10 Common Marijuana Cooking Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

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Top 10 Cannabis Cooking mistakes

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Avoid these marijuana cooking mistakes and put yourself well on the road to making great tasting potent marijuana edibles!

Top 10 Marijuana Cooking Troubleshooting Tips

1. Over grinding the plant material when making marijuana butter or cannabis oil.
For some reason the majority of internet sites tell people to finely grind the marijuana being used to infuse marijuana butter or cannabis oil. There is even a commercially made electronic gadget for making marijuana butter that includes a built in electric grinder. I have never understood this advice. If you want better tasting edibles, DO NOT FINELY GRIND THE MARIJUANA! What you are trying the extract, the plant’s resinous trichomes, are ON the buds and leaves not IN them! All grinding accomplishes is to put more plant material into the finished product which in turn increases green color and unwanted herbal flavors.

Marijuana Infusions made With and Without Water in the Mix2. Not adding water when infusing cannabutter or marijuana oil.
OK, this one isn’t a mistake as there is more than one way to infuse.  Some people do not like to add water to the mix, but I do.  Especially on the stovetop, the water will help things infuse at a lower temperature and avoid things burning and scorching which will result in unappetizing taste and THC that’s rendered useless by being cooked at too high a temperature. The water also helps with appearance and flavor by washing away some of the green color and strong herbal flavor.  The photo at the right shows marijuana butter made with and without water in the mix and marijuana oil made with and without water.  The same type and amount of marijuana was used for each of the infusions in the exact same amount. In all instances there was a better final yield when using water, and a lighter color and less herbal flavor.  The amount of water is not important, but I always add at least as much water as butter or oil. I do this even when infusing in the slow cooker.  Click to find instructions for how to make marijuana butter and cannabis oil.

Cannabis Cooking for Home Cooks Course3. Cooking marijuana at too high a temperature.
Generally speaking, lower cooking temperatures are better. THC is completely degraded at temperatures in excess of 392 degrees F although it starts to break down long before that. Since water boiling never gets above 212 degrees F, I always recommend adding water when making cannabis infusions (see point 2 above).  You will also need to pay attention to cooking temperatures when using the infused butter and oils, or when cooking with marijuana concentrates. Do not use infused marijuana oils for direct sautéing for frying. If you are making something battered, make sure the medicated part is inside the batter. You can cook at oven temperatures up to 375 degrees F, as the food itself will not get that hot.

4. Not decarboxylating the cannabis first.
While too much heat will kill your THC, some heat is necessary. Most people do not realize the raw cannabis plant contains no THC at all. It does contain THC-A (or THC-acid). It takes the process of adding heat or decarboxylation to make the chemical reaction that converts THC-A to THC. If you are infusing butter or oil, some decarboxylation is taken care of in the process of infusion, mostly.  But lab tests show that even when making infusions, decarbing first will up the percentage of THC extracted.  If you are cooking with kief you will need to decarboxylate first. I recommend this step when cooking with hash too, as it can help maximize THC potency.   For more info on decarboxylation, why you need it, and how to do it, see this page.

5. Adding too much cannabis/over medicating.
There is no easier way to ingest too much marijuana than by eating it. Sometimes people are impatient and think “it’s not working” and eat more. By the time it all kicks in they have overdone it. While “overdoses” are not dangerous in that they are never fatal, they won’t shut down your organs, they can make you feel anxious, paranoid, and/or disoriented. Dosing edibles is somewhat of an art, a lot of factors need to be taken into consideration and people’s tolerances run a wide range. An amount that one person does not even physically feel might be enough to make someone else experience couch-lock for hours. When cooking with marijuana, especially new plant material you are not familiar with, it’s a good idea to vape or smoke a little to get general idea of its potency.  Keep in mind that cooking can intensify potency somewhat. If you do find a batch of your edibles is more potent than you intended the remedy is easy – eat less! Learn more about dosing when cooking with marijuana at this link.

6. Adding too little marijuana/undermedicating.
Likewise, if you ever find yourself with a weak batch of food, eat more! If you make a batch of infused butter or oil that is less potent than you’d like, you can always augment it later by heating gently to dissolve some decarboxylated kief or hash into it before using in recipes.  I know marijuana is an expensive ingredient and the natural urge is to use as little as possible.  But think of it this way, you can always eat smaller portions, but if your batch of edibles does not deliver, there’s no way to avoid disappointment.  I won’t say that you “wasted” the weed as you will still be getting medicinal benefits even if you don’t feel high, but if you were expecting/desiring a buzz and you use too little, then you certainly did not put your plant material to its optimal use. Learn more about dosing at this link.

FREE Dosing Course
7. Not paying attention to portion size.
If you don’t know how many portions your recipe makes, it will be difficult to determine how much medicine to add. To get a proper dose divide the total amount of cannabis or infused marijuana butter or oil in the entire recipe to achieve an amount that usually works for you. Exercise will power if necessary.

Marijuana cooking with hash and kief

Marijuana Cooking with Hash and Kief

8. Improperly Incorporating Concentrates
Cooking with kief is a joy. Its fine texture allows it dissolve almost instantly in warm (and sometimes even cold) liquids and other ingredients like mayonnaise, yogurt, sour cream and more. Hash can be a little trickier. It can come in many textures from dry and crumbly to sticky and putty-like. Dry hash can be sent through a small food processor or coffee grinder to turn it into a fine powder. You can even use a mortar and pestle for this. The sticky variety is best heated in a liquid until it dissolves. Even so, hash can sometimes leave a slight gritty texture, which is why when given the choice, I choose kief. Learn more about cooking with hash and kief here.

9. Using too delicate a hand with seasonings.
Most people do not like the green herbal flavor of marijuana shining through their foods. Likewise recipes with lots of spices and flavors going on tend to mask this better than delicate and subtle fare. Use as much or a little more seasoning and flavor adding ingredients (such as onion and garlic) when cooking with cannabis than you would if you were cooking without marijuana.

Marijuana Cooking -- Cannabis Infused Brownies

10. Believing brownies, cookies and sweets are the only foods suitable as marijuana edibles.
The number of people who think that sweets are the only kind of edibles you can make with marijuana consistently surprises me. The fact is most any food can be infused with cannabis. In fact, it is usually easier to hide the green herbal flavor that most people don’t like in spicy and/or savory foods. There are lots of terrific cannabis cookbooks on the market to help you expand you cannabis culinary repertoire, including my own Cannabis Gourmet Cookbook and The Easy Cannabis Cookbook. You can also find lots of recipes, both savory and sweet, on this blog.

