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A Beginners Guide to Cooking With Cannabis

There are many reasons why cannabis edibles are popular.  First, it gives patients a convenient way to consume medical marijuana, if they prefer to avoid inhalable types like raw flower or vaping. If you have respiratory conditions, cooking with cannabis can be a great alternative. 

If you have a medical card,  you can consume cannabis in conventional ways, or opt to create your own infused foods.  But be aware that sharing foods with other people who do not have a medical card is a criminal offense in states where adult-use (recreational) cannabis is not legalized. 

Ready to explore cooking with cannabis, but not sure where to start? We have some tips and ideas to help you learn the basics of creating your own cannabis-infused meals at home. 

cooking with cannabis

Safely Consuming Cannabis Edibles at Home

Many people think that cannabis edibles aren’t working.  And then consume more, before they realize that they should have stuck with the original amount they first took. It seems like everyone has a story about making that mistake the first time they tried edibles. That is because edibles hit differently compared to inhalables, tinctures, or capsules. 

There is a lag time between consuming edibles and when you first begin to feel the impact of THC and other cannabinoids.  For some people that waiting period can be as short as thirty minutes, but as long as an hour or more for others.  And if you are new to consuming edibles, you won’t know how quickly your body will metabolize it. 

With edibles, start slowly with small amounts.  And always wait at least an hour before consuming more edible cannabis, to determine its effect on you.  That will reduce your risk of becoming uncomfortably high. 

cannabis tea for cancer

What Kind of Cannabis Should I Cook With?

A common question that people have is what kind of cannabis to buy for cooking.  And that depends on your recommendation, or how much cannabis you are permitted to purchase with your medical card.  As well as how much medical marijuana you intake through other methods. 

If you find that the number of ounces you are legally permitted to buy is “just enough” you may want to cook with raw cannabis that may be higher in THC. Or the cannabis strains and potencies that you normally consume.  When cooking with cannabis, concentrates or higher THC marijuana goes further.  You can get good results while using less to help you economize your ounces. 

You can also cook with the cannabis tinctures you use every day.  Tinctures can be accurately measured, and then added to tea or coffee, recipes for salad dressings, cannabutter, gravy, soups, and more. For many patients, using tinctures to create their own cannabis-infused beverages or meals is an easy way to start cooking with cannabis. 

Economizing With Seeded Cannabis and Shake

If you find that you never use up the amount of cannabis you are authorized to have monthly, you have other options that can save you money.  Seeded cannabis is one option and much more affordable.  And if you have ever smoked seeded marijuana you know why; it’s similar to lighting a firecracker in a bowl.  But perfectly safe to consume and cook with after the seeds have been ground up.

Cannabis seeds are also packed full of nutrients.  The type of bud that most people bypass in the dispensary is actually perfect for cooking with cannabis.  A clinical study in Nepal called cannabis seeds “one of the most nutritionally complete food sources”.

decarboxylating cannabis

Each serving of cannabis seeds (according to the study) contains dense healthy nutrients that provide wellness benefits.  The content of cannabis seeds includes:

  • Protein (32.08% to 43.04%)
  • Fat (30.86% to 42.40%)
  • Carbohydrates (8.39% to 13.79%)
  • Total phenolics (701.05 mg/100g to 1312.72 mg/100g)
  • Total flavonoids (366.29 mg/100g to 385.12 mg/100g)

Seeded cannabis is less desirable as an inhalable product.  So you aren’t likely to see it featured on the shelves of your local medical cannabis dispensary.  But talk to a budtender to find out about purchasing seeded buds and shake for cooking.

How To Decarboxylate Before Cooking With Cannabis

If you have ever tried cooking with cannabis and missed this first important step, you may have felt more than a little disappointed.  It does not matter how much cannabis you add to a recipe; if you haven’t decarboxylated it, you haven’t activated the THC.  And that means you won’t feel the psychoactive or physiological effects. 

But you would get extra fiber in your meal.  However, since patients cook with cannabis to help with symptom relief, you want to make sure you are activating it.  And it is really easy to do.  In fact, you can use an oven, an Instapot, and even an Air Fryer to decarboxylate. 

decarboxylated cannabis storage

Two pro-tips on decarboxylating medical marijuana for cooking.  First, make sure that you grind up your raw flower first.  You might be concerned that ground cannabis creates waste (or a mess). However, decarboxylating the whole flower can prevent the full activation of cannabinoids including THC.  

The second tip for decarbing your cannabis is to watch the temperature closely.  Cannabis is expensive, and the last thing you want is to burn your bud. Cooking times and temperatures vary depending on the conditions of the cannabis. If it is sticky, place your cannabis in a warm place to air dry before decarbing it. The average oven temperature for decarboxylating cannabis is 240℉.

Once you are done decarboxylating your raw flower, you are ready to start cooking with cannabis.  And researching recipes online that you may want to try.  Remember to keep your decarboxylated cannabis somewhere safe and dry until you are ready to cook with it. A sealed mason jar is a great way to store it, and it can last anywhere from 3-5 months stored properly.

cannabis food recipes

Cooking With Cannabis? Some Recipes You Can Try 

Food bloggers have the best recipes.  And when it comes to finding cannabis-infused beverages and foods, it’s not hard to find them.  Whatever food you want to try cooking with cannabis, you are almost guaranteed to find it online. 

To help get you started, our team at DocMJ looked for some tasty recipe ideas from some of our favorite cannabis food blogs. 

Do you have a favorite cannabis-infused recipe that you would like to share with us? Tag us on Facebook or Instagram