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As more states make recreational cannabis use legal, more people are becoming aware of the benefits of using concentrates over the traditional dried marijuana flower. However, you might not realize that you can and should try making edibles with concentrate. We’ll go over why and how you should try this technique, giving you the potential to make the best edibles you’ve ever had.
Those who are familiar with traditional edibles often wonder why they should bother trying something new, and those who don’t know much about edibles may be concerned that the process is difficult. Here are the three main reasons to use concentrates in edibles.
Convenience: Making edibles using concentrates is actually a very simple process. There’s no grinding or straining involved, and if you’re using distillate you don’t even have to decarb your material.
Potency: As concentrates have much higher levels of THC than cannabis flower, you can make an edible that packs a real punch using just 1 or 2 grams.
Subtlety: Because it takes so much marijuana flower to infuse edibles, you often end up making quite a mess between grinding and straining the material. Additionally, the smell tends to spread far and wide. With concentrates, it’s possible to keep everything clean and the smell is far less pungent.
Before you get started, there are a few questions you need to answer to ensure you get the end product you’re aiming for.
FIRST: What Type of Concentrate Are You Using?
Although the world of marijuana concentrates is constantly expanding, the most common and affordable variety is butane hash oil (BHO). It can come in a variety of consistencies from waxy, to crumbly or an extremely thick oil. Other types of concentrate you can use include:
To use these concentrates, you’ll need to decarboxylate them by applying gentle heat. The removes one of the carboxyl groups in the compound, turning inactive THCa into mind-altering THC. The majority of concentrates can simply be dumped out onto a parchment paper for decarbing, but if your concentrate is liquid you’ll need a small glass or silicone jar to heat it in.
You can skip the decarb process if you're using those one of those two types:
They're usually already-active THC, so it can be mixed directly with your carrier material.
SECOND: What Recipe Are You Making and What Carrier Should You Use?
Usually to make cannabis edibles, THC must be infused into a “carrier material.” Fats hold on to the most activated THC, which is why butter is the most common carrier. Vegetable or olive oil can work, although you will lose a bit more of your THC through the decarbing process. Coconut oil has a much higher percentage of fat than butter, and will retain the most THC. Some low or no-fat foods can be infused if they are particularly viscous. Honey, for example, can be used if you gently heat the mixture for several hours after decarbing.
You can choose a carrier first and then find a recipe that fits it, or you can find a specific recipe and infuse the fat the recipe requires. Bear in mind that high heat will degrade your active THC, so stick to recipes baked at 350°F and try to avoid sauteeing as it is harder to adequately control the temperature.
If the THC is already activated, you can just eat it. Be careful though, it's too sticky and too potent. It won't be tasty, but it's a pin drop size, so it won't be too bad. Dosing can be a bit difficult as we will explain later in this piece.
THIRD: How Potent Do You Want Your Edibles?
Dosing concentrate edibles is far easier than trying to dose flower-infused edibles. The main benefit is consistency. Your product label will list exactly how much THC (or THCa) is in it, and unlike flower the measurement is consistent all the way through. You’ve probably experienced a batch of cannabis where some of the buds are full and covered in trichomes, while others are badly trimmed and somewhat bare. This results in inconsistency you don’t have to worry about with concentrates. To dose your edibles using a gram of concentrate, follow these simple steps:
As an example:
Related article: Marijuana Edibles for the First Time, Dosage and What to Expect
If you want to reduce your THC levels, you have a few options like doubling the recipe and adding an equal amount of regular butter. You could also leave the recipe at the same yield but swap out half of the infused butter for regular butter, saving the other half of your infusion for a later time. No matter how you choose to break up the THC, you have much more control over it than with buds.
For Activated concentrate:
Again, if you're using activated oil (such as CO2 oil and Distilate), you can either eat it directly, or you can easily mix it with honey or your brownies dough.
Remember it's too sticky, I suggest warm the syringe in a Ziploc bag and put it in warm water to make the oil easier to mix.
For THC inactive concentrate
You’ll need a few items besides your gram of concentrate and carrier material:
To begin decarbing your wax, shatter or live resin, follow these easy steps:
Related article: How to Decarb Weed in 3 Simple Steps
That’s it! You now have a predictably-dosed infusion you can add to nearly any recipe that doesn’t require high heat. What do you plan to make with yours?