Edibles: Decomplexifying Decarboxylation and Introducing Infusion

Edibles: Decomplexifying Decarboxylation and Introducing Infusion

Cannabis Cuisine

Hey Clarity Community! The holiday season is upon us and with it the time of feasting, indulgence, and culinary delights of all sorts. Whether you’re popping back latkes, cozying up with some creole and collard greens, or serving up a turkey with trimmings, there’s no denying the joy of sharing good food with friends, family, and loved ones.

At Clarity, we know that cannabis has a way of creating community and bringing people together. And ‘midst the festivities, we thought it’d be the perfect time to introduce our newest blog series concerning the ins and outs of cannabis-infused edibles! Although consumers won’t have access to legal pre-made edibles for some time, we’re all clear to make our own goodies at home. So keep your whisks close and your bellies at the ready – we’re about to dive headfirst into the wonderful world of Cannabis Cuisine!

Decomplexifying Decarboxylation and Introducing Infusion!

The first step in creating delicious infused cannabis edibles at home is a big word with a simple explanation – decarboxylation. In short, the way that active components of cannabis (known as cannabinoids) are stored in the plant isn’t super compatible with the way our bodies work. To simplify it a bit, cannabinoids need to be “activated” by heat before they can interact with the system in our bodies – the endocannabinoid system, to be specific – that produces the effects of cannabis.

To get a bit more technical, “activating” cannabis requires heating it to a certain temperature, generally agreed to be around 235-252 Fahrenheit (roughly 112-122 Celsius for us northerners). Cannabinoids repel water (making them “hydrophobic”) and instead tend to cozy up with fats, which I’ll discuss more in part 2 of this series.

Decarboxylate Your Cannabis

Here’s how to decarboxylate your cannabis for edibles in six easy steps (alternatively, you can purchase a premade cannabis oil and skip the steps below – ask a Clarity Cannabis consultant for more details!):

1) Pre-heat your oven to 112-122 Celsius/235-252 Fahrenheit. (This doesn’t have to be 100% exact, so a slow cooker may work depending on the temperature settings. Mine runs at about 230 Fahrenheit on low which works just fine. If you want to be 100% precise, a sous vide is ideal.)

2) Place your dried cannabis product in a sealed container, preferably a mason jar. This will help to reduce odour and preserve cannabinoids.

3) Depending on the temperature you use, bake for 30-50 mins (30 mins at 252 Fahrenheit, 45 minutes at 240, or 50 minutes at 235 Fahrenheit for optimal potency.) If you prefer a product with less of that “herbal” taste and a quicker process, use 252 Fahrenheit; if you want to preserve more of the “terpenes” naturally present in cannabis, use 235 Fahrenheit.

4) Remove from the oven and let sit for at least 10 minutes, which will allow any vaporized cannabinoids to reabsorb into the plant material.

5) Reduce heat to 200 Fahrenheit. Add oil and let infuse for 45 minutes. (If you want the highest possible cannabinoid content you can add the oil in step 2 and skip steps 5 and 6, but note that this will create a *really* smelly – or, to put it politely, “herbal” – infusion.)

6) Remove from heat and let sit for at least 10 minutes. Strain the dried cannabis, leaving you with a beautiful and potent cannabis oil!

And that wraps up part 1! You’re welcome to use the cannabis oil you’ve created sublingually or place it in capsules, which is ideal for dose control. However, most consumers will choose to make the experience more pleasant by infusing this oil into a tasty edible recipe, which I’ll focus on in the coming days.  

Part two of our series will be weighing in on choosing an ideal carrier oil (read: fat). After that, part 3 will focus on calculating the potency of your edibles and infusions, which represents a critical step in determining your ideal amount of milligrams-per-serving and avoiding the unpleasant experience of edible overdose.

Until then, it’s always recommended to start (very!) low and go (very, very!) slow, waiting at least 3 hours between doses to assess effects.  

I’d really like to encourage the Clarity Community to steer clear of black market edibles, as they may be much more (or less!) potent than advertised. A green Christmas is one thing, but I can assure you that a “greened-out” Christmas isn’t anywhere near as enjoyable.

Until next time, safe travels and happy holidays from the team at Clarity Cannabis!

About the author

Lana Tong is an aspiring Endocannabinoid Psychopharmacologist and Squirrel Behavioral Therapist based in Victoria, British Columbia. She’s passionate about cannabis as a medicine, entheogen, food, fiber crop, and so much more. Lana hopes to one day swim in a pool filled with organic CBD-infused coconut oil – we all have dreams, right?

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