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110 Comments

  1. Kathryn Hegarty on

    Hi im kat,
    My father in law is baking for the first and ive been showing him what to do but hes burning everything and i just want to know if burning the cookies is burning out the hash?

    • If you read the point you would understand that while some decarb happens when you cook, you will get INCREASED potency and maximum extraction if you take the extra step and cook with decarbed material. So no it is not necessary, but my edibles will be stronger than yours for taking the extra step. I have seen the lab tests that prove it. Sorry.

      • After making several batches of cookies over the past year, in my opinion decarbing your weed before making butter might not be necessary. I noticed a weaker high when eating a decarbed cookie vs and undecarbed cookie. This is all anecdotal but that’s how I feel. The cooking process while making the butter which is a 3 hour long boil and while the cookies are being baked, should be enough. But those cookies jack me up more than any other edible I have ever purchased. I will always make my own.

        • I am happy you are having good experiences. There are a lot of variables involved and yes a lot decarbs in the process. However, anecdotal evidence aside, lab tests show you will get somewhat more potency if you decarb first.

  2. You do not need water when cooking with oil in slowcooker, I would recommend only using it if you have to cook on stove top.

    • You do not NEED to have water, but I recommend you DO use water for the reasons I state, temperature regulation and to help leach out some of the green flavor and color. You have your methods and while you are entitled to your opinion, these are the tried and true methods that I recommend, you can take them or leave them.

  3. Hi, I used 15g of quality stuff here in Hawaii, 2 cups coconut organic oil and 2 tablespoons of litchen granules. Spelled in wrong. Anyways I decarb in the oven for 30 min at 240, put everything in crock pot on a low for most the day and keep warm for some sitting occasionally. I cooked for 10 hours strained and chilled. Used it later that the next day in brownies and cookies adding 1/2 cup to a gluten free brownie mix, and and 3/4 cup to chocolate cookies. I ate two cookies. It only felt a little bit but I was high all day. Should this be enough for decent edibles or will I have to eat a lot?

    • There is no one answer to what constitutes a “decent edible.” If it made you feel good and you were happy with the amount you felt, then it was a decent edible. Doing a calculation based upon marijuana containing 20% THC, your half cup of oil likely contains about 750mg THC. Divide that by the number of cookies to get an approximate per cookie dose. (The government says average weed is 10%, since you have what I assume is good Hawaiian, I figured it at 20%).

      Coming soon we will have a free online class on figuring dosage along with a free calculator tool. Stay tuned!

  4. Well since my last comment I am on my Third batch. And yes. Adding water is great advice. So I take back what I said. I have question tho. When making brownies the oven is set at 350C and takes about 25 min. Am i losing any THC? That heat is not high enough right?

    • I have been a few batches of High THC cookies when I started making “vegan” cookies for a few friends.Simply put.I used clarified unsalted butter.Well with little extra moisture,I burnt the bottoms of the 1st batch.So I figured.I would try 1,It fucked me up,But tated burnt.The next batch.I said fuck it & cooked them for less time.BIG DIFFERENCE..In cookies,hey will reach the 350 F temp & you will start burning off your THC.BUT in Brownies,which are thicker & moister,the inside doesn’t reach 350 F,so you don’t burn any THC off…When I’m ready to make cookie ONLY ,I decarb my bud at 240 for 20-30 minutes in a Pyrex (name brand- I use a glass pie pan).COVER with foil.Check at 25mins.Then ever 5 minutes.Do not go over 45 mins.Leave to cool COVERED in the glass pan.THUS when cooking,the bud will finish decarbing.FOR ANYTHING ELSE THRN COOKIES….ITS 240 FOR 30-40 MINS,,CHECKING AT 30 MINUTES,45 TOPS .after 45 minutes,you’re burning it off.Beening doing this this was for over 30yrs.

      • Barbara Garrett on

        Thank you so very much Roger…Great information. I am sending you a Big Kiss…. Best of health for all of us.

  5. dang man. I have been using a half ounce of high quality buds to only 1 cup of oil (olive). Maybe I should be putting more oil?

  6. How do you know when your batch is done?

    sorry for spamming the comment section here but it’s 2:30am and i am SOOOO tired. I have had a batch on now for 8 hours. No idea when it’s done so that brings me to my question. And i been licking the spoon and i am high asf

    • Not spam if you are asking questions, so no problem. Some people simmer for hours and hours and you can, but it is not necessary. A hour or two on the stovetop is good, 4 or so in the slow cooker. You can let it go longer but you will have extracted what you need by that point.

  7. Awesome man. thanks for replying. I’m taking in as much as i can. I was thinking tho. And tell me if this is a good idea or not. When it comes time to strain your batch threw cheese cloth, why not have some hot water handy (boiled but cooled slightly) and poor it over your weed that’s in the cheese cloth to wash it out good. would that work out?

  8. Is there any “easy” way to find out how much THC is in a batch. Like right down to a piece of brownie? We did have the weed tested that i have been using and it is at 21%.

  9. Pingback: Marijuana Edibles Jobs: Careers Cooking Cannabis Infused Edible Treats

  10. please help me with this confusion. Ideally, decarboxylation takes place at a temperature just over 200 for about just under an hour. This is accomplished in boiling water, which reaches and maintains about 212 degrees. So if I boil the herb at that temp for an hour, isn’t that decarboxylating it? Why do it in the oven first and then do it again in the saucepan? What am I missing?
    Thanks

    • For making butter or oil, this is true, you will have completely decarbed. But when cooking with hash and kief, taking the extra step to decarb will yield a better potency.

  11. oh I just reread the post and I see where you say just what I said above. The decarboxylation is achieved during the infusion process of making cannabutter on the stovetop. Thanks for a great post.

  12. I took some dried bubble hash and baked it. Now that it has cooled, how long will the hash stay good if I put it in a plastic bag and suck the air out and
    seal it? Thanks

  13. I made butter that is weak can i do anything at this point. Also the water i added turned to mud, whats up with that. The butter looked great just weak and i worry about the mud issue

    • In answer to the first question, yes. You can add some concentrates like decarboxylated kief or hash to augment it, or you can make an extra strong batch of butter then add this to it.

