For Part 1, click here.
Step 2: Infusion
Once the cannabis flower has been decarboxylated, it’s time to infuse it into a lipid for cooking! While you can simply incorporate the whole flower into a recipe, that often results in a dry, gritty texture unconducive to a pleasant culinary experience. As a result, it’s best to extract the cannabinoids and remaining terpenes and flavonoids into a solution, which will then then substituted into the recipe.
To do this, simply take the flower that’s been decarboxylated, add it to a pot with your base of choice, and simmer on low for 4-8 hours, stirring occasionally. Lecithin is also advised to be added to increase end-user absorption, but studies on the efficacy of this step are anecdotal at the present moment. If you decide to add it, 1 tablespoon per cup of oil ought to be sufficient.
While the end product is often called “cannabutter,” coconut oil is a preferred base due to the low chance of allergy, lack of dairy, shelf stability, and ability to be used topically or orally. That being said, there is a minute difference in absorption of different fats. If you’re willing to go the extra mile, and plan to consume it in the near future, clarified butter is has the highest rates of cannabinoid infusion, as noted in this article: https://hightimes.com/edibles/which-fat-absorbs-thc-best/
A good rule of thumb is to use 5g of flower for every cup of oil. While many can achieve therapeutic doses at lower concentrations, the higher ratios of flower to oil are often easier to work with in the long run. In the end, the infused oil will be substituted for regular cooking oil in recipes, so one can always reduce the concentration immediately prior to baking.
When the oil, flower, and lecithin (if desired) are added to the pot, it’s time to take a step back and relax! Infusion is a slow process, and increasing the temperature above 250 will only increase your chance of reducing the quality of the final product. A crockpot or a magic butter machine are great options, as the unit is sealed and user-friendly, but a pot with a lid with the burner on “low” will work too. Stir occasionally, avoid scorching the oil, and be patient.
After a while, the oil will take on a green hue from the chlorophyll in the flower. It will also have a marked “hempy” taste. If this isn’t desired, after 4-8 hours, add water to the container, stir evenly, strain through a cheese cloth, and put the product in the freezer. The chlorophyll will settle in the water at the bottom, but the cannabinoids will remain in the oil on the top, which can be easily separated once it has solidified. If the color and flavor isn’t an issue, simply strain through a cheese cloth and prep it in a refrigerator or freezer safe container for storage or use!
Home cannabis infusion is more of an art than a science, and there are many variations on this recipe! If you decide to experiment at home, write down the steps you took, the starting quantities used, and your results.
Next... a recipe! Click here for one of our FAVORITE "canna-butter" quick bakes that tastes like Heaven... with just a dash of sinful deliciousness.
Feel free to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org with your results, and good luck! Happy Hemping.