Making excellent cannabis-infused edibles can be tricky. Without properly prepping your cannabis products, homemade edibles can be weak with strong herbal tastes. On the other hand, edibles that are too strong make for an extremely uncomfortable cannabis experience. Fortunately, there are a few simple tricks that can help you make better, potent edibles with less cannabis material. Here are the top five tricks for more potent edibles:
1. Decarboxylate first
Dried cannabis isn’t “active” until it has been heated. When heated, cannabis goes through a process known as decarboxylation. Sometimes referred to as “decarbing”, decarboxylation transforms a molecule called tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA) into the famous psychoactive, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
THCA does not cause psychotropic effects while THC does. Decarboxylating correctly prior to cooking can help you make sure you’re edibles are more potent. To decarb, line a size-appropriate baking pan with parchment paper. The baking pan should have raised edges.
Break up cannabis buds into loose chunks and spread them over the baking sheet. One ounce of dried flower is a good place to start. Baking temperature and duration vary by personal preference, but, in general, between 220℉ (104℃) and 240℉ (115℃) for 25 minutes is a good starting point. Some go up to 40 minutes, stirring every 10.
After stirring a couple of times throughout cooking, take the cannabis out when it transforms into a dry, brown color. Grind the decarboxylated buds with an electric herb grinder or gently pulse with a food processor.
2. Use sunflower lecithin
Sunflower lecithin is an emulsifier. An emulsifier is something that you add to a food or skin care product that improves texture and helps fatty substances and watery substances bind with each other. THC is a fatty substance, which is why it is dissolved into cooking oil.
It is thought that adding in sunflower lecithin can improve the body’s ability to break down and access more THC. This means your edibles will be more potent. As luck would have it, adding in lecithin can also increase the shelf life of your goodies.
3. Use concentrates
Making a little barbecue sauce? What about some spaghetti? Throwing in a dollop of butane hash oil (BHO) instead of a labor-intensive butter can save time and boost the potency of your edibles. BHO can be decarboxylated prior to cooking in a similar manner to dried flower.
Though, since BHO has often already gone through an oven, 20 minutes under a low temperature should be sufficient to activate the concentrate. As a bonus, since BHO is more akin to purified THC, it is easier to tell exactly how potent an individual serving might be.
4. Use laboratory tested cannabis products
A surefire way to figure out just how potent your edibles are going to be? Opt for products that have been laboratory tested. Laboratory tested cannabis will tell you exactly how much THC or CBD a strain contains, which will help you get a better sense the potency of your edibles.
Simply adding more cannabis negatively affects the taste of your edibles. Many may find that starting with a stronger product is preferable, allowing you to use plant material but get a high-potency experience.
5. Consider mixing in some CBD
Potency doesn’t always have to be about the THC. Edibles that contain various different cannabis compounds can be pleasurable for both medical cannabis patients and herb enthusiasts.
While extremely high-THC edibles can be fun, adding in a little CBD provides subtlety to the experience. CBD can take the edge off of a high-THC concoction and can perhaps check back THC-induced sedation.