Pubdate: Thu, 11 Aug 2016
Source: Portland Mercury (OR)
Column: Cannabuzz
Copyright: 2016 The Portland Mercury
Author: Josh Jardine


You're Welcome

IN THE PAST, I've written about how long I've been making 
super-strong cannabis-infused cookies [Cannabuzz, June 24, 2015], and 
how their strength has resulted in some serious mishaps [Cannabuzz, 
June 1, 2016]. For two decades, people have asked about my trade 
secret. But unless the person asking was an Oregon Medical Marijuana 
Program patient of mine, I've always politely sidestepped how I 
manage to make my cookies "so damn strong."

But since I'm not planning on opening up an edibles company, I 
recently decided it was time to share what I know. Sadly for some of 
you, this involves the Great White Devil to most of the GOP... 
science. If facts and the like offend you, I suggest chalking up the 
how and why of that part to the magic of one J.H. Christ.

First, start with trim, sugar leaf, and/or larf (i.e., "popcorn 
buds"). Most of us don't have access to enough cannabis flower to 
cook exclusively with it, and so we use the aforementioned, less 
potent parts of the plant. I use a ratio of one cup of fat (coconut 
oil or high butterfat, unsalted butter) to four ounces of high-quality trim.

Second, don't hesitate to decarboxylate. After you've mastered saying 
it, decarboxylating cannabis isn't that difficult. In short, you want 
to remove a carboxyl group from the plant matter. Fresh, wet cannabis 
is full of THCA (tetrahydrocannabinolic acid), the precursor to the 
wondrous and highly sought after (see what I just did there?) THC, 
AKA that stuff that gets you high. We want to convert the THCA to THC 
and release carbon dioxide with low heat.

The internets are rich with advice about how to best achieve 
decarboxylation, but I place my cooking material in a large Pyrex 
dish or cookie sheet and put it in the oven at 240 degrees for 45 to 
60 minutes. The length of time is dependent upon how wet your plant 
matter is when starting.

After decarbing, I place the weed into a large pan and add the fat. I 
then add enough water to cover everything and place it on a slow, low 
simmer. My stove burners go from 1 to high, I set mine at 1.2 and let 
it sit for eight hours, stirring at least once an hour.

A friend from India grew up with access to bhang, a drink made with 
cannabis. He was taught to repeat the eight-hour cooking stage for 
three days, placing the pan into the fridge between sessions. I've 
done so without much noticeable difference in strength, but he swears by it.

After cooking, carefully strain the plant matter from the liquid 
using a mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth. Wear two pairs of clean 
rubber gloves for this next part, which involves vigorously squeezing 
the plant matter in the cheesecloth as though it were Donald Trump's 
neck. That foul-smelling, dark green liquid that's wrung out is a 
mixture of water and cannabis-infused oil. Collect it in a bowl, and 
put the bowl in the fridge for the night. The next day, the fat will 
have solidified into a green disc. Carefully remove it, and discard 
the remaining brackish liquid.

Now you can use that infused oil to prepare a baked good, making sure 
that you add the magic ingredient that this whole column is about: 
liquid lecithin.

Lecithin is an emulsifier, and helps the body utilize the available 
THC. (You can Google to read more about how it creates temporary 
bridges that allow your liver to take in more THC.) I prefer liquid 
lecithin made from sunflowers, but soy is fine as well.

For a cookie recipe that uses one cup of fat, I add a quarter cup of 
lecithin. For patients with digestive issues, I will add a teaspoon 
of turmeric, as it helps with digestion.

Much like the Wu-Tang Clan, the resulting canna goodies ain't nothing 
to fuck with. Keep away from pets and children, and go slow with your 
intake-wait 120 minutes before even thinking about eating a second 
dose. You're welcome.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom