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Cooking with Cannabis

Nom, Nom.

Intro to Cooking with Cannabis

Cooking cannabis is not as simple as tossing some pot leaves into your brownie mix. You must first create cannabis infused ingredients. Cooking with medical marijuana is then as simple as substituting a marijuana infused ingredient for a regular one.

Unfortunately many edibles (you purchase at your local dispensary) still come packed with high fructose corn syrup, sugar, , and other unhealthy ingredients. While these processed food yummies can be an easy way to get medicated on the go, many medical marijuana patients, like myself, prefer making their own medicated snacks and infused meals. Learn some cannabis cooking techniques here and become a marijuanna master chef in no time at all!


Using cannabis as a medicine begins with understanding the basic science of decarboxylation, and why it is a crucial process in making edibles, tinctures and topical treatments. To get the full medicinal value out of your cannabis, it needs to be heated to a temperature that is just not possible to obtain in the human digestive system. The major downside of decarboxylating is that some of the more volatile terpenes (and other aromatics) that give the plant its signature aroma and flavor are lost during the process. Adding an equal amount of raw material to the decarboxylated materials may improve the taste and/or smell of your creations, but learning how to properly decarboxylate cannabis from the get-go will save you a lot of time, energy, money and product when cooking with cannabis.

The Decarboxylation Process

THCA is non-psychoactive (meaning it does not produce mind and body altering effects). If you want to achieve the full psychoactive effects of your butters, fats, oils, sugars or alcohols, decarboxylating the plant material to convert the THCA to THC prior to infusion is essential.

Control of heating temperatures and times is critical when cooking with cannabis. Heating cannabis also converts THC to CBN. At about 70% decarboxylation, THC is converted to CBN at a faster rate than the THCA is converted to THC. Higher CBN levels will produce more sedative effects.

Studies show cannabidiol (CBD) has tremendous medical potential, especially in the treatment of seizure disorders and pediatric patients. Indications also suggest CBD lowers blood sugar, which makes it desirable for treating diabetes. Its sedative properties make it useful in the treatment of stress-related and sleep disorders. CBDA and CBD are non-psychoactive. Unlike THCA and THC, converting CBDA to CBD will not make a psychoactive product.

CBD has a calming effect. This makes it ideal for treating children, the aged or patients that prefer less psychoactive effects. THC vaporizes quicker than CBD, so decarboxylating higher CBD varieties may produce higher CBD-enriched material. However, if you are not using a high CBD strain, extending the heating process may accomplish no more than burning off the THC.

There is much debate and opinion on this process and very little scientific evidence to establish the best method. The only real way to prove the safety, consistency and potency of your cannabis products is to have them lab tested.

How to Decarboxylate Cannabis

  • So you know, when heating your marijuanna (decarboxylating) your house will smell like marijuanna.

  • Preheat oven to 225° F / 110° C.

  • Line an oven-safe dish (or a rimmed baking sheet) with parchment paper or foil.

  • Break up your cannabis by hand, or use your ginder (but don't make it too fine) then place the cannabis on the lined oven safe dish.

  • When oven is preheated, bake for about 20 minutes to remove the moisture. Watch for the plant color get a bit darker (a light to medium brown shade). When it is time to remove from the oven, the material should be crumbly looking. . .it might even have a nutty aroma (which I happen to love).

  • Set marijuana aside and wait until it is cool enough to handle.

  • Turn oven up to 240° F / 115° C and wait for it to preheat again.

  • When the cannabis is cooled, lightly crumble by hand and distribute evenly over the bottom of the dish.

  • Cover dish with aluminum foil, crimping the edges tight to seal and return to the oven.

  • Continue baking for another 45-60 minutes for higher THC

  • Or 60-90 minutes for higher CBD

  • Remove from oven and allow to cool fully before removing the foil.

Depending on the material you use, it may be fine enough and require no further processing. If not, you can place the material in a food processor or blender, pulsing the cannabis until it is coarsely ground. Be careful not to over grind the material, as you do not want a super fine powder. Place in an airtight container (glass preferred) and store in a cool, dry place.

Time to Churn it up a notch!

While consumption of cannabinoids is often accomplished by smoking, eating medical marijuana is typically the preferred method. So making your own oil/butter is a great way to do this. Now that you know how to decaroxylate your medical marijuanna the next steps are simple.


Here is a THC cannabutter dosage calculator to help in the process

- Use 7 grams of cannabis to 1 stick of butter -

- Use 14 grams of cannabis to 2 sticks of butter -

- Use 21 grams of cannabis to 3 sticks of butter -

- Use 28 grams of cannabis to 4 sticks of butter -


Choose your cooking oil base.

Marijuana is not water soluble. It is fat soluble meaning you need cooking oils with high fat contents. Canola oil works very well as does butter. You can also choose olive or coconut oil. But remember, olive and coconut oils have lower boiling points than canola oil or butter. Choose your oil depending on the food your are making (brownies, gummies, pastas, etc.). If your final dish's recipe calls for a particular type of oil, you may consider that or a reliable substitute as an appropriate oil base.

Mix your oil and cannabis.

Pour your oil of chose into a slow cooker, (you can also use a double boiler, or saucepan). Add your ground decarbolilated marijuana and stir. Make sure all your marijuana is covered in the oil.

Heat the mixture to dissolve the cannabis into the oil.

How you heat your mixture will depend on what you are cooking in. How much you are cooking will also impact your cooking method. The goal is to get your oil and pot mixture hot without scorching.


  • If using a slow cooker, cook the mixture on low for at least 6 hours.

  • Stir the mixture frequently.

  • You may extend that to three days for a better infusion.


  • If using a double boiler, cook on low for 6-8 hours. Eight hours will give you a better infusion.

  • Stir occasionally and keep a close eye on your water level. Don't let your double boiler go dry.

SAUCEPAN: This method will be most susceptible to scorching.

  • If using a saucepan, cook on low for no less than 3 hours. Stir frequently to avoid scorching.

  • You can add a little water to the mix to avoid scorching.

Your cannabis is decarboxilated and it has marinated with the oil, now for the fun part.

Strain the oil.

Do this while the oil is still hot for best results, but please be careful. You can strain the oil using a wire strainer and a cheese cloth to remove the marijuana.

Use multiple layers for more filtration. Put your cheesecloth over the top of a large mixing bowl. Secure the sides with a rubber band. Pour the mixture thru the strainer over the cheesecloth into the bowl.

Give it a squeeze.

Carefully remove the cheescloth and give it a good squeeze to remove all the oil.

Now throw away the cheese cloth & cannabis

Time to chill.

Refrigerate your yummies overnight. In the morning you will see that it has seperated, and this is when you can pour off the liquid portion and keep the solid.

This is your cannabutter/cannaoil.

Store your oil for later use.

When your oil has been strained, store your oil in a proper container with an airtight lid.

Your oil will lose potency when exposed to oxygen. So be sure to refrigerate it. It will stay good for about two months.

Tupperware works great, as well. If you happened to use coconut oil as your base, then why not reuse the jar to store your delicious cannabis oil or cannabis butter.

That's it!

When you are ready to prepare a meal or delicious treat substitute the oil/butter with your handmade goodness!

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