Cooking with cannabis is full of possibilities. As you probably know, the most common way to cook with cannabis is by using oil or butter previously infused with dried buds. But did you know that you can also cook with cannabis concentrates?
Before making weed edibles with concentrates you will need to learn how to decarb wax (or butane hash oil, shatter, etc.)
What is decarboxylation?
The decarboxylation or “decarb” process is the most important step that involves converting THCA molecules into THC from your cannabis flower or concentrate. This process is accomplished by applying heat over time.
When you smoke or vape cannabis, it is decarbed immediately with the high amount of heat that is applied from your lighter, hemp wick, or a hot nail. To decarb your cannabis for edible use, you will have to follow different methods depending on what type of product you have and what materials are available to you.
Using wax instead of flower for edibles
Cannabis concentrates, wax specifically, works well when making edibles because you can easily increase the potency without sacrificing taste when it comes to your recipes. When using cannabis flower your infusion may have a strong cannabis flavor which might not be favorable.
You can estimate how potent your oil will be by determining the potency and weight of your wax. It is recommended to use wax that is relatively cheap and undesirable. These waxes tend to range in between 60-70 percent total THC potency per gram.
If this is the case then the infusion will contain approximately 600-700mg of total THC per gram of wax used in the oil given the best of circumstances.
When making cannabis butter and oil, you always need to decarboxylate your cannabis buds first to ensure the cannabinoids in them have been activated.
Cannabis does not naturally contain THC. Instead, it contains THCA, an acidic version of THC that is not psychoactive. The process of curing and drying cannabis helps convert some of this THCA into THC. When you light your joint, bowl, or vape, the heat does all the work to turn your weed psychoactive.
When you are cooking, however, you will need to decarboxylate your cannabis to ensure it contains enough THC. Unfortunately, there is no universal approach to decarbing concentrates.
For the best results, start things off slowly by heating your concentrates in a preheated oven using a lined baking sheet at around 250 degrees Fahrenheit for around 45 minutes, just like you would with regular flower. Depending on the type of concentrate you are using, you may need slightly higher temperatures or to decarb for longer.
Kief and hash, like bud, will look slightly toasted and smell quite aromatic after they have been decarbed. When decarbing butane hash oil concentrates, you will know your extract is ready once it stops bubbling.
Alternatively, you can also decarboxylate concentrates in a water bath. Place a Pyrex dish inside some boiling water, and make sure to use a thermometer to ensure the water temperature does not exceed 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Drop your concentrates inside, and decarb for roughly 30 minutes.
Consider the food you want to infuse
The first step in cooking with concentrates is to give some thought to the final product. If you are making something more plain tasting like salad dressing, then you may want to opt for a distillate rather than Rick Simpson Oil (RSO) as RSO’s concentrated form may leave a bitter aftertaste.
The myriad of different types of concentrates, with variability in potency, form, flavor, and aroma, can create difficulty in choosing the right type of product to use in an infused dish.
Full extract cannabis oils like RSO will deliver a heavier botanical flavor and aroma than crystalline extracts. If a food will be consumed in small concentrated doses, like olive oil, the cannabis extract flavor will be present to a higher degree.
Consider using concentrates with stronger flavors (like RSO or full-spectrum extracts) in sweet edibles, where the flavor can be more effectively masked.
Cooking with cannabis concentrates
Once you have decarbed your extracts, you can use them to add an extra kick to virtually any of your favorite dishes. Just remember, THC is fat-soluble, so you will still need to use some butter, oil, or another form of cooking fat.
It is best to mix your concentrates into a small amount of butter or oil while they are still warm from the decarboxylation process. Just make sure to give everything a good stir to ensure the concentrate mixes well with the fat.
Unlike when making cannabutter or oil from flower, you can use much smaller amounts of fat, making this a great option for people who are trying to cut down on their fat consumption or reduce calories. Plus, you will also need much less concentrate to infuse a meal than you would flower, seeing that concentrates are much more potent.