Cooking Safely with Cannabis

HIGHLIGHTS

  • You can make your own edible products at home for personal consumption or to be responsibly shared with individuals 19 years of age and older.
  • Consumption of edible forms of cannabis can delay the effects and may lead to consuming more cannabis than initially intended.

About Ingestion of Cannabis

Ingesting cannabis can have very different and more pronounced effects than inhaling it. If you’re new to ingesting cannabis, consider ingesting a very small amount and waiting at least an hour to determine a product’s full effect. 

Cooking Safely with Cannabis

Ingesting cannabis can delay its effects, which can lead to consuming more cannabis than intended. Overconsumption often leads to unpleasant effects. So, when making your own edible cannabis products, it is important to understand the correct amount of cannabis to use and to follow tested recipes.

There are three other important factors to consider.

Decarboxylation: Ingesting or cooking with fresh cannabis will not have much of an effect because the THC has to be “activated” with heat. This process is called decarboxylation, or “decarbing.” Typically, THC is decarboxylated before cooking in order to produce the effects of cannabis. It is worth noting that it must be heated slowly in order to retain any product for the cooking process.

Heat: Whatever recipe and decarbing process you choose, it’s critical to follow the heat recommendations closely to minimize unintended consequences that could pose a risk to your safety. Too little heat will fail to activate the cannabinoids, while too much will burn them off.

Ratio: It can be tricky to determine how much cannabis to add to a recipe, and using too much can potentially produce undesired effects. It’s wise to start with a very small amount for cooking and to sample the finished product slowly and in small amounts to avoid overconsumption. 

Additional tips:

When planning to purchase cannabis for cooking, remember that the public possession limit of dried cannabis is 30 grams, or the equivalence of 60 millilitres of cannabis oil

For more information on safe food handling and preparation (i.e., of cannabis-infused foods), please visit the Ontario food safety information website.

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