Using cannabis concentrates to make edibles

Published Aug 4, 2020 01:00 p.m. ET
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A lot of the recipes that we release focus on how to make edibles using ingredients that are designed for a fast and simple infusion, but you can make some pretty incredible cannabis-infused foods and drinks using cannabis concentrates that are normally viewed as intended for smoking or vaping, as long as they don’t have any residual chemicals like those that are found in low-quality options like BHO, however, there are a few things that you should know before you get started.

What types of edibles can be made with cannabis concentrate?

Some of the most popular THC or CBD edibles that are found on the market today fit into a rather narrow view of what these glorious products should look like, as the bland and boring offering of things like infused gummies, or pot brownies are nothing compared to the possibilities that are out there for edibles. You can make virtually any kind of food or drink with the added kick of cannabinoids if you know where to start, and that includes even the most elegant of dishes and treats.

Cannabis concentrates that are compatible with cooking

We tend to view cannabis products like cannabutter or cooking oils as staples for those who might want to learn how to make edibles, but the truth is that you can use any concentrated cannabinoid product, including shatter, budder, distillate, hash, oil, wax, isolate, and crystals to make the very same things, and they will be just as potent. They might taste different, depending on which one you choose, or offer a slightly varied level of strength, but for the most part, the results are similar, it’s only the process that changes.

You see, cannabis concentrates are all created in a slightly different way, and some of them do not activate the cannabinoids like THCA. The activation is something that can only happen after extensive exposure to extreme heat levels, and very few cannabis concentrates go through that before they’re packaged and sold to consumers. Preactivated concentrates such as rosin, distillate, or THC crystals can be added directly to any raw ingredients before they are baked, and the effects will be incredible, but most other concentrated products must go through decarboxylation before they can be added to food.

How to decarboxylate cannabis concentrates

Decarbing concentrates is necessary, regardless of whether you’re trying to make THC or CBD edibles, as both cannabinoids need to be activated before they’re added to food for them to have any effect, and though their consistency is often less than ideal when compared to dry cannabis grinds, the process of baking them is just as simple. Cannabis concentrates must reach a temperature of 220°F for between 30-40 minutes to completely activate, and this can be done in an oven, slow cooker, or using other less conventional methods.

Things to consider

Learning how to make edibles with cannabis concentrates can be a whole lot of fun, but it is important to make each decision with care, especially if you’re seeking specific results. Though most concentrates might be compatible with cooking, that doesn’t mean they all offer the same effects.

  1. Do you want CBD or THC edibles?

If you really want to make a batch of CBD edibles that will give you a good boost without the psychoactive high, then you need to make sure that the cannabis concentrates being used contain only CBD. The same is true for THC edibles, which can take you on an incredible trip, but they can only be made using concentrates that are high in the influential cannabinoid. There is no way to extract only one or the other from any cannabis product, so this is an important thing to keep in mind while you shop.

  1. Flavor adjustments

Different cannabis concentrates will maintain various bits and pieces from the plant materials that can significantly influence the flavor of any dish. Crystalline concentrates tend to produce less of an earthy aftertaste, a feature that is common with full extracts like RSO, or distillate. So if you’re making a sweeter food like chocolate cupcakes, or ice cream, the flavor of distillate or RSO is more easily masked, but if you are whipping up a thick cannabis-infused gravy or burger, then you might want to opt for the lighter, less botanically flavored concentrates.

  1. Tolerance

Cannabis concentrates of all kinds are much more potent than your average cannabutter or cooking oil, so it is important to keep that in mind as you add it to a dish. An entire cup of a powerful product like cannabutter might work out to contain the same potency as a small gram of rosin, so it’s easy to go overboard, and that’s not something that you want to do if you have a low tolerance level or little experience with edibles.

The best cannabis concentrate for making edibles

Learning how to make edibles with cannabis concentrates is just like any other type of cooking. Everyone has their own opinion of what is best based on how easy they are to use, what they taste like, and whether or not extra work is required to get the sought after effects, so there is no ultimate cannabis concentrate for cooking. The simplest to use will always be distillate, as it’s ready to eat straight from the syringe, but it also comes paired with one of the worst tastes of them all, so it’s a good idea to experiment with a little bit of everything until you find the best one that works for you.

The best cannabis concentrates to stock up on right now

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