make-edibles-with-cannabis-concentrate

How to Make and Dose Edibles With Cannabis Concentrate

January 25, 2021

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. 

Benefits of Using Concentrates in Edibles

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. 

  • Finally, cost efficient: 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.

What to Know Before Infusing Food With Cannabis Concentrate

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:

  • Shatter
  • Live resin
  • Terp sauce
  • Budder

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:

  • CO2 extracts
  • Distillate.

They're usually  already-active THC, so it can be mixed directly with your carrier material. 

Concentrates and Dab Guide 101

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.

How to use a pure distillate

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:

  • Multiply the THC percentage by 10 to get the total amount of THCa 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 decarboxylation (if the THC wasn't already activited)
  • Divide by 12 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. 

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. 

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 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:

  • 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. 
  4. Place your carrier material 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

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?