6 Common Cannabis Cooking Mistakes
June 1, 2018
6 Common Cannabis Cooking Mistakes
Many cannabis users reach a point when it’s time to consume a little more creatively. And this is especially the case with medical patients, who may want a discreet and, let’s face it, delicious way to use your medicine. Kitchen catastrophes can happen to novices and masters alike. After all, mistakes are a part of life. But the stakes are definitely higher when you add cannabis to the mix, because ruining a week’s worth of medical cannabis is definitely an error you’d rather avoid. We’ve rounded up six very common cannabis cooking mistakes, along with the best ways to avoid them so you can conquer your first (or seventh) culinary attempt with ease.
While it’s necessary to grind your dried flower (similar to grinding for vaporization), it’s also essential not to turn those beautiful buds into pure powder. Many beginners tend to think that the finer you grind, the more potent your end product will be. But that’s not the case, as the effects are found from the resinous trichomes on the buds, not within them. This is also important when infusing butter and oil, as you’ll be able to strain out the cannabis pieces after. Your goal should be ending up with nicely ground buds similar in size for vaporization or smoking.
One of the biggest mistakes beginners make when making edibles is failing to decarboxylate the cannabis in the oven before moving forward with the creative part. The reason why your medical cannabis needs to be vaporized is to heat, and therefore activate, the cannabinoids. And in fact, raw cannabis contains very little actual THC, but instead its precursor THCA. With a little chemistry, heat transforms the THCA into the active THC form.
And while baking your buds is key, it’s easy to turn up the heat a little too high. Go low and slow. Just like the instructions for eating your edibles, decarboxylating your cannabis should be done slowly at low temperatures. According to Leafly, cannabis should be decarbed at 245°F (120°C) for 30 to 40 minutes, stirring the buds every 10 minutes throughout.
Want to skip these first three mistakes altogether? That’s where Emblem’s Maker’s Mix comes in. We pre-grind and decarboxylate the buds, so there’s no need to break them down and heat them up.
Once you’ve infused your butter or oil, the next step is straining. A pasta colander might be great for spaghetti, but it won’t get the job when it comes to your cannabis. Beginners often fail to properly strain their infusions, due to lack of knowledge or lack of proper kitchen tools. We suggest a very finely meshed strainer or even a cheesecloth. [link to kitchen tools article]
Under or over medicating
An incredibly common problem when making edibles is over or under medicating the batch. Beginners tend to overmedicate, not realizing how strong their oil or butter is when adding it to the dish. Experts suggest testing your butter or oil before incorporating a bunch of it into a large-batch recipe. Measure and consume a ½ teaspoon and wait to see how it affects you. This can determine what your single dose would be, allowing you to multiply based on how many servings per batch. Keep in mind this is a test you should do each time you make new oil or butter, as a strain can have different potency each time.
Finally, the last of our six mistakes revolves around finding the perfect portion size. Overindulging in regular sweet treats is one thing, but taking too many medicated ones can have negative side effects. If you’ve completed the step above, you should know exactly what to consume as your standard portion size. Now stick with it. If you don’t experience immediate effects, wait a while. It can take an hour or more for digested cannabis to work in your body and those used to inhalation can eat too much when they don’t think it’s working. Then they’ve consumed too much. When in doubt, eat less than you think you should.