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Cooking With Cannabis: A Beginner’s Guide

With cannabis being legalized in 19 states for recreational use and several more for medicinal purposes, there’s no better time to learn about cooking with cannabis!

Learning how to cook with cannabis can seem like an intimidating process, but this beginner’s guide will give you all of the information you need to get started. 

Ready for a deep dive? Let’s jump right in! 

Do Your Research 

If you’re totally new to using cannabis, you should start this process by doing a little research. 

 Find out if cannabis is legal in your area and in what context it is.  If cannabis is only legal for medicinal purposes, you should find out how to get a medical card and if you have a qualifying condition for one. 

Another step you should consider is researching what using cannabis for the first time may be like or speaking with one of our expert pharmacists. This can help set you up for a pleasant experience with fewer surprises in store. 

Don’t forget to also check with your doctor or pharmacist to make sure cannabis is right for you. If you take other medications or have any pre-existing conditions, then this step is crucial. 

Choose the Right Strain for You 

The next step in this process is choosing the perfect strain to achieve the effects that are ideal for you. 

We’ll briefly go over your options below:

Indica 

This variety is great for folks looking to relax, get some rest, or fight anxiety. The effects you experience are felt more in the body and can help with things like chronic pain. 

The aromas and flavors you can expect from an Indica are typically more earthy and pungent than others may be. 

Some of the best Indica strains are “Skywalker OG” with 26% THC, “Northern Lights” with 33% THC, and “Wedding Cake” with 27% THC. 

Sativa 

If you’re looking for something to help boost your mood, improve your focus, and help you de-stress then a Sativa may be right for you. 

Sativa’s offer more of a sweet, fruity, or floral taste and smell than an Indica. Using this variety to prepare baked goods or candy is great for first-timers and seasoned cannabis users alike.

If you’re looking for a Sativa strain to try, consider “Sour Diesel” with 26% THC, “Pineapple Express” with 25% THC, or “OG Kush” with 26% THC. 

Hybrids

As the name would suggest, a hybrid variety of cannabis will offer benefits from both of the above varieties. Typically hybrids will be more one than the other, but you can really tailor your experience with these. 

If you’re looking for a strain that can help with insomnia, loss of appetite, or depression, then “Lemon Kush” may be the one for you. This strain boasts 26% THC and 6% CBD. Having CBD present can lessen the psychoactive properties of the THC, allowing for those who may not enjoy them. 

If you want something with less THC present, you could try out “Tahoe OG” which is a hybrid that only has 21% THC and can be helpful for dealing with depression, anxiety, and insomnia. 

Decarboxylation is Key 

In simple terms, decarboxylation or “decarbing” means using heat to release the effects of the cannabis you intend to cook with. 

You can do this by simply baking your cannabis on a sheet pan in the oven for about 20 minutes at 275 degrees. 

Make Some Cannabutter or Cannaoil 

Once you’ve decarbed your cannabis, the next step is to infuse it into the fat of your choice. 

Depending on the recipe you’re following, you will want to prepare your oil or butter with your desired amount of cannabis. Start by grinding your cannabis to a fine consistency and then simmer it on low in whatever fat you choose for two or three hours to allow them to sufficiently combine. 

If you’re looking for a more fool-proof way of infusion, you can also use a slow cooker for this and combine your oil or butter with your cannabis and cook on low for three to five hours. 

After you’ve done that, it’s best to set it aside and let it cool, and then strain out any solid bits that may be left behind using a cheesecloth. Once this is complete, you’re ready to start cooking!

Get to Baking (or Cooking)

When most people think about types of edibles, they tend to think about sweets, but that isn’t the only option. You can venture outside of the box and try these four-course cannabis-infused dinner recipes to prepare a savory experience. Download the full recipe booklet here

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If you’d rather stick to the classics, this recipe for tiny cannabis cookies is beginner-friendly, or you can check out this list of 240 edible recipes for more cannabis baked goods!

Helpful Tips for Cooking with Cannabis 

If you’re still feeling a little hesitant to get started, here are a few more tricks and tips for cooking with cannabis: 

Choose Quality Over Quantity

It’s best to use high-quality cannabis if you’re planning to cook with it. This will ensure your experience is exactly what you’d like it to be. 

Calculate Your Dosage Carefully

Another key tip is to be careful when calculating your dosage. It can be unpleasant to feel more effects of cannabis than you planned to, but luckily this can be pretty easily avoided. 

You can calculate the dosage by multiplying the number of grams you used by 1000, which will convert it to milligrams. Once you’ve done this, take that number and multiply that weight by the percentage of THC in your cannabis. 

The number you get from those steps will provide you with the number of total milligrams of THC in your cannabutter or cannaoil. You can use that knowledge to calculate the dosage of each of your edibles so you can consume only the amount you’d like to. 

Start Small

It’s recommended that beginners start by consuming 2 to 5 milligrams of THC and going from there. It’s best to wait at least an hour from your first dose before deciding to consume more. 

Cooking with Cannabis

Equipped with the information you’ve learned in this guide to cooking with cannabis, you’re ready to be on your way to making tasty treats that pack a punch. You’re a beginner no longer and can confidently take on the task at hand!

Are you hoping to learn more about cannabis? Want to know more about us? You should check out our articles and guides for all of that and more. 

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