Tips for Using Cannabis Concentrates in Edibles
As understanding of the cannabis plant and all the wonderful things we can do with it continues to grow, more and more patients are beginning to experiment with ways they can access their medication. As a result, many people are discovering that they can make unique and interesting consumables from quality cannabis.
Edibles are a favorite for cannabis patients, not only because they are so effective, but because they offer so much variety. At MÜV Dispensaries, you can find soft chews, hard candies, chocolates, and more, but due to state regulations, each piece can contain a maximum of 10 mg THC.
At home, finding the best ways to add cannabis to your favorite treats at your preferred dose, high or low, can be a fun experiment, no matter what kind of edible product you prefer. But to do so, you’ll need to create cannabutter or canna oil first.
Why Create Cannabutter or Canna Oil with Concentrates?
To add active cannabis compounds into food or drink, there must be an infused medium to get the cannabis into your treats. While simply placing cannabis concentrates into your food can work – especially in the case of tinctures – many edibles, like baked goods and chocolates, simply aren't conducive to mix-ins. Even liquid or semi-solid treats may not mix well with cannabis concentrates. That's because the major cannabinoids THC and CBD are fat soluble, so they are more commonly infused into products with a high-fat content to ensure a homogenized blend that distributes the cannabinoids equally across the edible product.
Butter and oil both have a high fat content, so they are ideal for infusing. What’s more, most homemade treats call for some sort of butter or oil, so it is fairly simple to swap out traditional butter for infused cannabutter. While many people create cannabutter and canna oil with cured, dried flower, the process can be a bit involved. Switching to concentrates, like RSO, wax, or kief can make the process easier and can even provide more potent edibles.
Why Create Cannabutter or Canna Oil with Concentrates?
The expansive nature of cannabis products is especially true for concentrates, a category that encompasses a broad range of concentrated cannabis products with varying extraction methods. Solvent-free methods actually do use a solvent like butane, ethanol, or carbon dioxide to extract cannabis compounds from plant matter, but are referred to as “solvent-free” because all solvents are purged away after extraction. Solventless extraction is achieved by using heat and pressure to extract essential compounds. These extracts are typically in raw oil form, then further refined to create many types of concentrates.
Here are some of the most popular concentrates for making edibles:
- RSO - Otherwise known as Rick Simpson Oil, this oil is potent as well as very thick and sticky. RSO is made using a unique extraction process that uses every part of the cannabis plant, so it often has a very earthy cannabis flavor that can be present in your edible. No decarboxylation is needed with this concentrate, an added bonus and saved step in the edibles cooking process.
- Distillate - This is a very pure, flavorless concentrate created with a distillation process similar to what is used to create alcohol. This concentrate goes through a refinement process where it is heated and filtered several times, so it does not need to be decarbed (more on this later) when you are using it for edibles. Some distillates are available at up to 99% purity.
- Shatter - crumble, and related products. Solvent-free oil can be vacuum-purged, then agitated or whipped while hot to create a sticky wax. From there, it can be manipulated in a variety of ways, including into budder, badder, sugar, crumble, and more, with varying textures based on the amount of whipping, agitating, cooling, and purging that takes place. You’ll need to decarb these concentrates before infusing them into your cannabutter or oil.
- Kief - A solventless concentrate. The potent holders and producers of cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and other beneficial cannabis compounds. Kief can be collected over time in your flower grinder or purchased at a dispensary.
- Rosin - Another solventless concentrate. Trichomes are collected and the beneficial cannabis compounds extracted using only heat and pressure. Often pressed into coins, rosin is a potent, full-spectrum option.
These concentrates are common but are not the only options available to cannabis patients. Your local MÜV Cannabis Advisors can help you understand each type of concentrate, talk you through their effects and uses, and help you find the one that is best for you. Once you have found your favorite concentrate, you are ready to get cooking!
Making Cannabutter with Concentrates
Butter is a staple ingredient in recipes ranging from baked goods to buttered popcorn, casseroles, and more. It provides the necessary fat content you need to make recipes delicious and filling and serves as an excellent medium for transferring the properties of your favorite concentrate to your edible goods. Infusing butter with your favorite variety of cannabis concentrate can help you make delicious edibles that pack a powerful high.
Cannabutter, butter that has been infused with cannabis, is simple to make and can be easily adapted to meet your needs. If you are already familiar with the process necessary to make your favorite buttery goodies, then making your own cannabutter is a great way to expand your repertoire.
You'll need to determine whether you should decarboxylate your cannabis concentrate first. Decarbing is an essential part of making cannabutter and oil with cannabis flower. With flower, it is necessary to heat the cannabis first to cause a chemical reaction that prompts the preliminary cannabinoids like THC-A and CBD-A, which are not psychoactive, to drop a carboxyl group and become activated THC and CBD.
If your THC concentrate has not already been decarbed during the production process and you want to experience the psychoactive effects, you’ll need to decarb. Fortunately, some concentrates are already decarbed, making them easier to work with than flower.
If you purchase the following concentrates, you won’t need to decarb first:
If you have purchased these concentrates, you may want to decarb:
Concentrate Cannabutter Recipe
Supplies You’ll Need:
- 1 g of your chosen concentrate, or your preferred dose
- Dab tool
- Parchment paper
- Double boiler (or saucepan and oven-safe bowl)
- An oven-safe dish
- 2 t of sunflower lecithin, either liquid or powder (optional)
- 1 c of butter
- If necessary, decarboxylate your concentrate by heating it at 200 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes. Thicker concentrates should be broken up into as even pieces as possible using a dab tool, and spread evenly on parchment paper to decarb in the oven , while liquid versions can be carefully heated in a small saucepan.
