I have severe, disabling chronic back pain. Medical marijuana works really well on my aching back, and with minimal side effects. No more opioids! (That’s a whole story in itself – see “Stephen’s Girls” for a fictionalized tale of what it’s like when you try to stop using opioids.)
In New Jersey, I can buy actual weed, but no edibles – no cookies, no brownies, infused oils, infused honey, or alcohol tinctures. Ahhh, but I do love to experiment in my kitchen. It’s been a journey, but it’s been fun, too.
Chocolate-chocolate-chip cookies (recipe to be coming soon) are my current favorite; they provide an excellent “vehicle” for the medical marijuana. Whatever you choose to make with your marijuana – brownies, infused honey, whatever you are making – the first step must always be to “decarboxylate”.
Decarboxylate. It is surprisingly easy to do.
Decarboxylation heats the marijuana and changes the molecular structure so that more of the THC is available. It makes your marijuana more effective. That’s what you want, so don’t skip this step. You can read up on this on www.leafly.com; they have a wealth of information and go into detail about why decarboxylation is important.
You will need:
a baking sheet with sides,
parchment paper or non-stick foil,
a marijuana chopper,
a scale (USPS postal scale works well and changes back and forth from ounces to grams), and
a wooden or plastic spatula.
First, if your marijuana is not chopped, use a marijuana chopper to make fairly uniform little pieces – don’t grind it up like a powder; that’s too fine, but little pieces like oregano will work well. Some dispensaries sell “trim” at a discount, which is already chopped up. It’s a great time-saver if you are going to be cooking/baking with your marijuana. Why buy premium buds if you are just going to chop them up anyway?
How much marijuana will you be using in your recipe? Cover your scale with plastic wrap, and weigh the marijuana. I will be making a batch of cookies with mine using 10 grams of marijuana. Here, I am weighing 3 grams to add to my pre-packaged quarter-ounce (7 grams). You may want to use more or less marijuana, depending on your recipe, your tolerance and your type of marijuana.
Once you have the correct amount, transfer your marijuana to the middle of a baking sheet (one with sides, to prevent spilling) which has been lined with either parchment paper or non-stick foil. Take your spatula and gently move the marijuana around until it is an even layer, taking care to keep it away from the edges of the paper or foil.
240 for 40: remember this phrase.
Place the marijuana in a preheated oven at 240 degrees for 40 minutes. It’s very important that the oven is not too hot, so don’t try to rush this process with more heat.
Every 10 minutes, give the marijuana a little stir with your spatula to make sure all surfaces are exposed to the heat. Breathe deeply! It does give off a little buzz while it is baking. When the 40 minutes is up, remove from the oven and let the marijuana cool while you get ready to move on to the next step in your recipe.
Done. That was not too hard, right? Now you have marijuana that is more powerful than when you bought it, and you can move on to use it in whatever form you want – cookies, brownies, etc.
Up next: how to make infused butter, which you then can use in any recipe that uses butter. That’s right – any recipe.