Edibles are a fun way for any herb enthusiast to consume cannabis, and also offer a tasty solution to those who want to experience the medicinal or recreational effects of cannabis, but who may be averse to smoking or vaporizing anything.
In the last ten years, cannabis culture has gone through a dramatic evolution—an evolution that could arguably be epitomized by its culinary developments. Dispensaries now offer a wide array of edible cannabis-infused products like gummy candies and soft drinks. It’s become increasingly common for food media to converge with cannabis culture creating shows like Viceland’s Fuck, That’s Delicious, and Netflix’s Cooking on High. Rapper 2 Chainz frequently features cannabis cooking on his show Most Expensivest, like the time he visited the ladies at Ardent to check out the Nova Decarboxylator & Infuser.
It makes sense: great cannabis and great food have always paired amazingly well together, and now that legal restrictions around cannabis have begun to relax globally, creators have more freedom to explore the full possibilities of their intersections.
The cultural shift in the cannabis world affects not only the media we consume, or the pre-packaged products we purchase, but it also changes the way we think about home cooking with cannabis. For the better half of a century, the platonic ideal of the edible was the basic pot brownie, but now the possibilities seem limitless. With a simple search, you can easily find heaps of unique recipes for making gourmet edibles that as recently as the early aughts would have seemed impossible to infuse with cannabinoids. It’s an exciting time to be a lover of food and cannabis, but for many people, the process of making edibles at home may seem overwhelmingly complex. While it’s true that getting the most out of the cannabis you cook with can be a complicated endeavor, with the right knowledge, and the right equipment, it can be surprisingly easy.
Because the buds of the cannabis plant are non-psychoactive until they’ve been heated, just eating the raw plant matter will not get you high. This is why smoking or vaporizing is far and away the most common way of consuming cannabis. It is also why cannabis should be “activated” using a process called “decarboxylation” before it is orally consumed.
What is decarboxylation exactly? A chemist would tell you that decarboxylation is the process by which an acid, or carboxyl, is removed from a fatty molecule. In the context of cannabis, this usually refers to the converting of the THCA (THC-Acid) that’s found on cannabis buds into the psychoactive cannabinoid THC through the use of time and heat. Before making any edible or tincture, you will need to decarboxylate (also referred to as “Decarbing”) your flower in order to obtain any of the plant’s psychoactive properties.
The ultimate goal when decarboxylating cannabis is to fully activate the THC, without destroying any of those valuable terpenes or cannabinoids. To do this effectively requires extreme precision, and there are several different methods to do it in your kitchen, including picking up some new equipment like the Ardent FX all-in-one portable cannabis kitchen.
A common way to decarb your bud is to use your home oven. Start by preheating your oven to 240 degrees Fahrenheit (approximately 115.5 degrees celsius). Then line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and evenly distribute your ground herb on top of it. Bake for 40 minutes, checking halfway through and giving a good stir. Remove your baking tray as soon as your cannabis begins to take on a light golden toasted color.
Issues arise in the oven method due to its imprecise nature. Oven temperatures always shift in either direction, especially when you’re opening the door to check on and stir your material. A fluctuation of only 10 degrees can lead to burning your cannabis or not fully activating it, wasting money and product.
The water bath method for decarbing cannabis is one of the most popular because it’s one of the most simple. The idea is to place your flower into a sealed boil safe bag and submerge into boiling water for a long period of time. In a crockpot, this would be achieved by cooking on low for 2-3 hours. By maintaining a constant temperature, the water bath method attempts to offer a solution to the fluctuation of oven temps.
The problem with this method is that the 212 degrees Fahrenheit that the water boils at is relatively low in comparison to other approaches to decarboxylation. Because of this low temperature, the decarboxylation process happens slowly, thus we begin to see increased levels of degradation in the plant matter due to the extra time it’s exposed to heat.
Difficult jobs are made easier when you have the right tools, and decarboxylation is no exception. The Ardent Nova Decarboxylator & Infuser offers a solution to the unreliability of standard kitchen appliances—allowing you to fully activate your cannabis without damaging any of the cannabinoids. The Nova uses dual-sensor technology, precision heating cycles, and a hi-tech thermal blanket to make decarbing cannabis as simple as pressing a button.
Now that your cannabis has successfully been activated, it’s time to infuse it into cooking fat. The most common way of doing this is to create what’s called cannabutter.
Add 8oz of butter and ½ cup of water into a saucepan on low heat. When the butter has melted, add your decarbed cannabis and stir well then cover with a tight lid. Check out the Ardent dosing guide for more information on how to get the right dose. Let the mixture simmer for 4 hours, stirring occasionally to prevent burning. After the 4 hours is up, strain into a container and refrigerate. Voila, Cannabutter!
The Ardent FX is the easy-bake oven for cannabis. For the first time ever you can decarb, infuse, melt, and bake cannabis all-in-one discreet looking product. Perfect for people without access to a full kitchen, the FX makes cannabis cooking accessible to all people, even those with no prior kitchen experience. Use this innovative device to decarb your material and simply sprinkle it on food—boom, instant edible. You can use the FX to create an infused oil that can be used in any recipe, or you can bake directly inside the device itself! Ardent also offers products like their cloud cake mixes that make delicious single-serve cannabis-infused treats that are unbelievably simple to bake. Ardent: because cooking with cannabis doesn’t have to be complicated.