When most beginners think of weed edibles, they picture making them with flower. But did you know that you can make tasty infused edibles with any cannabis product, including today’s sophisticated concentrates? Learning how to make edibles with common extracts is easier than most people think!
How To Make Edibles with Common Extracts
Whether you’re infusing butter and oil for cooking or making tinctures and salves for cosmetics, the basic process is the same. There are four primary steps for making cannabis edibles:
1. Decarbing the material
The process of decarboxylation changes the acidic form of the cannabinoids to a molecule that the human body can process easier. For example, THCA becomes THC, and CBDA transforms into CBD.
2. Extracting the Cannabinoids
The extraction process separates the active ingredients from the plant matter. Full-spectrum extracts will include cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids.
3. Infusing the Carrier
During this stage, the active ingredients combine with a carrier, such as butter or oil.
4. Straining Out the Plant Matter
Straining removes all of the excess plant matter and chlorophyll, giving the infusion a more subtle herbal flavor.
You’ll be able to skip some of the steps depending upon which cannabis product you’re using for your edibles. We’ll go through the details of how to make edibles with common extracts so that you can make your own infused foods from all your favorite cannabis products.
How to Make Edibles with Flower, Trim, and Shake
The most labor-intensive way to make cannabis edibles is by using whole cannabis products, such as flower, trim, and shake. However, making infusions from scratch gives you the most control over the contents of your edibles.
The first step to creating edibles with whole flower products is to decarb the material. Decarbing your flower, trim, or shake is easy:
- Preheat the oven to 220°F.
- Remove any larger stems or seeds from the material.
- Break the flower into small chunks. You can skip this step if you’re using trim or shake.
- Spread the material on a metal cookie sheet or oven-safe glass casserole dish.
- Heat the cannabis for around 40 minutes. The buds should turn from green to golden brown. Check the material frequently to make sure it doesn’t burn.
- Let the material cool before proceeding to make your infusion.
Infusing Butter or Oil with Cannabis Flower, Trim, or Shake
Cannabinoids don’t dissolve in water, so you’ll need to make some kind of fat-based infusion to create your edibles. The type of oil or fat you choose will depend on the kinds of edible dishes you plan to make.
Cannabutter is ideal for creating infused baked goods, while olive oil makes delicious dips, dressings, and infused pasta dishes. Coconut oil remains one of the most popular carriers for making infusions with common extracts. Coconut oil has a high infusion rate, it works for a wide variety of edibles, and you can use the same infusion to create both edibles and topicals. More advanced cannabis chefs sometimes use bacon fat or specialty oils like avocado and sesame oil to create flavored infusions.
You can follow the same basic procedure to make both cannabutter and infused oils with flower, shake, or trim.'
- Decarbed cannabis flower, shake, or trim
- Butcher’s string
- Butter, ghee, or high-quality cooking oil
- Wrap the decarbed material in cheesecloth and secure it with butcher’s string. This creates a handy packet you can remove at the end of the infusion process, eliminating the need to strain your butter or oil.
- Place your desired carrier into a crockpot or a double boiler on the stovetop with the temperature at the lowest possible setting.
- Add the cannabis packet. If you’re using a solid fat like butter, ghee, or coconut oil, you’ll need to melt it before adding the cannabis.
- Let the mixture simmer for at least two hours, stirring occasionally. Some cooks let their mixtures infuse for up to 12 hours to achieve maximum potency. If you’re using a double boiler, you’ll have to add more water as needed.
- Allow the mixture to cool, and squeeze out any remaining liquid from the cannabis packet. If any plant material escapes into the infusion, you can strain it out using a colander lined with a coffee filter.
- Store your infusions in the refrigerator or freezer until you’re ready to add them to your favorite recipes.
How to Make Edibles with Solventless Concentrates
Concentrates are ideal for creating edibles with a more subtle herbal flavor because they contain less plant matter. Additionally, making infusions with solventless cannabis concentrates like hash, kief, and rosin involves less work because you won’t need to strain them. However, you’ll still have to decarb your solventless concentrates to achieve full potency.
