FAQ about cooking with Cannabis
How do I make Gummy Bears with Full Extract Cannabis Oil (FECO) or Rick Simpson Oil (RSO)?
For Gummy Bears, combine and warm the following:
⅛-¼ cup Glycerin or you can use additional corn syrup or honey in a pinch
1 tsp Sunflower or Soy Lecithin ( liquid or granules)
Add the desired amount of concentrated Full Extract Cannabis Oil (FECO/RSO).
Use a glass or metal measuring cup on an electric mug warmer to mix these ingredients. Heat and stir often until the mixture is well combined. Do not boil. If you don”t have one of these handy warmers, you’ll need a very small saucepan and stir the mixture constantly until you’re satisfied. I prefer to heat these ingredients separately to limit my cannabis from extra heat, and this step helps to emulsify the oils into the main candy mixture. You don’t want to overheat and degrade any of the cannabinoids.
A mug warmer or candle warmer, as they are called, is amazingly handy for mixing cannabis oils at home. They are inexpensive, and I can usually find them in thrift stores!
Choose THC, CBD or any cannabinoid your dispensary offers. You can make your own combinations or ratios!
How do I add Full Extract Cannabis Oil (FECO) or Rick Simpson Oil (RSO) to a recipe?
Follow the instructions in the above Gummy Bear answer above but choose a neutral oil that will compliment your recipe as the carrier oil or the actual cooking oil that your recipe asks for. The point is to warm up some oil to add your concentrate in to help distribute it evenly through the batter.
What is a neutral oil?
Neutral oils in cooking are oils that have very little flavor. The last thing you want in your cake is the flavor of olives or a coconut flavor in your Italian salad dressing.
Neutral Oil Examples:
- Refined Coconut Oil (solid)
- MCT oil (liquid)
- Shortening (solid such as crisco)
- Vegetable Oil
- Canola Oil
- Extra Light Olive Oil
- Grapeseed Oil
Examples of Oils with Strong Flavors:
- Virgin Coconut oil (solid and has a coconut flavor and scent)
- Virgin Olive Oils (EVOO)
- Hemp Seed Oil
What is Soy Lecithin and why do I need it?
Lecithin will help your cannabis oil stay mixed and evenly incorporated throughout your edibles.
Soy Lecithin is used widely in commercial baking, but you often don’t hear it used in home baking. Lecithin comes in granules or liquid forms. According to WebMD, “Lecithin is a mixture of fats that are essential to cells in the human body. It can be found in many foods, including soybeans and egg yolks.”
Lecithin is an emulsifier, which is an ingredient that will help other ingredients not only mix well but remain mixed. Since oil and water don’t like to stay mixed, we add lecithin to our gummy bear recipe, for example. Many people prefer liquid lecithin that is derived from sunflowers. The soy-derived lecithin is known to be an allergen and avoided by many. Lecithin comes in granules or liquid forms. You may see various amounts used in recipes, so use the amount and type you are comfortable with.
What is Glycerin?
Glycerin is an odorless, colorless syrup-like liquid made from fats and oils. It adds sweetness to foods and helps prevent the crystallization of sugars in foods like candy.
How do I air dry Gummy Bears? Why should I air dry Gummy Bears?
To air dry gummy bears, individually place each piece on a drying rack or a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Cover the gummies with a flour-sack towel or other breathable lint-free cloth and allow them to dry for 24 to 72 hours. Turn pieces as needed. Since drying removes moisture, this step is necessary if you want to dust them with sugar and citric acid. Otherwise, the sugar mixture is going to melt. Moisture also contributes to mold, so this step will naturally extend the shelf life. Drying is said to improve texture and make your homemade infused gummy bears more like store-bought candy.
What is Citric Acid? Why do I need citric acid?
If you like sour gummy bears, citric acid may be the answer for you! There are both natural and artificial sources of critic acid. Natural sources include tangerines, oranges, grapefruits, pineapples, tomatoes, broccoli, carrots, and berries. Citrus fruits such as lemons and limes have the highest quantities. Citric acid is a relatively weak acid, although it’s one of the strongest acids that are harmless for us to ingest. For hundreds of years, we have been lowering the PH of food to help preserve it. And Just think about pickling! Since citric acid lowers the PH, it may help keep your gummies from molding but, will change the flavor. I’ve seen recipes call for anything from 1/4 tsp to 1 Tablespoon or more per batch. So, if sour gummies are your jam, pucker up and add some citric acid. Unfortunately, I don’t have any science on the minimum amount required to prevent mold. I’m sure it would involve testing the PH level. (If you are infusing with an alcohol tincture, most recipes advise skipping the citric acid.)
To save money you can buy citric acid in bulk. Think you’ll never use it all? I love how it cleans my dishwasher. Just fill your dispensing cup with a few ounces. Read your manual for precautions. Lemi Shine is a brand of citric acid cleaning products, but you can easily DIY with some Google searches.
What is a mold inhibitor? What is Potassium Sorbate?
