Making your own cannabis edibles at home can be a fun and enjoyable experience for those that would rather not smoke marijuana from a joint, pipe or bong. Not only are they relatively easy to dose, they also provide long-lasting and stronger effects than smoking the same amount, and that can help make your weed go farther, especially if you have some extra flower that you’d rather not smoke.

But if you want to head over to your local California dispensary and pick up some edibles, be prepared to pay a premium. Cannabis edibles cost much more than the value of the cannabis you’ll find inside, and that means making cannabis at home is a great option for those that would rather not buy cannabis edibles in a store. Instead of going along with the dosing on the package of a cannabis edible, you can create the perfect edible for your needs — something that may not even be possible when buying off-the-shelf products if you have dietary restrictions.

Decide on Your Dosing

Before you can create those yummy 420 edibles, you’ll need to know how to dose them properly. A mistake here could turn your cannabis edibles into something that requires a bellyful to start feeling the effects — or leave you with edibles that are way too strong for each bite. While some of this is trial and error — don’t make the mistake of whipping up a batch for the first time if you’ve got something important to do later in the day — but a little bit of math and measuring can go a long way.

In a nutshell, cannabis edibles can be made for just about any baked good or cooking process that requires butter. By simply replacing the butter in the recipe with cannabis butter — also known as cannabutter — you’ll have a great tasting edible packed with THC.

To start, purchase cannabis flower from your local dispensary and opt for that which has its cannabis content clearly indicated. An average dosing is around 5 to 10 mg of THC, so if you had a gram of cannabis with 20% THC, that would mean 200 mg of THC. But don’t forget that decarbing and extracting the cannabis would yield about 100 mg across the batch, or between 10 and 20 different doses. That’s why things like cookies and brownies are so convenient — they’re easy to split.

That said, if you opt for super-strong cannabutter, you can always mix it with regular butter to get your dosing right.

Making Cannabis Edibles

The first step in making cannabis edibles is to decarb the cannabis. It sounds complicated, but it’s little more than using heat to activate the THC, which explains why you can’t get high by eating raw cannabis flower.

Basically, heat converts the THCa into THC, ready for consumption. And while baking is the most popular methodology, there are many ways to decarb weed, including slow cookers or even cooking it on a stove top with regular butter. Keep temps low and cooking times short to avoid burning off that cannabis.

The next step is to take that decarbed weed or cannabutter and get to cooking. If you’d rather not worry about making your own cannabutter, you can also purchase cannabutter from your local dispensary. You can also opt for decarbed kief, which is sort of a seasoning blend that can be added to flour or milk. Coconut oil is another way to create tasty cannabis edibles without the dairy of butter. And it all works the same as butter — just replace certain ingredients with the cannabis alternative at your desired dosing.

Cannabis Edibles To Start With

While you can certainly try your hand at baking a complicated dish or dessert, it often helps to start with the staples. For most, that means cannabis cookies or pot brownies. Simply take your favorite cookie recipe and swap out the butter with cannabutter or your favorite butter substitute. Make sure you check your dosing twice to ensure that they’re not too strong or weak, and be sure to test out a cookie or brownie yourself before giving it to others.

Note that it takes much longer for the high to kick in via cannabis edibles, so don’t make the rookie mistake of gobbling up portions in a feeble attempt to chase the high. Unlike smoking, which typically hits in seconds via the lungs, cannabis edibles travel through the gut before being released into the bloodstream — a process that can take an hour or longer.

Because dosing is so important, it often helps to microwave your butter first so that it can easily and uniformly melt into your recipe. That will help your cannabis edibles stay consistent from portion to portion, which can help you avoid any potential dosing problems with your batch.

Once you have a few successful batches under your belt, you can start experimenting with your dosing. If you find that the potency is too high, scale back your dosing by 50% or so. Or if you’re looking to make a one-dose wonder, up the potency until you can identify the right mixture. But keep in mind that just like alcohol, what may work for you may be entirely too much for friends, so be sure to adjust their portions accordingly.

For the ultimate in consistent dosing, you can always try creating different types of cannabis edibles. Homemade cannabis capsules are an ideal alternative to all the sugar and fat found in the pot brownies and cannabis cookies of the world, and they’re also easy to take at a moment’s notice. They’re more complicated to make than most baked goods, so we would only suggest this after a trial and error period, though the best part about homemade cannabis capsules is that you can add other herbs to the mix, such as valerian root or turmeric.

But that’s not all. Aside from various cannabis edibles, you can also add cannabis to teas and other beverages. If you’ll be heating your drink, you can steep your tea with cannabis flower to decarb and unlock the THC within — or just pour some cannabutter directly inside your beverage, or use a tincture of cannabis extract to add some life to just about anything.

To learn more about cannabis edibles and to shop for cannabis products online, check out our comprehensive cannabis knowledgebase here.