Did you know that cannabis-themed restaurants are popping up across the United States? This is because people are discovering the abundant health benefits linked to cannabis consumption. Crammed with naturally-occurring chemicals called cannabinoids, cannabis is a green plant with a bright future in medicine.
Once heated, decarboxylated materials like Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA) and Cannabidiolic acid (CBDA) convert into Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD) – two of the most powerful compounds of them all. For this reason, people are swapping their spliffs for scrumptious edibles.
Why not do it yourself by cooking your very own cannabis edibles from home? With a tasty recipe and some basic information about cooking with cannabis, you can start enjoying the goodness of healthy cannabinoids in your daily diet.
What happens when you heat cannabis?
Something very interesting, actually. Activating the raw chemical acids, e.g. THCA and CBDA, will result in the health-promoting ingredients becoming readily available for the human body to use. When cannabinoids are in their raw state, the body cannot use them as effectively, meaning that it is crucial you heat your cannabis before cooking if you want to reap the medical rewards.
The body will have to work harder to break down raw and unheated cannabinoid molecules. As a result, the effects may be different. Don’t overheat your cannabis though! This will cause the cannabis to combust and therefore the only thing that would be worth doing in this case is inhaling the potent fumes.
Will I feel the effects faster than I would from smoking cannabis?
Probably not. Inhalation and ingestion are two very different methods of cannabis consumption. The cannabis compounds will enter the bloodstream much more quickly when the plant is smoked or vaporized, because there are vessels inside the lungs that allow for fast entry into the bloodstream. When this happens, the effects will be almost instant and will last for 4-6 hours.
The effects of ingestion, on the other hand, could take a lot longer to kick in. Sometimes, a couple of hours. However, the effects are usually longer lasting and stronger, but you should keep in mind that metabolism plays a role in the efficacy of ingesting cannabis.
Why do edibles take longer to work, you ask? Well, cannabinoids must pass through the entire digestive system when it is eaten. Once eaten or drank, delta-9-THC becomes 11-hydroxy-THC, whereas it remains unchanged when inhaled. The outcome? A fast-acting high and quick relief from medical ailments.
How can I make my cannabis-infused foods as potent as possible?
Decarboxylate, decarboxylate, decarboxylate! Although it takes time to perform cannabis decarboxylation, the time spent will be worth it. Once decarboxylated, the cannabinoids contained in the raw plant matter will separate and activate.
The handy thing about this process is that you can decide on a temperature for decarboxylation. A low temperature may take longer to accomplish. However, you will lose a lot less terpenes during the process than you would if you were to speed up the process.
What’s more, a slower decarboxylation process will help the plant to retain its terpenes. The terpenes are responsible for giving the cannabis plant its rich aroma and flavor, whether it is citrus, mint, berry or pine. Additionally, terpenes are medically beneficial, with some terpenes promoting awareness in the consumer and other terpenes proving effective at easing the symptoms of stress.
Am I limited to baking cakes and cookies?
Absolutely not. Once decarboxylation has occurred, cannabinoids will be potent enough to add to a wide variety of recipes. In fact, the options are endless. You can decide what types of cannabis-infused foods you wish to make, depending on your personal taste preferences. Options include sauces, soups, bread, pasta dishes, rice dishes, casseroles and even ice cream!
Will I need to get a dosage recommendation from my doctor?
Yes, this is absolutely essential. If you consume too much cannabis, the effects might not be desirable. For example, should you require high-THC cannabis strains to relieve pain, an extortionate dosage might put you to sleep or make you feel paranoid.
Since edibles tend to produce a lingering and pretty powerful effect, it is not advisable to eat too much THC. Conversely, if you consume too little cannabis, you run the risk of not experiencing sufficient relief from your ailments.
Visiting a Doctor and telling him/her about the medical problems you face on a daily basis is step one to getting your medical marijuana recommendation. This written recommendation will outline the desired dosage, which ranges from 2-5mg for beginners.
Where can I buy the ingredients to cook with cannabis?
It’s not just pills and potions you will find inside a medical marijuana dispensary but also, the raw plant matter. This is what you’ll need to get a hold of in order to cook with cannabis. Buds and flowers purchased from local San Francisco dispensaries can be simmered on the stove with some butter, before being added with store-bought ingredients. Make sure you peruse your pot options thoroughly prior to choosing a strain, as the genetics will influence the CBD and THC content.