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How to make edibles at home

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Contents

  1. How to dose cannabis edibles at home
  2. How to make weed edibles
  3. How to make cannabutter
  4. What are alternatives to cannabutter?
  5. What are the best homemade weed edibles?

Edibles are favored in the cannabis community for their dosing ease, long-lasting effects, and, in some cases, extra strength. Pre-made edibles can carry a hefty price tag at a dispensary, or perhaps you’re looking for that just-right recipe for your dietary needs. If you have some flower and other ingredients lying around, you can make your own tasty treats in the comfort of your kitchen. Read on to learn how to make edibles at home.

Edibles are favored in the cannabis community for their dosing ease, long-lasting effects, and, in some cases, extra strength. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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How to dose cannabis edibles at home

The first thing you’ll do is make some cannabis butter. Correctly dosing your homemade edibles will impact how much cannabutter you use once you start cooking. Before making infused ingredients, buy flower that is clearly labeled with its cannabinoid and terpenes. If you want a particular type of experience, ask your budtender for a strain that matches your edible goal.

After you’ve chosen your flower, you’ll have to do a little math to dose your weed butter properly. Let’s suppose you start with 10 grams of flower containing 20% THC. That would leave you with 2,000 milligrams of THC total. After decarbing the flower (2,000 x 0.9), you will have 1,800 mg of THC. Following the extraction in oil or butter (1,800 x 0.6), you will have 1,080 mg of THC in that oil, which is sufficient for 216 standard portions containing 5 mg each.

A little cannabis goes a very long way when making edibles. You can reduce the potency in a recipe by having a regular-butter-to-cannabutter ratio that skews heavily in the direction of regular butter. You can also shop for cannabis with a low percentage of THC and a higher percentage of CBD. Just make sure to adjust the math accordingly.

How to make weed edibles

Before you can start making edibles at home, you must perform an essential part of any edibles recipe: decarboxylating the weed.

Decarboxylating, or decarbing, weed is the process of using heat to convert the non-psychoactive THCA in raw cannabis into THC, the cannabinoid responsible for the feeling of being “high.”

There are lots of possibilities for decarbing weed so choose what works best for you or experiment with different methods. Baking is simple but other methods include sous vide cookers, slow cookers, or simply cooking weed in a high-fat material such as butter. Just remember that a lower temp and a shorter time frame ensure better cannabinoid preservation.

Once the weed is decarboxylated, it’s time to start cooking.

How to make cannabutter

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Once you’ve decarbed the weed, it’s pretty simple to make cannabis-infused butter. Weedmaps has two existing recipes for making your own cannabutter. One is an easier, streamlined approach. The other includes more detailed instructions, including all the tools you might need for canna cooking.

Your finished cannabutter will last up to two months in the fridge and six months frozen.

What are alternatives to cannabutter?

The reason butter is primarily used to infuse cannabis into edibles is that when heated, a high-fat material (such as butter) more easily extracts cannabinoids from decarboxylated plant matter. However, butter isn’t the only fat in the kitchen, and many dairy-free cannabis chefs have created alternatives.

Kief

Decarboxylated kief can be added to several homemade components of other dishes, like a no-salt seasoning blend, gluten-free flour, and coconut “milk.”. Check out this list of kief-centered edibles that serve as an alternative to cannabutter.

Decarboxylated kief can be added to several homemade components of other dishes. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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Coconut oil

You’ll need a slow-cooker for this recipe, but it makes a delicious, dairy-free alternative to butter. Coconut oil may also have other health benefits, including promoting weight loss, boosting immune system function, and regulating metabolism.

What are the best homemade weed edibles?

Now that you understand how to decarb your weed and the basics of cannabis-infused ingredients, we’ve compiled a list of some essential cannabis recipes to make the perfect edibles.

Firecrackers

Firecrackers are an essential stoner food, easily made in 30 minutes, and able to satisfy both your cannabis and sugar cravings. Simply decarb your cannabis, follow the instructions, and, with virtually zero cleanup, you have yourself a delicious cannabis treat.

Firecrackers are an essential stoner food, easily made in 30 minutes, and able to satisfy both your cannabis and sugar cravings. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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Brownies

Nothing says traditional edible like infused brownies. Mary Jane Rathburn, known forever as “Brownie Mary,” invented the marijuana-infused brownie and snuck them into hospitals to provide AIDS patients in the LBGTQ community much-needed relief in the 1980s. Rathburn was arrested for making brownies, a historic bust that created a media frenzy around cannabis legalization.

Nothing says traditional edible like infused brownies. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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You, too, can be a cannabis activist in your own kitchen. Simply select your favorite traditional brownie recipe and swap the butter it calls for with an equal amount of your cannabutter. The trick here is to ensure that the butter is evenly distributed in your mix. Use a microwave or stovetop to make sure the cannabis butter melts completely before adding it to a recipe.

For a dairy-free iteration, find a recipe that uses coconut oil and utilize your infused coconut oil instead. To keep things simple, of course, you could always use store-bought brownie mix and sub out the oil called for with melted cannabutter or infused coconut oil.