      As to “mud” I would have had to see it to be sure what the cause is. Was there dirt or roots in the mix? Actual dirt should be gently washed off – gently you don’t want to remove trichomes. If not, it sounds like maybe the plant material was too finely ground. I know a lot cooks recommend grinding the plants finely (and the Magic Butter Machine does it automatically). But I have found it is better to just rough grind as if you were rolling a joint, or even just crumble the plant material with your fingers. What you are trying to extract is ON the plant, not within it, and I find that over grinding just adds extra plant material and green taste to the final product.

      Hope this helps.

  14. Christopher Bonds on

    Great Thread Cannabis Cheri. I have a question. My lady didn’t agree with me cook a batch of butter and oil. So I had to shut down after cook 3 to for hours. I put the oil and butter in mAson jars. They have been out going on 24Hrs and stil haven’t been strained. Can the butter and oil still be used if reheated and strained? Thank you for your help and response.

  15. I take huge offense with your assumption that people don’t like the taste of weed
    , if you don’t like the taste of weed you should stay the fuck away from it!
    It tastes glorious its a creation that was made by mother Gaia the mother of our planet
    and it is a gift to us to be savored and enjoyed ! When I make a butter I want people to know there’s weed in it I want it to be green I wanted to be smelly and I wanted to taste like something , I think personally you’re confusing the details of *smoking weed with the details of *eating weed yes chloroform and all that other stuff you mentioned is very bad when it comes to smoking like if you were making a hash or an extract you would definitely want to use a method that results in fewer of these but when it comes to cooking those things are good for you they have tremendous health value and you’re only screwing Yourself by cutting out the flavor and the health benefits. you’re coming across like some kind of a Stoner burn out the way your talking about this stuff .

    • I am not confusing anything and you can choose to “take offense” all you like, but the FACT is MOST people do not like the taste of weed in their food. I get emails from people every day and talk to the public about this day in and day out at my classes, and most people cite flavor as one of the big reasons they do not like edibles. If you like the taste, have a party, nobody is stopping you, it is very easy to make medibles that taste like weed. But this is NOT the effect most people are going for. You can get plenty of medicinal effects without tasting a prominent flavor of cannabis, and your personal preferences aside, this is what the majority of cannabis cooks are looking for.

      • Accacia Starseed on

        Well said, and I think we can chalk the name calling up to a classic case of projection who’s really the stoner here hmmm

  16. All right perhaps stoner burnouts a bit harsh of a term but it’s a good vintage term ! ????at any rate I would like to know if decarbing is necessary if you have a finished product like bag weed, that you plan to turn into butter?

    • Not a bit harsh. Ridiculous. I take offense to that. That said, I will still answer your question. Is it absolutely necessary to decarb first before making butter or oil or other long slow cooking infusions? No. But is it desirable? Yes. Lab tests show you will extract a bit more potency by doing so.

  17. Concerned mama on

    Hi my question is different but j hope you can answer it. I have a slow cooker that I let someone borrow to make butter in. It has been washed. Is it ok to use to cook my regular family meals and potluck foods without worry of left over residue interfering. I would hate to bring something to a potluck or my young children and they have marijuana in it.

    • As long as you washed it well, you have nothing to worry about you. You do not need a special separate slow cooker. I love kitchen items that multi task and the slow cooker is a great one for cannabis cooks. It’s handy for everyday meals but also great for making cannabis infusions. No need for special gadgets or machines.

  18. Alright I worded that poorly really I just take offense to people not liking the taste of cannabis , the way I see it if you don’t like the taste of Mary Jane get the fudge out! ” it’s funny because I often make fudge…:) so you’re saying I should decarb a finished product like it’s already been dried and cured and all that good stuff it would benefit me to de-carb that? And thanks for fast reply!

    • I love the taste of smoked or vaped cannabis. I do not like the taste of it in my food. Most people do not, but I know a handful of folks who do. But from a culinary/flavor profile/foodie perspective, most often the flavor of cannabis does not enhance most recipes. Your taking offense to this is the equivalent of getting mad at someone because they don’t like the flavor of broccoli, or beer, or whatever. It’s just silly. If you like it, more power to you, cannabis cooking is a whole lot easier for you. But most of my readers do not like a strong cannabis flavor in their food and neither do I.

      As to decarbing, I am not sure I am understanding you correctly. I am saying you will benefit by decarbing your plant material (or kief or hash) before making marijuana butter or oil with it. Yes you can make it without decarbing first, but you will extract a bit more more potency by taking the extra step to decarb first. Hope this helps.

  19. Hi i have a pre made cookie mix at home and some bud usually i mix my weed in a pot with butter on the hob for 10-15 mins then add the mixture straight into cookie mix, mix up and stick in oven is this method ok? Just for one batch of cookies i dont really have time for the lengthy process of making cannabutter etc

    • Anything that works for you is OK. If you get good results and are happy, then it is OK. That said, is it the best and most effective method? Probably not.

      Are you straining the plant material out of your butter at least? That step alone will improve flavor. What is the HOB sorry not sure what that means? You can cook on the stovetop, but direct heat can present challenges as it is possible to get too hot so make sure the setting is low and you stir often. I would infuse longer than 10 to 15 minutes too for maximum potency and be sure to decarb your plant material first as well. The process of making cannabutter can be lengthy but not difficult. If you use a slow cooker you can set it and forget it. Making a larger batch of butter or oil is also handy as you can keep extra in the freezer to use anytime you want it.

  20. Hi Cheri, first of all great post really informative!
    About two weeks ago I made a batch of cannabutter and the day after that I cooked some chocolate brownies, I ate 2 of them and the effects were really strong, it took me the whole next day to fully recover myself. Two days after that I ate half a brownie and this time the experience was more mellow and enjoyable.
    I stored the remaining brownies in a ziploc bag at room temperature, as they were very dry they were not spoiled. I took them out yesterday and gave all of them to my friend, he ate 2, but the thing is he didn´t experienced almost nothing, only mild hunger, that´s it.
    Is it possible that after 10 days the THC loses effect? I don’t know, perhaps the well-stored butter keeps the active ingredient (THC) in perfect condition but the cooked product does not. Is this possible?
    Does THC loses its strength after beeing cooked and prepared for a few days? I consult you because I havent found any information about this anywhere online.
    Or maybe my friend has a much higher tolerance than me?

