Calling all DIY chefs out there! Today we are going to go over both the old school, and new school, way of infusing oil or butter in order to cook and bake our own edibles. It's pretty simple to make, but pretty simple to screw up too if you don't know what you're doing.
Prior to either method, you’ll need to decarb your bud. What is decarboxylation? This chemical process involves the removal of a carboxyl group from a molecule. But really, it’s just you taking your satchel of flower and throwing it in the oven. This is to convert the non-intoxicating cannabinoid THCA into the psychoactive cannabinoid THC. It’s pretty freakin’ important, and sometimes in new cannabis states, the edibles manufacturers don’t understand this concept whatsoever.
How do you do this? Heat the oven to between 200-240 degrees, grind your bud, and place it on parchment paper on a baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes or so, until it turns a nice golden hue (but don’t let it turn brown). You can also do this in the microwave for 90 seconds but sit close by because if you smell burning, you’ll need to yank it out immediately. Let’s just say the oven is the safer bet.
In a large crock pot or stock pot, combine the plant material and butter/oil together in a 1-1 ratio with water. This will allow everything to slosh around thoroughly. Heat at medium for 30-60 minutes. Then it’s ready to drain. Use the largest catch bucket or pot that you can fit in the fridge, moving shelves if necessary. With a cheesecloth or fine mesh strainer, pour the plant material and water through and squish. Keep flushing with more hot water in stages until it squishes out clear.
Place the pot in the fridge overnight or at least several hours until all the oil has floated to the top and formed a butter disc. Remove carefully; it’s not a problem if it snaps. Gently remove any of the thin, soft, icky-looking sludge and place that side down on a paper towel-lined cookie sheet. Allow to sit out for several hours, overnight again if possible. This allows as much moisture as possible to evaporate out. What’s left over, is your butter.
With hot rinsing, I estimate that you get an 80% return or more on the amount of butter solid that went in, versus just a quick squish of a cheese cloth. Dosage is harder to dial in, but it’s usually good and does the trick.
I activate hash oil in a similar method as far as decarbing goes -- but I mix it right away into preheated oil (or corn syrup if you have a non oil-fat edible). This allows you to highly concentrate a small amount of supply oil or syrup, which can be really useful. For example, you could use a quarter cup of the heavy medicated oil or butter or syrup and then 3/4 cup regular if the recipe calls for a full cup, and you’d know your basic dosage within reason, depending on the strength of the product that you put in. Strength is easily quantifiable, i.e., each tablespoon out of a cup equals X mg THC based quite simply on what you put into it.
I prefer this newer method because, within reason, I can give an excellent estimate not only for a singular item, but on a per-serving basis as long as servings are generally equal size. Not only that, but you get a nearly 100% return on what you start with.