How Not to Ruin Cannabis as Medicine when we Cook
Cannabis is used in cooking for recreational purposes for a long time now. When that is the sole purpose, it doesn´t really matter if we screw up a bit in experimentation. When we want to use the culinary experience to add cannabis as medicine to our system, it becomes a bit more delicate. We might not have to become scientists, but there are some pointers we need to keep in mind.
Other than just focusing on the pleasure of using marijuana for recreational purposes, medical marijuana has made its mark and many people are looking for ways to administrate it best. It is used to treat many issues like chronic pain, epilepsy, muscle problems, and psychological issues. One method to consume cannabis is by smoking it, but smoking might not always be the sought-after way. Alternatives, like cooking with cannabis, become the norm. The problem lies with experimenting in cooking with cannabis and lack of experience provoke some nasty mistakes.
When we cook with cannabis for medicinal means, we do not want to lose the therapeutic benefits. To cook with herbs like cilantro, basil, or parley, we just have to add it to the recipe. The same can´t happen with cannabis though, as we need the benefit of THC and CBD that comes as a result of decarboxylation. Cannabis in its raw form also has benefits, but if you cook with cannabis, you are looking for the benefits of THC and CBD in the cooked form.
People tend to like taking cannabis as a medicine in an edible form because it is discrete. Many times, they can get their edible in a store, but sometimes they like to try their luck at home. Cooking with cannabis is not that simple as throwing ingredients together in a pot. You first have to learn to infuse cannabis with certain ingredients. Thereafter it becomes a bit easier.
What to know when you cook with Cannabis
The good thing is that there are people who have cooked with cannabis before and we can learn from their experiences. There are some basic issues we need to look out for to reap the maximum benefit. Things we need to take into consideration are:
- Don´t Forget to Decarb
Decarboxylation is the process where the weed gets heated up over low heat to activate raw cannabinoids. By just adding raw cannabis to your recipe, it will not have the required result as the cooking time might not be enough to convert THCa into THC. To have the maximum result, it has to be decarboxylated first. The most common way to decarb marijuana is by spreading it over an oven sheet and slowly bake it in 240F or 130C for about an hour. After decarboxylation, the cannabis is ready to be infused in your recipe.
- Don´t Use All Plant Matter
You most like had the experience where you took a bite of a cannabis-infused brownie that tasted plainly like dirt. All the plant material from the stem to the leaves are inside the brownie. By infusing your butter or oil with cannabis, there is no need to use all the plant material. The first step is to make your cannabis-infused oil or butter, or whatever you are planning to use. In the infusion process, the plant material should be strained out. The valuable cannabinoids and terpenes are trapped in the infused product and the rest can be thrown out. This improves the texture of the edible and the plant material can be used as compost again,
- Don´t Use High Temperatures
Whenever we cook with natural herbs, we have to keep in mind that they are quite sensitive to high temperatures. The same applies to Cannabis. The cannabinoids are sensitive to heat and some of their properties will be destroyed if we use too high heat. If cannabis tested recipes are used, you are playing it safe and you don´t have to worry too much as the heat sensitivity is already included in the recipe. When you are trying your own recipe, keep in mind that the highest heat for cannabis is around 375F or 190C. Something like frying might not be suitable for cannabis as the heat is too high and would destroy the cannabinoids.
- Be Aware of Second Helpings
It is very difficult to calculate the percentage of THC when cooking. You never know how potent your edible might turn out to be. What makes it even more difficult, is to calculate the effect when you eat it. A mistake many beginners make is to eat too much at once. Something vital to remember is that edibles break down differently in the body and the effect is only noticeable after about 40 minutes. Often newcomers over-eat and suffer the unpleasant consequences thereafter. Remember to start slow and go slow. Best is to calculate your dosages in edible squares with measured amounts and not to overdo it.
If you are new to cooking with cannabis, it is advisable to stick to tested medicinal recipes by experienced marijuana chefs. Don´t stop experimenting though. With practice comes perfection. There is nothing as rewarding as making your own edible.