Happy 420, friends! Although we can’t gather in person this year, we refuse to believe the celebrations can’t continue. We’ve put together a list of ideas for how you can celebrate the holiday while social distancing.
1. Get cooking and make edibles
Banana bread and sourdough is so 2020. It’s time to step up your cooking game and and take things to new high-ts. Here are our tips for cooking with cannabis.
Step 1: Bake your dried cannabis to activate it.
When attempting to cook with dried cannabis at home, it is essential to heat the product to activate the psychoactive compounds present in it before cooking. This process is called decarboxylation, and it converts THCA (Tetrahydrocannabinolic Acid) present in raw cannabis into THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol), making it is easier to digest and experience the effects of the cannabis when ingested.
Many recipes offer varying instruction, but generally you should stick within the following temperature and time range:
Temp: 200 - 250°F (90-120°C)
Time: 30 - 40 minutes
Too little heat can fail to activate the psychoactive compounds, and too much heat can burn your dried cannabis. This process applies to CBD as well.
Step 2: Coarsely grind your activated cannabis.
After decarboxylation, do not grind your dried cannabis into a fine powder.
Pulverizing your dried cannabis into a fine powder leaves the final product with a bitter, grassy flavour. Coarsely ground cannabis works just as well and makes it easier to strain out the unwanted excess later.
It would be best if you aimed for the final product to look more like dried oregano than powder. It is recommended to use a mechanical hand grinder over an electric tool such as a food processor or a coffee grinder.
Step 3: Add your 'activated' cannabis to melted butter.
Most recipes mention the amount of cannabis needed and the assumptions behind the proposed potency. Infusing dried cannabis flower in fat-rich products to use as a cooking base is a popular and versatile method of cooking with cannabis. THC and CBD are fat-soluble and bind with fats when exposed to heat over time. This allows the body to digest cannabinoids when ingested easily.
Some of the most common fat-rich products to cook with are:
As a general rule, use 1:1 ratio – 1 cup of butter or oil to 1 cup of 'activated' dried cannabis (~7-10 grams).
Step 4: Simmer your cannabis and butter mixture.
Simmer the mixture on low heat (ideally between 160ºF and 200ºF) for 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally. Do not let the mixture come to a boil.
When the simmering mixture turns from really watery to glossy and thick, this process is complete. Use a cheesecloth or a fine-mesh strainer to remove any unwanted, excess plant material from the mixture.
Step 5: Add your new cannabutter to your favourite recipe. Enjoy!
There are several factors such as the potency of the strain and even tolerance of the consumer that needs to be considered when ingesting cannabis-infused products. It is not easy to accurately determine the strength of a home-cooked batch from the information available about the dried flower that has been used.
Potency is lost in the decarbing process as well as during infusion into butters and oils. Dividing the recipes into equal portions is a simple approach to keep a rough track of the dosage present in each serving. For example, a cake with 50 milligrams of THC divided into five equal pieces will roughly have 10 milligrams of THC per serving.
What to do:
- Stir ingredients thoroughly to distribute them evenly.
- Start slow. Beginners should start with a small dose of between 1-5 mg.
- Test your product or base (e.g. oil, etc.) beforehand to gauge its effects.
- Keep leftovers in a locked and labelled container to avoid any mishaps.
Baking desserts is not the only option available to you. You can find many fun and tempting savoury recipes online. Remember to consume responsibly and don't forget to have fun with it!
Ingesting cannabis can vary significantly from how inhaling works. It usually takes longer for the psychoactive effects to kick in, and the duration of the experience can often last longer.
If you're new to ingesting cannabis, then you should start with a small amount and wait 30-120 minutes to determine the effects of the product.
Too little heat can fail to activate the psychoactive compounds, and too much heat can end up burning your dried cannabis.
Most recipes mention the amount of cannabis needed and the assumptions behind the proposed potency. Since, cannabinoids can bond to a limited amount of lipids (fats), using more than a 1:1 ratio of decarbed cannabis to oil or butter could be considered wasteful. At the end of the day, there is no magic number behind the amount of dried cannabis you should be using in your cooking.
Things to consider
- Cannabis potency
- The desired potency of the edibles
- Personal tolerance
- A 10% strain of dried cannabis will have 100mg of THC in 1gm (1,000mg) of dried flower.
2. Organize a video call with your best buds
What’s better than celebrating 420? Celebrating 420 with friends! Organize a video call with your buddies. This might mean you need to cut out from work early but don’t worry, we won’t tell ;)
3. Try out some new products
Have you been wanting to try any new cannabis products? There’s no time like the present! Ask your friends or budtender what they recommend, but remember, cannabis products affect everyone differently. Start low and go slow to ensure an enjoyable experience.
4. Watch a documentary on Netflix
Grab some snacks, get comfy and turn on a cannabis documentary or cannabis cooking show on Netflix! The streaming platform has a number of great programming ideal for any cannabis enthusiast (or those interested in learning more about our favourite plant). Here are some of the ones we recommend:
Cooking on High
This is the first-ever cannabis cooking competition where chefs are given the opportunity to prepare cannabis-infused dishes for a panel of celebrity judges.
Cooked With Cannabis
In this cooking show, chefs are competing to get the hosts high through their cuisine consisting of THC and CBD.
Grass the Greener
This documentary dives into the history and advocacy of cannabis particularly in the jazz and hip-hop communities
Explained, Episode: Weed - July 25, 2018
In this 20-minute episode, cannabis experts discuss the evolution of the cannabis plant and their search for a way to develop consistency in different strains of cannabis products.
Weed the People
This documentary shares the stories of physicians and parents of children with cancer who are rallying for further medical cannabis research.
It’s not the 420 we had all imagined, let’s still make it great! If you have any tips for celebrating 420 leave them in the comments below! Sign up for our newsletter to receive the latest updates from Responsible Cannabis Use - RCU in your inbox.