Six Steps to Making Great Medibles!

When it comes to managing chronic pain and sleep conditions with cannabis, consuming edibles like cookies, brownies, and cakes is an easy and delicious choice for many people. Because of the delayed effects of oral dosages, edible cannabis is sometimes referred to as a “time-release” therapy — that is, the effects are gradual rather than instantaneous. Experts recommend edibles to most patients as part of their therapy, if for no other reason than good food raises the spirits and thus the mental will to get better. Many who suffer from chronic pain nibble on cookies all day long for pain management and mood enhancement.

Our Six-Step Guide to the Perfect “Canna-Butter”

The secret to great “medibles” is canna-butter, which replaces smoke as the delivery device. Cannabinoid molecules are what scientists called lipophilic — that is, they can be dissolved and absorbed in fat. Indians for centuries have boiled cannabis in fatty milk to make bhang. Most college kids fry cannabis in cheap vegetable oil to make their pot brownies, which is effective but not terribly appetizing.
The perfect canna-butter — a natural, organic milk fat infused with cannabis, steamed and cured to avoid burning and to remove most of the terpenes (the molecules that give cannabis that pungent, earthy taste) — is an artform. You’ll need to clarify and filter the butter several times, always keeping the temperature below the burn point. If you cook canna-butter too fast, it will burn; too slow, and the potency weakens. Then you let it harden and voilà — pure canna-butter that looks and tastes like real butter.

Here is a six-step guide to making the perfect canna-butter

1. Decarboxylate the cannabis​

Preheat your oven to 245ºF. Place cannabis buds on a non-stick, oven-safe tray. Cover the tray with parchment paper to prevent sticking. Insert the tray into the oven and set a timer for 30-40 minutes. Older, drier cannabis may require less time. (Tip: you can also set your oven to 300ºF and heat for 10 to 18 minutes, although low-and-slow is the recommended approach when decarbing to better preserve the cannabinoids.) Every 10 minutes, gently mix the buds with a light shake of the tray to expose the surface area of the buds equally.​

2. Grind

Grind the decarboxylated cannabis coarsely with a hand grinder.

3. Melt the butter

1 cup of butter into a stock pot or saucepan. Simmer on low and let the butter melt. TIP: Never add water.

4. Add the cannabis

As the butter begins to melt, add in your coarsely ground cannabis product.

5. Simmer

Maintain low heat (ideally above 160ºF but never exceeding 200ºF) and let the mixture simmer for 2 to 3 hours, stirring occasionally. The mixture should never come to a full boil.

6. Strain the cannabutter​

Set a funnel on top of a jar and line it with cheesecloth. Once the butter has cooled off, pour it over the cheesecloth funnel and allow it to strain freely. (Tip: Squeezing the cheesecloth may push more bad-tasting plant material through). Refrigerate the jar of butter. Refer to dosing information below before adding your butter to any snacks, dishes, or desserts. 

“Medibles” and the Effects of Eating Cannabis

The effects of eating cannabis are not identical to smoking or vaping. The cannabinoids still need to get into the bloodstream, but instead of taking the express route via the lungs to our CB receptors, the molecules have to embark on a winding journey from the stomach through the intestines, after which many of them will end up in the liver. The liver is another built-in filter of our body, and it metabolizes the cannabinoids before releasing them back into the bloodstream.

Cannabinologists refer to this as the “liver tax.”

This metabolic process is why, when you consume cannabis orally, the therapeutic and psycho- active effects take a lot longer to arrive. When you smoke a joint, you reach peak blood concentration — the point at which the levels of THC and CBD in your blood cells are the highest — in about eight minutes. When you eat a pot cookie, peak blood concentration occurs anywhere from one to four hours after consumption. And the effects may be variable according to other factors, including how empty your stomach was and how naturally fast or slow your metabolism is. Even two cookies from the same batch, eaten at different times, can seem to have drastically different effects. Like snowflakes, no two cookie highs are exactly alike. This variability can be confusing and frustrating, and often leads patients to eat more and more, as they sit there wondering, “Is it working? Am I high yet?”