DIY edibles: 5 easy steps to make your own cannabis edibles at home

making cannabis edibles

Creating your own cannabis edibles at home can be a rewarding and cost-effective endeavor.

With the right guidance, you can control the potency, taste, and quality of your homemade treats.

This process requires careful attention to detail, especially regarding dosage, to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.

In this article, I’m going to walk through every step of making your own cannabis edibles at home.

I’ll provide detailed explanations and tips for each step, from choosing the right strain to calculating dosage and creating delicious recipes. And as a bonus, I’ll also teach you how to make cannabutter!

The basics of cannabis edibles

Before diving into the process, it’s crucial to understand a few basics.

Cannabis edibles are food products infused with cannabinoids. THC, the psychoactive compound, and CBD, known for its therapeutic benefits, are the most commonly used cannabinoids.

The effects of edibles can vary greatly from those of smoking or vaping cannabis.

The onset is slower, usually taking 30 minutes to 2 hours, and the effects can last much longer.

As for potency, homemade edibles can be more potent as you control the concentration.

However, caution is advised. It’s easy to consume too much, especially when starting out.

So, let’s get started with the simple steps of making cannabis edibles at home:

1) Choose the right cannabis strain

The first step in making your own cannabis edibles at home is choosing the right strain of cannabis.

For this, you should understand the different properties of each strain and how they affect the final product.

There are 3 main types of cannabis strains: Indica, Sativa, and Hybrid.

Each strain has its own unique set of effects on the body and mind.

  • Indica strains are known for their relaxing and sedative effects, making them ideal for nighttime use or relaxation.
  • Sativa strains, on the other hand, provide a more energizing and uplifting high, perfect for daytime use and promoting creativity.
  • Hybrid strains are a mix of Indica and Sativa strains, offering a balance of effects that can be tailored to your specific needs and preferences.

Choosing the right strain is crucial, as it deeply influences the experience you’ll have with your homemade edibles.

Whether you’re seeking pain relief, relaxation, or creativity stimulation, there’s a strain tailored to meet your desired outcome.

2) Decarboxylation: Activating your cannabis

The second step in the process is decarboxylation.

It’s a critical step but not a single cannabis user knew anything about it when I asked.

Let me explain it:

Decarboxylation is simply the process of heating cannabis to activate the compounds within.

Raw cannabis contains THCA, a non-psychoactive compound. When you heat it, THCA converts into THC, the psychoactive compound that delivers the ‘high’.

Without decarboxylation, your edibles won’t have the desired effect.

So, how do you do it?

  • Preheat your oven to 240°F (115°C).
  • Break up your cannabis buds into small pieces and spread them out evenly on a baking sheet.
  • Bake the cannabis for 30-40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes so it heats evenly.

Once you’ve done this, your cannabis is decarboxylated and ready for cooking. Simple, right?

3) Infuse the cannabis into a fat or oil

Now that you’ve activated your cannabis through decarboxylation, it’s time for the third step: infusing the cannabis into a fat or oil.

You might be wondering, why do we need to do this?

Well, here’s the interesting bit.

THC is fat-soluble, which means it binds to fats. By infusing it into an oil or fat, you ensure that the THC gets evenly distributed throughout your edibles.

To begin, you’ll need a carrier oil or fat. This could be coconut oil, butter, or any cooking oil of your choice.

Note: Below, I’ll also teach you how to make cannabutter yourself!

Combine your decarboxylated cannabis and your chosen oil in a saucepan, slow cooker, or double boiler. Heat this mixture on low for a few hours, stirring occasionally.

This slow cooking allows the THC to bind with the fat without destroying it.

4) Calculating the right dosage

So, you’ve got your cannabis-infused oil or butter ready. But how much should you use in your edibles? How do you ensure you’re getting the right dosage?

Determining the correct dosage is a critical step in making your own cannabis edibles.

Too little, and you won’t feel the desired effects. Too much, and you might end up having an overwhelming experience.

A good rule of thumb for beginners is to start with a small dose, around 5-10 milligrams of THC per serving, and gradually increase if needed.

To calculate the amount of THC in your oil or butter, you’ll need to know the percentage of THC in your cannabis strain. Then, multiply this percentage by the weight of the cannabis you used to determine the total amount of THC.

