Medical marijuana patients use cannabis to treat a variety of issues. Their physician may recommend it, in addition to other medications, as part of a regimen to control symptoms of their illness or disease. Some people may choose to use it on their own and broach the topic with their doctor before starting.
There are many cannabis products on the market, allowing medical marijuana patients to choose the option that works best for them. One popular consumption method patients may choose is ingesting cannabis via an edible. Here’s why marijuana edibles are so popular with patients:
- For patients with lung and breathing issues, smoking cannabis is not an option. Smoke can irritate their lungs or cause their symptoms to flare up. Eating cannabis is an excellent alternative to smoking and vaping.
- Edibles are also long-lasting, giving patients relief for a longer time than smoking would. Though it can take about 30 minutes or so for the effects to kick in, they can last eight hours or longer.
- Edibles make it easy to manage dosage amounts. Medical marijuana users often take specific amounts to achieve the results they need. With smoking, it is hard to judge how much you are taking, but edibles contain fixed amounts, allowing users to manage their dosage accurately and easily.
The Art of Sous Vide Cooking
Buying individually wrapped edibles or packages of pre-made products can get expensive. For patients who need to follow specific diets, it can be tricky to find products that fit their needs. To get the most out of their cannabis, many patients are starting to make their own edibles at home.
However, making edibles shouldn’t be difficult, especially if you are taking them for medical reasons. The solution is sous vide cooking.
You’ve likely heard the term on cooking shows or equate it with meals prepared at a fancy, five-star restaurants. Recently, sous vide has become a cooking method that both chefs and cannabis users alike have begun to use at home.
In French, sous vide means “under vacuum.” It is a cooking process that involves sealing food in an airtight bag (often vacuum-sealed) and cooking it in a water bath using an immersion circulator. The water in the bath is temperature-controlled and never comes to a boil.
Here’s how it works:
- You place your protein, vegetable, or cooking fat in a bag, complete with any spices or herbs or other flavorings you want to include with your dish.
- Vacuum-seal the bag shut to ensure there is no air inside.
- Drop the bag into a large pot of water with an immersion circulator.
- Let it cook at a low, controlled temperature for a few hours until it’s done.
Benefits of Using Sous Vide Cooking With Cannabis
Simplicity is just one of the benefits of making edibles via sous vide. Even so, that’s not the only benefit medical marijuana users get when they use sous vide cooking for their edibles.
Other benefits include:
- Precise temperature control. As cannabis users know, cannabis is quite heat-sensitive. Bake your edibles at too high of a temperature, and your THC may vaporize, causing your cannabis to lose potency. Too low, and it may not bind to your product at all.
- It is hands-free. You can leave your product to cook while you do other things. It will be ready for you when you return.
- It is covert. Baking with weed, and using weed in general, can leave a very distinct smell in your home. When you use the sous vide method, there is no smell, allowing you to be discreet in what you are making.
How to Use Sous Vide With Your Medical Marijuana Edibles
The easiest way to make edibles via sous vide is by creating cannabutter or cannaoil that you can then use to make your recipes. If your cookie recipe calls for butter, substitute the cannabutter you’ve already made. Having it on hand makes preparing your edibles that much easier.
However, before you use sous vide cooking to make your cannabutter, you’ll need to decarboxylate your weed. In its raw form, cannabis will not have any effect on you, as its compounds are in a different form (THCA and CBDA). First, it needs to be heated so that the “A” is dropped, and its compounds are changed to THC and CBD. This is the form your body can absorb and will give you the results you need.
Here’s how you can decarboxylate your weed using the sous vide method:
- Grind your cannabis into even-sized pieces and place them in a sealable plastic bag.
- Vacuum-seal the bag, so it is firmly closed.
- Set your immersion circulator to 95 degrees Celsius and put it in a pot of water.
- Submerge your cannabis-filled bag into the water for about an hour.
Once this process is complete, you are ready to make your cannabutter. You’ll need:
- 15 grams of your favorite cannabis strain
- 450 grams (1 pound) of unsalted butter
Here’s how to make cannabutter:
- Add water to your saucepan and put in your immersion circulator, set at 200 degrees.
- Place the butter in a mason jar.
- Wrap your cannabis tightly in cheesecloth and add it to your mason jar.
- Close the jar, ensuring the lid is screwed on tightly.
- Submerge your mason jar in the water and let it soak for four hours.
- Carefully remove the mason jar and remove the bundle.
- Squeeze out any remaining liquid from the bundle into the mason jar and pat dry the butter.
You can store your butter for up to 30 days and use it to make brownies, cookies, and even shortbread.
Medical marijuana patients may find smoking cannabis to be difficult, leading them to use edibles instead. Many patients have started making their own edibles to save money and create edibles that meet dietary needs.
Using the sous vide method to make cannabutter is simple. You’ll have butter on hand that you can use to make cannabis-infused baked goods.