Things are changing so rapidly in the cannabis industry, that it is hard to keep up with all the innovations. In fact, even in the 4 years that I have been writing about cannabis, there have been monumental changes in the choices of ingredients and in the preparation of cannabis-infused recipes. This article examines how much more we now know about getting the most out of cannabis when used in edibles. I will also post some recipes for you to try at home.
The majority of recipes that you see today start with Canna Oil or Canna Butter as the medium for incorporating cannabis. This involves decarboxylating flower, mixing it with oil or butter, heating it for several hours and straining out the cannabis material. We now have accessories that make this process simple and foolproof.
RSO, MCT and Lecithin
I just looked at a Canna Oil recipe that was posted a few years ago that I saved for future reference. The ingredients are 1 cup of oil to 1 oz of ground cannabis. If you search for a Canna Oil recipe today, you will find very different ingredients.
Many cannabis chefs these days are choosing RSO as their source of cannabis for their recipes. The advantages are many:
- It is already decarboxylated
- It is much easier to combine with other ingredients
- It is much more likely to be evenly distributed throughout your dish
- A small amount goes a long way
- It is easier on the gastrointestinal system
For those who want to use cannabis plant material to make their Canna Oil, many chefs now recommend that you use MCT oil and lecithin. I will explain why after I give you the recipe.
Canna Oil Recipe
- 1 oz of decarboxylated flower/shake
- 1 cup MCT or coconut oil; you can also use any high fat oil such as olive oil or avocado oil
- 4 tbsp. liquid sunflower lecithin
- Metal strainer
- Large spoon
- Airtight containers
One of the easiest methods is to use a crockpot. You can also use a glass dish and put it in the oven.
- Pour oil and lecithin into the crockpot and add cannabis. If you use shake, grind to a coarse consistency. If you use flower, break it up into smaller pieces.
- Stir the mixture until the cannabis is completely covered by the oil.
- Heat on the lowest setting for 3 hours. Cool for 8-9 hours. Repeat the heating and cooling process up to 2 more times to increase potency.
- Place cheesecloth over the metal strainer. Using a large spoon, press all the oil out into air-tight containers.
- Store oil in the refrigerator.
MCT, which stands for Medium Chain Triglycerides, is a man-made saturated fatty acid produced in a lab that combines coconut and palm oils. It is more concentrated than either coconut or palm oil. It is colorless, odorless and most importantly, it remains liquid at room temperature. Since cannabinoids are stored in fat, they are best consumed with fat to increase their bioavailability. MCT oil is metabolized without the production of free-radicals. It has many health benefits. Here is a link to an article about MCT oil.
Lecithin is a phospholipid found in eggs, avocados, soybeans and sunflowers. It functions as a binding agent for ingredients which would otherwise be mutually repellent. It is a surfactant, which lowers surface tension. That helps distribute the cannabinoids more efficiently. It also may increase digestibility and potency. Liquid sunflower lecithin is recommended as it is most readily available and healthier than some other sources.
Please note that if you use all MCT oil in your recipes that adding lecithin is not necessary.
- 1/4 cup cannabis oil
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 oz unflavored gelatin
- 6 oz package Jello-O
- Silicone molds
- In a saucepan, bring cannabis oil and water to a low boil over medium heat, stirring constantly.
- Add 1-2 gelatin packets at a time, stirring until almost entirely incorporated.
- Add Jell-O, stir for about 5 minutes until fully incorporated and until mixture comes to a rolling boil.
- Grease your molds.
- Use a container with a pour spout or a dropper to fill each mold. You will need to work quickly as the mix will be starting to set.
- Cool for an hour in the refrigerator. Remove from the molds and store in airtight containers in the refrigerator.
- 2 cups of basil leaves
- 1/2 cup walnuts or toasted pine nuts
- 1/2 cup fresh Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup canna oil
- 6 cloves of chopped garlic
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 lb of pasta
Blend basil, nuts, Parmesan, garlic, salt and pepper in food processor. Remove and slowly drizzle in canna oil while mixing. Cook pasta and mix with pesto. Mangia!
- 3 avocados, mashed
- Juice of 1 lime
- 3 cloves of garlic, chopped finely
- 1 tsp. canna oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 3 tbsp. chopped cilantro
- 2 diced roma tomatoes
- 1/2 cup diced onion
Mixed all ingredients together. Refrigerate for several hours for best flavor and results.
Avoid These Common Mistakes When Making Cannabis Edibles
- Don’t Spend Too Much Money on Cannabis. It is not necessary to use flower. You can use shake and even the remains of your cannabis after you have vaped and/or made tinctures.
- Test The Potency Before Adding It To Your Recipe
- Even Distribution Is Key. Stir, stir and stir again!
- Don’t Cook Cannabis-Infused Foods at Too High a Temperature
- Pay Attention to Portion Sizes
- Use The Right Strain for Your Needs
Have fun and enjoy!
Recipes courtesy of Andrea Swank & Inlander.com
leafly.com, Avoid These 7 Common Mistakes While Cooking Cannabis Edibles, Sept 28, 2017, Bailey Rahn
dn.ampproject.org, Get Baked: Cannabis Edibles and Recipes, Cannabis MCT Oil
royalqueenseeds.com, Lecithin in Cannabis Edibles: Why You Need It
healthline.com, 7 Science-Based Benefits of MCT Oil, May 17, 2018, Sharon O’Brien