Potassium sorbate is a naturally occurring unsaturated fatty acid, although it’s most often man-made today. It’s used in cosmetics and as a food additive to extend shelf life. Cheese, yogurt, and dried fruits often contain potassium sorbate to extend shelf life, and these foods benefit from the neutral flavor to prevent an aftertaste. Potassium Sorbate doesn’t offer any particular health benefits and is often used in minute amounts specifically to inhibit mold growth.
How much Potassium Sorbate do you need to add?
First, you need to know how much does one batch weigh? That will depend on how you are infusing and your mold size. My recipe will vary from 95 to 140 pieces! A more accurate way to measure your batch for the purpose of adding LorAnn Mold Inhibitor is to take an average weight of your finished batches.
According to the LorAnn Oils website, you’ll need to add 2 tsp per 5 lb (total batch). For example, a 10-ounce bag of Haribo store-bought gummies has approximately 120 bears. Therefore, I estimated this recipe to need ¼ tsp of mold inhibitor.
LorAnn Oils Mold Inhibitor – 2 tsp / 5lb total batch
2 tsp / 80 ounces
1 tsp / 40 ounces
½ tsp / 20 ounces
¼ tsp per 10 ounces
⅛ tsp per 5 ounces
How long do I wait to feel an edible kick in?
How long will it take for a gummy bear to take effect?
Start Low and Go Slow! The medicated edible rule is to start with a very low dose of THC and slowly increase until you know the effect. Edibles can take up to 3 hours to peak in some individuals. Learn to know your body and your dose. Everyone’s endocannabinoid system is different. Some people prefer 2mg and others feel nothing after 200mg. You can always have more cannabis but you can’t reverse what you’ve eaten.
Sources and additional reading:
General FAQ Questions about Cannabis
Are certain strains more effective than others for certain medical problems?
Yes, certain varieties of cannabis have been found to be more effective for certain medical issues, and here’s why.
Strain names are actually just a way to identify the genetic characteristics of a specific chemovar or variety of cannabis. Anyone can give a plant a name, but it’s genetics that truly determines how our bodies will react. The cannabis named Northern Lights in California may be very different from the Northern Lights sold in Illinois. The only true way to identify the many phytochemicals in a specific “strain” is to have the cannabis lab tested. Lab testing is an important aspect that often differentiates medical cannabis from adult use.
Cannabinoids and terpenes are two of many constituents of cannabis and hemp that can be measured. CBD, THC, CBG, THCV, and CBN are a few of the hundreds of cannabinoids measured in cannabis “strains”. Cannabinoids are like keys that unlock receptors in our endocannabinoid system. This system sometimes gets out of balance from inflammation, stress, and anxiety. Plant cannabinoids supplement our body’s natural endocannabinoids to help restore that balance. Terpenes are another common phytochemical in cannabis that is measured. Terpenes determine the smell and taste of many plants and are common in cannabis. Terpenes are known to have medical qualities and studies are ongoing. Pinene, myrcene, D-limonene, and caryophyllene are examples of commonly measured terpenes. All of these plant chemicals have unique health benefits.
Each time a variety or “strain” is created or grown, a unique combination of these cannabinoids and terpenes is formed. Not only do these individual phytochemicals have medical qualities, but when they are combined they work together to create an improved therapeutic combination. This is what is known as the entourage effect.
So yes, the variety known as a strain will matter. Pharmacists and doctors specializing in the use of medical cannabis often offer a starting point. Research is abundant for the patient to read up on. One of the most common ways patients choose a variety or method of consumption is to ask one another in groups such as The Cannabis Community.
Here is a large yet very organized private Google Drive of research from Benjamin Caplan, MD
How do I discuss with a family member that I want to try medical cannabis?
Americans For Safe Access have some wonderful resources for patients.
How to Talk to Your Loved Ones about Medical Cannabis
Will medical cannabis interact with any of my other medications?
The short answer is yes it can.
Primer On Cannabinoid Drug Interactions Download
To download the link click HERE
Drug Interactions and what you need to know
- THC and CBD interact with many common pharmaceuticals. Cannabinoids can inhibit or potentiate the effects of various drugs.
- More than half of all pharmaceuticals – including THC and CBD – are metabolized by a family of enzymes called cytochrome P450.
- Interactions between cannabinoids and other drugs can be exploited to mitigate side effects while synergistically improving a patient’s quality of life.
- Cannabinoid-opioid interactions show great therapeutic potential. THC significantly enhances the painkilling effects of opiates, while CBD is most promising for reducing withdrawal and dependence.
Reading through Project CBD is a very safe and reliable place to begin. Most people really don’t give much thought but I chose to drop in all the important factors to be transparent. The side effects of the pharmaceuticals themselves are much more dangerous and of concern to most Americans!
“The way cannabinoids are administered (smoking, eating, etc.) also has a major impact on whether or not drug interactions occur. Interactions are far more likely when both drugs are taken orally and processed by the liver before being distributed through the body. Cannabinoids are absorbed more if ingested on a full stomach. Ingested cannabinoids will have higher peak liver concentrations than inhaled cannabinoids, so ingested cannabinoids should have more potent drug interactions.”
It’s not advised to take your pharmaceutical medications at the exact same time as cannabis. Often it’s not a true drug interaction but cannabis can emphasize the effect of the medication.