Cannabis makes us happy. Food makes us happy. Cannabis with Food makes us super happy and a better combination is very hard to find. Anytime you are using butter, adding sugar, making a sauce, whipping frosting, baking something special, or just making pancakes with syrup, you have the ability to incorporate cannabis. People have been making edibles with cannabis for a long time so the Source Turbo isn’t recreating edibles, but it’s vastly improving how they’re made by making it easier, cleaner without the gross green color, and much better tasting. Canna-Cooking requires a few simple steps and a couple basic considerations to achieve the final product you desire. To cook with cannabis you must determine if decarboxylation is necessary, what medium will carry the cannabis oil, how to prepare the cannabis oil, and the potency of the resulting delicious edible.
DECARBOXYLATION (DECARB) NECESSARY?
The need for decarboxylation depends on the canna-oil’s (CO) intended use. If the oil is to be smoked, decarb is not necessary because it happens instantly with it meets high heat like combustion or vaporization and the THC-A immediately becomes THC. On the other hand, to get the ‘high’ from eating cannabis the THC-A must be converted to THC before oral ingestion. Decarbing cannabis is achieved by applying heat at a specific temperature for a set amount of time to ‘activate’ the THC. For a complete understanding of the decarboxylation process and recommended time/temperature combinations have a look at my post Decarboxylation (decarb) 101: Basic Understanding and at Home Method Comparison.
This picture shows a comparison of cannabis before and after decarbing. From left to right, the progression from nicely cured flower, to half-decarb in the middle, and full decarb on the right. Fully decarbed cannabis will be toasted in color and aroma. You also have the choice to decarb the CO after the extraction instead of decarbing the plant material before. You should experiment with both techniques to see which you prefer. Both techniques are discussed in the link provided above. Potent and high-quality edibles require well decarbed CO. Even though your edible creation may be subjected to heat in the oven, or on the stove, the CO must be completely dedcarbed before introducing it to a carrier and into a recipe.
CHOOSING A CARRIER
The purpose of using a ‘carrier’ is to smoothly, evenly, and easily combine the CO into a recipe, make handling and dosing easier as a concentrated tincture, or for easy and ready to use storage. The choice of which carrier to use is more of a culinary, health, and flavor preference decision than a cannabis one. It would be wise to consider which carrier would add the best desired character to the overall recipe rather than the cannabis consideration. Coconut oil, canola oil, olive oil, avocado oil, grape seed oil, butter, maple syrup, corn syrup, regular sugar and alcohol are examples of carriers that help to evenly incorporate CO into your delectable edibles.
Bioavailability is said to be enhanced when combining CO with saturated fats allowing better absorption of the cannabinoids into the body. In addition to the saturated fat based carriers, sunflower lecithin can also be added to further increase cannabinoid bioavailability and work as an emulsifying agent in sauces and lighter recipes to reduce the risk of oil separation.
Once the type of carrier is chosen, the very important consideration of how much carrier to use must be decided. The crux of this decision is all about potency. Less carrier means higher potency while more carrier means lower potency. Controlling the potency controls the dosing of the final product, it’s important because you don’t want anyone consuming more THC than planned and having an unpleasant experience. The dose and potency of an edible is determined by how many milligrams of THC is contained per serving. It takes a few steps to determine the THC in milligrams (mg) of the final product.
STEP 1: Determine the total amount of THC in the concentrate. If you have lab testing available and know the exact milligram content of your concentrate thats perfect, but most of us don’t have that advantage and have to estimate. People often ask about buying home testing units and I can’t say strongly enough, don’t waste your money because they are all completely useless. That leaves us only with our best estimation, which will get us pretty close considering that the best lab testing is +/- 15% accuracy and I’ve had conflicting lab results of the same material much wider than that. To widely estimate my concentrates this is how I do it.
If it’s super dark green/black I estimate it at 50-55%
If it’s light brown and murky 60%
If it’s light brown and clear 65-70%
If it’s amber to golden and clear 70-75%
If it’s absolutely perfect and well purged 80-85%
Since those percentages are based on the weight of a concentrate, take the percentage and multiply by the total weight of the concentrate in milligrams. For example, 1 gram of concentrate is 1,000 mg in weight. Multiply 1,000 by 55% give you an estimated total of 550 mg of THC.