    • There could be any number of reasons for this, but your edibles losing potency is not one of them. Here are some possible reasons:

      1. If the batter did not get evenly mixed, some pieces might be more potent than others. I have even found this to be the case with some commercially made edibles.

      2. The edges and corners of the pan tend to decarboxylate more, which can make these pieces more potent.

      3. How much you had to eat before eating brownie can affect how profoundly you feel its effects. So can the time of day you ate it, how much, if any, marijuana you smoked or vaped prior, and other factors that might influence your metabolism that day.

      4. Your friend’s ideal dosage could be drastically different than yours.

      However, THC should not lose potency with time. Hope this helps.

  21. I recently got into making brownies, I’ve made about three batches in total, the most recent of which was the most potent with a 2″ by 2″ square giving me a nice strong (borderline paranoid) high, but it’s still a lot of guess work on how I can maximize potency.?
    : I used a canibus grinder before using a mortar and pestle to finely grind the canibus.
    Q: should I even bother with the mortar and pestle???
    : I simmered the butter & canibus for 30 pluse 10 min.
    Q: should I cook for longer? Shorter?
    : I’ve used only disposable aluminum pans.
    Q: should I use glass???

    Thoughts?

    • Hello Dee,

      While your methods are not the ones I use or teach, there are many methods and if what you are doing works for you, who am I to argue? For me, I do not infuse over direct heat (preferring to use a slow cooker or double boiler) as it is easy for things to get too hot and I have heard from many readers who ruined a good batch of weed. Of course, if you are careful it can be done.

      I am the only person I know of who does not recommend you finely grind your weed. I do not understand whay so many people are obsessed with finely grinding the plant material. What you are trying to extract is ON the plant, not in it. The more grinding, the more plant particulate in your food and the yuckier the flavor, IMO. I use a coarse hand grinder or my fingers to break up the plant material, no more.

      The disposable pans get hotter on the bottom and sides, which can be a good thing in that these pieces may decarboxylate more, on the reverse, it is easy for them to get too hot if you are not careful. Obviously it can be done, I like glass as it conducts the heat more evenly, but I do not believe the type of pan to be crucial for the results.

      Hope this helps,

      Cheri

      • Jane Commander on

        Hello, Cheri!!

        I, like you, do not crumble or grind my plant material, same reason; what I want to capture is on it, not in it. I make only butter, currently, but over the years have made lots of things.

        As far as straining, I use a spatter screen (normally used over frying pans to stop spatter, they have a much finer weave than a strainer or screen colander). Just put it over the top of a pan and pour. Easiest way I’ve found and I lose way less oil than using any kind of fabric. After it stops dribbling, I press it, then pour boiling water through it and let drain then press again. Of course, anyone can rinse it as many times as they want, but one additional drain this way usually ends up with very little oil in the drained liquid, so I only do the one. I heat the water and oil again on a low heat, only up to a low boil, which mixes the oils, then shut it off and let it cool, gently transfer to fridge. When it is solid, lift it off the water and I have a translucent butter, very little color, almost no plant material because it settles, along with any other solids, on the bottom of the pan. If, by some chance, it comes out dark with material, it can be put in a half-gallon or so of water and heated again to a low boil, then shut off and left to settle and cool once more. Fridge it, when it’s solid, even cleaner butter.

        My brother always used cheesecloth and complained about the material in his butter (still ate it, though) Squeezing the wad in the cheesecloth, he was pushing material through it. While staying with me, he watched me process mine, saw how clean it came out and tried the spatter screen method when he got home. Success!

        I only reheat once for my own use. But, as you say, many people won’t like the color, or the taste. They can refine like this ’til they’re happy with it.

        Thanks for your site. You write well and are so patient with your respondents, I’d feel like blowing off the argumentative ones. They don’t seem to get that you are sharing information you have found to be accurate, not looking for a debate.

  22. Hi Cheri

    I’m planing my first attempt at making edibles, I’ll be using coconut oil.
    Firstly, I’m wondering, do I really need to use a double boiler to avoid burning, or could I use a candy thermometer and a heat mat if necessary. I’m using a gas stove top BTW.
    Secondly, what would be the ideal temperature have the to have the oil simmer at?
    Thirdly, will one cup of oil be sufficient to absorb a 1/2 ounce of 15-20% THC bud?

    Cheers

    Tim

    • Hi, Congratulations on making your first batch! The short answer is yes, you need a double boiler. I will tell you that coconut oil on the double boiler is not the simplest method. It does require you to watch the infusion that it does not get too hot or too thick, as moisture will escape during the process, thickening your infusion. Also be certain to not let the water boil off in the bottom vessel. A candy thermometer will definitely come in handy to ensure your infusion temps stay below 180 degrees (I like 140 or so). Personally, I recommend using a crock pot or slow cooker. You don’t have to watch it all the time like you do with a double boiler and you can be sure your temps will not get too high. I go over both these methods in detail in my Cannabis Cooking For Home Cooks course. You should check it out.

      Yes 1 cup of oil is fine for 1/2 ounce of starting material.

  23. I have an ardent lift (for decarboxalation) I feel as if it over does it? It runs for about 2 hours, and claims that it’s a perfect decarb everytime. 2 hours seems a bit long. Also when I have used trim, I notice the thc % is a little bit too low. Or has at times tested at 0% (using the tcheck device) I am aware that flower bears much stronger results. .should I stick to flower for streng?
    the base oil I use is fractioned coconut oil. Also I use the Levo oil infuser. I’ve tried the stove top double boiler, aso well as, the crock pot methods
    Any thoughts or advice..?

    • SInce I have no t lab tested after using the Ardent Lyft, I can’t say for sure how well it works, but mine seems to work fine. It does take longer than what I typically do in the oven, but it seems to work. I have no idea what the tcheck device is, but I do know that home testing is wildly inaccurate (so much so as to be useless), so don’t know as you should much stock in the 0% cause that does not seem right. I use trim all the time, it’s great economical cooking material. Using trim should not be an issue at all. The slow cooker, with water added, is my personal favorite way of infusing oil or butter. Hope this helps.

