Takeaway: CBD manufacturers have to add preservatives in their products to increase the shelf life of CBD. If you are a cookaholic then you can prepare your own CBD using basic ingredients and steps that you can use everyday. Crush you CBD flowers, mix with canna flour and heat for at least 3-4 hours. Strain the oil and store the residue, both can be used in different things. You can use the oil in food and the residue as a part of salad dressing.
Wouldn’t you agree with how the idea of additives and preservatives present in our packaged edibles often bother us? That even products claiming to be a 100% organic may have a tad bit of that something extra inside to increase its shelf life, right? It sure bothers us. The same thing applies to all these Cannabis infused and cannabis-containing medicines and products. We have every right to be skeptical.
We all may know a small business or two that are organic, produce fresh from the plant extracts. The hefty price tag though can be a turn-off. It can seem problematic for those looking for a way to incorporate cannabis and its infusions into their cooking and consumption lifestyle. Don’t worry; we’ve got your back. We’ll explain to you how to make cannabis cooking oil, use it cooking and make drinks.
How to make Cannabis cooking oil?
Cannabis cooking oil or butter both are used by many as a plain cooking medium. The process required for making these both is practically the same. If you’ve already heard about it, the ‘Decarboxylation‘ method is a far widely used method, but it is lengthy, requires controlled heat and a lot of patience. The idea is to extract the maximum amount of cannabinoids and terpenes from the plant and into the oil during this process. To gain maximum benefits the plant has to provide.
Before jumping into the process, it is necessary to know a little back story. The basic know how that everyone must have is that Cannabis plant contains two chief constituents. THCA and CBDA. The former is found in Cannabis type of plant and is psychoactive while the latter is found in hemp type and is non-psychoactive. These both vary in potency, concentration and bioavailability according to plant, method of extraction, use, and storage. Both of these are present in the female plant but are not available to the human body. Upon decarboxylating, both THCA and CBDA are toned down to their neutral forms THC and CBD respectively. These are what we aim to utilize as beneficiary substances. So what we’ll need is:
- 1 cup of ground cannabis flower
- 1 cup of cooking oil (preferably light ones like coconut or extra virgin olive oil)
- Strainer/Cheesecloth/Fine Muslin
- Slow cooker/Saucepan/Double boiler
- Grinder (a simple one works best)
Take the flowers and grind them. It is advisable not to grind them smaller than the strainer pore size, or they’ll end up in the oil. Fine grinding isn’t a goal here. Combine the ground cannabis material and the cooking oil in equal proportions in the utensil of choice.
Depending on the utensil used, extra care has to be taken. Excessive heat and carelessness can affect the quality of the oil.
- For saucepan – Heat at low for at least 3 hours. Stir repeatedly. This method needs the most attention because the pan is most susceptible to scorching. Chances of burning and sticking to the side or ‘contamination’ are high.
- For slow cooker – heat at low for 4 to 6 hours with occasional stirring. It is safer than a saucepan and does not require constant supervision.
- For double boiler – heat at low for at least 6 hours or preferably 8. Occasional stirring is ideal.
Side tips: Add a small portion of water to prevent scorching or burning. Do not add more than a small amount. Whichever utensil in used or mode of heat, the temperature should not exceed 245 degrees F throughout the process.
Straining and storage
Take a storage container preferably glass, place strainer or cheesecloth on the top and pour the oil. Do not squeeze the cheesecloth while straining. The filtrate or residue in the strainer can be stored separately. It can be dried and used in the dressing, salad topping, etc.
The oil can be used up to 2 months. Its quality can be retained if refrigerated for longer periods. Cooking with cannabis oil is not advisable for items that require a high temperature to cook. Nor is it advisable to microwave or oven bake items at a high temperature which has cannabis cooking oil or butter in them.
Cooking with Cannabis
It’s an unchartered territory still since people are still experimenting and discovering new ways of using cannabis in their food and drinks. Cooking with cannabis depends on your area, your taste palette and the availability of various ingredients. It is best to start from the basics and work your way up from there. So here’s a little startup guide on what to do with your cannabis.
It’s essential to know your strain before starting to cook with it. For example use Sativa strain to revitalize and energize while Indica is ideal for relaxing, calming down and unwinding. The entire family of this plant has different terpenes with different qualities. Delving into the taste and aroma combinations and can bring forth an exciting dining experience.
What would it be like to infuse cannabis into your favorite dish? Hypothetically it can be used in anything but its heat susceptible which means that high temperatures that our usual food cooks at can denature our cannabis. So choose a recipe that requires low heat and has preferably low-fat oil like olive oil, coconut oil or butter as part of ingredients. There are many so you can choose any one and experiment away from there.
There was a time when weed brownies were all the rage for the ‘fun of it.’ But lately, we’ve seen a more sophisticated and responsible approach towards cannabis. When choosing a medium for infusion, one can experiment with other types of low-fat oils and butter on the market. Each infusion leads to different taste combination and aroma. Chefs and lifestyle gurus are coming up with recipes solely for this purpose. Ground cannabis is also in use as a dressing, topping and even garnishing for salads and such.
What’s better than a calming chamomile tea? Cannabis infused chamomile tea. Imagine a more calming yet energizing experience than ever before. Cannabis infused drinks and beverages have already started hitting the markets. This industry is only likely to grow with more time and social acceptance of these drinks. Cannabis tea requires the incorporation of the same cannabis infusion that we prepared earlier. Coconut oil infusion or butter is a good option for teas. Recipes for cannabis infusion drinks and beverages are available online.