Whether you’re in it just for the joy of exploring and cooking, or you’re health-conscious and don’t care for heavy use of the processed ingredients that are present in most off-the-shelf edibles, you’ll find cooking with cannabis fun and rewarding. Similar to cooking with wine, the quality of the ingredient does affect the end result. I’m not saying that you need to use the absolute best strains, but don’t assume you can use low-quality leftovers and get the desired result.
The herb by itself is not ingestible. Do not try to chew the flower; it won’t get you high, and you’ll need a heavy dose of mouthwash afterward. In order for cannabis to have an intoxicating effect in edibles, it needs to be infused into a carrier, typically one that is alcohol or fat-based. This is why most cannabis-boosted recipes use tinctures or various forms of butter or oil.
After you’ve picked up your strain and crushed it finely (a regular crasher is fine, but an electric spice grinder is much better), the next step is decarboxylation. I’ll give you a minute to make sure you’ve read that correctly…
For cannabis to have an intoxicating effect, two conditions must be met: the flower must be both dried and heated. Decarboxylation means exactly that. By heating the dried flower (or drying and heating it at the same time), you activate the THC and release its euphoric powers.
The trick to decarboxylating weed is to use the lowest heat possible that’s still hot enough to be effective. High heat degrades the herb and takes away some of its effects. It’s an easy and very essential process:
For CBD decarboxylation, make sure you use a CBD-predominant strain. Follow the same process, but preheat the oven to 245°F and bake for 70 minutes (it needs to be hotter because CBD compounds have a higher boiling point).