  24. Hi Cheri!
    Amazed and thankful you’ve been answering this thread for over a year. I’ve made a few batches of butter in my day and have never decarbed in the oven. Super potent butter achieved but always in the slowcooker or double boiler for around 12 hours stirring every 30 min or so. Clearly this is a time consuming process leading me to making batches only once or 12 a year if that. A friend of mine brought over a batch of cookies she said took her about 1:45 total with the decarb process that were damn good and almost as potent as mine using same quality/amounts of green. I’m baking cookies this week and I want to try decarbing but I’m worried about letting go of my tried and true method. Would decarbing at 215 and infusing in the slow cooker for 8 hours be ok or overkill? I’d love to get better results or the same with less prep time.

    • Yes, I cook for even less time (usually about 4 hours) in the slow cooker after decarbing and get great results. It does not need to take that long. That used to be the conventional wisdom, but we have since learned it is just not necessary. Best of luck!

  25. Jimmy Borisenko on

    Hello from the Yukon Territory. I’m a senior citizen and relatively new to this edibles game. I’ve started growing my own, outdoors, without too much fanfare. My plants (about 1/2 doz) make a few buds, that are far from high quality. All I do is dry my plants, grind them up in a food processor till close to the consistency of flour, and make small cookies. I use a half teaspoon for measuring the batter–cute little green ovals. My niece and I call them “beetles”. I’m happy with the buzz I get, and it helps with a few aches and pains I get from my senior age, but reading here and elsewhere, I see there is a lot more to the science behind it all. I’m also realizing that a lot of you may find it perhaps crude that I just cook with the pot the way I do, but I’m happy with the simplicity, and will probably continue with this method. However, do I deduce correctly, that my finished product will be better if I heat my dried and ground pot first in the oven, for 20 minutes at 250 degrees, before I make my beetles?

    • Hi Jimmy, I first want to tell you that you are doing nothing wrong. If what you are doing works for you then that’s great. After telling me where you live and how you make your medicine proves to me that all the gadgets and gizmos out there to “properly” infuse your edibles are really unnecessary. The short answer to your question is, yes you can gain a bit of THC by decarboxylating your cannabis first. However, because you bake your cookies, there is some decarbing going on during that process too. But decarbing, before you cook with it, won’t hurt. My method is to place the cannabis in an oven safe baking dish, cover and put in the oven for 20 minutes at 240 degrees. That’s it. To answer your 2nd question, Yes, using your niece’s oven where you have control over your temps will help ensure proper decarboxylation and cooking of your “beetles.”

  26. Jimmy Borisenko on

    One more point I should make. I live in the bush, and only have a wood cookstove to do my baking in. The oven temperature is hard to control, and I realize now that that is an important consideration. So in future, I’ll do my baking in town at my niece’s place, in an electric oven where I can control the temperature better. So if you suggest that I should heat my pot first for 20 min (decarbing, I guess), then can you suggest what temp, and for how long I should bake the little critters? Thanks in advance for your help. A very informative site!

  27. Charley McFarcus on

    I have a medical cannabis syringe 1 ml of pure concentrated Indicol B Pure Oil that I want to infuse into no cook fudge. CANNABINOID POTENCY: THC-A: 7.90mg (0.79%), THC: 811.90mg (81.19%), About 82% THC. Have been searching internet and there are no recipes using this type of oil. (initial use was to vape in concentrated cartridge) I am new to this and have a few questions that I can not find answers to. 1) This oil does not have to be heated to “decarb” because the oil has all the THC has all been delivered? 2) For dosing I would like to have the average 10-15 mg thc dose per piece. I have no idea how to divide 1 ml into 15 mg doses or how much to use of this syringe. The online calculators all use cannabutter and leaf ratios. Figured the pure oil would be easier. The more I look the more links I go to and the more confused I get. 3) Stirring this oil in thoroughly will incorporate it evenly and on average each piece will have the same amount of THC?
    While I am here I would also like to ask about making tinctures and butter. The prescriptions I have for medical marijuana all have exact potency ratios. They have been tested and calculated. Once I decarb the leaf, and add it to the 190 proof Everclear, shake and sit for 5-10 days, strain and bottle. How do I dose it using eye dropper method? Ex: If I use leaf that is 30% THC and decarb it to extract all the THC? Is this potion 30% THC tincture or roughly close if I do it correctly? According to what ratio? For example, there are 50 drops in the bottle. How much THC is in one drop? ( 30% divided by 50? ) Or is each drop 30% ? I am so confused!! I know you have to test it on yourself a drop at a time and just see how it makes you feel.
    Anyway, if you could answer these I will feel much safer knowing I am not dosing too much. Smoking /vaping is so much easier !! Lung issues has forced me into turning it all into edibles.. Thank you for considering my questions.

    • You don’t find recipes for this kind of oil because when we talk about oil for cooking, this is NOT what is being referred to. FECO oil is sticky and messy and while you can cook with it, I usually don’t as there are better and more economical ways. For future reference please see Clearing Up the COnfusion Over Cannabis Oil at
      https://www.cannabischeri.com/mary-jane/learning/clearing-the-confusion-over-cannabis-oil/

      1. From what you said of the contents on the label it would appear this has already been decarbed.

      2. 1 ml and 1 gram are the same (liquid vs volume) so as it is 82% you have 820 mg THC, so the whole amount would be 820 then divide by your number of servings.

      3. This kind of oil is not the easiest to cook with (nor the most affordable). It will be impossible to evenly distribute it as is. I would gently heat it to dissolve it in another cooking oil or butter, stir to evenly combine, then put that in your recipe.

      Tinctures: The method for figuring the dosing is the same for tinctures as it would be when calculating for making butter or oil. Take my free dosing class and if you still have questions get back to me. Find it at http://www.Cannademy.com.

      Next time consider making a cannabis infused cooking oil and I think you will be happier and it will be easier. Find directions here

      https://www.cannabischeri.com/food/cooking-basics/how-to-make-marijuana-oil-stovetop-and-slow-cooker-methods/

      Find infused butter making instructions here

      https://www.cannabischeri.com/food/cooking-basics/making-and-using-cannabis-infused-butter-and-oil/

      • Charley McFarcus on

        Wow! Thank you for answering so fast Cheri! Appreciate it! You mentioned distributing the thick FECO into a medium to distribute it more evenly. Instead of a sauce pan should I use a pyrex measuring cup above a small pot of boiling water ( a makeshift double boiler) so the oil never gets above boiling temp 212 , so there wont be any chance of destroying potency?
        820 mg per syringe.. at 15 mg per dose/piece of edible (can always eat more after an hour instead of being miserable and taking too much from start). Yikes that’s 55 doses.. Woah thanks for clearing this up for me and saving me or someone else from feeling very miserable.
        Will use 1/4 of syringe and cut recipe into 14 pieces the first time..
        Can’t thank you enough Cheri!

