What are the most common cannabis cooking mistakes? Where do people get themselves into the most trouble when making edibles? Let's explore.
Naturally if you are a fan of cannabis edibles, it only makes sense to get into cannabis cooking and make your own.
While the process may seem daunting, cannabis cooking is no different than regular cooking once you grasp some simple principles.
This list of common cannabis cooking mistakes will help you avoid some of the most common mistakes and put you on the road to making great tasting potent marijuana edibles.
1. Over grinding the plant material when making butter or oil.
The majority of internet sites tell people to finely grind the marijuana being used to infuse butter or oil. There is even a commercially made electronic gadget for making marijuana butter that includes a built in electric grinder. In our opinion this is a cannabis cooking mistake and we have never understood this advice and agree with cannabis cooking expert and author Cheri Sicard who emphatically says:
If you want better tasting edibles, DO NOT FINELY GRIND THE MARIJUANA!
What you are trying the extract, the plant’s resinous trichomes, are ON the buds and leaves not IN them! The only thing that fine grinding accomplishes is to put more plant material into the finished product. That in turn increases green color and unwanted herbal flavors.
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2. Cooking cannabis at too high a temperature.
Among all the common cannabis cooking mistakes this one is often confusing and misunderstood.
Generally speaking, lower cooking temperatures are better when cooking with cannabis. That's because THC is completely degraded at temperatures in excess of 392 degrees F, although it starts to break down long before that.
You will see misguided "experts" all over the internet giving the incorrect advice that you can't cook or bake at temperatures in excess of 250 degrees F. That is absolute nonsense.
What is important is the temperature the food reaches, not the temperature of the oven. You can cook at higher oven temperatures as long as the food itself does not get too hot. And it usually doesn't. Think about a chicken that might roast in a 350 degree oven for an hour or more. When perfectly cooked the meat only reaches a temperature of about 160 degrees. So regular baking poses no temperature risks when making edibles.
Where you might have to worry is direct heat. Avoid using cannabis butter or oil for frying, sautéeing, or when broiling. If you are are going to dep fry edibles, make sure to put the cannabis inside the food and not in the part that hits the oil. For instance, in a Jalapeño Popper, put the cannabis inside the pepper and not in the batter.
4. Not decarboxylating the cannabis
This is not technically a cannabis cooking mistake as you can make decent edibles without decarbing. But for maximum potency, you will want to take this step.
While too much heat will kill your THC, some heat is necessary.
Most people do not realize the raw cannabis plant contains no THC at all. It does contain THC-A (or THC-acid). It takes the process of adding heat or decarboxylation to make the chemical reaction that converts THC-A to THC.
5. Adding too much marijuana/over medicating
There is no easier way to ingest too much marijuana than by eating it. Sometimes people are impatient and think “it’s not working” and eat more. By the time it all kicks in they have overdone it.
While “overdoses” are not dangerous in that they are never fatal, they won’t shut down your organs, they can make you feel anxious, paranoid, and/or disoriented. You can counter the effects of too much marijuana though. This article tells how.
Dosing edibles is somewhat of an art, a lot of factors need to be taken into consideration and people’s tolerances run a wide range. An amount that one person does not even physically feel might be enough to make someone else experience couch-lock for hours.
When cooking with new plant material, it’s a good idea to vape or smoke a little to get general idea of its potency, keeping in mind cooking can intensify it somewhat. If you do find a batch of your edibles is more potent than you intended the remedy is easy – eat less!
6. Adding too little marijuana/undermedicating.
Likewise, if you ever find yourself with a weak batch of food, eat more!
If you make a batch of infused butter or oil that is less potent than you’d like, you can always augment it later by heating gently to dissolve some decarboxylated kief or hash into it before using in recipes.
7. Not paying attention to portion size.
If you don’t know how many portions your recipe makes, it will be difficult to determine how much medicine to add. To get a proper dose divide the total amount of cannabis or infused butter or oil in the entire recipe and divide to achieve an amount that usually works for you. Exercise will power if necessary.
If that sounds confusing to you to, or if you do not know what your dosage needs are, and many people don't, we can fix that. Simply enroll in Cannademy's free dosing class or get their dosing calculators (just $5.00). Both include a simple actionable plan to determine what your ideal cannabis dose is.
8. Improperly Incorporating Concentrates
Kief is a joy to cook with. Its fine texture allows it dissolve almost instantly in warm (and sometimes even cold) liquids and other ingredients like mayonnaise, yogurt, sour cream and more.
Hash can be a little trickier. It can come in many textures from dry and crumbly to sticky and putty-like.
Dry hash can be sent through a small food processor or coffee grinder to turn it into a fine powder. You can even use a mortar and pestle for this. The sticky variety is best heated in a liquid until it dissolves.
9. Using too delicate a hand with seasonings.
Most people do not like the acrid green herbal flavor of marijuana shining through their edibles. Likewise recipes with lots of spices and flavors going on tend to mask this better than delicate and subtle fare.
Use as much or a little more seasoning and flavor adding ingredients (such as onion and garlic) than you would if you were cooking without cannabis.
Avoiding delicately flavored recipes, such as a vanilla meringue, is often a good idea too.
You could opt to cooking with cannabis isolate as this will have no flavor. But as isolates contain only THC or CBD, you will miss out on the benefits of whole plant medicine.