Top Mistakes Made When Cooking Edibles
Marijuana edibles offer an excellent alternative to smoking for those who want to take advantage of the physical and psychological benefits of cannabis without having to worry about damaging their lungs. When made and dosed correctly, they are both effective and delicious. Cooking with weed takes some finesse, so don’t be discouraged if that first batch of cookies or savory weed-infused meal doesn’t come out quite right. Instead, read on to find out about the top mistakes made by others in the same position to learn how to avoid them.
Failing to Decarb the Cannabis
It would be nice if weed bakers and chefs could just grind up some auto sativa or high CBD cannabis and throw it into or on top of whatever they’re making as a special treat, but that’s just not how edibles work. To produce any noticeable effects, THC must be activated. Decarboxylating the marijuana will alter the chemical composition of the THCA found in buds to THC that can be digested by the human body, so failing to decarb the weed before infusing it into butter or another fat won’t just make the food taste unpleasantly weedy. It will also render the edibles ineffective.
To decarb marijuana, just preheat the oven to around 240 degrees Fahrenheit, grind up the trim or bud a little, place it on a baking sheet, and cook it for around an hour. This relatively low temperature will activate the THC without burning the plant matter. It will also ensure that the THC can bind to fat, usually in the form of butter or oil.
Grinding Marijuana Too Fine
Whether home chefs are cooking with trim or bud, they need to grind up their cannabis before decarbing it. Don’t grind it up too fine, though. Pulverizing it into a fine powder will introduce chlorophyll into the infusion, creating a strong, grassy flavor. It will also make it impossible to remove all the unwanted plant material. Instead of using a food processor, just grind up the marijuana using a regular old grinder and aim for a texture similar to that of coarse salt.
Not Adding Water to Cannabutter
Cannabutter is one of the most popular forms of homemade marijuana infusion. It requires ingredients found in just about every non-vegan kitchen, it’s easy to make, and it can be used for everything from baking brownies to cooking meals and buttering toast. What many novice edible-makers don’t realize is that cannabutter needs to be watered down, especially when it’s cooked on the stovetop. This novice mistake has ruined countless batches of cannabutter, burning the cannabis and leaving the butter with a scorched, ashy taste.
To avoid burning the marijuana, just add equal parts butter and water when creating the infusion. This will both prevent burning and improve the flavor of the edibles. Adding water helps to prevent the strong, grassy flavor sometimes associated with homemade marijuana edibles and can remove some of the green color from the final product.
Many novice cannabis chefs waste perfectly good buds by using far more than they actually need. A little goes a long way, not just when it comes to the amount of marijuana but also when it comes to its potency. Most experienced chefs opt for using trim, shake, low-quality buds, and leaves, not high-grade sinsemilla. If chefs dose their infusions correctly, edibles made with cheaper marijuana products will be just as effective as those made with high-quality bud.
Keep in mind that different parts of marijuana plants have higher or lower concentrations of THC and adjust recipes accordingly. As a general rule, one ounce of trim has approximately the same amount of THC as 6-15 grams of mid-grade buds or 3-7 grams of high-grade buds. Each strain contains different concentrations of cannabinoids, as well, so keep potency in mind when choosing what strains to use. If the buds have more THC, chefs can either use less of them or just expect stronger infusions.
Choosing the Wrong Strain
The potency isn’t the only thing that differentiates different strains of marijuana. Each strain also has a different cannabinoid and terpene profile, which means it will taste different and promote different effects. High-THC strains are best for making potent edibles, while strains with a more balanced THC to CBD ratio will produce a relaxing, clear-headed high.
As a general rule, the same traits that distinguish different strains when smoking can also influence the effects of marijuana edibles. So, for example, if indica strains make consumers sleepy after smoking, they’ll do the same thing when consumed in edibles. Look for a strain that produces desirable effects when smoked and dose it correctly to increase the chances of enjoying the finished product.
The following is a list of some of the best strains for making marijuana edibles:
Not Testing the Potency
Chefs and bakers should always check the potency of their cannabutter or other infusions before cooking with them. Just take a teaspoon of the butter or oil, then wait a few hours to see how potent it is. If bakers wind up with infusions that are too potent for the recipes they have in mind, they can always add some regular butter or oil to the mix to dilute the THC.
Using the Wrong Infusion
The fact that most novice chefs start off with cannabutter doesn’t mean they should just stick with this infusion for every recipe. Cannabutter is great for baking, and it’s perfect for most Italian dishes, but it’s not a good fit for every recipe. Try experimenting with different cannabis infusions and make sure to branch out into oils. They’re more versatile when it comes to cooking savory dishes. Keep the flashpoints of the oils in mind, though, especially when frying or sautéing.
Some specialized edibles, such as cannabis gummies, should be made with tinctures instead of infusions. Tinctures are harder to make, so it’s best for chefs who want to experiment with complex recipes that require marijuana tinctures to purchase them from the local dispensary.
Cooking at High Temperatures
Recipes that work well with cannabutter or weed-infused oils cook best at low temperatures. THC breaks down completely at 393 degrees Fahrenheit, but it starts to degrade at just 185 degrees. At this relatively low temperature, the THC loss is minimal, but the problem worsens as chefs turn up the heat. If it’s possible given a particular recipe, adding water can help. Water has a boiling point of 212 degrees Fahrenheit, which is well below the point at which THC starts to break down. If a recipe calls for cooking at high heat, try altering it to cook the food for longer at a lower temperature, or look for a different recipe.
Failing to Stir in the Butter or Oil Sufficiently
It’s always important to mix all the ingredients thoroughly when cooking or baking, but with marijuana-infused food, it’s not just a matter of taste. If chefs or bakers don’t mix the cannabutter or infused oil into the mix well enough, some of the edibles will be far too potent, while others will produce almost no effect at all. Don’t play Russian roulette when it comes to potency. Mix it in thoroughly to ensure that everyone who will be consuming the edibles gets a proper dose.
Using the Wrong Seasonings
Many cannabakers stick to tried-and-true recipes and follow them to a T, but home chefs like to get more creative. When cooking savory dishes with cannabis-infused oil or butter, it’s important to flavor the food appropriately to mask the taste of the bud. Even professionally made infusions still taste a little weedy, so find spices that complement this taste or cover it up well. It’s better to experiment with different spice profiles for a while before serving up a savory marijuana-infused main course since it takes even experienced chefs some time to figure out what works and what doesn’t when it comes to seasonings.
Failing to Try Out New Recipes at Home
Those who plan on giving edibles to their friends or selling them to dispensaries should always try their products out for themselves at home. It’s even better to find a few trusted friends and ask for their opinions.
Few cannabis consumers will turn down free edibles in trade for some sage advice, and knowing how the recipe tastes, how potent it is, and what kinds of effects consumers should anticipate is especially important for those who plan to sell or share their goods. Don’t just leave it up to chance and risk ruining an otherwise positive reputation. If the recipe isn’t quite right, keep experimenting until it is and don’t settle for anything less than delicious and perfectly potent.
The Bottom Line
Cooking with cannabis at home can be fun and exciting. It can also be challenging for those without substantial experience in the kitchen, and even experienced chefs who just haven’t learned how to incorporate marijuana into their dishes yet. Don’t get discouraged if that first batch of cookies or carbonara sauce doesn’t come out quite right. Instead, try to figure out what went wrong, read up on proper techniques, ask a more experienced friend for help, and get back in the kitchen to give it another shot. As with most things in life, only practice makes perfect. By ordering your seeds in bulk from America’s premier trusted cannabis seed bank, i49.net, you will have plenty of good quality bud to experiment with in your kitchen.