Decarb BHO or Wax

Before cooking marijuana edibles with concentrates, you’ll need to learn how to decarb wax (or BHO, shatter, dabs, or butane honey oil). The activation of THC in your butane hash oil necessitates a low-temperature oven decarboxylation.

It’s easy to decarb shatter; the difficulty is to heat it just enough. If you decarb dabs for too long, some THC will convert into CBN (a cannabinoid that makes you sleepy). This may be beneficial if you want a bedtime snack, but the goal of learning how to decarb BHO is generally to boost the amount of THC in your edibles.

How to decarb BHO or wax

  1. Preheat the oven to 250°F. Put a measured amount of butane hash oil on a silicone liner on an oven-safe pyrex pan (or use parchment paper, as shown in the photos on this page).
  2. Cook in the oven for approximately 25 minutes.
  3. When the shatter has finished decarbing, check it to see when it’s done. BHO will bubble when you decarb it. Water and carbon dioxide are released during the decarboxylation process. At first, large bubbles will emerge: nThen smaller bubbles: nYou don’t want to overcook the shatter or you’ll fall asleep. So keep an eye on the bubbling throughout the decarb process. Towards the end, poke at the bubbles with a skewer to loosen them up, then look for new ones to form. When the popping slows down significantly, remove it from the oven.
  4. Allow to cool for a few seconds before putting the silicone mat or parchment in the freezer to make it easier to handle. If you touch it with your hands, it will melt into a sticky mess.

Consider the dish you’ll infuse

The first step in utilizing concentrates is to consider the end product: are you making, for example, a simple salad dressing? You might prefer a distillate rather than an RSO because RSO’s concentrated form has an unpleasant aftertaste.

“You may use whatever form of cannabis concentrates in your food,” Dixie Brands’ Jay Denniston adds. “The variety of various sorts of concentrates, each with its own set of characteristics, might make it tough to choose the best one for an infused meal.”

“The taste of full extract cannabis oils, such as RSO, will be stronger than crystalline extracts.” Denniston continued. “If you’re eating foods in small doses like olive oil, the flavor of the cannabis extract will be more apparent.”

Sweet edibles with concentrated or potent tastes (such as RSO or full-spectrum extracts) might help to hide the taste.

High-fat foods like peanut butter, olive oil, or ghee are also excellent options since they more readily take concentrates for infusions.

Choose your concentrate

“The concentration of THCA in concentrates derived from semi-solid to solid states, such as live resin, terp sauce, budder, wax, and especially sugar wax, has the capacity to contain substantial quantities,” Denniston added.

For those of you unfamiliar with the acronym, THCA is a non-intoxicating component that transforms to THC euphoria over time or when heat is applied.

Concentrates can be more difficult to use than other products. Crystal isolates, for example, are often sold in the form of a white powder that is easy to handle.

“The major benefit of using distillate is that it has no taste, fragrance, or other flavorings added. It’s ready to go right into your chosen recipe’s fat component,” said Troy Ivan, CEO & Founder of ExtractCraft.

When it comes to THC distillate, as long as you have the right equipment and know-how, there’s a lot of appeal since it is extremely potent and does not require decarboxylation. Every option, though, has its own set of difficulties.

The disadvantage of distillate is that all other cannabinoids and key cannabis components have been removed. Many people feel that distillate is less effective because it lacks the entourage effects and synergy seen in full-spectrum oil. For others, Brandin LaShea, chef and host of Pot Pie, takes a RSO approach since it is quicker to use.

“I’ve learned that I enjoy using RSO concentrates, which don’t need to be decarboxylated and can be added directly to your favorite recipes, making the process much easier for someone who is just getting started.”

Make sure you’re using concentrates that have been verified by a third-party laboratory. You don’t want to take a chance on ingesting anything contaminated.

Dosing cannabis oils for edibles

Slowing things down and lowering your expectations will make for a more pleasurable meal. This is especially crucial when it comes to cooking your own edibles, which are notoriously difficult to produce.