- Let you concentrate cool after decarbing.
- Add about an inch of water to the lower half of the double boiler, or saucepan if using saucepan and bowl. Heat the butter in the top portion of the double boiler or oven-safe bowl until it starts to melt, but make sure it does not boil. Add in your concentrate with a dabber or with a heated utensil and continue to .
- Stir the concentrate into your warmed, melted butter to be sure it is well incorporated.
- Add sunflower lecithin to the mixture, if you wish. While not necessary, it can help baked goods and gummies stabilize to a form that will not crumble.
- Pour into a glass container with a lid, and allow to cool.
Cannabutter will be a great addition to any recipe that normally calls for butter. It will make any baked goods fluffy and delicious while giving you the powerful effects you want from your cannabis concentrate.
Canna Oil Recipe
Supplies You Need:
- Double boiler or saucepan and oven-safe bowl
- An oven-safe dish
- Parchment paper
- 2 t of sunflower lecithin, powder or liquid (optional)
- 1 c of your favorite cooking oil
- 1 g, or preferred dose of your favorite concentrate
- Decarboxylate your concentrate if needed. Use the dab tool to break your concentrate into equal pieces, then spread it evenly on parchment paper and place int he oven. Heat to 200 degrees Fahrenheit for about 30 minutes.
- Once your concentrate has been decarbed, take it out of the oven or off the heat and let it cool slightly.
- Add about an inch of water to the bottom of the double boiler or saucepan, then the oil to the top of the double boiler or oven-safe bowl. Warm your oil over low heat.
- Slowly combine your concetrate with the heated oil, stirring to ensure that it is well combined. This will help the THC or CBD in your concentrate bond with the oil.
- Once the two have been combined, add in the sunflower lecithin, an optional addition if you’re concerned with crumbling textures in baked goods or gummies.
- Stir until thoroughly combined.
- Remove from heat and pour into a glass container for storage.
Concentrate Cannabutter and Canna Oil Tips
We’ve rounded up some essential tips to ensure your cannabutter or canna oil journey is a successful one.
Here's a formula to follow to determine the amount of THC you’ll get in each edible using mg:
[Total THC content] ÷ the number of servings
So, if you were to infuse an 800 mg RSO syringe into cannabutter for a cookie recipe with 40 servings, each cookie would equate to:
800 mg ÷ 40 servings = 20 mg per cookie
And a formula using THC percentages:
Grams of concentrate x THC percentage x 1000 ÷ the number of servings
If you are using one gram of distillate with 95% THC to make butter for 24 cookies, your formula will be 1 x 0.95 x 1000 ÷ 24, and each cookie will have ~40 milligrams of THC.
Using this formula will help you figure out the best balance for your cannabutter or canna oil. If you think your cannabis edibles will be too potent, you can use only half cannabutter and swap the rest out with regular butter. Or, consider cutting your edibles into smaller pieces, and therefore smaller doses.
Storing Cannabutter and Canna Oil Properly
Many cannabutter and canna oil recipes create more than you can or should use for one recipe. If you choose to create extra cannabutter or canna oil or don't use all your butter or oil in your first recipe, you can store it for up to 30 days in your refrigerator to be used in other recipes.
Here are some tips for cannabutter or canna oil storage:
- Make sure to store excess butter or oil in an airtight container.
- Try to store your butter or oil in heat-resistant containers in case you have to warm it up for your next recipe.
- Do not keep it in the refrigerator for longer than 30 days, or it will go bad.
- Using an opaque or dark glass container can help keep canna oil stored at room temperature from becoming degraded by excess sunlight.
- Label your cannabutter as containing THC to ensure no one accidentally uses it.
If you wish to keep your cannabutter for longer than a month, you can freeze it instead. Be sure to thaw it at room temperature prior to using!
Try Using Sunflower Lecithin
While sunflower lecithin is not absolutely essential to creating cannabutter and canna oil, it does have a beneficial effect on your infused cannabis fat. Lecithin improves the fat's ability to bind to cannabinoid compounds. This means your THC or CBD can be distributed more evenly throughout your edibles. Too, it helps to ensure a stable finished homemade edible.
Mistakes to Avoid When Making Cannabutter and Canna Oil
The best way to ensure that your edibles turn out well is to use quality cannabis products that feature the effects you desire without being too potent. Finding a concentrate that works with your recipe, has the effects you enjoy, and contains the right THC percentage will help you make delicious edibles that achieve your purpose. Pay careful attention to dosing, and start low and slow until you reach your ideal effects.
Content Manager for MÜV Florida and Contributor for Zen Leaf Dispensaries. A cannabis connoisseur with a passion for explaining the miraculous possibility of the plant, Swan began her journey with cannabis as a recreational user and quickly realized its positive impact on her depression and severe anxiety. She joined the cannabis industry as Receptionist and MedTender and witnessed first-hand the immense potential of the plant for a wide variety of ailments, deepening her passion for alternative medicine. Swan is dedicated to self-education on the plant and sharing its potential with all. She holds a Journalism degree from the University of Iowa.