  28. Hello, I’m making butter for the 1st time. So far I’ve followed several people’s advice to get me this far. You stated to death the product at 250° for 20 min. I was told to do it at 240 for 90min. Did i kill my product and had zero potency butter?
    And I’m noticing that the butter produces moisture in the container it sits on. Is this normal? How do I remove moisture or prevent or dro m happening?
    Thank you for any advice.

    • You probably did not kill your potency, although I don’t believe that long is necessary for decarbing. But as you have said, different people have different methods.

      Did you cook the butter with water? If so sometimes you will have residual water left after straining. I strain and then heat gently to remove any residual water as it can cause mold if left for long periods, then do a secondary straining to get rid of any other sediment. If you did not add water to the mix, I am not sure where it would be coming from.

      Hope this helps.

  29. hello!

    I have made cannabis-infused butter many times with inconsistent results. I always start with a ration of 454g of unsalted butter and 28 grams of cannabis. I boil 6 cups of water or so then add the butter and the ground cannabis (i grind it by hand using a manual grinder) and reduce heat, letting it simmer for 3-5 hours. Strain through a cheese cloth and let cool over night.

    I bake ina garten’s outrageous brownies using the entire pound of butter, 350 degrees for 30 minutes. The recipe yields 20 hefty space cakes!

    My issue is how INCONSISTENT my brownies have been. In the last 4-5 years I’ve made 8-10 batches of brownies, mostly done the same way (except once with a slow cooker and once i included a 40 minute oven decarb step vis a vis laurie wolf/the cannabist recipe) that have ranged from completely catatonic and narcotic, like debilitating. People with little to no tolerance have vomited from eating half of one. I smoke every day, including extracts and flower, for about 12 years and even i’ve been completely Fuzzed out to the point where i sleep and then wake up and i’m still FUZZED OUT! However, I’ve also made brownies that were totally delicious but completely sucked.

    I’m wondering where I’m going wrong… could it be that the quality of my cannabis is inconsistent? maybe 28g flower/454g butter is only ideal for 26%-33% strains while if my strain is only 17%, should i double the recipe?

    I’m just curious about the inconsistencies in my brownies! When done correctly, they TRULY are outrageous…

    thank you very much!

    • Yes, your inconsistency likely has to do with different types of cannabis. If you take my free dosing class, use the formula there to estimate the THC of each batch, that way you can adjust your recipe to get consistent dosing result. Give the class a watch and let me know if you still have questions. http://www.Cannademy.com

  30. Braden Campbell on

    Hi, I already made oil and every time I use it, it tastes so weedy it’s almost unbearable (very potent however). Could I put that oil back in a pot with some water and mix it around for a while to take out some of the taste? Also, will this take out some of the thc into the water?

    • I use water when I make the butter to help with this (no water does not take out any THC). With oil that is already made, I don’t think heating again with water will help. Try to use it for extremely strongly flavored foods (like lots o garlic, etc.) in order to mask the flavor.

  31. I hope this hasn’t already been asked, but what are your thoughts on using lecithin to make a stronger more potent butter. True or hogwash?

  32. I have a question!!!!

    I made canna oil with 1 oz of flower and 32 oz jar of unrefined coconut oil. I forgot to put water in the mix and now it looks super green. Should I reheat and add water? Or leave it as is?

    If I leave it as is will the weed/ plant taste be too much? I don’t want to experiment without knowing this as all these ingredients were expensive.

    • Adding water is optional not mandatory. I would not reheat with water at this point. Stain the plant material off, if you haven’t already. If there is a lot of sediment in the bottom you can optionally reheat gently over low heat and further strain through a mesh yogurt strainer to further clarify it, but again it is optional. Will it taste too weedy? That is a personal preference but it should likely be OK, especially if you use it in highly seasoned foods that have lots of other flavors going on (a coconut curry perhaps?). Good luck.

    • I guess you technically could, but depending on what the food is you may burn or ruin the food. Deacarboxylating involves adding heat and the best heat is a low temperature over a longer period of time. So some already prepared foods will work better than others for this. But it is best to decarb first. Now even if you missed this step, depending on how the food was prepared it likely will have decarbed some in the process of cooking. And the non-converted THC-A, the non-psychoactive form of THC present in the raw plant, has important medicinal benefits in its own right. So even though you might not have the potency you hoped for, you will still be getting medicinal benefits.

  33. Can you use hash or Kief for flour? Like use less or half flour,half hash or Kief and still get a good looking cookie? Or will it melt and act weird? Sorry I don’t really know can’t find anything on flour/keif discussion and pretty new to baking in general! Lolol! But thank you to anyone in advanced for helping!!

    • No! That would be disastrous. Hash and kief are NOTHING like flour. You can make your regular cookie recipe with the regular amount of flour and simply stir in an appropriate amount of finely ground decarboxylated kief or hash that will give you the dose you are seeking into your batter and bake as usual. But hash and kief are by no means a substitute for flour.

    • I have a lot of recipes that use kief, but I don’t bother making butter or oil as you can simply stir the decarbed kief directly into the recipe (saves time, same effects).

  34. Hi This is one of my fave articles so far on cooking. I am just about to try all this the first time. I have a very pretty plant I grew and she is ready to start drying. Can I take a small amount of the bud after a couple of days of drying and decarb it before its all the way dried and cured and use it? Thanks again for answering the questions. I was able to read through and other people asked the same things I would.

    • Thanks for the kind words. Yes, as long as you decarboxylate first, you can cook with your fresh/uncured plant and you should have success. Good luck onyour first try.

  35. Just last night, I undertook the entire process on my own for the first time! Decarbing went very well but I forgot to use a double boiler to infuse with coconut oil. When I got up this morning, the mixture was sitting at 310 degrees and had been at that temp for about 6 hours.
    Do you think this batch will be of any value? It’s currently draining through cheesecloth and I’ll be trying it tonight.
    Thanks in advance for any thoughts you might be able to offer me!

    Cheers!
    Chris

    • Sitting on the stovetop? If the infusion itself is that hot, you probably have comprised some of the cannabinoids and terpenoids, but there could be some left, so I would not toss it (at least not without trying it first). If you find it has some potency, you can always augment this with decarbed kief, hash or hash oil.

