Perhaps the best reason to add lecithin to your edibles is one that will really get cannabis enthusiasts excited. The emulsifier can act to increase the potency of cannabis edibles in numerous ways, helping users to make the most of the weed they are using. Your body may have an easier time digesting the bound ingredients and will be able to access and digest THC and other cannabinoids more easily. As well as this, lecithin is known to be a surfactant, a compound that lowers surface tension. This fact means that lecithin helps to distribute THC and cannabinoids more efficiently.
Now that we have covered what lecithin is and why it acts to optimise cannabis edibles, it’s time to get baking. Adding lecithin to edibles is an easy and straightforward process. When using it is as a dough conditioner add around 1 teaspoon of lecithin to every cup of flour used in a recipe. Next, dissolve the lecithin in the liquid ingredients. Bake the goods using the normal directions that the recipe states. When your goods are finished it’s time for a taste test. If the texture isn’t as good as it could be, add some more lecithin to the next batch of your edible of choice. If it has left behind an obvious flavour, add a little less.
There are multiple reasons to use lecithin when cooking up a batch of psychoactive cannabis edibles. As alluded to above one great reason is to improve the structure of your edibles. Adding lecithin to a mixture before baking will help certain particles bind together instead of rejecting each other and falling apart. For example, when making chocolate brownies or cakes, lecithin will help sugar and cocoa stick to cannabutter. Sugar and cocoa bind well with water, yet cannabutter doesn’t. Lecithin can be used to remedy this issue. Additionally, the presence of lecithin within your cannabis edibles can increase the shelf life by preventing the separation of fats and waters. This may lessen the chance of mould formation which will ruin your stash.
Aside from being used as a health supplement, lecithin plays a major role in cooking and food products. It works as an emulsifying agent and additive that works to stabilize processed foods. It helps foods that usually don’t mix to stay together. For example, when adding a teaspoon of coconut oil into a cup of coffee the oil will rise to the top of the liquid, the two substances won’t mix together. When adding an emulsifier such as lecithin, the two will mix together and stay together, creating a more pleasant beverage. It’s easy to see why lecithin is so important and widely used in food products that use oils and water. Lecithin basically helps oil-based ingredients interact and stabilise with water-based ingredients.
Just like the process of growing cannabis plants, adding the flowers into food recipes and creating edibles is an artform. There are countless recipes out there now and almost any dish, whether sweet or savoury, can be infused with cannabinoids for either medicinal or recreational purposes. Making edibles isn’t always simple, especially for those cannabis enthusiasts who are new to the world of cooking. There are many ways to improve certain dishes and recipes, and factors such as flavour, texture, and presentation can be optimised in order to really make an edible experience fun and memorable. One secret weapon when it comes to baking with weed is the use of lecithin, an ingredient that can greatly improve the structural integrity of an edible, and may enhance the absorption of the prized cannabinoids within.
When it comes to vegan options and eggless baking, the process is slightly different. Mix 1 ½ tablespoons of lecithin granules into 2 teaspoons of water for each egg yolk that is needed within a typical recipe. Next, add the required fats, flavourings, and binding ingredients and bake away. Because eggs provide a good binding effect, vegan options will need these additional ingredients.
Lecithin is a phospholipid that can be found within eggs, avocados, soybeans, and sunflowers. The substance acts as a binding agent that keeps ingredients stuck together. It may even play a role in increasing the potency of edibles. We take a closer a look at what is going on.
Lecithin is a phospholipid, a type of fat, that is often used as an additive within food to enable certain ingredients to bind and stick together that would usually repel each other. Lecithin can be found within egg yolks, which is why eggs are frequently used in recipes to thicken sauces and bases. Vegan sources of lecithin include avocados, soybeans, and sunflowers. Lecithin serves an essential role within the body and makes up parts of cell membranes – the protective barrier that separates the interior of cells from the outside. There is evidence to suggest that lecithin may be useful in cases of liver and gallbladder disease, and some even employ it in attempts to treat cognitive impairment, dry skin, and numerous other conditions.
Eggs are probably the best source of lecithin to use in edible recipes, however, they won’t suffice in vegan recipes. Soy lecithin is commonly used in many processed foods, though there is a large debate about just how healthy it is. Soy lecithin is known to be highly processed and manufacturers often used solvents to extract it. Therefore, sunflower lecithin is advised instead. It is also worth noting, while egg and sunflower based lecithin are superior, they are also harder to get hold of – with soy being the most common in powder form.
Lecithin is an emulsifying agents than can help to improve the structure of edibles, and even make them more potent. Here is the info.