Decarbing Solventless ConcentratesSince kief, hash, and rosin contain such a small amount of plant matter, you’ll need to be extra careful not to burn it during decarboxylation. While you can decarb solventless concentrates on the stovetop or in the oven, the easiest and safest way is to heat it in a crockpot.
- Fill the crockpot halfway with cooking oil, and set the temperature to around 330°F.
- Put your hash, rosin, or kief in a small, heat-proof glass container. Mason jars work perfectly for decarbing concentrates.
- Place the jar in the crockpot and heat it for at least 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- When the concentrate stops bubbling, it will be fully decarbed.
How to Make Infusions with Kief, Hash, and Rosin
You can reuse the same oil you used during the decarb to make your infusion. If you’re using a crockpot, you can simply dump the decarbed concentrate into the oil and continue heating it at the lowest setting for two to four hours. Stir the mixture from time to time to ensure a complete infusion.
With the double boiler method, you’ll want to add the oil or melted butter to the concentrate in the Mason jar. Stir the mixture occasionally, and add water to the pan as needed. After no more than two hours have passed, your infusion will be ready to use for edibles. There’s no need to strain infusions made with concentrates.
Making Edibles with Wax, Budder, and Shatter
Cannabis companies typically make concentrates like wax, budder, and shatter with a chemical solvent like butane or propane. Although these types of extracts have almost no plant matter, you’ll still need to decarb them.
You can follow the same procedure that we outlined for decarbing and infusing solventless concentrates. However, decarbing and infusing wax, budder, and shatter typically takes less time. Plan on around 10 minutes for your decarb, and place the jar with your decarbed concentrate in the freezer so you can easily remove it. To finish your infusion, you only need to mix it thoroughly into your melted butter or oil. No further heating is necessary.
How to Make Edibles with Rick Simpson Oil and Tinctures
Creating edibles from Rick Simpson Oil (RSO) and tinctures is relatively quick and easy. They’re already decarbed, and there’s no plant matter to filter out. Since they’re already activated, you only need to mix them thoroughly into the food you’re making. You’ll want to add these types of extracts after you’ve cooked your dish, as additional heat can degrade the cannabinoids.
Rick Simpson Oil is excellent for making potent medicinal-grade edibles. However, keep in mind that RSO has a strong, earthy taste that may blend better with richly spiced sauces. Cannabis tinctures can be added as a final touch to just about any recipe, and they’re ideal for mixing into beverages and making infused candies.
Creating Homemade Edibles with Distillates and Isolates
Commercial edibles manufacturers usually make their products with THC and CBD distillates and isolates extracted using supercritical carbon dioxide. CO2 produces cleaner extractions because there is no chemical residue from solvents.
Full-spectrum gummies and other edibles use distillates, which contain all of the cannabinoids plus other beneficial compounds like terpenes and flavonoids. Isolates include only one specific cannabinoid. People who are concerned about THC content or expect to undergo drug screenings should choose CBD isolates for their edibles.
As with RSO and tinctures, you’ll want to add your distillates and isolates to already cooked dishes to avoid losing potency.
Know the Potency of Your Homemade Edibles with tCheck
Pictured: testing the potency of thc infused olive oil with the tCheck potency tester.
Now that you know how to make edibles with common extracts, you’re probably wondering how to gauge the dosage. While you could get a rough estimate by using an online edibles calculator, the only way to know the true potency of your edibles is to test your infusions.
Fortunately, tCheck has developed a handy cannabis potency tester that will tell you exactly how strong your infusions are right from the comfort of your own home. You won’t need to send your edibles out for costly lab tests or rely on imprecise guesswork. tCheck’s at-home potency tester even includes an onboard recipe calculator, so you’ll be able to make consistent edibles every time.