oil and 24 hours for a CannaButter to adequately cool and firm, so plan accordingly! Never cook above 340 degrees Fahrenheit: THC starts to degrade at 365 degrees. As a general rule of thumb? Heat the oven to at least 245°F (or 120°C), cook for 30 to 40 minutes, and mix the buds every 10 minutes.

Also, be careful while cooking in a pan! When you’re doing a dish that requires cooking on a stovetop, introduce those ingredients at the end. Shut the heat off and you mix the butter or oil around to coat everything while the pan is still hot. This maximizes the chance of not losing any potency in your mix.

  • Choose the meal time.

Pace yourself. It usually takes 1.5 – 2 hours to feel the effects of an infused meal, so make sure you carve out enough time to be able to cook, eat, and digest, especially if you are enjoying multiple courses.

Some suggest making an infused snack while you are cooking to savor the full effects during your main meal. Better yet, take 1/4 or 1/2 teaspoon of your oil as a personal dose and add it to a food or drink. Wait an hour and see how you feel. This will help you determine what an appropriate single dose would be. Once you’ve determined how much oil yields your desired effects, multiply that dose per serving if making a shareable meal. Or simply scoop that dose onto each individual dish.

 Micro-dosing each course (consuming 1 – 5 milligrams of THC or CBD) is an excellent way to pace yourself. This practice will help you figure out your limits. Always remember the golden rule of edibles – go low, start slow.

  • Cook with the appropriate instruments.

Some useful kitchen tools include measuring spoons, measuring cups, salad dressing mixer, large mixing bowl, Tupperware for leftovers, etc. Typically, one teaspoon of CannaOil or CannaButter equals one serving of 5 – 10 milligrams depending on the potency of the strain. If you are a newbie, take half of that serving size.

And voila! If you’ve made it this far and incorporated some of the tips and techniques we’ve compiled above, you’re one step closer to becoming the envied cook at an edibles party. Bon appetit!

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