Cannabis can be ‘responsibly’ enjoyed in a variety of forms – from topicals to oils, vapes and joints. However, for many, their very first venture into the wonderful and trippy world of cannabis begins with edibles.
After all, one of the easiest ways of recreationally or medicinally consuming cannabis is to simply eat it – do this right, and you’re in for one scrumptious experience coupled with a powerful long-lasting high.
Cannabis edibles offer consumers a range of options, allowing them to experience THC’s often intense and euphoric effects which kick in slowly in most cases. Edibles are also particularly handy for those who are health conscious and don’t wish to inhale the herb in a blunt, spliff or joint.
Enter the World of Marijuana Edibles
Marijuana brownies – everybody loves them. What’s there not to like, really?
One of the many intricacies involved in making perfect weed brownies, includes processing your herb so that the good stuff – THC – can be extracted, otherwise you won’t feel the desired euphoric effects.
Furthermore, on the subject of cannabis edibles, there are also other elements to consider when making really great marijuana brownies. For instance, your body metabolises THC in differently when eating cannabis in an edible like brownies, as opposed to vaping or smoking it.
Therefore, one of the key things to consider is dosage, which will be noticeably smaller than the traditional smoking method. Also, the amount of time that it takes for an edible to metabolise in your system depends on how much food you’ve consumed that day, your metabolism, and especially if it’s your first time. If it is, then you need to start with the lowest possible dose to initially assess the effects. For most first-timers, they can be quite intense, even if they are regular cannabis smokers.
The right marijuana brownie recipe is never complete without properly made cannabis butter. In this case, the strain you pick will significantly impact the ‘end result’ of your brownies. For instance, an Indica stain will give you a relaxed feeling, while a Sativa strain will spark creative and exciting energy.
But again, both strains can effectively render your day useless or ruin it almost completely if you eat too much!
Why Brownies are the Go-to Choice When it Comes to Weed Edibles
Every time anyone gets handed over a homemade brownie, we’re willing to bet that one of the most common initial responses is: “Is there anything ‘funny’ in there?”
And who can blame them? The THC-laden chocolatey delights are so ubiquitous that these awkward exchanges are often people’s very first ‘unintentional’ foray into the world of cannabis edibles. But once they’re there, there’s no going back – that’s how brilliant marijuana brownies are, if made right, that is.
Some regular bakers might opt for cocoa powder while others almost always go for chocolate ganache when making their ‘special brownies’. No matter which one you choose, both will, in fact, give you that moist and gooey brownie texture. However, if you want to add that extra fudge factor then you can certainly combine the two.
Brownies share similar attributes with extra-dense cake in terms of baking – and, in both cases, the pan and baking time will govern how much fudge you’re left with. So for reference, a nice and wide pan will result in a thick and chewy fudge, while smaller portioned pans will see your stuff baking up really quickly and gaining height.
Let’s Discuss Specifics
A common question many novices ask is “how much herb do I need for the brownies?”
This is a perfectly legitimate question because it can be a deal breaker if the correct approach isn’t adopted.
Fact: most folks don’t go through the trouble of making cannabis brownies unless they were looking to get ‘high’, but that doesn’t mean going out of your way to almost wrecking yourself from the effects.
Therefore, a more appropriate question to consider at this stage would be “How much herb am I going to need to make some cannabis butter?”
In our opinion, that is the actual difference maker between run-of-the-mill cannabis-infused brownies and those which offer an out of this world experience. It’s also important to consider that since cannabis edibles act slowly but offer more power psychoactive highs; whatever you think may be needed in terms of volume will most likely be significantly more than what’s actually needed.
For instance, if your recipe demands half a cup of butter, use a quarter cup of cannabis butter instead, along with a quarter cup of regular butter. This will not only make your butter last longer but also prevent you from ‘accidentally’ consuming too much in the first round.
This particular approach is quite useful if your buddies are really fond of snacking, or you find yourself getting too anxious about what the dosage is, especially for beginners. So, use your own discretion and judgement. We would tell you very honestly that more does not necessarily mean better – just because a high is more intense doesn’t mean it’s automatically better.
Extracting that Wonderful THC Using Butter
Even though it’s all too easy to leave the guesswork to a device such as Levo or The Magical Butter Machine to prepare your home cannabis butter – for smaller batches of cannabis infused brownies, which most beginners should set out to do anyway – we recommend this easy and straightforward method:
- Seal up 1 stick of butter with 1/8 of mid-high grade, finely ground decarboxylated bud
- Heat up in a pot at 71-77°C for 1-2 hours
- Shorter cook times unlock more of the ‘early’ cannabinoids such as THC and CBD, in additional to preserving those aromatic terpenes that give each strain their signature taste and smell
- Longer cook times will yield ‘sleepier’ butter which contains more CBN – the cannabinoid which made the ‘couch lock’ syndrome famous – a state where you are so ‘high’ that you are literally glued to the couch for at least a few hours. If you or any of your friends are dealing with sleep issues, this may not be the best option.
Making Your Marijuana Brownies
With the cannabis butter ready, we now need to divert our attention towards making the weed brownies. You’ll need:
- A stick of salted butter infused with 3.5g (1/8 of an ounce, see above) of cannabis
- ¾ cup of cocoa powder
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup cake flour
- ¼ cup vegetable shortening
- Half teaspoon salt
- Quarter teaspoon of baking powder
- 1/8 teaspoon of baking soda
- 4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
- 2 large eggs
- 1 vanilla bean (guts only)
- Wooden spoon
- Microwave oven
Let’s proceed to make those brownies, shall we?
- Pre-heat oven to 176°C.
- Many weed brownie lovers like to prepare their butter in a sous-vide bag and that’s fine. Just make sure you toss the bag in some warm water in a bowl which will allow it to soften up properly before the batter is mixed.
- Remember, baking brownies in general requires the standard wet bowl plus dry bowl batter technique;
- So the first thing to do is mix all the dry ingredients together.
- Combine your vanilla and eggs in a second bowl.
- Gently melt the chocolate in a microwave oven at intermittent intervals or use a double boiler.
- Slowly stream the chocolate mixture into the eggs, mix with a wooden spoon or spatula and then fold it in with the cannabis butter (everything needs to be evenly mixed).
- Now fold the wet batter into the already combined dry ingredients, stir generously until you see a thick gloop starting to form.
- Scoop out the fudge into a greased and parchment lined pan no larger than 9×7. Smooth out the mixture but also make sure to knock it against the kitchen counter a few times to ensure no air is trapped inside.
- Bake for about 15 minutes then rotate the pan. Now bake again for 15 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and let the pan cool off for 10 minutes.
- You may notice that your brownies are nice and warm, almost ready to be consumed; however, a solid structure can only be had once you let them cool off properly.
- Use a piece of paper to take them out of the pan and allow them to cool off further on a wire rack.
Whether you make portions or not, bear in mind that every square-inch of marijuana brownies we’ve made with the recommended cannabis dose can contain over 25mg of THC – so serve in smaller chunks as even this can be a very potent dose. For non-habitual smokers, this may prove to be too much.
For all ‘cannabis edible newbies’, we’d actually recommend between 5-10mg of THC initially. So split your brownie in half, be patient and have a little to assess its effects – before going for more an hour or so later.