Cooking with Cannabis: Making Infused Oil
As experienced cannabis connoisseurs are aware, the secret to cooking with cannabis lies with infused oil. Cannabis-infused oils are used in crafting many edibles, especially those created at home from scratch. While the activity of making cannabis-infused oil can seem daunting, the process is actually simple for those willing to take some time out of their day.
Cooking with Cannabis: Gather Your Ingredients
As with all recipes, the first step in crafting your infused oil is to gather the necessary ingredients. While there is a lot of room for variation in cooking with cannabis, and especially creating cannabis oil, the only requirements are two very basic components: cannabis and oil.
The most important aspect of hunting for ingredients is ensuring their quality. The cannabis and oil used in creating your concoction will determine your overall satisfaction when eating your edibles. Skimping on ingredients and opting for lower-quality options can greatly impact your edible experience.
Typically coconut or olive oil is preferred as the oil base depending on the type of dish you’ll be creating. Thinking of making some infused pasta? Opt for olive oil. Making some curry? Coconut oil is the ticket.
In terms of flower, not only is cannabis potency important in crafting an edible, but the variety of cannabis added is as well. An edible’s effects will be different depending on whether it is infused with a sativa, indica or hybrid strain, so choose your bud accordingly.
Infusing Cannabis Oil
First, grind one cup of cannabis flower into a coarse puree. Too much grinding will result in impurities being added to your edible, so make sure only flower is mixed with the oil when applying your cannabis. Next, pour both the cannabis and your oil into a slow cooker and heat on low for 4 to 6 hours, stirring every so often. The heat from cooking will begin to activate the THC, a process known as decarboxylation.
To prevent burning, oil temperature should not go above 245 degrees Fahrenheit. Burning the oil is perhaps the most common way to ruin your creation. If your oil seems like it’s beginning to scorch, add some water and hopefully, that will save your batch.
Finally, strain your oil using a cheesecloth and then let it come to room temp before storing it. Over time, the collected remnants of any leftover cannabis can be used to make more oil, albeit with less potency than your current concoction.
Storing Your Cannabis Oil
Once strained into a jar or other container, your cannabis-infused oil has a shelf-life of about 2 months before it needs to be put into the refrigerator. Take care to store your jar at room temperature, as high temperatures can damage your oil.
A glass container is the best type for storing since it provides little airflow and can keep the contents as fresh as possible. Most mason jars are great for this as they provide some insulation from any outside elements as well as ample reduction of airflow. Remember, this is cannabis-infused oil so your final product might produce an odor when opened.
Want to keep your cannabis at its best for longer? Don't miss our comprehensive guide on 'Can Weed Go Bad?' for crucial tips to prevent your weed from degrading and ensuring its freshness and potency.
Before starting your edible adventure, wander over to your favorite Clear Choice location to grab some flower. If you aren't sure about which strains have what effects, ask a friendly budtender! Already know what you want to use? Order online!
Cannabis Concentrates: What They Are & How to Use Them
We are blessed with a plethora of options when deciding how to consume our beloved herb. Cannabis concentrates are quickly becoming a favorite, especially with seasoned cannabis enthusiasts. Concentrates appear in many forms, but the essential common thread is that they isolate cannabis trichomes — and their powerful cannabinoids, like THC or CBD.
The Power of Cannabis Concentrates
This isolation means you won't consumer unnecessary plant material and other impurities, which has a few benefits. For one, your pipe or bong will stay clean much longer; and one can only imagine that something similar is happening in the lungs… And, of course, concentrates are going to have a significantly higher percentage of cannabinoids; meaning that you can take much less of it for the same effect.
But when it comes to psychoactive cannabinoids like THC, this can actually cause trouble. It’s very common for even veteran enthusiasts to get unpleasantly high on their first concentrate experience. Cannabis concentrates typically range between 50-80% THC, with superb products coming in as high as 90%. For comparison, cannabis flower ranges between 10-25% THC. Be very mindful of this while navigating concentrates for the first time. (And ask our budtenders for help!)
Terpenes can be hard to preserve during the extraction process, so the flavor may not be as enjoyable as flower. However, many companies have started adding terpenes in at the end, so that’s an option for a more flavorful concentrate.
Dabbing has become one of the most popular methods how to smoke concentrates, which involves heating a “nail” on a dabbing rig and applying the concentrate to the hot surface. You can also add concentrates to your bowl, joint, or compatible vaporizer.
Types of Concentrates
Hashish: Cannabis concentrates are currently experiencing a surge in innovation and popularity, but hash (the OG concentrate) has been around for centuries. It is formed by taking stalked resin glands from the cannabis plant and rubbing them together to remove the trichomes, as well as other similar methods. The result is a sticky brick or ball.
Kief: You already know kief, also referred to as dry sift or pollen. It’s the sticky-icky on your fingers after rolling a joint, it’s the crystal-like substance at the bottom of your grinder. Kief is usually sifted to separate the trichomes, and like hashish, it frequently contains plant material.
Shatter: This name, and the ones that follow, describe the consistency of modern cannabis concentrates, which are generally free of all impurities. In this case, we’re talking about a hard glass-like substance that can also resemble pulled taffy.
Budder/Batter: These two are soft in consistency, making them great for spreading onto joints or blunts. Budder has a consistency similar to butter, and batter the consistency of cake batter.
Crumble: Indeed crumbly in texture, this concentrate has a honeycomb consistency.
Sugar/Sauce: A concentrate has a consistency similar to wet, sappy sugar is called “sugar.” Sauce is a thicker version that has a more uniform and prominent crystalline structure.
Distillate/Oil: As you may have guessed, this refers to a liquid, oily, consistency. Oil is what goes into cannabis cartridges and pre-filled pens, and it also can be found in syringes.
It’s an exciting time for cannabis, and the world of concentrates is no exception. Keep your eyes on this ever-changing market for the continued evolution of our cannabis options.
In the market for top-shelf cannabis concentrates in Tacoma, Washington? Stop by our popular Tacoma dispensary for help choosing your new favorite products, or check out our online dispensary menu.