Introduction: Easy and Foolproof Medibles With Cannabutter / Oil
Medibles are edible food items made with cannabis. There are many ways to do it, but however you do it, the end result is food with cannabis infused oils. There are only a few things that you need to know to do a good job, from there how you accomplish the few simple tasks are matter of preference. I will start with The concepts and a few details about each concept before explaining how to actually go about it.
This website goes over the basics of decarboxylation, and why To simply even more, The reason to do it is to get the most THC out of the extraction as possible Do this for best results, and the easy way to do this is by baking your cannabis in the oven at 300 for 15-20 minutes. This will make your whole house smell like weed, which is awesome, but if you live with other people, they may not be so happy about it. You can actually skip this step if your extraction process includes a lot of heat, but as long as you keep it below 350, it should only make your THC concentrates levels higher. If you have the option, decarb with a pre-bake. If you cant do this inside, you may be able to set up a toaster oven outside, or in the garage, or maybe in a trailer.
What you want is the oil from the plant. The oil contains all the good stuff, but its surrounded by plant matter. When folks smoke cannabis, they burn the plant matter and some of the THC, and this process vaporizes the THC in with the smoke from the combustion of plant matter, getting the oil out without combustion is typically done with heat or solvents (or both).
Extracting with solvents can be done many ways, from using butane to alcohol(drinking kind, like liquor), its a simple matter of soaking in solvent, then cooking off the solvent. This is a good way to get a really good product, but it means using solvents, and solvents cost money, and add some danger/health risks.
Extracting with heat still uses a a fluid solvent, but its a low grade solvent, like vegetable oil, or butter. There are a few ways that you can do it, Its a simple process that can be done on any stove with as little as some butter/oil, cannabis, and heat. Heating oil or butter can be very difficult because they burn fairly easily. Keeping things at a low temperature is one way to make sure that you dont burn anything, but an easier way is to use water. I like to use a crocpot, equal parts water to oil/butter.
If you are using a crockpot for extraction, you will probably decarboxylate while in the crockpot, but you can still decarb in the oven if you want, it will only increase your chances of getting more extraction. I will be showing you how to decarb, and extract using heat.
Step 1: Decarboxylate
This step can sometimes be skipped, but its a quick easy step to assure that you get all the THC that you can get out.
I went over this in the introduction, and its a simple as pouring your dried cannabis in a baking dish, and baking it for 20 minutes at 300 degrees. It will smell the whole house up, so if dont want your house smelling wonderful (oh, the smell lingers for quite a while too!) Then you may want to use outdoor or garage spaces to do your decarbing.
Step 2: Breaking Down the Plant Matter.
The extraction process can be sped up by making it easier to get to the oils inside the plant matter, If you break the plant matter into small bits, the oil gets better contact and combines quicker than it does with bigger chunks of plant matter. You can smash up your dried cannabis in a bag (first photo), and crunch it up (sort of like smashing up potato chips in the bag.), or you can employ a machine to help you out. A coffee grinder or blender works great, you can really pulverized the plant matter into tiny bits in just a few minutes time.
The smaller the powder that you make the plant matter, the faster the extraction will work, but the harder it will be to filter out the plant matter, after extraction. If you want it real fast, you can make it a powder, but you will have to filter it a few times, and use more filter materials (cheese cloth, paper filters, ...)
If you dont break down the plant matter, you will have an easier time straining off the plant matter, but you may need to spend more time extracting. Its a trade off, but either way, its still easy.
The second photo shows the plant matter after having been baked, and put back into a bag for breaking it down by hand. I didnt want to do a lot of straining, so I left it fairly chunky.
The third photo shows a coffee grinder. I use this just for grinding up cannabis. I used it the first time, but I've gotten lazy, and dont bother anymore.
Step 3: Crockpot Cookin
I like to put equal parts water and oil, since I was using 30 oz oil, I put 30 oz water, first picture shows about 20oz water.
Second picture shows a couple ounces (dry weight) of dried cannabis mixing into 30 oz (liquid volume) water.
Third picture shows it getting all mixed together.
The next series of pictures who the pot with 30 oz of cocoa nut butter. Then a bit of stirring, and covering.
Stir at regular intervals to help mix up the oils. Im cooking for a few hours and stirred it half a dozen times, you can do more or less, whatever works best for you. This can probably be done in under an hour, but its the foolproof way, so you can cook this overnight if you want, as long as you dont run out of water. If you use a lower temp, cook it longer, if you are in more of a hurry, turn it up. You cant burn the oil, because the water keeps that from getting too hot. When in doubt, cook it some more, you wont make it worse.
Step 4: Straining Plant Matter
The whole point of the extraction process is to remove the plant matter, and this is the step that you finally get to do that, use a strainer, and a pot, cheesecloth helps if you have it. You could also use a coffee filter or several filters for this step if you dont have a strainer, but the strainer works the best.
This step is kind of messy, and hot, you might want to be careful when pouring hot things. You can also let it cool down a lot before doing this, but I usually do it while its hot. If you let it drain off for a few minutes, then squeese out the fluids with the cheese cloth, you can then dump the plant matter in the garbage (or use it for something else... its good roughage...) At this point all you need is the liquids. The water and oil are mixed together, but there should be little to no plant mater left.
Step 5: Chill Out
You now have a pan of hot fluid that has oil and water mixed together, but we just want the oil, and the oil solidifies somewhere under 100 degrees, but the water not till it gets down to 32. If you put it in the refrigerator, or freezer, it will cool down, and the oil will solidify (if you leave it in the freezer too long, the water will also solidify, so dont leave it in the freezer too long!)
The second picture shows how it looks after the oil has solidified I put it in the sink, because im going to rinse it off in with cold water after I flip it over.
The third picture shows the underside, this part is where the water was and some of the plant matter has stuck to the oil. You can rinse most of it off, but try not to handle the oil too much because you can melt it with your body heat.
At this point you should have a big chunk of green solid. You can cut it up into portions (quarter cup seems like a good size), or you can put it back in the pan, heat it on a low temp for just a couple minutes until its liquid, and pour that back into the original container. You will end up with less than you started with, because some oil will end up on cooking utensils and washed down the drain, or even less in my case, because I wasnt careful enough when pouring.
The photos show doing this with cocoanut oil, but you can do this with any oil. The best oils have the most fats, and Butter, Olive oil, and Cocoanut oil seem to work the best. Cocoanut oil seems to be the healthiest choice, and it doesnt add any flavor, so it can be used with just about anything.
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I use a moka pot for extraction like https://www.amazon.com/MAYMII-Stainless-Espresso-Percolator-Coffee/dp/B01M7OQXZC/ref=sr_1_2?s=kitchen&rps=1&ie=UTF8&qid=1518702250&sr=1-2&keywords=stove-top+espresso+maker&refinements=p_n_feature_browse-bin%3A3015734011%2Cp_85%3A2470955011 put 2 cut up sticks of butter or 1/2 cup of coconut oil in the bottom, fill with water, then fill the coffee filter basket with decarbed herb and run the butter/water mix through 3 times adding water as necessary (be sure to use hand protection VERY HOT!!!! i.e. bbq gloves are YOUR friend). This also saves time by greatly reducing or eliminating the need to strain.
I find if I pour the mixture into resealable straight sided glass mason jars (1/2 pint jelly/jam jars are my choice) and invert the jars, all you have to do is flip the jar over and pour the water out. This also allows you to gently scrape leftover veg material from the top of the butter layer as well, and the jar can be used for butter storage.