Here are some helpful tips to know before cooking with cannabis.
Dried Cannabis or Cannabis Oil
To cook with cannabis, you can either use dried flower to infuse an ingredient, such as butter, or you can add premade cannabis oil to drinks and foods. Which one you choose depends on the desired finished product.
Dried cannabis must be heated in order for the cannabinoid THCA to be converted to psychoactive THC — which is what occurs when it’s exposed to heat during smoking. This process is called decarboxylation, or “decarbing.”
The THC in cannabis must be “activated” through heating — called decarboxylation — before the dried flower can be used for cooking.
Premade cannabis oil can be used in recipes that call for any kind of oil (such as muffins and salad dressings), and it can be added to drinks, including smoothies.
Things to Consider
Just as with any form of cannabis, there is no recommended dosage for edibles. The best advice is to start with a low serving and, if desired, increase it slowly, after you determine its effects.
If two people consume the same product, they may experience different reactions. And unlike inhaling cannabis, which has immediate effects, edibles can take anywhere from 30 minutes to three hours to kick in.
Safe Cooking Tips
An infused cannabis butter or oil will alter the taste of the food it’s added to, so consider the strain — the dominant terpenes, such as lemony limonene or piney pinene, should complement the other ingredients. When using a premade oil product, choose one mixed with medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil, which is the most neutral in flavour.
Other safety considerations when cooking with cannabis:
- Take care to stir in the infused cannabis ingredient completely to ensure a consistent spread throughout the product.
- Watch your temps: High temperatures will destroy the cannabinoids and low ones will fail to activate the THC.
- Divide your food into even portions so the serving is consistent: Use a ruler to cut brownies or a measuring cup to scoop muffin batter.
Ensure you handle, prepare and store all food products safely. For more info, check out the tips from the Ontario Ministry of Health.