What are cannabis edibles?
Of course, many people prefer simply to smoke or vaporise their cannabis. But both medical and recreational cannabis users find that eating cannabis has some advantages.
Medical marijuana use of cannabis edibles
- Many medical cannabis users need to consume larger quantities of cannabis than recreational users. This is to allow the cannabis to provide pain relief and other medical benefits. The easiest way to do this is with cannabis edibles, smoking/vaporizing simply may not provide the body with sufficient cannabis.
- Some medical cannabis users do not want to smoke cannabis, not everyone likes smoking. And those with e.g. lung conditions may prefer not to. Vaporizing cannabis is a cleaner way to enjoy cannabis, a small modern portable vaporiser releases the beneficial vapors from your cannabis without igniting it.
- Cannabis edibles can allow the medical user to remain fully medicated for much longer than smoking/vaping, especially when taken in large quantities.
Recreational use of cannabis edibles
When you vaporise or smoke cannabis you are ‘high’ in a few minutes and can remain like that for perhaps 2-3 hours. However when you eat cannabis, or eat food containing cannabis extracts you notice the following
- Instead of the cannabis making you high within minutes, it may take a couple of hours or more for the full effects of the cannabis to be felt. Its a ‘smoother’ feeling of getting high. For many experienced cannabis lovers this is far better. It allows you to relax and appreciate the slowly building pleasure instead of being hit with it immediately. Instead of ten minutes getting high, you can extend the pleasure over a longer period. Its great if you can combine edible cannabis with a fun activity such as spending time outdoors, listening to music, watching TV or simply appreciating friends/family.
- With edible cannabis the experienced cannabis user can get higher than they would with a joint. For those more experienced cannabis users that enjoy the effects of being very high then cannabis edibles are a popular choice.
- using cannabis to cook or eat can mean that your weed will not last as long. That is one disadvantage of cannabis edibles. However, for the self sufficient home grower, weed can be grown for free once the seeds and electricity are paid for.
Above, AutoBlueberry covered with trichome resin glands which contain the psychoactive components of the cannabis plant.
There are many recipes and techniques available on the internet which explain how to use cannabis for cooking. One of the simplest ways is to infuse butter with cannabis ‘cannabutter' . This can be done easily, there are numerous methods on YouTube to show how to make cannabutter. Some people make their own cannabis extracts/oil using Butane, this creates Butane Honey Oil (BHO). Others use solvents such as IPA, alcohol or acetone to extract the active ingredients (cannabinoids), the solvents are safely removed through evaporation leaving the sticky amber/brown cannabis extract which is sometimes called cannabis oil or Rick Simpson oil (RSO).
The cannabinoids are more easily absorbed into the body if they are present with a fatty material such as butter, coconut oil, kitchen oil etc.
Decarboxylation of cannabis is an important topic. Cannabis in its fresh, natural state is actually not very psychoactive at all if eaten. To make it psychoactive it needs to be heated to around 130ºC for 30 minutes. This allows a chemical process called decarboxylation to occur. When cannabis is smoked or vaporised, decarboxylation occurs naturally due to the heat involved. When cannabis edibles are being prepared it is important to understand that correct use of heat and how that affects the psychoactive properties.
Above canna butter. There are many ways to make cannabis butter, once you have made some it can be a base ingredient in your cannabis cookery
In the legal USA medical marijuana states many people are now juicing raw cannabis plants or eating their cannabis in salads. Often these people deliberately do NOT decarboxylate the cannabis, this allows them to consume more of the plant without feeling high. This is important for those that believe in the importance of the nutritional benefits of the cannabis plant. By refusing to decarboxylate the cannabis they can consume significantly higher quantities yet remain unaffected by the psychoactive cannabis high.
Hemp food products are also popular, companies such as ‘Food Sativa’ specialise in producing organic healthy food from the non-psychoactive Hemp plant.
Cannabis edibles are already a mainstream part of cannabis culture, and as medical marijuana increases in importance we expect to see cannabis edibles become more and more popular. If you have enjoyed vaping/smoking cannabis then the chances are that you will also enjoy cannabis edibles.
Dutch Space Cake and Canna Butter recipe.
Here is an original Dutch Space Cake recipe. First, you need to make canna butter. There are many ways to make canna butter, this method is quite different because the chlorophyll is first removed from the cannabis by boiling in water. This method produces canna butter without the distinctive taste and (greenish) colour.
a) Make The Amsterdam Weed Butter
It's important to know that the resins from cannabis, which contain the desired cannabinoids, do not dissolve in water. But they do dissolve in some other substances, such as alcohol, butane, solvents, kitchen oils and all types of fatty substances.