  36. Steven Wolff on

    There are so many thoughts on how to decarb weed, just trying to figure out the best, most efficient method. Right now I’d like to try baking with the leafy material, no buds. What are your thoughts on the ratio of product to butter, how long to decarb and cook. Keep in mind I have a Magical Butter machine whose basic instructions, for butter, is 160 degrees for 2 hours after decarbing at 250 degrees for 30 minutes. It also specifically recommends not to use water during the butter making process. Generally, I’ve used 1 oz of bud to 2 lbs. of unsalted butter using this process but now I’d like to try leaf. Any suggestions before I get started? Woofy

  37. Steven Wolff on

    I did forget to add that when straining the end product, I find the best and neatest method is to use a French Press. Works much better than cheese cloth or other recommended methods. When done just discard the “hockey puck!”

  38. Hi Cheri, what a lovely human you are, still replying to people 2 years on!
    So I’m going to *try* making some oil, I have cancer, and I also desperately need to get sleep to feel better in general so THC is the way to go.
    In the U.K. I can get 30ml thc oil (unnamed Indica) with 125mg (20%) THC in for £85, or buy 3.5 ounces of 9lb Hammer for around £50. I don’t know if you could hazard a guess as to whether making my own would be more cost effective, but I’m guessing it would be. Chemo fog has rendered me incapable of basic logic skills, but saying that, you’re not my math teacher so don’t worry if you’ve no idea!
    I’m also a bit worried about the decarb process. I have an oldish gas oven that is very inconsistent in temperature, it’s impossible to bake a cake in it due to temp fluctuations and areas that get hotter than others. This doesn’t seem like a wise move for decarboxylation as I’ve read that temperature fluctuations can lead to an inconsistent/low THC content?
    I’ll have to buy a slow cooker, should I get one with variable temperature? Is there any way I could bake/dry decarb in a small glass dish inside the slow cooker, if I buy a decent one I feel confident will remain at a constant temperature?
    I’ve got some MCT coconut oil for terpene dilution, would I be able to use this? Or is butter better because it solidifies and I can remove the water.
    So many variables, I just want to get this right as I don’t have money to waste by poor technique. Hopefully I’ll feel confident enough to go through with it…
    Thank you so much, I know I’ve asked a lot of questions but you are awesome! I couldn’t help myself 🙂 🙂

    • Hi Joanna, No problem asking questions, that’s what I am here for. Without running the numbers, I would venture to say making your own is less expensive. I ran the numbers on US flowers versus edibles in the US and the results are in this article
      https://www.cannabischeri.com/food/cooking-basics/the-economics-of-marijuana-edibles-to-buy-or-make-it-yourself/

      A slow cooker is my favorite way, but you could also infuse on the stovetop in a double boiler (it just takes more babysitting). If you are going to buy a slow cooker temp variables are good to have for sure. I like the Hamilton Beach Stay and Go slow cooker because it clamps closed so you don’t get any kitchen odor while cooking. An Instant Pot on the slow cooker setting is also great and is versatile for other things (does the work of 8 or 9 different appliances) and also no odor while cooking.

      MCT oil is fine, you can infuse any kind of edible fat (also other foods too like milk, cream, honey etc. I go into all of these in my online cooking course).

      Decarbing…. it sounds like your oven is not going to cut it for that. The slow cooker, unfortunately, does not get hot enough to properly do the job. I even tried under pressure in my Instant Pot and it only worked so-so. I don’t imagine you have a sous vide machine, most people don’t, but if you did this would work. It is basically a boil in bag but very temperature controlled. The other solution is a bit pricey, but I do like the Ardent decarboxylator as it takes away all the guesswork and gives perfect results every time (enter the coupon code CANNACHERI and $30 bucks off, thanks to the reader who asked for a discount code cause the company gave me one http://bit.ly/cheri-ardent). You can read my review of this gadget at https://www.cannabischeri.com/lifestyle/reviews/cannabis-product-reviews-ardent-decarboxylator-nova/ .

      I hope this covered all the questions, if not ask again!

      • Thank you Cheri, you’re so helpful!
        To buy the Ardent will cost about 130 dollars to ship it to the U.K. and added import tax, so out of my price range unfortunately, but I’d LOVE to have one!
        So I’ve found this on Amazon UK, it goes up to 240 degrees and The temp might be pretty even as it’s small, I’m presuming anyway…
        https://www.amazon.co.uk/Andrew-James-Multi-Camping-Cooker/dp/B004MZ7IPE
        Could this work do you think? If I used a small glass dish inside it…I have an oven thermometer so could leave that in there to view.
        That’s great to know about the MCT oil, how much would you recommend per gram of bud? I’ll Have a look at your calculator when my brain is feeling a little less fuzzy.
        Again, thank you! I hope and wish for medical (any use, in fact) marijuana to be legalised in the U.K., that would be a wonderful day…

        • For decarbing I would not recommend a large skillet like that as I doubt the temperature is consistent throughout and it is not meant for baking – you would have a hot spot under the dish, it might work, but I can’t see it’s your best option. I think a small well made toaster oven, with oven thermometer would be a better choice for someone on a budget.

        • As to how much bud to use, that depends on how strong you want the oil. The recipes on this site use 1/2 ounce (14 grams) per one cup of oil or butter. That said, when cooking for myself, I use double that amount. I have a high tolerance, but even for those who are “lightweights” making stronger infusions allows you to use less of them in order to get the same dose. Less infusion in the finished recipe means better flavor. If you haven’t already, my free online Dosing class at http://www.Cannademy.com can help you fine tune and adjust your recipes for what you need. If you are unsure of how much you need, please see this article to determine your ideal dose, because everyone is different and not just a little different.

          https://www.cannabischeri.com/food/cooking-basics/how-much-marijuana-how-to-determine-your-ideal-cannabis-dosage/

