… there are a number of important steps to follow. It’s a bit of work, but if you love good food and want to use and enjoy cannabis in the most powerful and effective way possible, nothing is better than infusing and it works the same for medicinal and recreational users. Regardless of why you infuse your foods, there are two qualities to focus on: potency and flavor. Potency is by far the most critical. The steps outlined below will ensure you have the best experience.
Before you infuse your foods
First things first: before you can infuse a recipe, you need a butter or oil that itself has been infused with cannabis. If you’ve never done this before, know that it’s very easy.
It’s not cooking. It’s a simple process that, done right, will take a couple of days.
Like marinating a meat dish, you simply plan ahead and get begin early.
An easy way to get started is to try these simple instructions to make cannabutter.
By starting with cannabutter, you will be able to make a wide variety of infused foods – even something as simple as buttered toast or popcorn.
Testing is the only way to know for sure
Every time you bring cannabis home from the dispensary, you must test it – even if it’s the same strain from the same dispensary. Never assume the dispensary gave you exactly what you asked for.
This is very important for anyone buying cannabis to understand. If you grow you own, it’s not an issue.
But when you shop for cannabis, even at a licensed dispensary, it’s still the wild west of consumer goods.
The cannabis farm-to-market supply chain, product labeling, lack of testing and regulations, are all still in their infancy.
A big reason for some of these issues is that many cannabis strains look alike or similar enough that mistakes or outright mislabeling happen all too often.
It’s especially important for medicinal users who are expecting their cannabis to have high levels of CBD’s for the medicinal properties they need, with little or no buzz from their cannabis.
Of the many compounds in cannabis, THC is the only one you should be concerned about having too much of in a serving.
The good news is that testing is also a very simple process and again, you have to plan ahead and start early.
How to determine a per-person dose of cannabutter
It’s an age-old question: How hard should you spike the punch bowl? It’s the same here (for recreational users) – how strong should make your infused foods?
Arriving at an answer for what makes a good per-person dose of cannabutter is (again) a bit of a process. Don’t wait until the last minute to work through this step.
A per-person dose is defined as how much one person is served in a portion of a food – like a slice of pie or a muffin.
It is a concern for recreational users because THC, the buzz-inducing compound, is the only one you can have too much of. It’s nontoxic but almost no one can tolerate well it in excess.
A good dose could be as little as a teaspoon for cannabutter with high levels of THC or as much as a tablespoon for lighter cannabutter. Work through the steps to be sure you have this right.
As part of a cannabis-infused meal
If this dish is part of a three-course edibles meal – as in appetizer, entree, and dessert, then each of those 3 courses should have 1/3 of a per-person quantity of cannabutter – per serving.
So each of your guests would have received a full dose of cannabutter by the end of the meal.
Add a 1/3 of a per-person quantity of cannabutter to the recipe for every serving the recipe yields.
As a single serving edible
If this will be the only offering of the day infused with cannabis, then add one full per-person quantity of cannabutter to the recipe for every serving the recipe yields.
If the cannabutter you added was less than what the recipe called for, then add the remaining butter you need using regular butter.
Salted or unsalted cannabutter
Something to always pay attention to in a recipe is if it calls for regular or unsalted butter.
It will make a big difference if a recipe calls for unsalted butter plus salt – and instead you use regular salted butter and then also add salt.
You may have just added double the salt the recipe calls for and the amazing taste that should be in your results is gone.
Unless you’re eating a potato chip, salt should only play a supporting role in a recipe.
If your recipe calls for salt and unsalted butter, and all you have is salted butter, then you should be able to eliminate the salt that recipe calls for – sample your work as you cook to decide how to proceed.
The ideal is to have a choice of salted and unsalted cannabutter to use in a variety of your recipes. After all, at the root of our message is to explore food.
What makes a good cooking oil to infuse with cannabis
Pardon us while we do a deep dive into the surprisingly complex subject of cooking oil. There are actually some important things to consider when choosing an oil to infuse.
There are plant-based oils like olive oil or avocado oil; animal based oils like butter and bacon grease; and seed-based oils like peanut oil and grapeseed oil.
When you infuse an oil with cannabis, the oil absorbs the cannabinoid compounds like THC and CBD. When exposed to high heat like stir-frying, those compounds will break down and become inert. So an infused oil should only be used lower or even room temperatures.
These oils are the perennial favorites that infuse well and can be added to your recipes.
- Coconut Oil
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Palm Oil
- Avocado Oil
- Animal Fats – Lard, Tallow, Bacon Drippings
There has been a lot of very unhappy noises in recent years that question how healthy vegetable oil and seed oils really are. If you are in love with any of the oils listed below, you can certainly use them, but I would strongly urge you to do some research to understand what the fuss is about. Each one has its own story to tell.
- Fish Oil
- Flax Oil
- Canola Oil
- Nut Oils and Peanut Oil
- Seed and Vegetable Oils Like These
- Rapeseed Oil
- Grapeseed Oil
- Safflower Oil
- Rice Bran Oil
- Sunflower Oil
- Sesame Oil
- Cottonseed Oil
- Canola Oil
- Soybean Oil
- Corn Oil
I feel that the best oil to cook with – one that is also healthy for you – is coconut oil. Olive oils and butter are both great as well, and when a recipe calls for butter or oils you should certainly use them.
But here’s why I’m favoring coconut oil:
It’s a great choice for infusing because it’s semi-solid at room temperature and it will last for a very long time – even years without going rancid.
Coconut oil is amazingly healthy because it is very rich in Lauric Acid, which improves cholesterol and helps the body kill bacteria and other pathogens.
Always choose virgin coconut oil. It’s organic, it has powerful health benefits and tastes great.
Infusing your choice of oil is exactly the same process as making cannabutter. Remember to store your oils in a cool dark place with the lid closed well.
Take your time to get this right and have the best experience
Regardless of why you want to infuse your foods – be it recreational or medicinal – take the time to learn how to make your own cannabutters and cannaoils.
Unlike alcohol in a bottle with a label that indicates the alcohol content, THC and CBD are harder to quantify. They are completely invisible, odorless, and tasteless in your foods.
That’s why when you make your own infused foods, you must test for potency – even if you are expecting not to get a buzz, test to make sure that’s the case.
After going through this process several times it will start to become routine and your results will become more predictable. But you must always respect the process and not skip any steps.
Be safe, be healthy and enjoy nature’s most remarkable plant.