Basics of Making Marijuana Edibles

Many people are interested in consuming marijuana for the health benefits but would prefer to ingest the stuff without actually smoking it. Luckily, there are many ways to medicate with marijuana, including cooking, baking, and more. In this article, we will cover how to use the different methods in a way that will benefit you as much as possible.

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    But first before reading on: remember that it’s important to activate the THC in order to release the full potential of your marijuana’s psychoactive effect. The activation process usually occurs automatically when a plant is burned, vaporized, or smoked but for tinctures or edibles, this has to be done separately. Read Decarboxylating Marijuana – The Internal Process of THC Formation and find out how decarboxylating marijuana works.

    Why make marijuana edibles?

    Why make cannabis edibles

    Besides personal preference and differences in lifestyle, eating marijuana has a number of significant benefits. Such benefits include the fact that the effects of the marijuana generally last longer, but without a sudden onset. It, therefore, serves as an effective all-day solution ideal for anyone interested in using marijuana medically. And also for people who rely on it to maintain a high quality of life.

    Because the marijuana is interacting directly with your digestive system when you consume marijuana edibles, the metabolic effects will be much different than the effects you get from smoking marijuana. Additionally, cooking with marijuana will cause the effects to be more physical rather than psychoactive, making your everyday functionality better than if you consumed marijuana in another way.

    Marijuana cooking oil

    Cannabis cooking oil

    If you are interested in cooking with marijuana products, creating marijuana cooking oil is definitely the way to go. It is the most versatile of all the marijuana mediums, given the fact that it can be added to just about any type of edible: vegetables, eggs, salad dressing, sauces, desserts, and more.

    Time and money considerations
    When most people choose whether or not they would like to make marijuana cooking oil, they are likely considering the time and money involved in making and using it. In terms of the time it takes to make infused cooking oil, you can expect about eight hours of effort (some of which involves certain hardware or appliances to make it less hands-on for you) to make one batch of marijuana cooking oil.

    Money also needs to be considered before committing to making marijuana cooking oil. The oil requires a fair amount of the product so it will be relatively expensive overall. In other words, to make marijuana edibles, upfront investment is required.

    The advantages of making marijuana cooking oil
    If you make marijuana cooking oil yourself, you have complete control over how you make it, and the assurance that you know exactly how it was made, and what it contains. You can make it according to your own personal tastes as well. People who love peanut oil, for instance, can make it with the marijuana infusion to satisfy their craving.

    The recipe
    Before running to the store and stocking up on all you need to make marijuana cooking oil, you should first consider which type of oil you would like to make. To most effectively activate THC, choose an oil that has a higher fat content. Olive oil and coconut oil work well, although canola oil works best for the highest heats.


    • Marijuana (flower, leaf, trim, etc.)
    • Cooking oil of your choice


    • Strainer
    • Grinder (can be a coffee grinder, food processor, blender, or something similar)
    • Double-boiler, slow cooker, saucepan, etc.


    1. Take your marijuana product (it could be the entire plant, or just the buds, or the buds and leaves — this is completely preference-based) and grind it all up.
    2. Generally speaking, measure out a ratio of marijuana and oil that is around 1:2, but remember that this can also vary according to preference.
    3. Dissolve the marijuana into the oil by heating up both products together on low. This process takes hours and allows the THC activation to occur, without burning (and therefore destroying) the active ingredients. You have several options for how exactly to do this. If you are using a crockpot, you should do it for a minimum of 6 hours (up to three days) while stirring occasionally. For a double-boiler, keep it on low for 6-8 hours while stirring occasionally. For a regular saucepan, perform this process on low for three hours minimum while stirring often, as burning can occur quicker in a regular saucepan. The addition of small amounts of water can also help reduce the risk of burning.
    4. Put the oil through the strainer, then store it properly. Discard the leftover plant matter. The oil should last for a minimum of 2 months, but for longer if kept cool.

    Generally speaking, you should avoid high heat when using marijuana cooking oil. Don’t microwave it, and only cook on low heat, if possible.

    Marijuana butter


    Marijuana butter is another way to consume marijuana as food. Like cooking oil, it needs to be prepared in a way that activates the THC, but doesn’t burn it. When eating marijuana edibles with marijuana butter, you can expect effects to take a while to set in. But once they do, they will come all at once.

    Smoking marijuana, on the other hand, has effects that kick in sooner, but it is a more gradual onset. It is, therefore, important when eating marijuana edibles to start small until you know exactly how much you need — but wait about 45 minutes between edibles so you can feel the effects before consuming any more.

    Time and money considerations
    Compared to making marijuana cooking oil, marijuana butter will take no time at all. Just a mere 30 minutes, as opposed to 2-3 hours for the cooking oil. When considering the time, butter is definitely the way to go. The price of making marijuana butter will be similarly expensive to cooking oil, as the amount of marijuana product required is also quite high.

    The recipe

    • 5 ounces (100 grams) butter
    • 5 fluid ounces (100 mL) water
    • 5 ounces (100 grams) of ground leaves, or 0.2 ounces (5 grams) of ground weed


    • Strainer
    • Saucepan
    • Grinder


    1. Heat up the water and butter together in the same saucepan.
    2. Add the marijuana and stir it in.
    3. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
    4. Strain the mixture, so the marijuana matter has been removed.
    5. Place pan in refrigerator until butter has solidified.
    6. Once butter is solid, pour out water. The marijuana butter is now ready to use.
    7. Store the butter in plastic wrap or in an airtight container and put it in the fridge. When stored in the fridge, marijuana butter should last 3-4 weeks while marijuana butter that is stored in the freezer should last for as long as six months.