It’s difficult to call this an optional step due to how important it is, but since people are just now catching on, it’s still common for people to make cannabutter without lecithin. The only reason we leave it as an optional step is that it requires a lot of extra time to acquire if you don’t already have it. Hopefully by now you understand that THC is lipophilic, meaning it attracts fats and lipids due to its non-polar molecular structure. Similarly, water is polar and therefore only attracts hydrophilic substances. Lecithin is a fatty substance derived from plant and animal tissue that is amphiphilic, meaning it attracts both water AND fats / lipids. The reason this is so important is because in order for a drug, in this case THC, to enter our blood stream, it needs to become water soluble. This is because our blood contains water, not fats. Because the THC must transfer from a fat to enter your blood, taking THC in the form of edibles has traditionally had an overall lower bioavailability and slower rate of absorption. If you’ve ever waited multiple hours to start feeling an edible, you know this fact well. By using lecithin to increase the bioavailability of the THC, not only do you increase the medicinal and recreational value of the THC, you also massively increase the speed at which the THC is absorbed by the body. According to BadKat of BadKatsCannaPharm.com, the absorption rate with lecithin added is close to intravenous administration. The end result is more THC absorbed and less wasted. Lecithin’s incredible ability to increase the bioavailability and absorption rate of drugs doesn’t stop with THC. It is now being used to aid in the absorption of Vitamin C, Omega 3s, as well as other pharmaceuticals.
- Melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat.
- Once the butter starts to bubble and come close to finishing melting, remove it from the heat and let it finish melting.
No comprehensive guide to cannabutter would be complete without mentioning the possibility of cooking without either water or alcohol. This is how many people make their cannabutter. As far as we can tell, there are no significant benefits to not using water or alcohol besides removing the water/butter separation step at the end. This is very a minor step, and well worth it for the payoff of getting all the advantages of cooking with water and/or alcohol. Because you’re not using alcohol or water, you’ll need to watch the temperature much more closely. If you let it get too high and you’re not using clarified butter, the butter could get scorched, or even worse, the THC will begin to evaporate and you’ll lose potency. If you use a double boiler however, you’ll retain the temperature control benefits of using water, you just wont have the advantage of removing the water soluble plant material. Another disadvantage to not using water is that when you’re straining out the butter in the final step, the liquid retained by the cannabis product that you toss at the end will be 100% butter, therefore resulting in more butter/THC wasted. In some minor respects, it makes the process simpler, but overall is definitely not worth it in our opinion. If anyone knows of any significant benefits to not using water or alcohol, we’d love to hear them.
200 micron bag to accomplish basically the same thing, although you may want to clean it afterwards. You can buy 9 sq ft of cheesecloth for $4, but you can only use that for maybe two batches of butter whereas milk bags are reusable. You can also use a fine mesh strainer if you don’t have anything else, but since it’s difficult to squeeze the butter out of the cannabis with a flat strainer, we recommend you stick with bags or cheesecloth if possible.
Once the everclear is finished evaporating, we recommend adding about 1-2 cups of water and bring the new mixture to a light simmer to allow it to cook at a higher temperature for about 2 hours, as well as let the water absorb the water soluble plant material. By adding water at the end, you’re able to get the benefits of cooking with water while also gaining alcohol’s ability to help the THC transfer to the butter and lecithin more easily. Based on our research for this guide, it appears that using some combination of water and alcohol might be the best method, but we can’t speak from personal experience yet, so if you use both, just make sure you experiment with varying amounts of water and alcohol.
1.5″ of water, then add your butter and decarboxylated cannabis product along with lecithin if you followed our recommendation. The amount of water isn’t too important, but you should leave enough to absorb the chlorophyll and other plant parts and still have enough to not worry about it all boiling off. With everything mixed together, leave your crock-pot on low heat. If you’re using a saucepan, just use enough heat to make sure the water isn’t boiling too fast and refill it if a significant amount starts to boil off. Stir 2-3 times in the first hour and after that stir every 2-3 hours. Cook for 8 hours at least, but we usually let it take about 16 hours. Some people let it cook for a full day or longer.
So you’ve decided that you want to clarify your butter, here’s how to do it:
So how can we, or how should we, decarboxylate our cannabis? If you read our strain guide you’ll understand the importance of terpenes, but put simply, they affect the type of high. Terpenes are very unstable, so if you use higher temperatures you lose more of them. This means that we’ll want to decarboxylate our cannabis at the lowest temperature possible while still causing the chemical reaction to take place. There are two main methods for accomplishing this, but regardless of the method you choose, make sure you grind your cannabis as finely as possible before you start.
Now you’re ready to isolate your cannabutter for later cooking. The process is very simple. First, prepare your container to hold the final product, then pour the mixture from your saucepan / crock-pot through a milk bag if you have it into your container. You can also use a strainer + cheesecloth, or can even use bubble hash bags if that’s all you have. Some people even use a T-shirt or some kind of cloth, but we recommend the milk bags because they have the right size filter (
Ultimate Guide to Making Cannabutter. We include all possible methods around the web and discuss the pros and cons of each method.