Potently delicious

The trick to making low-dose cannabis edibles in the kitchen is to properly measure a homemade butter- or oil-infusion’s potency

The tCheck2 potency tester measures THC levels in canna-butter and cooking oils for easy, low-dose edibles.

The tCheck2 potency tester measures THC levels in canna-butter and cooking oils for easy, low-dose edibles.

Photo by Ken Magri

The trick to homemade cannabis edibles is getting a proper low dosage. Edibles take as long as two hours to kick in, and discovering that you ate too much THC can cause paranoia, anxiety or panic. But by taking the steps to infuse cannabis into butter or cooking oils, the measurements are more accurate, which allows home cooks to get creative with an endless possibility of stoney recipes. Here are some tested and reliable steps for making edibles at home:

First decarboxylate: Decarboxylation, or decarbing, is a warming process that activates the THC and increases potency. This first step is optional, but recommended. Pre-bake finely ground cannabis at 225 F on a cookie sheet for 20 minutes or until brown.

Green butter: Melt 4 ounces of butter, 1/4 cup of water and 7 grams (1/4 ounce) of decarbed cannabis in a saucepan. Stir well, then let it simmer on the lowest heat setting for three hours. Separate the canna-butter from plant matter by straining it through a cheesecloth then refrigerate. Once cool, divide the butter into seven sections. Each one should weigh 0.57 ounces and contain 1,000 milligrams of cannabis.

I used homegrown Alien Tarantula for my batch and relied on a tCheck2 testing device to determine its potency. With just drops of butter, oils or alcohol it accurately measures the strength of the cannabis infusion in less than a minute. Needless to say, it’s highly helpful. Although this home test kit is expensive (nearly $300), it’s portable and does work well. My canna-butter batch tested at 18.2 percent potency.

For something savory, I put 1/4 teaspoon of leftover decarbed cannabis onto water crackers with cheese slices and sour cream and toasted them. A whiff of cannabis scent was there, but the taste and texture got lost in the blend. (Butter recipe from the Dutch Government, ncsm.nl/english/information-for-patients/cannabutter-oil-recipe.)

Fresh canna-oil: Dispensary-bought concentrates are already measured and tested. I used 1 gram of Opus Nectar live resin, labeled 70.7 percent THC, and 707 milligrams. After decarbing at 225 F for 10 minutes, the liquefied resin could be blended directly into hot cooking oil.

After adding a half-gram of live resin to a half-cup of vegetable oil, my Betty Crocker brownie mix made 30 canna-brownies, each containing 11.8 milligrams of 100 percent THC. The remaining half-gram of live resin was blended into 8 ounces of olive oil, infusing 44.18 milligrams of THC into each fluid ounce, which can be diluted as needed. With infused olive oil, the culinary possibilities are vast: roasted potatoes, sauteed veggies and marinated meats. As always, be mindful. (Recipe sourced from The Cannabist magazine.)

Feel-good advice: Don’t give homemade edibles to others as tolerance differs greatly from person to person. Store any tempting sweets away from children. Also, it’s important to remember that milligrams and potency percentages are two different measurements. So determine your proper dosage by micro-dosing and start low and slow (no more than 5-10 milligrams over two hours). The popular cannabis site Leafly has a comprehensive dosing guide that is truly helpful. Just search: dosing chart. Happy baking!

Correction: The story had a few inaccuracies. The measurements have been corrected. SN&R regrets the errors.