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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.
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?
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:
Before you get started, there are a few questions you need to answer to ensure you get the end product you’re aiming for.
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:
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:
They typically contain already-active THC, so they can be mixed directly with your carrier material.
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.
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:
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, 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.
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:
To begin decarbing your wax, shatter or live resin, follow these easy steps:
Related article: How to Decarb Weed in 3 Simple Steps
After you have your concentrate activated, you can do two things with it:
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?