As more and more states legalize recreational cannabis and consumers flock to dispensaries, a wider range of cannabis products will be available to Americans like never before. Along with this greater access to cannabis comes a greater range of the things consumers can do with their favorite strains.
If you're thinking about getting creative with cannabis or baking your own edibles for the first time, check out our tips for how to avoid the most common mistakes when baking edibles.
One of the most common mistakes when baking edibles is accidentally degrading or destroying the THC during the decarb process. While "typical" baking temperatures may reach up to 450° Fahrenheit, THC will burn off completely at 390°, an easy temperature for any conventional oven or stove to achieve. However, THC begins to degrade much before the 390° mark.
As a result, the temperature for baking with cannabutter should be significantly lower to maintain its potency - usually between 200° and 250°F. This is the case throughout the process, from the decarboxylation process to melting your butter and, finally, when you're ready to bake.
To ensure the temperature remains low and the potency of the THC is maintained, set your burner low after decarbing and allow your cannabutter to lightly simmer. Add your cannabis and take the temperature of your cannabutter periodically over the next 2 hours to ensure it never exceeds 250°F.
Just as sourdough needs yeast, good cannabutter requires decarbed cannabis, and understanding the decarboxylation process can help you make the perfect cannabutter. In fact, it's the decarboxylation process that distinguishes brownies from magic brownies, and skipping this step is a very common mistake when baking edibles for the first time. You can't just throw cannabis into a typical baking process and hope for the best.
Decarboxylation is the process that removes a hydroxyl group from a compound releasing carbon. When THCA - the most prevalent compound in raw cannabis flower - is burned, this activates the decarboxylation process, converting THCA (which has no psychoactive effects) into THC. It's important to decarb your strain of choice in the oven prior to cooking as this will infuse your baked goods with THC.
Ratios are important when baking in general, but they're particularly important when working with cannabis. The best cannabutter uses a 1:1 ratio. This means for every one cup of butter you need to add one cup of cannabis or 7-10 grams. This may seem like a lot, but it's actually a great opportunity to use shake, stems, leaves, and kief to ensure every portion of the flower is used and you achieve the right potency.
Following ratios can also help you calculate your THC dose at home. If you purchase your cannabis from a dispensary, either the budtender or the store's menu will show you the amount of THC in your strain. As you add your cannabis to the cannabutter, you can determine the potency of your batch by dividing the total THC by the number of baked goods your batch yields.
Every step in the edible baking process requires close attention. From baking cannabutter at the right temperature, to properly decarbing the strain, there are many steps that need to be executed correctly in order to get the best results. One area that is often overlooked by novice bakers is handling cannabis correctly through each step.
During the decarboxylation process, for instance, many novice bakers will over-grind their strain of choice and inadvertently incorporate plant matter into the cannabutter, causing an unpleasant taste. The solution is to use a hand grinder and leave the strain coarse. This will ensure that excess plant material gets caught during the straining process and stays out of your edibles.
Another mistake new bakers often make is forcefully straining the oil with ground cannabis in the last step of creating the cannabutter. It's always recommended to strain cannabis oil through cheesecloth, but where a lot of new bakers inadvertently slip up is by forcing the oil through the cheesecloth by squeezing. Instead, secure your cheesecloth over a bowl and let gravity do the work without any excess force. Cheesecloth is incredibly fine and will effectively keep larger pieces of plant material out of your batch naturally.
Another common misconception when baking edibles is the belief that there's no solution for the odor. Many cannabis users don't mind the smell of their favorite strains, but for those living with others or in an apartment building, it may seem like there's no way to decarb marijauna and cook with it without causing an unpleasant odor. Planning your odor removal strategy in advance of baking is crucial.
Luckily, Cannabolish odor elimination products are built for just that. Before cooking up your first batch of edibles, simply light a Cannabolish Odor Removing Candle or open a container of Cannabolish Odor Removing Gel to eliminate odor molecules from the air. The natural, plant-based products will absorb and destroy odor molecules from the air as you decarb, simmer, and bake your favorite strains. Once you've pulled your treats out of the oven, spray Cannabolish Odor Removing Spray in the room to knock out any lingering odors as your edibles cool.
Learn more about how to manage odors from cannabutter.