Nobody who has seen the rise of culinary-based reality television could disagree: cooking is, without question, an incredible art form. At a minimum, cooking demands time, patience and attention to detail — and a whole lot of love.
Baking is often characterized as chemistry: formulaic combinations of wet and dry ingredients. Even if you’re not baking from any new recipe, your results can vary wildly if you’re not careful to follow instructions.
When it comes to baking with cannabis, an already formulaic process gets a little more complicated. It’s not enough to just incorporate the cannabis, you have to be mindful and smart about how you bring a bud into your baking. Here are some of our best tips to start you off in the right direction:
Don’t try cooking with raw cannabis without decarbing it first. This is a crucial first step to baking. Decarboxylation, or decarbing, converts the THCA (or tetrahydrocannabinolic acid) into THC at the right temperature. This process won’t only make your edibles and concentrates more effective, it will also make them safer to consume.
Why safer? Decarboxylation will greatly reduce the risk of botulism bacteria growth in your butters, oils and tinctures. The bacteria takes time to develop, so make sure to use your baked goods sooner rather than later. If you leave any food out long enough without preservation it can make you sick; in this respect, cannabis is really no different from anything else you consume.
Set your oven to 220F/105C. If you’re using full buds, grind them up and lay everything out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Break down any larger pieces with your hands; about the size and consistency of table salt is fine. If you’ve got too much for one sheet, you’ll need to lay it out on a separate sheet. Aim for a fairly thin layer, so that all of the moisture can get released.
A little can go a long way! You can use shake, stems, and leaf trimmings in this extraction process. You can even use mix and save the quality, AAAA-stuff for smoking.
Place it all in the preheated oven for 25 minutes. Depending on how fresh your cannabis is, it may take a bit longer to try out. If the material you’re using is already well dried, 25 minutes should be long enough; otherwise, allow another 25 minutes for a fresher, more dank batch.
Cleanliness is next to godliness. When making concentrates like tinctures and oils, or any other cannabis product you plan to consume orally, always make sure to use carefully sanitized tools.