5 common mistakes to avoid making when cooking with marijuana

Cooking with cannabis is wildly popular these days for an array of reasons but results are different for everyone, especially given mistakes commonly made in the cooking stages. You don’t benefit from the THC or CBD components in cannabis just by tossing some fresh cut flowers on top of a meal; leave that to basil and parsley.

Legions of people have turned to recreational marijuana edibles as a very effective means to address all manner of health issues. With the increase in popularity came an inevitable push to graduate from store-purchased cannabis to homemade varieties. Experimenting in the kitchen with new recipes, however, is always interesting but with much of that already done by others; you can plan ahead. To that end, here is a quartet of common mistakes to avoid at all costs:

Don’t forget to decarb recreational marijuana

Decarboxylation (decarbing) involves applying heat to cannabis over a specific time interval to transform raw cannabinoids into active compounds. This typically changes THCa and CBDa into the pure THC and CBD you want to see. Keep in mind that simply adjusting baking time isn’t enough to initiate the conversion. The basics of the process look like this:

  • Chop the flower and spread on a lined baking tray
  • Preheat the oven to 240 degrees, slide in the tray and bake 45 minutes
  • Remove from oven and add the baked flower into an infusion for the recipe
Strain out the flower

Another common rookie mistake when cooking with recreational marijuana is forgetting to strain the flower. Fortunately, today’s medibles (medical edibles) are on another level thanks to smarter cooking. You don’t need the entire plant to glean its benefits and the enlightened way to through cannabis butter infusions. Strain the infusion through cheesecloth to retain all of the potent cannabinoids and excellent flavor.

Don’t cook it too hot

Cannabinoids are sensitive and too much heat will burn them away. Low heat is used throughout the process to protect the plant’s precious content. When cooking with recreational marijuana, don’t use a temperature higher than 375 degrees. High temps have the potential to burn off the valuable medicinal compounds you’re after. For example, many people like pan frying cannabis but the heat required will kill off the cannabinoids.

A little goes a long way

Don’t toss a half-ounce of cannabis into a slow cooker to make a cup of, say, infused butter. Remember the 1:1 ratio of 1 cup of oil to 1 cup ground cannabis. Oil lipids can only bind to a finite number of cannabinoids and boosting the ratio only wastes valuable product.

Skip the second helping

You spent all afternoon cooking and can’t wait to sample your final product. Hold on—are you sure how potent it is or how much THC is in each serving? Dosing is as critical as the cooking phase and edibles dish out an entirely different result than inhaling. It is very possible to overdo it if you are unsure of THC levels or how much you can handle.

Follow the golden rule to get the most enjoyment from your homemade goodies: Start low and go slow.