Divide this total by the number of servings in your recipe to find out how much THC each serving will contain.

I know this might sound a bit complicated, so let me give you an example:

If your cannabis has a THC content of 15% and you’re using 1 gram (1000 milligrams) in your recipe, that would mean you have 150 milligrams of THC total. If your recipe makes 10 servings, each serving will have approximately 15 milligrams of THC.

This will give you a good idea of how much cannabis-infused oil or butter to use in your recipe.

5) Choosing your recipe

Now that you’ve created your cannabis-infused oil or butter and calculated the correct dosage, it’s time to incorporate it into a recipe.

This is where you can let your culinary creativity shine.

You can use your cannabis infusion in any recipe that calls for oil or butter. However, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Avoid high-heat cooking methods: THC can degrade at high temperatures, reducing the potency of your edibles. Stick to recipes that require baking or simmering.
  • Even distribution: Make sure to mix your cannabis infusion thoroughly into your recipe to ensure even distribution of THC.
  • Pair with complementary flavors: Cannabis has a strong, distinct flavor. Choose recipes that will complement this flavor rather than clash with it.

Simply put, creating cannabis edibles is as much of an art as it is a science.

Whether you’re making brownies, cookies, pasta sauce, or even salad dressings, the possibilities are endless. Just remember to always be mindful of your dosage and enjoy the process.

Creating cannabutter: the key ingredient

Cannabis-infused butter, commonly known as cannabutter, is the cornerstone of most cannabis edibles. The process of making cannabutter involves decarboxylation, a critical step that activates THC and CBD in cannabis.

Here’s how to make it:

  1. Preheat your oven to 240°F (115°C). Spread your cannabis evenly on a non-stick, oven-safe tray. Cover the tray with parchment paper to prevent the cannabis from getting burned.
  2. Place the tray in the oven and let it bake for 30-40 minutes. This process is decarboxylation. It helps to convert cannabinoids into a form that’s easily absorbed by the body.
  3. While your cannabis is in the oven, melt your butter. The ratio of cannabis to butter can vary depending on the desired potency, but a common ratio is 1 cup of butter to 1 cup of ground cannabis.
  4. Once your cannabis is decarboxylated, mix it into the melted butter and let it simmer on low heat for about 45 minutes.
  5. Use a cheesecloth or strainer to filter out the plant material from your mixture. The remaining liquid is your cannabutter!

Bear in mind, cannabinoids are fat-soluble, which means they bind to fats in the butter during the cooking process. This fact underpins why cannabutter is such a fundamental component in making potent homemade edibles.

Storing your cannabis edibles

After you’ve cooked up a storm in the kitchen, it’s time to properly store your cannabis edibles.

A crucial step that often gets overlooked is the importance of proper storage.

I can’t stress enough how vital this is.

Without proper storage, your edibles can lose potency, become stale, or even grow mold. And let’s face it, no one wants that.

Here’s what you need to do:

Store your cannabis edibles in an airtight container and keep them in a cool, dark place. The fridge is often the best spot, especially for items like cannabis-infused butter or baked goods.

Remember, properly storing your cannabis edibles will help ensure they stay fresh and potent for as long as possible. So don’t skip this step!

What about the legality of homemade cannabis edibles?

Before you embark on your cannabis cooking adventure, it’s essential to understand the legal implications.

While it’s exciting to create your own cannabis edibles at home, we must not forget that cannabis laws vary significantly from place to place.

In some locations, it’s perfectly legal to make and consume your own cannabis edibles. In others, it could lead to serious legal consequences.

Therefore, my advice is to research and understand the laws in your area regarding cannabis use and possession. Being informed about these laws can help you avoid potential legal issues.

This final step might not involve any cooking or baking, but it’s just as important as the others.

Kwame Nkrumah

Kwame Nkrumah

From Nairobi, I’m Kwame, and I’ve journeyed through the world of CBD and cannabis to share what I’ve learned with you. Experimenting on myself, I've discovered what works and what doesn't. My stories and tips are all about making cannabis understandable and accessible, helping you find the right balance for your wellness.

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