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9 Easy Tips For Cooking With Cannabis
Back then, cooking with cannabis wasn’t common; the plant was mainly smoked to get high.
However, with time, cannabis has been found to have many health benefits, such as improving heart health, helping with anxiety, and treating epilepsy. For this reason, various states have legalized the use of cannabis.
There is a range of things you can do with cannabis products. Several online sources, like Green Bee Life, feature easy, responsible, and safe tips on consuming cannabis.
One of the increasingly popular ways to use cannabis is by adding it to your meals. Some homesteads cook with cannabis for various reasons.
If you’re a beginner, cooking with cannabis can be overwhelming. However, it’ll be easier to cook once you get the basics straight.
Tips To Use When Cooking With Cannabis
The following are tips for adding cannabis to your meals:
1. Choose A Strain
There are over 700 known strains of cannabis to date. They mainly vary in cannabinoid levels. Cannabinoids—especially tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD)—are mainly responsible for the potent effects of cannabis. CBD is the compound that helps induce relaxation and cancels out the psychoactive effects of THC, the substance that gives you a ‘high’ feeling. While THC has also certain health benefits, CBD is primarily linked to the popularity of cannabis in improving many health conditions.
So before buying cannabis, be sure that you know exactly what you want to achieve with it.
2. Make Sure You Like The Smell And Taste
When cooking, a pleasant aroma is one of the things you want to achieve. The aroma you get is determined by the ingredients you use. Because of the chemical called terpenes, cannabis exudes a rather strong smell. Depending on the strain, these smells vary between fruity and earthy. Before settling for a specific strain, make sure you like the way it smells. As it’s said, your nose knows!
If you don’t want to use cannabis flowers, you can use products infused with cannabis. They are commonly added to honey, cooking powders, and oil. However, before you use it, you should at least have a good idea of how it will taste and whether it will complement what you’re preparing.
3. Consider The Ingredients You’ll Use
After selecting a strain, consider the ingredients you’ll use with cannabis. Naturally, some flavors don’t work well together. Therefore, using them for cooking one meal can result in an unfavorable taste.
What you want to cook also matters. For instance, if you settle for cannabis-infused butter (cannabutter), popcorn and chips would go well with it. For salads, cannabis oil can be used as a dressing. In other words, ensure that the cannabis product you choose will work well with your meal.
4. Clean Your Cannabis
You can never be sure how clean or dirty products are once you get them. To be sure, it’s recommended to clean them thoroughly. Cannabis may have traces of pesticides and fungicides on them. Also, they can have chlorophyll and natural dirt. These chemicals can alter the taste of the food you prepare using cannabis.
To ensure your cannabis is clean, you can start by soaking them in distilled water for three days. After that, blanch them for five minutes, and then soak them in iced water for one minute. After that, your cannabis will be safe to use when cooking.
5. Decarboxylate Your Cannabis
One of the common mistakes you can make when cooking with cannabis is forgetting to decarboxylate. Decarboxylating is the process of activating the cannabinoids in the bud to get the desired therapeutic effects. This process is done by heating.
To carboxylate cannabis, start by evenly spreading cannabis flowers on a baking sheet, and then bake them in an oven under 240°F for around 30 to 40 minutes. You can use a stovetop or microwave if you don’t have an oven.
6. Turn It Into Small Pieces
Now that you have your cannabis ready, you can either chop, crumble, or grind it.
If you don’t want other parts of the bud to get into the food, hence compromising the flavor, chop or crumble it with your hands.
Grinding it will make the size even, and the trichomes (tiny hairlike growths, where cannabinoids are produced) don’t get wasted as they would when crumbling or chopping. While the grounds of other bud parts (bract, calyx, etc.) might leave an unsolicited taste, you’re sure you’re getting the maximum effect because the trichome content remains the same.
7. Create Your Own Infusion
Cannabinoids are fat-soluble, meaning they attach to fat.
Infusion, in this context, is the process of adding cannabis extract to butter and oil. This is a popular infusion of choice, for butter and oil are almost staples in delicious cooking.
There are store-bought cannabis-infused butter or oil (cannabutter or cannaoil), but making homemade infusions gives you more control of the potency.
It’s really easy to do. In most cases, first, you heat the butter or oil in a pan, then add cannabis chunks or grounds into it, let it simmer for two to three hours, and then strain it with a cheesecloth.
A quick tip: when straining, whether with a spatula or by squeezing, don’t over extract by adding too much force. A gentle, diligent approach prevents extracting more chlorophyll than necessary. Excess chlorophyll can cause a bitter taste.
8. Determine The Right Dosage For You
The dosage refers to the cannabinoid content. To date, there’s no standard recommended daily dose for THC. As for CBD, it is between 20 and 40 milligrams. However, that doesn’t mean this dosage applies to everyone. Various factors determine the correct dosage, like weight and body size, tolerance, benefits you want to enjoy, and potency.
To ensure that you aren’t using too much cannabis, start with small doses. For instance, you can begin with 2 milligrams per dose and then increase your quantity until you figure out the best amount.
9. Start With Simple Recipes
As a beginner, it’s best to start by preparing simple meals. Simple recipes are supposed to be easy to follow, so chances are you won’t make many mistakes and too much waste.
For example, you can start by baking cannabis-infused cookies or brownies. These recipes don’t require much time. Thus, you can use the saved time to focus on mastering decarboxylate and infusing cannabis. After that, you can focus on learning how various meals are cooked with cannabis. Take baby steps until you get everything right.
Summing It Up!
The discovery of the medical uses of cannabis has led to many states legalizing it. Today, many people use cannabis in various ways, and one of them is cooking. Cooking with cannabis has a number of benefits, including increased vitamin and mineral intake. As a beginner, you may be unsure of what to do when cooking with cannabis. This article provides easy steps to use when you begin cooking with cannabis.
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