          • Hi Cheri, thank you for replying and answering more of my questions! (Sorry about the double post, I had a bit of a muddle…)
            Hmm, I’ll steer clear of the pan idea, good advice…
            I’ve looked at sous vide, it looks awesome – so far the top temperature I’m finding is 210…is this high enough? So, if I got a full machine I’d use a sous vide bag and let it do it’s thing, or if I got one of the clip on circulation units I’d attach it to my own pot and put the bud into a sealed bag? I need to make an investment for a life long oil making regime, plus I’ll have a great way to lazy cook, especially as I’m so exhausted all the time! Sounds good to me 🙂
            I really need to brave your calculator, I’m going through your articles slowly trying to absorb it all… As long as I get the calculations right I’ll figure out my dosage, which I’m thinking will be pretty low for sleep purposes.
            In your opinion, which will procure the highest potency, MCT, coconut oil or butter? I’ve read conflicting advice on this…conflicting advice is a running theme when it comes to marijuana edibles!
            Thank you SO much Cheri, you’re a True Gem!xx

          • Different people’s temp recommendations for decarbing are, well, different. I did a lot of research lately and adjusted my original recommendations based on that research. I now recommend an hour at 240 degrees F. Find more information at this link
            https://www.cannabischeri.com/mary-jane/learning/marijuana-decarboxylation/

            I don’t think the type of oil or fat has a major effect on the potency. Use whatever works best for your dietary needs or what works best in the recipe you plan to make.

  39. Hi Cheri, what a lovely human you are, still replying to people 2 years on!
    So I’m going to *try* making some oil, I have cancer, and I also desperately need to get sleep to feel better in general so THC is the way to go.
    In the U.K. I can get 30ml thc oil (unnamed Indica) with 125mg (20%) THC in for £85, or buy 3.5 ounces of 9lb Hammer for around £50. I don’t know if you could hazard a guess as to whether making my own would be more cost effective, but I’m guessing it would be. Chemo fog has rendered me incapable of basic logic skills, but saying that, you’re not my math teacher so don’t worry if you’ve no idea!
    I’m also a bit worried about the decarb process. I have an oldish gas oven that is very inconsistent in temperature, it’s impossible to bake a cake in it due to temp fluctuations and areas that get hotter than others. This doesn’t seem like a wise move for decarboxylation as I’ve read that temperature fluctuations can lead to an inconsistent/low THC content?
    I’ll have to buy a slow cooker, should I get one with variable temperature? Is there any way I could bake/dry decarb in a small glass dish inside the slow cooker, if I buy a decent one I feel confident will remain at a constant temperature?
    I’ve got some MCT coconut oil for terpene dilution, would I be able to use this? Or is butter better because it solidifies and I can remove the water.
    So many variables, I just want to get this right as I don’t have money to waste by poor technique. Hopefully I’ll feel confident enough to go through with it…
    Thank you so much, I know I’ve asked a lot of questions but you are awesome! I couldn’t help myself 🙂 🙂

  40. I have a question regarding the slow cooker temperature for infusing. I’ve decarbed the cannabis and wondering if a rice cooker’s temperature is sufficient. I have a little tart warmer-type pot and wonder if that is hot enough. After an hour of heating water (for temp-testing purposes) it has reached 160 degrees F and remained at that temperature still at 90 minutes.

    • That temp is lower than a slow cooker, even on the low setting, so I would recommend a slow cooker or a double boiler on the stovetop (be sure to keep the top pot covered as well).

  41. Thank you, Cheri! So what temperature am I aiming for? I’m planning to use vegetable glycerin and no water. If I purchase a small crock pot or rice cooker, I want to be sure the temperature produced is what I need.
    I looked at the MB site and their recommended setting is 130F, 160F if a different model. I’m not in a position to purchase one of those

    • You absolutely do not need a MBM or any other special gadgets. Personally, I don’t recommend the machine because it finely grinds your plant material, something I recommend people NOT DO as it just puts more plant material into your infusion and gives your edibles a yucky flavor. Slow cooker on low is about 180-190 which works very well.

      • Thank you so much. I’m pretty creative and enjoy making my own lotions, soaps, etc., so this is really a super fun thing for me to do. I’ve been making vape liquid with PG & VG, but it hasn’t been super strong. I’m having surgery next week and will not be able to vape at all so I’m trying to produce a more concentrated and THC-packed oil I can use sublingually. And I prefer not to use alcohol. The dispensary nearest me does not have oils available as of yet.
        Again, thank you for this information and thank you for making it available to us that need it, and especially thank you for following up to answer our questions. Your kindness and generosity in offering this to us is truly appreciated.

        • Anytime. Glycerin is tougher than alcohol to get a strong tincture as it is just not as efficient as extracting. I am going to be working on glycerin tincture instructions to update my cooking course after we launch the new topicals course. Depending on your needs and tolerance level, you may do fine, just be aware it likely won’t be as strong as the same tincture made with alcohol.

          If you can stomach it, you can also make a really strong coconut oil that you can use in the same manner. Or make some edibles you can keep in the freezer (if you will be able to eat after your surgery). Best of luck.

  42. I messed up a batch. I’m hoping I can save it. I have a MB2 machine, but I didn’t have enough “stuff” (butter and buds) to get the the minimum fill line on there. So I added water to the minimum fill line. I also added some lecithin. Now I have a watery, sludgey mess. Can I put it in the oven at like 220 and evaporate the water, or is the whole batch jacked?

    • Ugggh, ok, sorry to hear that. I am not a fan of the Magical Butter Machine (because they force you to finely grind the plant material, which as I talk about in this post, is NOT a good idea). It’s been a while since I have looked at one so I don’t remember if you are able to put water in.

      Here’s what I would do to try to salvage it. Filter the sludge out as much as possible, use a cheesecloth-lined strainer or even better a fine mesh bag like used for making nut milks. Then put the remaining butter and water in a container and put it in the fridge or even freezer. The butter should separate and harden on top. Hopefully, you will still have something you can use. It’s probably not going to taste very good, but you should be able to salvage something.

      I say hopefully because lecithin will makes fats bind to the water, which is not what you want in this instance. I never use lecithin when making ordinary infused butter, I don’t see a reason. (more on lecithin here — https://www.cannabischeri.com/food/cooking-basics/lecithin-in-cannabis-cooking/ ) So this is my best guess of how to save it. Without the lecithin in the mix it would be no problem, but not sure how this will affect it. Please let us know!

      My best advice for home cooks making butter, use a slow cooker or Instant Pot on the slow cooker setting, you do not need a special gadget. Do not finely grind the plant material. And unless you are trying to bind fats to water, skip the lecithin.

      I also recommend by comprehensive online course Easy Cannabis Cooking for Home Cooks (www.Cannademy.com).

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