How I Make Edibles Using Cannabis Concentrates
Cannabis concentrates are rapidly becoming the most popular product in the cannabis market. These concentrates include a variety of products like BHO wax, live resin, and other refined extracts rich in terpenes. Thanks to their incredible potency, cannabis concentrates make for fantastic ingredients in a variety of high-potency edibles.
Before I create wax edibles, I first infuse the concentrate into a butter or oil that I can cook with. Cooking with concentrates is quite similar to cooking with the whole cannabis flower, but there are some minor differences. Keep reading to find out how I make high-potency wax edibles using cannabis concentrates.
Decarboxylating Cannabis Concentrates
Just like any other process involving the preparation of cannabis products for making edibles, the first step I take is learning how to decarb concentrates.
Decarboxylating concentrates is easy, but optimal decarboxylation techniques differ depending on the type of concentrate I’m using. Decarboxylation converts the non-psychoactive acid-based THCa compound into the active THC compound that induces euphoria and cerebral effects.
Here are a few tips I keep in mind about when I decarb wax:
- Use a low and slow decarboxylation method to retain more of its cannabinoids and terpenes.
- Lightly heat your concentrates for an easy transfer from their container to the decarbing surface.
To decarb wax, I need a baking sheet or oven-safe pan, parchment paper, and an oven thermometer. I preheat my oven to about 200-250º F and place the oven thermometer on the shelf where I’ll be placing the baking sheet to check the temperature.
I line the baking sheet with parchment paper and add my BHO concentrate in the center of the parchment paper. I allow the concentrate to heat for about 20 to 25 minutes, keeping an eye on it so it doesn’t get hot enough to degrade the extract.
When the BHO concentrate has completely melted and is bubbling like crazy, I know it’s time to take it out and let it cool for a few minutes.
RSO (Rick Simpson Oil) is a full-spectrum and potent extract. To decarb RSO, I need RSO, a large pot, cooking oil (such as sunflower or canola oil), a stirring utensil, tongs, and a thermometer. I start by filling the large pot about a quarter full with cooking oil. I place the glass or silicone container (with the RSO inside) inside the pot with the cooking oil.
I heat the pot’s contents on medium-low heat (about 200º F), all while breaking the bubbles that rise to the surface. I use my thermometer to check the temperature. When the heat reaches 200º F, I turn off the stovetop and remove the pot from the heat source.
I wait a few minutes until the pot has cooled down and the bubbles have diminished to take out the concentrate container with my tongs.
Kief is a solventless type of cannabis concentrate that’s basically a collection of trichome heads. To decarb kief, I gather some kief, a baking sheet, parchment paper, a spatula, and an oven thermometer. I preheat my oven to about 200º F and use my oven thermometer to check when the temperature is spot-on.
I line my baking sheet with parchment paper and spread my kief on top of the parchment paper in an even layer without creating a cloud of kief. When the temperatures are optimal, I place my baking sheet inside the oven and leave it for about 15 to 20 minutes. Afterward, I remove the baking sheet and let it cool.
Making Cannabutter with Concentrates
Cannabutter is a versatile and potent version of regular butter. I can use cannabutter for pasta, baked goods, popcorn, coffee, and more.
To begin, I gather the following supplies:
- One gram of concentrate
- Parchment paper
- Oven-safe dish
- Two teaspoons of liquid or powdered soy lecithin
- Torch or lighter
- Oil or butter.
Before adding the concentrate into the butter or oil, I need to determine the dosage of my high-potency edible. One gram of concentrate can contain anywhere between 60 and 95 percent THC, and is typically used for every cup of butter or oil. I’ll discuss how to dose edibles in a separate section below.
1. Always decarboxylate your extracts first.
As detailed above, I recommend decarboxylating the cannabis concentrate in the oven to activate the cannabinoids and get them ready for consumption.
