Cooking with Cannabis
There are literally hundreds of ways to consume Cannabis, one which has had a huge rise in popularity in recent years is using Cannabis as an ingredient in cooking. Today we're going to discuss just some of the different ways Cannabis can be used in cooking and also the experiences the user can expect.
Cooking with Cannabis is a fantastic way to take in all the great health benefits of the herb without having to deal with the negative effects of smoking. If you plan ahead then your edible or meal can become a perfect post workout tonic to help with any inflammation or perhaps before you go to the cinema to really amplify the experience or simply just as a way to relax after a hard day.
Now let's look at the science as there is a reason why Cannabis can be so effective. Simply put it's because of our ECS System, Endo-Cannabinoid System, has a set of receptors that specifically react when Cannabis is in our body.
The ECS System looks after a wide variety of tasks within the body such as regulating and monitoring sleep, mood, appetite and memory.
There are two main receptors, CB1 & CB2;
CB1 Receptors look after things like pain, memory, sleep as well as appetite.
CB2 Receptors deal with the nervous and immune system.
So when you consume Cannabis, not only will it get you 'high', it will also potentially have positive effects on various existing medical conditions you might be experiencing. Plus if you cook with if yourself you will know exactly what has gone into it therefore you can calculate the strength and fine-tune the effects to suit you.
A very popular way to cook with Cannabis is Cannabutter, which can be used effectively in most recipes as a butter substitute. Brownies, Cakes and Cookies seem to be a crowd favourite here though!
The first thing you'll need to do is decarboxylate your herbs, this is a very simple process that involves heating up your Cannabis to activate it's psychoactive effects.
To start with you'll need a lined baking tray, some of your finest herb and an oven. Preheat your oven to around 240° / 250° and spread out your Ganja flat onto the lined baking tray.
Pop it in the oven for around 30 minutes and keep an eye on it, you'll need to turn over the herb every 10 minutes or so, giving the tray a shake ought to do it. Make sure the Cannabis is golden brown and breaks up easily after the 30 minutes is up, if not then it might need a bit longer.
Next step will be to stick the kettle on! Boil some a litre of water and add around 2 or 4 sticks of butter in. The butter to weed ratio is simple, the more weed, the more butter! Wait for all the butter to melt then simmer the mixture, at this stage you can add your decarboxylated herbs. The longer the mixture simmers with the herb infusing the better! Normally a couple of hours on a low heat is good.
Now here comes the fun bit, grab a cheesecloth and a deep dish bowl. Line the bowl with the cheese cloth and pour the mixture in carefully (as it will still be v. hot). The cheesecloth should catch all the plant matter and in the bowl you'll have all that lovely THC infused melted butter. Allow the bowl to cool at room temperature then stick it in the fridge!
For whatever reason Cannabutter might not be for you, whether you're a vegan or dairy intolerant or just plain don't like it then there is another option, Cannabis infused cooking oil.
This time we're not going to decarboxylate the herbs, simply grind them up a little bit (they don't need to be finely ground, coarsely is absolutely fine). Now you can either use Olive Oil, Vegetable Oil or Coconut Oil to add you herbs to, however we would recommend Coconut as it has a higher fat content and Cannabinoids cling to fatty molecules better.
Into the saucepan with your mixture heat on a low temperature for 3 hours, stirring regularly (as it is prone to scorching). Alternatively you could place the mixture in a cooking pot and place in a slow cooker or oven at a v. low temp for 4-6 hours stirring every so often.
When the time is up pour the mixture through a cheesecloth (don't squeeze it!) into a bottle and voilà your Cannabis infused Cooking Oil is ready to use! It's possible to use in a huge range of recipes however be very careful when cooking with it as it can ruin it if the temperature goes too high. Normally the life expectancy of the oil is around 2 months although if you keep in the fridge it can last for longer.
Now whilst is all well and good making Cannabis Oil or Cannabutter, it might not always be appropriate, especially if the strain you are using is high in THC. It is possible to make both products using CBD only strains or ones with very low THC, however, the psychoactive element is something that some people would need to avoid for various reasons.
With that being said you can now buy a plethora of CBD Oils, which when used correctly can have all the positive benefits of Cannabis without the feeling of getting 'high'. So if you drop a couple of drops on your food or in your morning beverage regularly then you can maintain the positive effects over a much longer period.
CBD oils have been shown to be effective in treating a wide range of medical conditions such as depression, nausea, inflammation, loss of appetite, insomnia and many more. So someone who is affected by these conditions might want to consume Cannabis without the harmful effect of smoking it thus cooking oils & butter could be a good way to start.
Next time we'll be looking into Cannabis and Drinks so until such time check out out some of our CBD Products here....