You’ll need a few basic pieces of information to calculate your approximate dose:

  • The weight of your concentrate (in grams)
  • The potency of the concentrate (% THC or CBD)
  • The number of servings the cooked dish yields (i.e. “makes a dozen cookies”)

To calculate, use this equation:

(weight of concentrate x THC% x 1,000)/number of servings

  • Multiply the weight of your concentrate (in grams) by the percentage of THC (as a decimal)
  • Multiply that number by 1,000 to convert grams to milligrams
  • Divide that number by the number of servings your recipe yields to determine milligrams of THC per portion

For example, 0.25 grams of a concentrate with 80% THC potency, should yield about 200mg of THC: (0.25 x 0.80) x 1,000 = 200.

Then, 200mg of THC distributed throughout 8 servings provides each serving with 25mg of THC, assuming even distribution (mix well!).

Make sure you’re already familiar with your ideal dose, and when in doubt, start with a very low dose (between 1-5mg) and work your way up.

Decarboxylate your concentrate (if needed)

Before you consume a cannabis concentrate, you’ll want to ensure that it has been decarboxylated. Non-intoxicating THCA is converted into the euphoric THC we all know and adore when cooked at higher temperatures. Higher temperatures are more likely to destroy important cannabinoids and other chemicals, therefore decarbing low and slow is typically the best method.

It can be difficult to remove your concentrates from their containers. Ivan advises using a lighter to melt concentrates adhered to metal instruments or freezing concentrated until they stiffen and may be easily removed. “Be careful. If you leave it in the freezer too long, it will become like glass and shatter into tiny shards all over the place,” warned Ivan.

LaShea advises decarbing each type of concentrate as follows:

Decarbing BHO

Materials needed:

  • Desired amount of BHO
  • Baking sheet
  • Parchment paper
  • Oven thermometer

Directions:

  • Preheat your oven to 200°F (93°C). Make sure you use your thermometer to test the oven temp before placing BHO in the oven.
  • Line your baking sheet with your parchment paper.
  • Put your wax, shatter, crumble, or budder on the center of your parchment lined baking sheet.
  • Place in the oven and bake for about 20-25 minutes. You will want to watch your concentrate very closely and make sure it doesn’t overcook. Once it has melted down and starts to really bubble, you know it is ready.
  • Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.

Decarbing RSO

Materials needed:

  • Large stockpot
  • Cooking oil (like canola oil)
  • Heat proof container for RSO or CO2 oil (silicone or glass)
  • Desired amount of RSO or CO2 oil
  • Spoon for stirring
  • Tongs
  • Thermometer

Directions:

  • Fill a stock pot about a quarter way up with cooking oil.
  • Place sealed container (silicone or glass container) with RSO or CO2 oil into pot with oil.
  • Began heating oil on medium-low heat.
  • Heat oil to 200°F (93°C), watching very closely and checking temperature with your thermometer. Break up bubbles with a spoon.
  • Once you’ve reached the temperature of 200°F, turn off the stovetop and remove pot from heat.
  • After about 1-2 minutes or when the bubbles have started to mellow out, remove concentrate container from oil with tongs. You can also leave it in until the bubbles have completely stopped for a more potent oil with stronger effects.

Note: Decarbing concentrates will make them thicken up, so they will be easier to work with while they are a little warm.

Decarbing kief

Materials needed:

  • Desired amount of kief
  • Baking sheet
  • Parchment paper
  • Spatula
  • Oven thermometer

Directions:

  • Preheat your oven to 200°F (93°C). Make sure you use your thermometer to test the oven temp before placing kief in the oven.
  • Line your baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Spread the knife around evenly in the center of the baking sheet.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes stirring halfway through.
  • Remove from the oven and allow it to cool.

Select your infusing oil

The most solid and liquid base oils for infusing are ones with a high saturated fat content, such as palm oil or coconut oil. Avocado oil is one of my favorites. Butter and dairy animal fats do not compare in terms of stability and convenience of use.

Another alternative is MCT oil, which is made from coconut and has a high saturated fat content. It’s this saturated fat content that allows MCT oil to quickly provide energy and act as the best medium for dissolving cannabis concentrates. While many virgin coconut oils have a coconut flavor, MCT oil is refined to eliminate it.

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