A Stoner does not need lab grade equipment or a big fancy kitchen to make great tasting and potent edibles. Its nice to have some glassware, cheesecloth or other material for straining, an assortment of funnels is nice as well. One thing to keep in mind is that quality of hash/buds/trim will greatly impact your final product "Trash in, Trash out" is the saying. Using concentrates rather than weed will also help not have that "weedy" taste to your edibles as much of the plant material has already been removed.
This is the process that transforms the compound THCA into the psychoactive THC. THCA is reported to have neurological and anti-inflamitory properties, but it won’t get you ripped, stoned, high, OR baked. You’ll heat your trim/buds to around 240°, causing the carboxyl group to be released, leaving you with active Tetrahydrocannabinol. Now that you know that your THC is activated, you can effectively infuse your Cooking oil or Butter at a lower temp (around 160°). I’ve found that this makes for better flavor, and scientifically, you won’t risk the loss of terpenes, flavonoids and cannabinoids from your oil or butter getting too hot. These compounds evaporate quickly when the cannabis is heated over 270°. Did you know that a regular lighter puts off heat at more than 450°. So when you light up, you destroy many compounds that make marijuana so healing and awesome (another great reason to eat or vape it).
How To Decarb:
I do the same amounts every time, so I put 150 (or 300 if doing double batch) grams of fairly well broken up nuggety trim (edit: pulse a few times in food processor. The smaller you make it, the easier it is). Cover cookie sheet with parchment, lay out material in as thin a layer as possible, then cover cookie sheet with foil Place in cold oven and heat to 250* Fahrenheit then reduce heat to 220*. Set timer for 20-30 minutes (depending on how old - fresher material needs a longer decarb). When time is up, Turn oven off and open door for a couple minutes then shut and leave to cool. Do not open foil until completely cool or you will lose precious vapors.
It's used in food processing to make less sugar appear 'sweeter', less chocolate more 'chocolatey', and in pharmaceuticals to enhance the effectiveness of medications, it homogenizes and safely coats, then breaks down substances, into more fine, smaller particulates, promoting vastly improved systemic bio-availability within your body. Simply put, breaks the glands down faster, making the heating process more efficient, reducing the risk of damaging the material from possible over-processing.
Lecithin increases the availability of everything from sugars to vitamin C, to prescription pain meds, and the increase in availability on contact is said to be between %15 and %75 depending on the substance, vitamin, or chemical. Meaning, the correct addition of lecithin to for instance, vitamin C, reduces the quantity of ascorbic acid you need to consume in order to achieve the same effect, by more than 50%. You can see how this applies to the use of digestive-resistant canna in edibles.
As Lecithin increases absorption of THC and other Cannabinoids into your cell membranes. It doesn’t technically make your oil “more potent.” It makes your oil more effective, so a 100 mg dose will still be 100 mgs, but the effects will come on faster and will feel stronger. This way, you can use less oil in your recipes (thus conserving your ganja) or use the same (thus getting you really baked). Player’s choice. From my experience, adding lecithin keeps the feeling from getting “peaky” and makes the experience of eating edibles more mellow and pleasant. Lecithin has gotten a bad wrap because of its use in processed foods, pesticides, chemicals and drugs, in these cases It’s usually genetically modified.
When you buy an edible in a store, it will probably say something like “50 mg” or “100mg”. But what does that number mean and where does it come from? Can you figure it out for your homebaked edibles? Yes!
Let’s do some Arithmetic: (That is Stoner Math)
1 gram cannabis = 1000mg of dry weight
On average, most marijuana strains contain about 10% THC. That would mean that out of 1000mg of dry weight, 100mg of that would be THC.
Sample A = 20% THC
Sample B = 12% THC
Sample C = 10-23% THC
If we bake a big cookie using 1 gram of Sample A, it would be approximately 200mg.
If we bake that same cookie using 1 gram of Sample B, that cookie would be approximately 120mg.
If we bake that cookie using 1 gram of Sample C, that cookie could be anywhere from 100-210mg.
If you know the strain, you can look up the THC percentage online. (May or may not be correct), If you get your cannabis from a dispensary, you’ll know exactly how potent your strain is and can dose your baked goods accordingly by doing a little bit of stoner math. If you grow your own or just don’t Know you will have to resort to the tried and true way of.....Testing it on yourself, I know its upsetting.
Calculating the dosage depends on a variety of factors like:
Reason for use
Your own tolerance
Marijuana THC% and storage
In my experience, if you’re using edibles for daytime chronic pain relief or depression, and you have a strong desire to function, small doses taken throughout the day seem to be the most beneficial. If you’re using it to help you sleep, but don’t want to have the notorious weed food hangover, starting with a small amount in a sleepy tea blend of Valerian root, mint and chamomile and working up to the perfect dose is best.
If you and your friends want to get really really baked for something like the a Party, use more.
Even if you smoke lots of marijuana, edibles can have a completely different effect on you. However, if you continue to eat edibles as a form of treatment (or recreationally), your tolerance will go up and you’ll have to adjust your dose accordingly.
Light, Heat and Oxygen are all detrimental to THC- Store your weed in a cool dry opaque container where temps stay about the same all the time.
The potency of your oil or butter will vary. As a cannabis home cook, you’ll learn how to test your oil by using yourself as a human guinea pig. The key is starting with the lowest safe amount and working your way up from there by taking another small dose every hour or so until you get the desired effect.
Once you know what the perfect serving size for the oil or butter is, You can tweak any recipes by adding more or less marijuana infused butter or oil and increasing the use of regular butter or oil in each recipe to effectively strengthen or weaken your edibles.
Magical Butter Machine:
If This all sounds like a major amount of work, Check out the Magical Butter Machine. Our friend @fruit_loops was kind enough to do a post on how much he enjoys his and offer a review of the product you can see below.
The first thing to do before making butter, oil, hash oil, etc. is to de-carb. Basically this is what you are achieving : Decarboxylation - A method of making the THC more psychoactive through controlled heating. I would credit the website I got that from, but am medicated and forgot, my bad. But basically that is what you are doing, making your cooking material more effective.
I do the same amounts everytime, so I put 150 (or 300 if doing double batch) grams of fairly well broken up nuggety trim (edit: pulse a few times in food processor. The smaller you make it, the easier it is) into turkey bag. Put on cookie sheet and spread it out evenly then press air out and roll and fold edge under trim to hold it in place. Place in cold oven and turn on at 225. Set timer for 20 minutes. When done. Turn oven off and open door for a couple minutes then shut and leave to cool. Do not open bag until completely cool or you will lose precious vapors.
EDIT: I have started doing a different method...cover cookie sheet with parchment, lay out material in as thin a layer as possible, then cover cookie sheet with foil and put in cold oven. Heat oven to 250f then reduce to 220. Leave in for 20 to 30 mins (depending on how old - fresher material needs a longer decarb).
That's it, you are ready to make butter or oil or or or...
....info credit here goes to BadKittySmiles
**EDIT: I now decarb in the same dish I make my butter in. Spread material in a 9 x 13 pyrex and cover with foil. After decarbed, follow with Build A Better Butter in same pan
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