Health Canada regulates Licensed Producers in the medically prescribed sale of dried cannabis as well as extracted oils and plants. You can eat those… but they’re not “edibles” – if you know what I mean. We consider edibles to be other products infused with Cannabis. Cookies, gummies, brownies are the commonly known edibles, but you can also go the healthier route – salad dressings, soups, smoothies. So far, the sale of these products, either through storefronts or online are technically illegal in Canada. So if you want your edibles legal, you have to make them yourself with your medical prescription.
You can do this by decarboxylating your plant – it’s a fancy word for heating the cannabinoids (THC and CBD mainly) and terpenes (things like pinene and limonene) to the point of activation, and then basically soaking it in a heated butter or oil for a certain number of hours – and then straining the hard products out and keeping the resulting cannabis oil in your fridge for your cooking or baking. An easy way to do this is through the use of the Magical Butter Machine (see The Cannabis Show – Episode 005). The Magical Butter Machine also allows you to make tinctures and topicals by following fairly simple instructions.
Be aware you’ll need 7-15 grams per cup of butter or oil and you’ll probably want to make a few cups at a time – so order 21 or more grams of cannabis for this project. Make sure to include your Already Vaped Bud (AVB) if you have it (see The Cannabis Show – Episode 006). You can use trimmings (the potent plant matter trimmed off from around the resinous trichomed flower buds) if your licensed producer sells them. The LP MedReleaf has trimmings for $2.50 a gram, for instance.
Medical cannabis edibles are perishable depending on the food item into which they have been infused. If you are not planning on using within a week or two, you can freeze to store and thaw as needed. Normal long-term refrigeration temperatures may encourage mold growth on baked edibles. Storing the butter in the fridge and making your edibles as needed is good practice.
One of the benefits of edibles is that patients who have restricted mobility, or don’t want to vape or smoke, or who may have trouble dealing with dosing with oils, can make a batch of cookies with cannabis oil or butter and/or ask their caregiver to help them. Instead of taking more pills for their painkilling anti-inflammatory effect, for example, they can have tea and a cookie.
Don’t forget to label your edibles!
Be patient! As always, medicinally we start ‘low and slow’ so maybe try a quarter of that cookie first. Note that it may take an hour until onset, and two to three hours to ‘peak’ as it travels through your digestive system and is processed through you liver. You can expect the medicinal effect to last 6-8 hours.
The other standard suggestions are: always try new things close to home and not in a position where driving is required. Also, have a dedicated notebook to keep track. Log things like if you had an empty or full stomach when ingesting, amount of product eaten, time, strain, effects and length of effect.
Bon Appétit in your journey to mastering your medication!
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