How to Bake with Weed?
Today, you’ll learn how to create edibles by using tinctures and via cannabutter/oil infusion. The former is as easy as it gets, while the latter provides far more utility. The best part about making DIY edibles at home is that you can make whatever recipe you like. No matter what dietary restrictions you have, you can cater your cooking and baking to your needs. All the while adding cannabis to the mix.
The Ultimate Guide to Making Cannabis Oil and Cannabutter
The good news is that cooking with cannabis is easy enough for any adult to handle. Furthermore, you likely already have everything you need in your kitchen to get the job done. No special tools or accessories are required, and there are options aplenty.
After discussing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) potency and picking the right strain, we’ll dive into the steps behind baking with cannabis.
Let’s get to work!
When it comes to estimating the THC potency of homemade edibles, the math isn’t always straightforward. You can still get a pretty decent estimate as long as you know the potency of your tincture or dried flower potency. With tinctures, you can measure out the milliliters used and multiply it by the THC potency. When you use dry flower, measuring its weight will allow you to estimate the milligrams of THC found inside.
Either way, when it comes to edibles, it is critical to start low and go slow. In other words, sample the homemade edible in small portions before going bigger. As always, never drive while impaired by cannabis or operate other heavy machinery. While you won’t know the exact dose, you’ll get in the ballpark through some simple math and personal sampling.
2. Picking the Right Strain
The first choice to make before creating infused foods revolves around your choice of strain? Whether you go with a sativa or indica strain depends purely on personal preference. Generally speaking, an indica strain is better for nighttime couch-locking sedation. On the other hand, sativa strains can provide a stimulating daytime boost.
Beyond the strain type, you’ll want to consider the potency and terpene profile. As discussed above, estimating your edible strength can be difficult, and there are benefits to picking a lower potency strain. For example, the less potent the edible, the more you can eat. Seeking strains with high CBD content can help balance the effects and enhance the overall experience.
Finally, the terpene profile can have an impact on smell and flavor. Once again, this is a personal preference, so take a whiff and go with your gut. Don’t get too bogged down by this at this point, but you may find certain terpenes go better with specific flavors over time.
3. Infusing with Cannabis Tinctures
Using a tincture to create an instant infused treat is as simple as it gets. All you need to do is add some drops to your food, mix it around, and enjoy. There are only two major considerations here. First, if you are using high heat to make this food, add the tincture afterward. Second, tinctures are oil-based and will not blend well with beverages and certain foods. That said, this method can be used with most food, including your Uber Eats or DoorDash delivery. Finally, while this method is the simplest, it can be more expensive than the other options presented here.
4. The Oil/Butter Infusion Method
Since cannabinoids like THC and CBD are lipids, they infuse much more readily with fat-based substances. For this reason, many DIY edibles involve infusing butter or oil with cannabis. You can use canola, olive oil, coconut oil, or any other oil you like. Just keep in mind the different boiling or smoking point for each, as you would typically do.
Once you have an infused oil/butter, all you need to do is swap your infusion for the regular butter/oil in the recipe. This simple 1-for-1 swap is the reason people love making infused cannabutter. You can take just about any recipe and make it work with this method.
So, let’s learn how to make cannabutter.
Step 1: Grind Your Weed
Let’s get started with an easy step 1. Go ahead and grind up your desired amount of dried flower or bud. You can grind it up any way you like, but by far, the easiest is simply using a grinder/busker. You should not finely grind your bud. In fact, you want it to be a bit chunky for easier straining.
Step 2: Combine the cannabis and butter/oil
If you’re using a solid oil or butter, you’ll want to warm it up till it becomes liquid. Combine your oil with the ground weed to fully submerge the bud. You can perform this step using a saucepan, double-boiler, or slow cooker.
How much bud you use depends on the recipes you’ll be using. Many people prefer to make a larger portion and save the infused oil for future baking. In general, a good starting point is a ratio of 3:1 (3 parts oil to 1 part cannabis). For a more mild mixture, you can do as high as 16:1.
