One of the most common questions I am asked is: “how do I make my edibles taste less like cannabis?” And I get it. My partner is the same way. He would prefer it to not taste like cannabis. Although, I do find it surprising that people who can enjoy the flavors while smoking don’t like the flavors in their food. I also think it is partly to do with pairing the wrong strains with the wrong flavors.
Since I’m still learning about terpenes and pairing myself, I’m not going to dive into that kind of advice. I do feel qualified at this point to give tips on reducing the overall taste of the cannabis in your edibles.
I think tinctures are an underrated way to dose for the average at home edible maker. Tinctures are concentrated infusions made with grain alcohol, like Everclear. A tincture can host a much higher dose of THC or CBD per drop than oils. This means that you’ll need a smaller amount of the final product to get your dose. And less product means less taste.
Tinctures are very versatile. You can drop a little under your tongue (ouch), or you can blend it into a drink or smoothie. It’s even the first step in making cannasugar. It can be as simple as a few drops in your coffee or more complex using the tincture to infuse an entire meal.
Tinctures are a great option if your diet requires you to avoid fats and oil.
Infuse into stronger-tasting fats/oils
Look, I love butter and coconut oil as much as the next person but sometimes they’re not great options for masking the flavor of cannabis. Although butter has a flavor, it’s not as strong as say… bacon fat. That’s why I recommend using stronger flavored fats and oils for infusing.
Bacon fat, olive oil, and sesame oil are great options for cannabis infusions. The flavors are strong enough to mask the terpenes in your cannabis. And can typically be used in place of butter or shortening (the fat, blended with butter), or other vegetable oils.
I also recommend trying out these oils in your go-to recipes before testing an infused version, to make sure it blends well in your recipe.
Cannabis-infused sugar, or cannasugar, is very easy to make. You need a cannabis tincture, and some sugar. Mix them together and then bake in the oven, low and slow.
What makes cannasugar especially appealing is the minimal amount of taste transfer. Especially once blended into another recipe (or a cup of tea). I’ve eaten it straight. I’ve used it to make cotton candy. I drink some in my tea every night. It’s my go-to edible consumption method and a staple in my kitchen.
Straight out of the container, it does have a very mild hint of cannabis but that mostly melts away with the sweetness of the sugar.
Use concentrated cannabis
It’s not easy to get your hands on if you don’t have access to a legal dispensary but wax is a fantastic option for making edibles. Wax, hash, and kief (that powdery substance that collects in that bottom chamber in your grinder) all have considerably higher concentrations of THC or CBD than whole cannabis flower, which means as I mentioned above about tinctures, less product. Less product = less cannabis flavor.
Depending on the quality and clarity of your concentrate you could have 500-900 mg per gram. You could make enough edibles for a month if you’re a 10mg/day kind of person with one gram of concentrate. Not too shabby.
Do the quick infuse method
I haven’t lab tested this method versus infusing for longer, but you can infuse in as little as 15 minutes (after you have decarbed your cannabis).
Melt your butter down in a saucepan, get the temperature up to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Add your cannabis to the butter and maintain that 200-degree temperature for 15 minutes.
Then you can just strain and store your infused butter and use it as desired.
Infusing for less time means that there is less opportunity for the plant waxes and chlorophyll to infuse into the fat.
Make savory edibles instead
Finally, stop making dessert based edible treats.
I know that desserts are easy and tend to cause less panic since most of us have been making box brownies since childhood but I think you’re doing your palate a disservice by continuing to use candy and dessert as the only vehicle for cannabis-infused food.
Use cannabis as you would an herb or spice when you’re cooking dinner. Make an herb butter. Rub down your chicken with activated kief. Infuse butter and oil and just use it at mealtime like you would with not infused butter.
Butter, oils, and fats are a part of almost every meal. Infuse it and use it and notice how much better cannabis goes on a steak or panfried tofu.
Do you have any masking tips you would add? What oils or fats do you think have a strong enough flavor to overcome cannabis? Let me know in the comments below.
Photos by Michelle Tsang and Alisa Anton on Unsplash