Cooking with Cannabis

Extracting THC for it's benefits through cooking

Do edible THC products still have health benefits after cooking? Generally speaking, that all depends on how you cook them. Cooking with cannabis can provide many of its benefits in as easy to consume form rather than smoking it but like any recipe it is very easy to do it wrong. Let’s look at the best ways you can cook with cannabis.

Brownies, Cakes, and Other Cannabis Products

Making cannabis cakes, brownies, and little delicious treats with cannabis or cannabis extracts has been one of the most popular ways of getting all those beneficial cannabinoids into your body for a long time. As a matter of fact in many parts of the world adding medication to food is a great way to help children and those who have trouble taking medications get the medical benefits they need. Whether it is baking medical cannabis into a chocolate treat or adding pills to potatoes.

In India, some Hindus make “bhang” as they have done for millennia; and their forebears, the Sanskrit-speaking Aryans, knew that they needed to heat cannabis in ghee before it was good to eat several thousand years ago.

THC infused food is ideal for a medical cannabis patients, because it can help them with medical conditions such as respiratory issues that smoking or vaping could make worse. It is also easier to get very precise quantities of cannabinoids for consistent results when purchasing pre-made cannabis edibles from a dispensary. However, due to limited testing in regards to medical cannabis dosages, self experimenting with dosages and getting advice from your doctor is highly advised.

Decarboxylating Your Herbs

If you are using fresh (undried) cannabis, you will need to cook them to make edible THC products. The THCA (tetrahydrocannabinolic acid) in fresh cannabis does not get you high or have the pharmacological effects you might want, it needs to heat up (Decarboxylate) before it can turn into THC. That sounds complicated, but if you onsider most people burn (heat up) cannabis to smoke it this is the same process you will carry out except you are doing it in an oven or allowing it to dry out considerably well.

Temperatures, Get It Right

Temperatures over about 105 degrees Celsius / 222+ degrees Fahrenheit has been found to be a good working temperature for decarboxylation, while doing so for around 30 to 60 minutes and you will have plenty of THC-rich residue to mix into your chocolate bar or cookie mix. 120 degrees Celsius (245 degrees Fahrenheit) is generally regarded as the best temperature.

THCA decarboxylation occurs at temperatures above 105 degrees Celsius but it boils away (vaporizes, great if you want to inhale it, bad if you want it to stay in your cookies) at 179 degrees Celsius (355 degrees Fahrenheit). If you are looking to cook some edible THC foods, you have to choose something that has a cooking temperature of below about 170 degrees Celsius. Plus, do not use a microwave.

If you do have to cook something over that temperature (there is a reason brownies are popular), you will have to compensate for the lost THC by adding more. This is where you must be careful if you are making food your self to unsure you do not add to much. For your own safety and to make sure you make delicious food you may wish to use pre-provided cooking materials and instructions or use cannabis-infused butters or oils.

To make sure your recipe comes out as good as it possibly can it is said that you should make sure all mixtures are well stirred to ensure a good blend of ingredients and work at a lower temperature first to ensure ingredients do not get burnt. If you are using butter or oil and sign that you have made a mistake is if your butter or oil turns green. This means the chlorophyll has escaped and it can make your food taste bad.

Making Cannabis Infused Oil or Butter

When cooking with cannabis most people associate it with cookies and brownies however more people are turning to cooking oils with cannabis or adding it to current oils so they can add cannabis that way. This allows them to add cannabis to more modern food dishes like pasta or chicken etc.

When making your own oil many recipes advise that you should pick a nice cooking oil with a high-fat content. Olive oil is popular, as are sesame and coconut oils, which have low boiling points. Meltdown some butter in a pan on a low heat if you are making cannabis butter (Cannabutter).

Add your ground cannabis, stir it around to make sure it has spread out evenly, leave at the desired temperature for 3 hours or more. Check regularly to avoid scorching, and open a window, it smells very strong. Add a little water if needed.

Once the decarboxylating process is finished (the bud should look brown but there is no real way to tell), strain it while it is hot and let it cool. Many popular recipes advise using the cannabis based cooking oil as a delicious salad dressing, or put it in a cake mix (not too hot though) or even in a smoothie. Once the oil is made it can be treated like an normal oil for cooking except it has cannabis extracts within it for making edible cannabis foods.

Safety First – Follow The instructions

Finally, if you are considering cooking with cannabis or various cannabis extracts we strongly advise you seek professional medical advice before doing so for your own health and safety and the health and safety of others around you. Although most cbd and medical cannabis treatments are considered save with limited side effects it is still advised that if you are cooking with it you should follow some form of recipe.

This is to not only make sure your food tastes great but to make sure you do not use too much cannabis/cannabis extracts which could lead to unwanted side effects for you or others you feed. Furthermore, make sure that if you are feeding anyone that you make them fully aware that the food includes cannabis too. Although cannabis may be legal in some states or countries some businesses still require drug testing for employees to work, and feeding someone cannabis without them knowing could lead to complications at their job i.e. federal employees or even teachers.

Niamh Tumilty
Niamh Tumilty
Niamh Tumilty is a writer and multimedia producer for cannabisMD where she is constantly evaluating the continued growth of CBD and its presence in the news. Her research and writing on cannabis and CBD can be found at

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