Cannabis enthusiast and student of the art of solventless extraction
Solventless edibles are made by infusing a food or beverage with an extract like rosin or bubble hash. Extractors can use the regular methods to create the solventless extracts, then the extracts need to be decarboxylated, which means heated in order to activate the THC and other cannabinoids. Gummies, tinctures, capsules, and chocolates are common forms of edibles made with solventless extracts. Rather than cooking solventless extracts directly into the edibles recipe, the cannabis concentrate is infused into a fat-based carrier like butter or MCT oil, which is then incorporated into the recipe to make the edible.
Although cannabis flowers have long been used to make edibles, solventless extracts are becoming more popular due to the purity and potency of these concentrates. There’s no risk of harmful solvents or other chemicals making their way into the edibles, because solventless extracts such as rosin and bubble hash are produced without the use of solvents.
Solventless edibles are easy to make at home, too. They offer a great alternative to daily dabbing in case your lungs are ready for a change of pace.
Choosing the Right Solventless Extracts for Your Edibles
Top quality rosin and bubble hash is best for dabbing, and really shouldn’t be the source of cannabis for solventless edibles. Using premium quality rosin or bubble hash in edibles will end up masking some of their best qualities, namely explosive flavor. But lesser grades of solventless extracts are great for making edibles.
Food grade hash contains significantly larger amounts of plant contamination, and it’s generally rated as 1 or 2-star hash. This quality of hash is still valuable, as it’s a concentrated version of cannabis that’s extracted without the use of solvents. Due to the excess plant material contained within, food grade hash doesn’t fully melt or bubble, and it leaves behind residue.
These qualities make 1 and 2-start hash less desirable for smoking, but perfect for use in cooking and infusions. Food grade hash is ideal as a source for edible infusions and cooking with cannabis. Food grade hash often has a green tint, which reflects the plant material contained within.
Read more in our article What Is Food Grade Bubble Hash?What Is Food Grade Bubble Hash?
Likewise, rosin that might lack the best terpene profile or color can be perfect for using in edibles. Older rosin that might look past its prime can also be great for edibles.
Aside from rosin itself, you can also use rosin chips, or pucks, as starting material for edibles. Rosin chips are the bags of flower, dry sift, or bubble hash that already went through the rosin extraction process. Read more in our article What Are Rosin Chips and What Can You Do with Them?
How To Make Solventless Edibles
Ground flowers were the go-to starting material for making edibles for many years. The flowers, or sometimes extracted oil, were decarboxylated and infused into a fat such as butter or coconut oil.
Extensive research suggests that infusing cannabis into a fat prior to consumption optimizes the interaction of the cannabis with the body's endocannabinoid system. According to a 2016 study from the National Center for Biotechnology Information, dietary fats combined with cannabis increases the body's systemic absorption of edible cannabis. This enhances and prolongs the effects of the ingested cannabis for many people.
Coconut oil, butter, and other culinary oils are all capable of carrying the desired cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids from cannabis. Furthermore, solventless extracts are ideal starting material to infuse into fats and oils. Decarboxylating the extracts and then mixing into fats over a heat source will create the infusion to power solventless edibles.
Here’s how to make solventless edibles…
1. Decarboxylate the Extract
Decarbing cannabis involves the process of decarboxylation, which is a naturally occurring chemical reaction made possible with heat over time. Decarboxylation impacts cannabis by converting its beneficial compounds from their acidic form into a non-acidic form (e.g. from THC-A to THC). This transformation unlocks the full extent of the cannabinoids’ therapeutic value, most especially in regards to psychoactivity. Decarbing cannabis lets us enjoy the effects we most fondly associate with cannabis consumption.
It’s easy to decarb solventless concentrates in a sealed mason jar. For the mason jar method of decarbing, place the solventless extracts inside the mason jar and seal the lid.
You can use an oven at 225-240 degrees Fahrenheit for 35-50 minutes.
During decarbing, about every 10-15 minutes, use a pair of oven mitts to remove the jar and turn it slightly in a way that allows the cannabis to shift positions within the jar. This will ensure consistent and even heat exposure.
Read more about decarboxylation in our article How To Decarb Cannabis.
Infuse the ground cannabis into a fat or oil of your choice. Some options include coconut oil, butter, or olive oil. To do this, heat the fat or oil in a saucepan over medium heat until it is melted. Add the decarboxylated extract and stir constantly for 20-30 minutes, or until the cannabis is fully infused into the fat.
3. incorporate the Infusion into the Edibles
Use the infused fat or oil in your recipe as you would any other fat or oil. Keep in mind that the dosage of THC in your edibles will depend on the strength of your cannabis and the amount of fat or oil used in the recipe. It is important to start with a low dosage and gradually increase to find the right amount for your personal tolerance.
Gummies are a great type of solventless edible that you can easily make at home. To get a full recipe for making solventless gummies, check out our article How To Make Cannabis Gummies.
MCT Oil capsules are another great form of solventless extracts. Get the full recipe in our article How To Make MCT Oil Rosin Capsules.
How Potent Are My Homemade Solventless Edibles?
It can be tricky to assess the potency of your edibles until you try them. Start slow and increase the dosage about every hour until you figure out how much will give you the desired effects. There are ways to estimate the strength of the edibles you make at home, but the only way to know potency with certainty is with the help of a testing lab.
Read more in our article How To Calculate THC Content in Homemade Edibles and Tinctures.
Solventless extracts like rosin, dry sift, and bubble hash are excellent starting materials to make cannabis edibles. Solventless cannabis concentrates are pure and potent and cleaner to work with than raw flower. Edibles are an efficient use of extracts.
To make solventless edibles, first decarboxylate the extract, then infuse the extracts into a fat or oil like coconut oil, MCT oil, or butter by mixing them together over heat. Gummies, MCT oil capsules, and chocolates are common forms of solventless extracts, but the options are nearly limitless. Once you have an infused oil or butter, you can add it to any recipe and make it a way to medicate.
What are your favorite solventless edible recipes? Let us know in the comments!
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