How to Make and Dose Edibles With Cannabis Concentrate

January 22, 2022

As more states legalize recreational cannabis, more people are becoming aware of all this amazing plant has to offer. You can use concentrates or traditional flower; you can smoke it, vape it, and eat it in edibles. One of the newest widespread discoveries is the benefits of using concentrates over dried 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 knowledge to make the best edibles you’ve ever had

Benefits of Using Concentrates in Edibles

Those who are familiar with traditional edibles often wonder why they should bother trying something new, especially if they enjoy their current method. And for those of you who don’t know much about edibles, you might be concerned that the process is difficult (it’s not, don’t worry). There are four main reasons to use concentrate in your 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. Easy peasy.

  • 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 clea,n and the smell is far less pungent. This is great for anyone who shares a kitchen--if your roommate doesn’t like the smell of weed, then using concentrates is definitely the way to go. 

  • Cost Efficiency: To make a batch of 800mg content of THC, you will need 1g of concentrate which costs anywhere between $20-$50. If you make it from scratch or buy already made edibles, it will cost you anywhere between $100-$200. And who doesn’t like to pay less money for an easier, more convenient method?

    What Are Cannabis Concentrates?

    If you’ve never purchased concentrates before, you might be wondering exactly what they are. Simply put, concentrates are condensed weed. They contain all the terpenes and cannabinoids of regular bud, but without the excess material (aka actual plant parts). Concentrates are usually thick and a little gummy (like slightly-hardened honey), but they can look differently depending on what kind you get. Be sure to ask your budtender about the concentrate you’re buying. Some good questions are:

    • How potent is it? This is especially important to ask as a beginner. Your own dosing will determine the strength of your edibles, but knowing how potent your concentrate is can help you determine how much to use.
    • What’s the dominant cannabinoid? You can, in fact, buy strictly-CBD concentrate. It’s great for relaxing without a high, or if you use marijuana for its medicinal properties.
    • What terpenes are in it? This is only somewhat important, but if you plan to use a lot of concentrate, something to consider. You can buy a concentrate with vanilla terpenes and use it to make vanilla cupcakes, for example. 

    Answer those questions first... 

    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 even an extremely thick oil. Other types of concentrate you can use include:

    • Shatter
    • Live resin
    • Terp sauce
    • Budder

    To use these concentrates, you’ll need to decarboxylate them by applying gentle heat. 

    Okay, “decarboxylate” is a big word, I know. All it really means is that you have to gently heat your concentrates before using them. We’ll discuss how to decarb your concentrates in just a bit, don’t worry.

    You can skip the decarb process if you're using those one of these:

    • CO2 extracts
    • Distillate

    They typically contain already-active THC, so they 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 onto 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 (use this when you can!). Some low or non-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 quite sticky and very 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 (another reason we prefer concentrate-based 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 an inconsistency that you don’t have to worry about with concentrates. 

    To dose your edibles using a gram of concentrate, follow these simple steps:

    • Multiply the THCA percentage by 10 to get the total amount of THC in milligrams. 
    • Consult your recipe to see its yield. 
    • Divide total THC by recipe yield to get the milligrams in each finished edible. 

    As an example:

    • Say you have 1 gram of concentrate at 70% THCa and you want to make a recipe that yields 12 cookies. 
    • This means you’ll get roughly 700 mg of THC after decarbing (if the THC wasn't already activated)
    • Divide by 12: that puts a whopping 58.3 mg in each cookie.
    • That may be okay for experienced users, but keep in mind that the standard dose available in recreational edibles is 10 mg. Not a beginner-friendly recipe!

    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, such as 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. Or only take a small portion of a dose at a time (for example, eating half a cookie instead of a whole one). No matter how you choose to break up the THC, you have much more control over it when using concentrate.

    5 Steps to Infusing With Cannabis Concentrate

    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 brownie dough.

    Remember--if it’s too sticky, I suggest putting the syringe in a Ziploc bag and putting 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:

    • Parchment paper
    • Small baking sheet
    • A dab tool or other small stick to transfer concentrate
    • A saucepan or slow cooker

    To begin decarbing your wax, shatter or live resin, follow these easy steps:

    1. Preheat oven to 225°F.
    2. Transfer concentrate from its container to a large piece of parchment paper resting on a baking sheet.
    3. Bake concentrate for 25 minutes, or until bubbling begins to die down. Remove and let cool for 30 minutes. Remember to keep an eye on it as it decarbs--bubbling is good, but browning or burning is bad!
    4. Place your carrier material (coconut oil, butter, etc.) into a saucepan or slow cooker and heat until it’s just barely simmering. 
    5. Stir in your decarbed concentrate and continue heating gently for at least 1 hour before cooling and storing.

     Related article: How to Decarb Weed in 3 Simple Steps

    After you have your concentrate activated, you can do two things with it:

    1. Eat It Straight. I wouldn’t recommend this for someone who has a lower tolerance, since you’re effectively eyeballing the amount of THC you’re ingesting. If you have a higher tolerance, go for it--slap some cannabutter on toast, or eat a spoonful of honey that’s been mixed with activated concentrate. But it’s pretty hard to dose this way, so be careful!
    2. Use It For Edibles. This is the more popular way to use activated concentrate, although it does require a bit more patience. You can use your concentrate in a number of recipes, and since they call for specific measurements (especially if you’re baking), you’ll know exactly how much THC is in what you’re consuming. Dosing is important, especially if you have a lower tolerance or you’re new to edibles, so I recommend this one! 

    The Best Things To Make With Your Cannabis Concentrate

    Now that you’ve decarbed (if necessary) your concentrate, and infused it with a carrier such as honey, butter, or coconut oil, it’s time to actually make your edibles. Below are some of our favorite recipes that you should try:

    And 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?