Cannabis or marijuana or whatever we may call it but we humans have been using this herb known for its wellness properties since time unmemorable. The health benefits both mental and physical are all a result of the essential oils present in marijuana/cannabis which have varying aromas. Apart from the visual appreciation smell is the primary component used to ascertain the quality of weed. As a social lubricant spiritual sacrament, and creative stimulant an intimate knowledge of its many characteristics leads every connoisseur to greater appreciation of the plant and a desire to infuse it in as many foods as possible and share their own cooking skills with each other as delicacies made out of weed.
As one visits a local weed dispensary, they are welcomed with an influx of bundles of aromas, fragrances, and smells, all emanating from different strains of cannabis flowers, buds, resins, concentrates etc. present there. Cannabis is found in a number of different forms of which flower is the most recognized of all. Without the strains smoking puts on our lungs or throats, edibles provide same or even better quality of life. Edibles not only produce stronger effects but these effects last much longer.
With a plethora of cooking shows, restaurants, connoisseurs, chefs, celebrities, and the likes advocating gourmet marijuana foods, it is imperative that everyone once in a while gives a shot at cooking with marijuana. Before we hop on to the bandwagon of cooking let us first identify the basic strains available at our local dispensary and classify them on the basis of aromas and taste.
|Brand name||Terpene content||Flavor||Aroma||Color/ shade||Plant type|
|Peanut butter Breath||THC : 22-30% CBD : 1%||Heavy Nutty and Chocolate||Sweet with subtle floral Notes||Vibrant purple||Hybrid|
|Wedding Pie||THC : 22-28%||Wedding cake+ Grape pie||Spicy cracked pepper||Vibrant green with a flair of purple||Indica|
|Gorilla berry||THC : 22-28% CBD : 1%||Blueberry with citrus notes||Blueberry||Neutral green with dash of orange||Indica Hybrid|
|GCS Kush||THC : 22-28% CBD : 1%||Classic weed||Earthy aroma with Pepper spice accent||Classic Kush weed||GSC X Kush Indica|
|Sage N’ Sour||THC: 27% CBD : 1%||Sour diesel||Citric Diesel||Classic sour diesel||Sour Diesel X S.A.G.E Indica hybrid|
|Pineapple paradise||THC : 26% CBD : 1%||Pineapple||Pineapple||Dense thick pineapple like buds||Sativa|
|Limelight||THC : 26% CBD :1%||Tangy sour||Tangy||Moss green highlights||Sativa|
*Click the brand name to follow the link on where to purchase them.
With a basic understanding on why to cook and what strain to choose from a wide variety of cannabis flowers, let us now focus on how to cook. The first and the most important part of cooking with cannabis is decarbing/ decarboxylating your weed.
“As cannabis is dormant it need heat to become psychoactive”
One of the most basic and most important step in making any edibles from your pot/marijuana flower is to decarb it. The name decarb in itself is a misnomer as decarbing cannabis means activating the essential oils in the flower for better aroma, flavor and consistency. Any joint or pot when lit or smoked activates the terpenes inside the bud by burning it but when cooking with cannabis buds it is necessary to pre-activate it because edibles are not burned or heated before eating and thus by decarbing the essential cannabinoids are activated for a proper consistency of balanced high throughout the batch.
“De-carboxylating cannabis essentially converts cannabinoid acid into THC and CBD to reap full psychoactive benefits of raw/frozen/fresh cannabis flower”
The process involves applying low and slow heat to dried raw flower over an extended period of time in a baking oven for better activation of THC. The equipment’s or materials needed to decarb your cannabis are:
- Cannabis / marijuana 28 Gram or the packing size available at your local dispensary (the rule is to use low and slow).
- Oven set at 225 degree to “240 degree Fahrenheit” or 110 degree to 115 degree Celsius.
- Baking tray / oven rack.
- Mason jar / [parchment paper +tinfoil].
- Storage container.
- Kitchen towel.
- Oven mitts.
The main advantage of using a mason jar over parchment paper are:
- There is virtually no smell as all the odor or aroma is locked inside the mason jar.
- All the terpenes that evaporate in the process stick to the sides of the mason jar and are preserved if the same jar is used for infusion with olive oil or butter or MCT oil etc.
Now, to begin decarboxylation your cannabis using mason jar,
- Pre-heat your oven to 240 degree Fahrenheit for 10 minutes and place your oven rack / baking tray in middle position. [If using parchment paper instead of mason jar pre-heat to 225degree Fahrenheit]
- Take your cannabis and break it up to the size of PEA grains by hand or by using weed grinders available at your local weed dispensary. An assortment of these weed grinders are available at “the we-store” near you.
- Transfer the crushed cannabis in the mason jar and lightly screw the top lid. [if using parchment paper crumble, the paper and spread it on the baking tray, now sprinkle your crushed weed on this parchment paper]
- Lay your kitchen towel over the baking tray/ oven rack and place your mason jar on the towel lying on its side to spread the heat more evenly on the cannabis. The towel will anchor the mason jar and prevent it from rolling, and absorb any pungent smell and keep the kitchen odour free. [If using parchment paper then cover the parchment paper with weed on it by a tin foil to preserve the aromas and place the baking tray in oven]
- Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake for 60 minutes. Wear your oven mitts, and after every 15 minutes carefully remove the mason jar from oven, briefly shake the mason jar for 2 to 4 seconds to disperse the cannabis evenly and place the mason jar back in the oven. [If using parchment paper method place the baking sheet in the oven for 45 minutes. The crumbled parchment paper at the bottom prevents direct heat from the baking tray from burning the cannabis]
- After 60 minutes remove the mason jar from the oven and let it cool for another 30 minutes before storing or using it for cooking. [repeat the same process for parchment paper method]
- When it is cool enough to handle it should look slightly toasted and golden brown. Now you can transfer the contents in a storage container or keep them preserved in the mason jar itself. [ Transfer the cannabis on parchment paper in a storage jar for later use.]
A pictorial representation of the above steps is depicted below
Step 1: Set oven at 240F
Step 2: Grind to pea size
Step 3: Transfer to mason jar
Step 4: Place in preheated oven
Final Decarbed Cannabis obtained by following steps 1 through 7.