Cooking with Cannabis: A Beginners Guide for South Africa

Cooking with Cannabis: A Beginners Guide for South Africa

As a South African, you might be interested in exploring the world of cooking with cannabis. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced cannabis user, there are plenty of ways to incorporate this herb into your mzansi meals.

The Difference Between THC and CBD

If you’re a beginner interested in cooking with cannabis in South Africa, it’s important to understand the difference between THC and CBD. THC is the psychoactive component of cannabis that gives you the “high” feeling, while CBD is non-psychoactive with a wide range of health benefits. Depending on what you want to achieve with your cannabis cooking, you may want to choose strains that are high in THC, high in CBD, or a combination of both.

Decarboxylation Explained

Once you have your cannabis, you’ll need to decarboxylate it before using it in your recipes. This involves heating it at a low temperature to activate the THC and CBD compounds. You can do this by placing your cannabis on a baking sheet and putting it in the oven at 110°C for around 30-45 minutes.

Decarboxylation Temperature Chart

Acid/CannabinoidTemperature (ºF)Temperature (ºC)Time (in minutes)

Decarboxylation Process – Oven

  • Set the oven temperature to 115°C
  • Place a sheet of aluminium foil over a sheet of baking paper
  • Lightly crumble cannabis on aluminium foil on top of a baking sheet
  • Seal with an additional sheet of aluminium foil
  • Place in the oven and cook for not more than 40 minutes
  • Remove from the oven, the cannabis should be lightly toasted
  • Leave to cool for 30 minutes
  • Place in a sealed container, and store for future use

Infusing Cannabis with Food

Next, you’ll want to infuse your cannabis into a fat or oil. Why? Because THC and CBD are fat-soluble, meaning they need to combined with a fatty substance to be fully absorbed by the body. Cooking oils recommended for infusion include butter, coconut oil, and olive oil.

One simple recipe to try is cannabis-infused butter. To make it, melt butter in a saucepan over low heat and add your decarboxylated cannabis. Let it simmer for around 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, then strain out the plant material and let the butter cool. Once it’s solidified, you can use it in any recipe that calls for butter.

What are Terpenes?

Terpenes are aromatic compounds found in many plants, including cannabis. They are responsible for the distinctive smells and flavors of different strains of cannabis, as well as other plants like lavender, peppermint, and citrus.

Terpenes also play a role in the overall effects of cannabis, as they can interact with other compounds like THC and CBD to produce different effects. For example, the terpene myrcene is known to have a sedative effect, while limonene is believed to have mood-enhancing properties.
In addition to their effects on the body, terpenes also have potential therapeutic benefits on their own. Some studies have suggested that certain terpenes have anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety, and anti-cancer properties, among other potential health benefits.

Terpenes are an important component of the cannabis plant and contribute to both its unique aroma and effects. Understanding the different terpenes present in different strains of cannabis can help users choose the strains that best fit their needs and preferences.

Start Small When Cooking and Go Slow

When either cooking or eating cannabis, it’s important to start with a small amount and go slow. It can take up to two hours for the effects to fully kick in, so don’t be tempted to eat more if you don’t feel anything right away. You can always add more cannabis to your recipe, but you can’t take it out once it’s been added.

How to Store Cannabis-Infused Products

Proper storage is important to maintain the potency and quality of cannabis-infused products. Here are some tips on how to store them:

  • Store in a cool, dark place: Cannabis-infused products should be kept away from direct sunlight and heat. A cool, dark place such as a pantry or cupboard is ideal for storage.
  • Use airtight containers: The best way to store cannabis-infused products is in airtight containers. This will prevent oxygen and moisture from getting in and degrading the product.
  • Label clearly: Be sure to label your cannabis-infused products clearly with the date of preparation, type of product, and dosage. This will help you keep track of the potency and freshness of your product.
  • Keep out of reach of children and pets: Cannabis-infused products can be harmful if ingested by children or pets. Be sure to store them in a place that is out of reach and not easily accessible.

By following these simple storage tips, you can ensure that your cannabis-infused products remain fresh, potent, and safe for consumption.

Cooking with Cannabis is Fun

Overall, cooking with cannabis can be a fun and rewarding experience. Just remember to take it slow, choose the right strains for your needs, and always use cannabis responsibly.

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