2. Let it cool.
After the concentrate has been decarboxylated, I let it cool inside the oven slowly for a few minutes. Once cooled, I move the concentrate into the freezer for about 10 minutes. Freezing the concentrate for a few minutes allows me to more easily remove it from the parchment paper using a dabber or another scraping tool.
3. Infuse the THC butter with your concentrate
After scraping the BHO concentrate off the parchment paper, it’s time to infuse my concentrate into butter.
To begin the infusion process, I heat the THC butter in a saucepan over low heat until the butter begins to melt or show some steam, but without boiling. I transfer my concentrate using a dabber or other kitchen utensils into the heated butter or oil. I can also lightly heat the utensil with a lighter or torch to melt the concentrate into the saucepan. I gently stir the mixture to ensure my concentrates quickly become well-distributed into the warm butter. After a few minutes, my extract will be fully mixed with the butter and ready to be used in a recipe.
Note: Rather than using butter, many cannabis cooks recommend using coconut oil instead due to its high-fat content. Cannabinoids bind to lipids.
4. Optionally add lecithin to improve the effects
Once all of the concentrate has been melted into the mixture, I can optionally add two teaspoons of liquid or powdered lecithin into the butter. While not necessary, the lecithin is thought to improve the absorption of THC into the bloodstream. More THC in the bloodstream means a more potent and extended experience.
That was easy, wasn’t it? This butter or oil infusion can now be used in a wide number of recipes for appetizers, entrees, or desserts. Concentrates deliver a subtler cannabis flavor than using cannabis flower-infused butter or oil.
Dosing Edibles Made with Dabs
Cannabis buds require a much greater amount of material to work with than cannabis concentrate due to the difference in potency. A recipe may call for one ounce of cannabis flower for every pound of butter, but the recipe changes when I use cannabis concentrates.
When dosing edibles made with wax, I consider the potency of my concentrate. Let’s say my concentrate tests at 75 percent THC, which means I have about 750mg of THC to work with per gram. For a recipe that makes about 20 cookies using one cup of butter, each serving would have about 37.5mg of THC if I use the entire gram of BHO concentrate.
Cannabis edibles made with marijuana concentrates should be approached with caution, especially by first-time users. Edibles made with cannabis concentrates have a significantly higher potency than edibles made with just the flower. A standard dose for edibles is 10mg THC in many states. I adjust the recipe to my liking.
When consuming cannabis edibles made with concentrates, new users should start off with a small portion or dose and wait between one to two hours to gauge the effects. It’s important not to consume more before assessing the effects on the body. Gradually increase the dose to achieve the ideal experience.
Benefits of Using Concentrates for Edibles
Traditionally, we’d heat up some ground-up cannabis flower in our oven, slow cooker, or stovetop, but now we get to work with the increasingly potent cannabis concentrates. There are plenty of benefits to using concentrates for edibles compared to cannabis flower in terms of potency, flavor, and ease.
In terms of potency, cannabis concentrates feature insanely high cannabinoid levels reaching up to 90 percent THC and CBD. We can infuse all that power into nearly any food or meal. Concentrates also can deliver a wide range of terpenes into an edible or meal.
Reduced Herbal Flavor
Cannabis edibles used to have a lingering grassy flavor of weed, but cannabis concentrates eliminate that problem. Instead of working with grams of dried and pungent herb, we can use the concentrated version without the plant material for a less pungent edible.
Wax edibles boast almost no cannabis odor. We should remember to label our cannabis edibles to avoid accidental consumption.
Cannabis concentrates also offer an unparalleled level of convenience and ease over working with cannabis flower buds. Concentrates can be applied on a smaller scale instead of cooking up an entire cannabutter batch for a big batch of edibles.
Cannabis butter or oils infused with concentrates can easily help us make homemade edibles. We can infuse our creations into a wide range of products such as honey, stews, pies, and the list goes on. For more information on concentrates, extraction processes, and dabbing, we can visit our dabbing resources page for guides, tutorials, and other educational cannabis articles.