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How Make Edibles Stronger: Increasing Potency in Homemade Edibles 

By Cheri Sicard
June 4, 2018

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Ask Cheri:

"Help! My homemade edibles never get me high, what am I doing wrong?  Can you help me learn how to make edibles stronger?"

When it comes to learning to make edibles, without a doubt, dosing is probably the most important aspect, and one of the most confusing to new cannabis cooks.  But don't worry, once you understand a few basic principles, making perfectly dosed edibles gets a lot easier and more effective.

We hear a lot of media hype about people overdosing on marijuana edibles, which in turn has prompted ridiculous and unscientific dosing limits on commercial edibles “for our protection.” However, judging from the emails I get, most people are having the opposite problem just like you seem to be.  The low dose limits are keeping them from purchasing edibles potent enough for their needs, and even at home they end up creating edibles that lack potency.

How Make Edibles Stronger: What You Need to Do to Make Your Perfect Edible

You are not necessarily doing anything "wrong" if you follow a marijuana recipe and the finished edible fails to deliver enough potency.  Chances are the dosage of the recipe you followed is simply not right for you. 

It's a common problem as there is no such thing as an edible cannabis dosage that works for everyone.   Couple that with the fact that most recipe publishers err on the side of low dosing, and someone with a higher tolerance might think that edibles simply don't work for them.

Cannabis cooks need to ALWAYS take the dosage of any given recipe with a grain of salt and then adjust it up or down according to their own individual needs.  My free dosing class and dosage calculator tool can help you do just that.

Increasing Potency of Marijuana Edibles: Everyone's Dosage Needs Are Different!

As I have talked about in other articles, everyone’s cannabis dosing needs are different. It does not matter if you are using cannabis for medicinal or recreational purposes.  Some people simply have higher tolerances than others. 

While 5 mgs THC will be too much for some people, 100 mgs or more will not be enough for others. Most folks are somewhere between those two extremes.  Knowing your ideal dosage is important because once you know what that number is, you can make edibles that will actually work for you.  If you don’t know your ideal dosage, this article can help you determine what that is.  

How to Increase the Potency When Making Edibles

If your edibles are too strong, the solution is easy, eat less or use less cannabis in your cooking.

For those having problems with not feeling anything from their edibles, here are some things to check and some things to try:

Have you properly decarboxylated your cannabis?

In order for edibles to have maximum potency, you will first want to decarboxylate the plant material. Raw cannabis plants have no THC but rather the acidic form of this cannabinoid THC-A, which is not psychoactive. It takes the process of adding heat to cause the chemical process that transforms THC-A into psychoactive THC. This article will give you more info and instructions on how to properly decarboxylate your cannabis.  If your oven is too unstable to properly decarb, consider investing in a gadget like the Ardent FX Decarboxylator, that will convert 100% of the THC-A to THC every time.

Ardent FX Decarboxylator, Infuser, and Baker

Make stronger infusions.

This is something I personally like to do anyway, as not only can ultra strong marijuana butter or oil up your potency, you can usually use less of it to get the dose you are seeking and thereby improve the flavor of your edibles at the same time.  While the formulas for making marijuana infused butter or oil on this website calls for 1/2 ounce of decarboxylated cannabis, when cooking for myself, I will normally double this amount.   Be sure to take my free online doing class so you can get just the right dose you need, every time you make a batch of edibles.

Use more cannabis infusion in your recipe, if possible.

Some recipes can handle more infused butter or oil and if yours can, this is another way to up the potency. Also if the recipe calls for some infused and some uninfused butter or oil, skip the uninfused and use more of the infused to make up the difference and make your edible's potency stronger.

Use more potent cannabis.

The stronger the plant material you cook with is, the stronger your finished edibles will be. Know that more expensive does not necessarily mean stronger. There’s a saying in the marijuana industry “smell sells.” This refers to the fact that top shelf strains will always be full of fragrance. This is not a bad thing when cooking, but it is also not necessary, and there’s no reason to pay extra for it. There are some mighty potent strains that don’t have that top shelf aroma.  They cost less and make great cooking material. Ask a knowledgeable budtender to help you find some.

Augment your edibles with concentrates.

Concentrates, such as decarboxylated kief, hash, hash oil, or tincture, can add more potency to most any recipe.  All you need do is stir them in.

For maximum potency when making edibles, layer the medicated ingredients.

In my comprehensive Easy Cannabis Cooking for Home Cooks online course and in my book The Easy Cannabis Cookbook, I teach how to infuse all kinds of ingredients with cannabis besides just butter and oil.  Infusing different ingredients with cannabis, such as sugar, honey, syrups, milk, cream, or vegan milk substitutes, gives you the freedom to add the medication to your recipe through a number of different avenues.  Using a cake recipe as an example, you could increase the potency by using infused canna-butter, infused sugar, and infused milk.

(This post was originally published April, 2018)

How Make Edibles Stronger

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About the author

Cheri Sicard is the author of Mary Jane: The Complete Marijuana Handbook for Women, and The Easy Cannabis Cookbook.  Her online courses at have educated 1000s of students about marijuana, cannabis cooking for home cooks, and making infused topicals.

  • Hello Cheri!
    I’ve spent last 2 hours reading your articles and tutorials and I do really like them! I’m just confused with one thing, because all the time, in your articles, or on other websites, people write about kief or raw material or hash, but as far as I know there are different forms of hash. Do ALL of them need to be decarbed?
    For example I have only this rock solid, brown type of hash, that seems to be pressed. Last time I tried decarbing it before praparing brownies, but I’m not sure if it did good (240F as you adviced). Isn’t it brown and rock solid due to high temperature? Do I need to decarb it or I’m good to go with that kind of hash? Or maybe it does not matter, decarbing can’t do any harm as long as temperature does not exceed 392F? And it can only make it better, not worse? (For sure it makes it easier to crush it later and dissolve in butter).

    Thank you for your help, keep up the good job 🙂
    Have a great day!

    • Thank you for the kind words. I would still decarb the hash. It may be partially decarbed during the pressing process, but it is not likely fully decarbed and you will get more potency by decarbing first.

  • I have read some ways to decant: oven-225 to 240 temp. Or seal in bag and drop in boiling water- temp is 210 never gets higher. Stovetop with pan. Another I forgot how but takes 3 months. Chop fine, just spread and don’t chop. On and on. What IS the best way to decant?? Without spending $$$100’s on equipment to do it for you.

  • I made a batch of caramels with cannabis butter a friend gave me, but didn’t test the butter first. They’re really weak. I don’t think he made the butter properly. Is there anyway to add more THC to the butter once it’s done? I’m also considering melting down the caramels and adding something more to make them ‘work’. Hate to throw it all out.

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