Cookies

Many cannabis enthusiasts love making infused cookies with their extra cannabis flower. Again, the trick is to select your favorite cookie recipe and swap regular butter with cannabis butter. Follow the instructions and bake the batch per the original cookie recipe.

The trick is to select your favorite cookie recipe and swap regular butter with cannabis butter. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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Homemade capsules

Some people would rather skip the recipes and create consumable cannabis with a consistent dose. If this is you, homemade cannabis capsules allow you to convert your weed into pill form and seamlessly integrate cannabis into your daily routine. You can also add other herbs, such as turmeric, maca, or valerian, depending on your desired effects.

Homemade cannabis capsules allow you to convert your weed into pill form and seamlessly integrate cannabis into your daily routine. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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Homemade cannabis capsules require a bit more math than the average edible to determine the dose of each pill. The referenced recipe will walk you through that. It works whether you’re using flower or infused oil. After a few calculations and some manual pill-filling, you’re ready to consume discreetly.

Cannabis tea

There’s nothing like a hot cup of tea to wind down in the evening, except perhaps cannabis-infused tea. You can create a potent cup of weed tea with leftover flower stems. Or if you’ve already made infused oil or butter, simply add that to traditional tea and let the cannabis dissolve into the liquid.

You can create a potent cup of weed tea with leftover flower stems. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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The Economics of Marijuana Edibles: To Buy or Make It Yourself

By Cheri Sicard

February 19, 2017

If you regularly buy commercial marijuana edibles because you don’t think you can afford to cook with cannabis, you might want to rethink that equation. The fact is, even if you buy dispensary weed to cook with you’ll, still save by making your own. Not only that, when you make it yourself you can craft your edibles from the foods you like to eat – or that meet your dietary needs. You’ll also get edibles that deliver the exact dose that YOU need (if you don’t know how, take my free online class Precise Dosing for Homemade Marijuana Edibles).

But let’s talk cash. Is it really less expensive to make your own instead of buy commercially made edibles? Let’s look at some typical scenarios and do the math.

For the examples in this article, I went to one of my favorite marijuana dispensaries, Pure Life Alternative Wellness in Chatsworth, California and picked out three strains at various price points. Pure Life was a great dispensary to choose as all their marijuana is lab tested, so I was able to figure out exactly how much you are paying per gram of THC.

Pure Life also carries shake at an exceptionally low price. They only have it in limited quantities and it is for regular patients only. This is a good example of why it pays to be loyal to your favorite dispensary. For those unfamiliar with the term, think of shake as the marijuana equivalent of the crumbs that fall to the bottom of a bag of potato chips. Shake is the small pieces that break off the flowers and fall to the bottom of a large bag of marijuana. It’s still potent but it is WAY less expensive than flowers, although not usually as inexpensive as it is at Pure Life. In most dispensaries shake will be more in the range of $100.00 an ounce or even more, yet still more economical than flowers.

Commercial Versus Homemade Marijuana Edibles By the Numbers:

Before we look at cooking material, let’s look at some popular commercial edibles, what they cost, and how much that works out to per mg of THC. As you can see, the lower amount of THC per edible, the higher price you are paying, so from a purely economic point of view, it is far cheaper to buy an extremely high dosed edible and cut it into smaller dosed portions than it is to buy several lower dosed edibles.

  • Korova 1000 mg Brownie – $49.99 = .05 /mg
  • Miss Mary Jane’s Brownie 240 MG for $20.00 – .08/mg
  • Kush Cake Pops 225 mg for $26.00 = .12/mg
  • Kiva Chocolate 120 MG for $32.00 = .25/mg

Now, let’s look at how much it would cost if you bought the marijuana to cook with at Pure Life. As you can see, even buying some of their top shelf material, it’s still less expensive to make your own. And when it comes to the high quality shake offered in limited supplies to regular patients, they are practically giving it away!

  • Shake — $30.00 an ounce (for regular patients ONLY); 10% THC; works out to about a penny per mg THC
  • Shake — $100.00 an ounce (about what you might pay elsewhere); 10% THC; works out to about 3 cents per mg THC
  • Casa Humboldt Dream Queen – $195 per ounce; 16.3% THC; works out to about .4 cents per mg THC
  • Hash Train — $200.00 an ounce; 21% THC; works out to about .3 cents per mg THC
  • Firebird Platinum Glue — $280 an ounce; 24.2% THC; works out to about .4 cents per mg THC

It’s interesting to note that, when it comes to making edibles, the more expensive marijuana is not necessarily so, as you can see by comparing the Casa Humboldt Dream Queen and Hash Train strains above.

Of course, if you grow marijuana, or have regular low or no cost access to trim, you almost can’t afford NOT to cook with cannabis. But as illustrated above, even when buying top shelf, and even accounting for the fact the you won’t be able to extract 100% of the THC when cooking, making your own is still a thrifty proposition.

If you are new to cannabis cooking, or have gotten less than perfect results when you’ve tried it, be sure to check out my comprehensive online course Cannabis Cooking for Home Cooks. It’s two hours of video instruction and demonstrations, quizzes, resources, recipes and more.

The Economics of Marijuana Edibles: an exploration, with real life examples, of whether it is cheaper to buy marijuana edibles or make them yourself.