This is a recipe for making a canna butter which does not taste or smell at all like cannabis. This makes it very suitable for making cakes, brownies, and other items which will taste like ‘normal’.
This is the base recipe for Cannabis enriched butter which has been used for making the famous Amsterdam Space Cake since the 80's. But also for Space Chocolate, Space Brownies and many other edibles.
The process is time consuming, most coffeeshop kitchens only make butter a couple of times per year, which they keep in deep freezers to bake cakes later. The butter can be kept for months when deep-frozen.
This recipe is for small amounts, it will result in 100 grams of butter, which is enough for several cakes. Coffeeshop cooks usually would make much larger batches.
-50 grams of dried cannabis leaves.
when cutting your plants separate the real waste from the small leaves which have been cut away close to the buds. Some people also add the small "popcorn" buds, which sometimes can be found in the lower branches to this mix. The larger leaves and all the stems are usually being discarded away because they contain very little resin crystals.
-100 grams of real butter, not margarine. (vegetarians could use vegetable based ghee-butter instead)
-A good boiling-pot with a content of 2 litres or more.
-A thin cotton cloth, such as a thin woven cheesecloth. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cheesecloth
Fill the pot about 2/3rd with water, add the cannabis leaves, and let it boil for about 20 minutes. The water will become green/brown coloured, and some foam may develop. Remove as much coloured water and foam as possible, and add new water, boil until the water gets coloured again, drain the water, and repeat this process until the water is not brown or green, but just stays clear.
By doing this you remove the chlorophyl from the mix (which gives the green colour to the plant). Chlorophyll is not needed for making this butter.(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chlorophyll)
When the water stays clear drain it for the last time. This time really try to remove as much water as possible without removing the plant materials.
Now add the butter, mix it well with the plant material while slightly heating it. Be careful, just heat it enough to make the butter liquid, but do not cook or bake the mixture.
When the butter and plant material have been well mixed you can leave the mixture to cool down in a fridge. The hard layer of butter/leaves will become hard after 4 - 5 hours , take it out and throw away any water beneath it.
Put the dry piece of butter with plant material in a clean pot, and slightly heat it, just enough to get liquid again. The resins have been dissolved in to the butter now. The last step will be to separate the plant material and the butter.
Drape the cheesecloth in a kitchen sieve, and place it on top of a bowl. gently poor the liquid plant/butter mix on the cloth which will work as a filter. When most of the butter has dripped through you can take the cloth by hand and remove the last butter by wringing it out by hand.
The contents of the bowl can be transferred to any type of container, and be stored in a fridge for about a week, or for several months in a deep freezer.
When you want to use this butter, add it to an existing recipe and be careful not to use too much. The strength of this butter depends on the quality of the original leaves/buds. The more resin/crystals they contained the stronger this mix will be. Even experienced cannabutter cooks sometimes get surprised by the strength of their butter.
Dutch Space Cake:
Real Butter 200 grams.
2-3 table spoons of canna butter.
Plain sugar 200gr.
Normal white flour 200gr.
Baking Powder 2 tea-spoons.
9 grams of vanilla sugar.
A little bit of lemon zest.
Put the normal butter and the canna butter together in a large bowl, and let them get to room temperature. Then start mixing the butter with a whisk until the butter is really soft, then add the sugar and continue to mix in order to get a creamy, airy texture, then add the eggs one by one. Do not add the next egg before the previous egg has been well mixed in the mix.
Put the flour together with the baking powder in a kitchen sieve, and sieve the mix above the bowl while you keep mixing. Adding everything at once would make it impossible to get a good mix. Then add the vanilla sugar and lemon zest, and mix everything well with a (electrical) mixer.
Fill a cake mold with the mix, cake molds need to be greased before use with a bit of butter.
Place the mold in a pre-heated oven, and bake it around one hour on 180 degrees. Do not take the cake out too early it might be undercooked inside. Let the cake cool down completely before to try removing it from it's mold.
Remember that all ovens are different, a good way to check if the cake has been cooked well inside is by sticking a fork in the middle. If it comes out with pieces of cake-mix sticked on it the cake is still undercooked. When it comes out clean the cake is good.
Now, be careful! Only take one slice of cake, remember that it can take some time to kick in. Wait between an hour before taking another piece. Also remember that the effect will last much longer than when smoking a joint. It's very easy to underestimate the effect, considering that it's a very nice cake which does not taste like cannabis. Keep the cake away from kids and pets, and label it well, to prevent any of your housemates accidentally eating it all.
(ps Find Dutch Passion on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/dutch.passion )