The Benefits & Cautions When Cooking With Cannabis

benefits cooking cannabis

Cooking with cannabis is a great alternative to those who do not want to smoke it, those with medical conditions, or those just looking to experience a different type of high.

 

While you used to be limited to just edibles, today there are numerous recipes available so you can combine your favorite cannabis strain and delicious meal for the perfect, delectable weekend or afternoon treat. Or, you can mix cannabis cooking oils into literally anything you consume to make your favorite snack even more enjoyable.

However, just like when you consume edibles, there are benefits and precautions to consider when cooking with cannabis. Most notably, there is a delayed reaction compared to the rather immediate psychoactive effect associated with inhalation. No matter what product you decide to pick up during your next trip to your local dispensary in Vancouver, Washington, here are some benefits and cautions to consider next time you cook with cannabis.

The Decarboxylation Process
One of the first things to understand when cooking with cannabis is a process known as decarboxylation. This is a fancy scientific word that simply explains the chemical heating reaction of removing a carboxyl group and releasing carbon dioxide. More specifically, it’s the process by which THCA is converted to THC.

THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), as you might know, is one of the two main active molecules in cannabis and provides the euphoric heady high we all known and love. But, what is THCA? This is the non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in raw, live cannabis plants. So, how do you achieve this transformation?

Well, the process occurs naturally when cannabis dries, but we don’t want to wait forever, so we speed the process up by adding heat. While this process happens naturally when smoking or vaping, it’s an extra step to take if you want to combine your favorite sativa and baked good rather than opting for cannabis-infused butters or cooking oils. However, you don’t want to heat it up too much. This will prematurely release THC instead of just activating it. So, cook below its boiling point — absolutely no higher than 314 degrees Fahrenheit. Here are the results of one person experimenting at 240 degrees Fahrenheit between 30 and 60 minutes in the oven.

Cooking Basics
There are a number of tidbits that people who cook with cannabis are ready to dole out, but a top tip is to cook with fat (oil, butter, milk). While you may have an inclination to throw together a healthy fare, since THC is extremely fat-soluble, this is necessary for proper absorption after consumption. Unlike water-soluble molecules that are able to easily pass through to your body for excretion, fat-soluble molecules pass through the intestinal tract into your bloodstream. Once THC enters your blood it then moves to your central and peripheral nervous systems to cause its sensual and psychoactive effects.

Consider Your Measurements

Just like you wouldn’t throw together a cake without measuring the baking soda and sugar, you won’t want to just throw cannabis-infused butter into your meal without considering the desired effects.

 

First, if you purchased pre-made cannabis butter, look at the THC concentration on your product. Note that regardless of what’s listed as, it’s in our recommendation to use just a small amount the first time. If you receive your desired effect, excellent! If you want a more potent high, add some more next time. In my personal opinion, after at least one instance of being couch ridden for the rest of the day, it’s better to add too little than too much, especially if you’re new to cannabis cooking.

Think About Flavor

If you plan to dry your cannabis purchased at the nearby dispensary in Vancouver, Washington, and use that for cooking, go with what you know and choose something yummy. To no surprise, cannabis will alter the flavor of whatever you cook. If you choose skunk weed, you’re not likely to enjoy your edible as much as if you chose your favorite, fruity strain and add it into your pancakes. Now that sounds like a delicious Saturday morning breakfast!

Bake Beyond Brownies

As just mentioned, don’t limit yourself to the run-of-the-mill weed brownies. Sure, they’ll be delicious, but you can really add cannabis to anything, so get creative. Make a crock-pot dinner and throw it in there, sauté up some vegetables and add some there, too. There are few restrictions, so have fun. Just remember, as said before, make sure you include the fat! I think my next experiment will be with cannabis-infused granola bars to take on my next trek into the Portland forests. What about you?

The Effects

So, what are the effects? Well, it does vary, but regardless of whether you choose a sativa or indica-based cooking adventure, the effect

1) takes longer to occur

2) lasts longer

3) is a more physical high

Are you excited to get started on your edibles journey? It’s a totally new adventure to jump into the world of cooking with cannabis. No longer are you limited to inhalation and pre-prepared cannabis-infused chocolates stuffed with added sugars. You now control your cannabis consumption. You can find the perfect flavor profile and marijuana measurement to create the optimal desired effects. Now, go forth and experiment.

But, if you take away only a few tips remember to (a) cook with fat and (b) start small.

If you have any questions on how to get started on your cannabis cooking journey, want to swap recipes, or are looking for cannabis-infused cooking oils, visit our dispensary in Vancouver, Washington where our bud-tenders are ready to share their extensive scientific and personal knowledge on the topic.

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