STEP 2: Determine the amount of THC for the volume of carrier used. This is quite easy, divide the total concentrate THC determined in step 1 by the carrier unit volume being used.
Example: Using 700mg total THC, determined in step 1, with 5 fluid ounces of grape-seed oil.
700mg / 5 fl oz = 140 mg
That’s 140 mg of THC for every 1 fluid ounce of grape-seed oil. If you would like it to be less potent add more oil, doubling the carrier to 10 fl oz would then give you 70 mg per 1 floz. It’s totally in your control.
STEP 3: Determine the per serving THC content of the end product. Only two things need to be known to finally estimate the end product dose. How much of the carrier you will use and the number of servings being prepared. Divide the carrier THC content by the number of servings being prepared.
Example: Using 3 fl oz of the 70 mg per fluid ounce grape-seed oil in a dressing to toss with 10 servings of salad.
3 fl oz x 70 mg = 210 mg total
210 mg / 10 servings = 21mg per serving
Keep in mind a ‘standard’ dose is 10mg and only 5mg for a beginner. For the inexperienced it’s worth mentioning that once consumed it can take 2-hours for the effects of the cannabis to be felt. Patience should be exercised and wait for at least 2-hours before taking any more. The effects take longer to set in but they will last for several hours. Experienced edible consumers might consume 100’s of milligrams at a time so be careful not to blindly follow what someone else is consuming.
PREPARE CANNABIS OIL
Traditional methods like simmering cannabis in butter for an hour, steeping cannabis in oil for an extended period, even days, creates a strong green color and is often laden with chlorophyll and waxes, especially if it gets all mashed up and chopped up with a ‘butter maker.’ Real, efficient infusion takes a lot of time to soften the trichomes to the point where efficient collection is possible, it takes days and multiple cycles of heat to do it properly. Then, in the end, you have a voluminous amount of carrier oil with uncontrolled potency that you basically have to use as is with no real versatility.
The great thing about using extraction instead of infusion is how clean the cannabis oil comes out and the control you have over potency and the ratio of cannabis to carrier. Using the Source Turbo by ExtractCraft, you can craft a beautiful clean and golden product, or, you can make the dark medicinal type extraction often associated with RSO, Phoenix Tears, and more recently called Full Extract Cannabis Oil (FECO). The beauty is, you choose and control every aspect of the creation and outcome yourself!
Turning the cannabis plant material into canna-oil is straight forward and essentially the same process every time. Follow the instructions pictured above, included with the Source Turbo, or review my blog post Crafting the Concentrate You Want With the Source by ExtractCraft to master the steps of CO extraction. Engage your imagination and extract other botanicals with the cannabis to make amazing and unique flavor combinations. Add coffee, vanilla, orange peel, cloves, cinnamon, lemon, lavender, mint or anything else that sounds good to you. You will be amazed at the aroma, flavor and potency of extraction combinations like espresso, vanilla, and cannabis with sugar to make cotton candy or lava cakes, it’s incredible.
COMBINING THE CO AND CARRIER
Once you have chosen the carrier and made the CO its time put them together. Oil and fat based carriers combine with CO very easily, all that’s needed is some low heat and gentle mixing will do the trick. Some people fixate on the residual ethanol that may be in an extraction, but when combining with a carrier then into a recipe the overall concentration of ethanol is essentially non-existent so I use it straight out of the Source Turbo. When using sugars as the carrier it works best to stop the process early when there’s a bit of ethanol remaining which will aid in the mixing of the two together. There are also great uses for the canna-oil while it is still in a concentrated ethanol-tincture state, like invigorating adult beverages with some mint flavored CO tincture. You are the crafter and master of the oil, make it how you want it!
Sometimes I find myself licking some from the spoon to give it a little test. Be careful doing this because it packs a huge punch. Beware of the spoon~~~
MAKE WHATEVER YOU DESIRE
There is no limit to what you can make. With the power, versatility, and control of extraction you can create flavors, scents, and cannabinoid combinations that have never been available before. Any standard traditional recipe can be used by combining your prepared carrier straight into it, you are the crafter it’s all up to you! Now its time to bust loose and make some incredible things to eat! If you have extras pass them over!!!