Let’s start with the most important ingredient of edibles: The Cannabis.
How do we get the weed into the feed?
Simple: we need to remove the cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavanoids from our starting material, turning it into an easy to use and bioavailable ingredient. For our purposes, we’re going to use Extraction and Infusion.
I am going to discuss 2 basic methods below. These are the methods I personally use**. However, use whatever methods you feel comfortable with. Descriptions of the processes will be first, with the actual processes themselves found at the end of this post.
**(One note: I no longer make cannabis infusions. If I need budder/cannacoconut oil, I blend cannabis concentrate made via QWET into the oil I plan on using)
Basic QWET (quick wash ethanol tincture)
This basic extraction method starts as tincture, but can be concentrated down to very clean oil that’s up to 90% pure cannabinoids and terps.
Extracts are an excellent way of getting everything good from the plant, while being able to preserve the plant’s full profile. Your final product depends on how you treat your starting material and solvent, how long you decide to wash/agitate your material, and how thoroughly you filter/clean your extracts.
Extracts work by using a solvent to strip away the good stuff. That solvent can be removed, leaving a concentrated oil that is extremely easy to titrate.
I find that per ounce of buds, I can get 6-7 grams of cannabis oil
For purged Extracts that have not been thoroughly filtered, such as RSO, you can reliably estimate:
1 ml/gram=600 mg Cannabinoids (up to 700mg)
For purged Extracts that have been thoroughly winterized and filtered, you can reliably estimate:
1 gram=800mg Cannabinoids (up to 900mg)
Basic Budder/Cannacoconut Oil
Infusing a fat based carrier fluid with cannabis is probably one of the easiest ways of starting down the Edibles Road.
It’s a method which doesn’t require a lot of finesse. You decarb your material, submerge it in oil, cook it for a bit, then strain it. Boom! Done! With this ease comes a drawback: whatever the fat absorbs, it stays absorbed; there’s no filtering out the undesirables (though, you can “clean” it a bit) or concentrating it down.
Think of this method like brewing tea using fat. You need enough fat to cover your starting material, which is the limiting factor to potency. Depending on the method you use, the final product can actually end up tasting like a weedy-oily tea. To prevent the funky flavor, I recommend preparing budder/cannacoconut oil using ghee or coconut oil, with zero added water to the mix.
For estimating potency of infusions, the THC/CBD% is needed. If you don’t know it, start with an average 15%:
15% of 1 gram=150mg
150mg of Cannabinoids per gram of buds
300mg of Cannabinoids per gram of kief
30-40mg of Cannabinoids per trim
QWET For Edibles
-1-3 qt Mason jars with lids
-1 oz of bud or 120-150 gram very snowy sugar leaf trim
-1.5 750ml bottles of ICE COLD Ever Clear or other high proof clear ethanol
-Cheese cloth/unbleached coffee filters/etc
-Fine mesh sieve/strainer
-Pyrex or glass pie plate
-1 qt Pyrex or glass bowl/measuring cup
-Silicone hash box
-4oz dropper bottle
-Dab tool/paper clip/utility knife
-optional heat mat
Here’s how you do it:
1.If you chose to decarb before processing, here’s how:
a) pre-heat oven to 230F; place broken up herb into jar(s) and just barely tighten the lid, then back it off just til it moves a bit;
b) place on tray in oven for 10 minutes, then raise temp to 250F, gently shake jars, and decarb for another 40 minutes;
c) allow to cool completely, then pop jars into freezer for an hour or til you’re ready to continue.
d) You can choose to decarb after processing, too. Just skip Step 1
2.Add enough frozen Ever Clear to just cover the material in the jar(s) & tighten lid.
3.Shake the heck out of it for about 3 minutes. Seriously. I mean you should almost injure yourself in this process.
4.Place it in the coldest part of the freezer for an hour, shaking vigorously every 15 minutes or so.
5.Remove from freezer, give it a last good shake, then strain using a cheesecloth/filter drapped over a mesh sieve/glass bowl. I gather up the edges and squeeze with my hands until nothing comes out. Rinse remaining material with more Ever Clear, if you have any left/feel like it.
-you can keep the herb for a second wash, if you want
6.Evaporate alcohol: pour solution onto a silicone mat or pyrex pie plate and place in a PROPERLY VENTILATED place. You can use a warming pad to gently heat it, but too much heat can affect flavor.
7.When all the alcohol is gone, you’ll be left with thick goo. This is the good stuff! Scoop it up and store it in a lidded, non-stick container until ready to use. Keep in fridge for long term storage.
You should end up with about 6 grams of very potent extract.
I use 1oz dried buds per 1/2 cup of coconut oil or ghee. This ends up making enough for 26-30 doses for me.
-2 pint Mason Jars with lids
-2 oz ice cold Everclear
-1/2 cup melted Refined Coconut oil, Ghee, or a mix of the two
-30 grams quality bud
-Electric pressure cooker
-Cheesecloth or linen bag
-glass bowl/pyrex cups
-small collander that fits onto bowl
-spatulas, spoons, etc
Here’s how you do it:
1.Partial Oven Decarb (optional)
-Heat oven to 230°F;
-Lightly ground bud, divide between 2 pint jars, gently tighten the lids as if you’re canning;
-Place jars on tray and put into oven.
-Turn-up heat to 250°F and bake for 15 minutes;
-Gently shake jars and then allow to decarb for another 15 minutes;
2.After 30 minutes total baking time, remove jars from oven and allow to cool for about 15 minutes, then remove lids, spritz/drizzle in 1oz of Everclear per jar, thoroughly stirring and crunching the decarbed bud and fluid (see https://hightimes.com/edibles/ultimate-cannabutter-experiment-method-1/)
3.Add ¼ cup melted oil to each jar, thoroughly crunching and strirring; place lids back on jars, just barely tighten them as if you’re canning;
4.Place jars in Pressure Cooker, using a trivet/towel to keep jars off bottom of pot; add hot water til half-way up jars.
Partially Oven Decarbed: Pressure cook for 30 mins, running 2x15 minute cycles, stirring between them
NonDecarbed: Pressure cook for 60 minutes, running 4x15 minutes cycles, stirring between them
6.Allow cooker to naturally depressurize and remove jars; allow to cool about 5 minutes;
7.Place a collander over a glass bowl/cup, line it with cheese cloth/linen bag, and thoroughly strain your herbs from your oil.
You’ll end up with between ⅓-½ cup of immediately usuable and very potent Budder. I don’t add lecithin to my budder recipe, but that doesn’t mean you can’t.
NOTE: One oz of Bud translates into significantly different serving amounts, depending on which of the methods you choose:
Extract ~ 60 servings
Infusion ~ 30 servings