Smoking and vaping aren’t for everyone. Though some people don’t react well to cannabis, how you consume the plant plays a significant role in the experience. Sometimes the smoke can be too harsh, leaving one’s throat feeling too painful. Vapes, too, can create discomfort, especially if it dries out of your mouth.
Edibles are undoubtedly a more potent option with longer-lasting effects than smoking or vaping. Many people discount edibles because of past experiences. Before legalization and technological developments, it was hard to measure and dose cannabis edibles accurately. Homemade edibles, like cookies and brownies, would be packed with THC and leave people in a couch-locked state. Some might prefer this experience every once in a while, but it isn’t sustainable for those using cannabis for medical purposes.
These days, the edibles found at dispensaries come in a wide range of doses. Some are meant for micro-dosing through your day, while others intend to keep you in the same couch-locked state as those old-school homemade brownies. Typically, you’ll find the THC dosage on containers or edible mylar bags.
When you go to a dispensary, edibles won’t be measured like flower or concentrates. Most cannabis products share a THC percentage to determine their potency. Edibles, however, are dosed in milligrams. Each state has its framework for cannabis legalization, which often limits the THC levels in edibles. As mentioned earlier, edibles are more potent. Canada, for example, limits THC edibles to 10 mg in some provinces; 5 mg in others. It’s inconvenient for those with high tolerance, but it’s a safeguard that prevents overconsumption. However, making delicious edibles at home with dispensary-grade products is still possible.
Cannabis for the use of ingestion is a practice that dates back to 2000 B.C. Ancient Indians used Bhang as a drink on Holi, though the tradition has continued through the years. Ultimately, all edibles derive from the marijuana plant in one way or another, whether oil extracts or cannabutter made from a weed butter maker. Though dispensary-grade edibles rely on distillate to make their products, it’s possible to create incredible edibles with flower. The process does take a bit more time — longer than edibles take to kick in — but the results will often be worth the labor.
Often, dispensary-grade products use distillate for edibles. Distillate can be ingested and even vaporized. However, it’s also one of the most versatile extracts available, which is why companies use them for edibles. The reason is that they’re an odorless and flavorless oil that mesh with advanced infusion methods. Distillates must bind THC with fat for it to create an effect. So, most recipes call for the use of butter and coconut oil. The ingredients can be a great way to find new ideas for packaging edibles.
Since there aren’t blanket regulations for cannabis edibles, each state has its own rules, from packaging for edibles to the THC levels. We heavily advise every dispensary and cannabis operator to ensure that their products meet their state’s standards.
Dispensaries now offer beverages infused with THC. Customers find these in fridges or shelves with cool custom edible packaging — typically cans or bottles. These have grown in popularity, especially as a substitute for alcohol. Some companies even offer THC-infused beer that does not contain any alcohol whatsoever.
However, it’s far more complex than making brownies or cookies. There are three steps to making infused beverages that require highly advanced technology.
Some people have attempted to create drinks at home by adding a few drops of distillate to their beverages. Though it works, it is less consistent than the dispensary-grade drinks.
By now, you’re probably wondering how to make a weed edible. Edibles at home are relatively straightforward, depending on what products you are using. However, the process remains relatively the same whether you use flower or extracts. The first step is decarboxylation, where you heat your cannabis products to release and activate the THC. This process happens by grinding up your cannabis (or laying concentrates on a non-stick silicone sheet) before placing it in an oven to 240 degrees. After 30 to 40 minutes, the weed will be golden brown, indicating that it’s ready to be pulled out and cooled down.
From there, you can create cannaoil or cannabutter with a magical butter machine. If you don’t have one of these nifty machines, you could infuse the decarbed weed directly into heated butter or oil to simmer for 45 minutes. Afterward, a cheesecloth separates the bits of weed and infused cannabis.
After it cools down, it’s ready to use. With the infused butter or oil, you could add it to recipes for baked goods or even other meals. Edible enthusiasts should note that it’s far more challenging to monitor and dose accurately.
A question that many consumers wonder is: do edibles expire after sitting on shelves for a while? Like flower, edibles can lose their potency over time, especially if they aren’t stored correctly. The product can lose its effects entirely in a year, though it might be even faster under certain circumstances.
However, you can preserve edibles for longer if you know how to store edibles properly. The first step is to use air-sealed packaging to ensure the freshness of the products. We also advise using parchment paper to wrap the cannabis product before its put into the packaging.
If placed in a pantry, it could last for a few days without degrading. However, the shelf life expands to weeks using refrigerators and months if stored in a freezer. Ultimately, you need to ensure that there’s the rigid control of air and temperature. As long as you don’t expose your products to humidity or rapid temperature changes, your products should last for a while.