Depending on what you plan on doing with the oil, you can adjust the potency. If you’re making a recipe that only requires a little bit of oil, you’ll want sufficient potency for the intended serving size. On the other hand, if you find the oil to be too potent, you can substitute a portion of the oil in the recipe with your infused oil and use regular oil for the rest.
When making cannabutter, use a single stick of salted butter. In a slow cooker, butter takes around 8-24 hours to infuse fully. Generally speaking, use between a quarter and half an ounce of weed per butter stick.
Step 3: Dissolve and Infuse
The next step involves turning up the heat. Use low heat to dissolve the bud and slowly heat the oil. When using a saucepan or double-boiler, you’ll need at least three hours to infuse the oil. Keep a close eye the entire time to avoid boiling over. You can add water at any point in this process if you see the bud getting scorched. Stir the mixture frequently throughout.
A slow cooker requires more time, somewhere between six hours and three days. You won’t need to check on your mixture as often, but don’t forget to stir the mixture occasionally. Generally speaking, the longer you spend infusing the mixture, the higher the potency will be (up to a point, at least).
The key part of this step is using high-enough heat to decarboxylate THC and CBD. Decarbing cannabinoids transform the compounds into their more potent and biologically active versions. Achieving sufficient temperatures is essential to producing the cannabis high from THC. Here are some quick guidelines:
- Going slow with temperatures of no more than 200°F or 93°C
- A sweet spot of 225°F or 107°C is thought to optimize decarbing
- Using temperatures of 250°F or 121°C may help to access more cannabinoids
Step 4: Strain Your Mixture
Turn off the heat and strain the mixture while it is still hot. Exercise caution while handling your mixture, and be patient as this step can take some time. Use a wire strainer to remove the large chunks slowly.
Next, you will want to use a coffee filter or cheesecloth. If possible, go with cheesecloth as they work more quickly and efficiently. Make sure you use several layers of cheesecloth. An easy way to complete this task is by using rubber bands to secure the layers around the lip of a salad mixing bowl. Go with bigger versus smaller to avoid spilling and decrease the time needed. Do not add force or squeeze the cheesecloth. Instead, letting gravity do the work.
Consider straining the mixture in small batches, demonstrating patience along the way. This may be the most tedious part of the process, but it is critical for creating high-quality edibles. After straining the mixture, you pour it into an airtight glass jar. Since the mixture can be pretty hot still, run the glass jar under hot water before starting. This small step can help to avoid cracking the glass and possibly making a giant mess.
Step 5: Store or Use the Infusion
You now have cannabis oil or cannabutter that is ready to be used. The hard part is all done!
If you decide to use the oil immediately, have your recipe ready. Substitute a portion of the oil/butter in the recipe for your cannabis oil or cannabutter. For those seeking higher potency, substitute all of it instead of some of it. Until you know the potency and how it impacts you, going with less is a good idea.
Baking with cannabutter is best performed with recipes that do not require high heat. Generally speaking, you’ll want to keep your baking temperature to no more than 300-325°F or 148-162°C. This will ensure that you do not destroy all the valuable cannabinoids.
When it comes to storing this infusion, oxygen and light are your enemies. Use an airtight container and store it somewhere dark and cool. Otherwise, potency can rapidly decline. Keep in mind. Your infused oil can last only around 60 to 90 days. If you’d like to store it for longer, you can freeze the mixture. Storing your infusion in the fridge can also help extend the lifespan.
That wasn’t so bad! With a little bit of patience and enough preparation time, you can easily make an infused oil or butter to be used for baking. Experiment with different recipes and strains to find the perfect combinations for you.
As always, start low and go slow with edibles. Avoid taking a second dose until you can fully appreciate the effects of the first. Edibles can take several hours to take full effect, and double-dosing can lead to unwanted side effects. Make sure you test out any edibles before gifting them to others. And, if you do share, be crystal clear about uncertain potency and warn people to start small.