    If you want to calculate how strong your edibles will become you can use this handy cannabis cooking calculator by our friends at THC Overdose.

    Marijuana milk or cream

    Cannabis milk or cream

    Marijuana milk or cream is best used in milkshakes or ice cream.

    Time and money considerations
    The time and money required making marijuana milk or cream is basically the same as when making marijuana butter. Quite a lot of marijuana is required, but the time needed is only 30 minutes.

    The recipe

    • 5 fluid ounces (100 mL) of milk or cream
    • 5 ounces (100 grams) of ground leaves, or 0.2 ounces (5 grams) of ground weed


    • Saucepan
    • Grinder
    • Strainer


    1. Heat milk or cream in a saucepan slowly, never allowing it to come to a boil.
    2. Grind the marijuana, then add to the mixture and stir gently.
    3. Allow the mixture to simmer (not boil) for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
    4. Strain and cool the milk, then store in the refrigerator.

    Marijuana tinctures

    Cannabis tinctures

    Marijuana tinctures provide an excellent means of getting the benefits of marijuana, while not actually needing to smoke it, which some people don’t like to do. Marijuana tinctures are essentially a way of consuming marijuana in a concentrated liquid form. They were often used in old medicinal practices, and it still can be used as an inexpensive, easily-made way to get the health benefits of marijuana.

    These days, marijuana tinctures are rarely used and are generally the least popular method for the consumption of marijuana. Many people who have been smoking marijuana or consuming it through edibles do not know what tinctures are.

    Using tinctures
    Most people prefer to take tinctures by placing it under the tongue, because it allows for the maximum level of dosage control, and because it goes into your arterial system faster from this location. This, in turn, leads to the effects kicking in faster, helping quickly and with relatively no hassle.

    The beauty of the marijuana tincture is that the dosage can be easily added to by increasing the number of drops you take until the effects you want or need start to kick in. It can be a pleasant experience since they are often flavored for those who don’t enjoy the taste of marijuana.

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      Tinctures, smoking, or eating?
      Many people prefer not to smoke marijuana because of the health hazards that are associated with any kind of smoking. Unfortunately for them, smoking is the fastest way to have the effects kick in, often becoming active within seconds. A vaporizer does the same thing, but other methods are significantly slower and might require other adverse health effects, such as eating fatty or sugary foods.

      Speaking of eating marijuana edibles, let’s look at this compared to using tinctures. When you eat something that contains marijuana, you often need to wait around for between 45 minutes and 90 minutes to see if the effects will even be felt by you, or if you have peaked already. It is much more difficult to gauge whether you have safely come down from your high, before resuming your daily activities (such as driving).

      Tinctures are the solution to these problems. They are absorbed extremely quickly, yet the consumer does not need to smoke at all. Some people choose to add the tincture to their food, but that will slow down the absorption and the time it takes to feel the effects significantly. Many will use a teaspoon or dropper to keep their tincture measurements accurate, and so they are able to adjust the dosage accordingly.

      Perhaps one of the best aspects of having tinctures is the fact that they fit in a small bottle, which can fit into your pocket or purse, so it is ideal for people who would like to use it discreetly throughout the day.

      Buying tinctures
      If you are lucky enough to live in a location where marijuana is legal, you can easily buy tinctures from any dispensary. It will cost approximately $20 for a small bottle with about 100 drops inside. For your frame of reference, a typical dosage will be between 3 and 4 drops. While this isn’t terribly expensive, many people prefer trying their hand at making their own tinctures at home. For those people, continue reading to learn how to effectively make your own tinctures.

      The recipe

      • Pure grain alcohol that is 90% or higher, such as Everclear
      • Marijuana
      • One small glass jar and a lid
      • One brown medicine bottle with an eyedropper


      1. Measure out your marijuana. In general, a ratio of one gram of marijuana to 1 fluid ounce (35 mL) of alcohol is a minimum, with 6 grams of marijuana to 1 fluid ounce as the maximum. Start out moderate for your first batch.
      2. Cut up the amount of weed you are using, then set it out to dry. Fresh marijuana does not work well for the making of tinctures.
      3. Combine the marijuana and alcohol in the glass jar, soaking it for as short as one day and as long as ten days. There is a lot of disagreement about how long to soak the mixture, so this is also a process of trial and error for each individual.
      4. After the mixture has soaked for the appropriate amount of time, pour it through a strainer, to get out the plant matter.
      5. Pour the tincture into a brown medicine bottle with an eyedropper lid. This protects the product from the sun, which would break down the THC. The eyedropper also makes for easy dosing.

      If you want to start growing, download my free marijuana grow bible and order some marijuana seeds. All top quality marijuana seeds are available in my marijuana seed shop. We ship seeds to the US, CA and many other countries. For any grow related question please visit the marijuana support page.


      Avatar for Robert Bergman

      Robert Bergman

      Robert Bergman is an Amsterdam-based marijuana grow expert who has years of experience from small grows to massive operations. His passion for growing led him to develop his own Gold Leaf strain. Now, Robert is dedicated to sharing his knowledge with the world.... [Read full bio]


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