Unconventional Recipes: Cooking with Sticks

Written and photographed by Renee Thompson

*Edibles should only be shared and eaten by consenting adults and/or medical patients. Cannabis ingredients should be stored in a safe place away from children.*

 When I first started smoking, I thought the only useful thing a leftover cannabis stem could do was clean out a bowl in a pinch. It wasn’t until I started getting into edibles that I learned you can actually use sticks in cooking. The first thing I ever made was a simple stick tea. Unlike a high from smoking, I have found that using sticks in edibles leads to a less powerful taste and less intense high than cooking exclusively with buds. This type of high is more of a physical one and is great for managing pain. But you can also cook with a combination of sticks and flower if you want to get the best of both worlds. The more earthy tea-like taste of the sticks pairs wonderfully with nuts in cookies or spices in curries.

Finding Your Happy Place

Know that anything with sugar, oil, or butter in a recipe can be substituted for a medicated equivalent, but pay attention to how much you add in. In recipes that only call for a tablespoon or two of butter I usually use all cannabutter, but in recipes with more than a ½ cup of butter I usually only use half cannabutter in order to better control my edible experience. This is because everyone processes THC differently, so it is extremely important to start small and start slowly. If you are new to taking edibles, try using less potent THC ingredients or half of the suggested amount in recipes. It is extremely important to decarboxylate your flower and sticks so that the mixture stays intact enough for the stomach to absorb it but also be altered by the heat to activate the THC.

After everything is decarboxylated you can experiment with everyday cooking, like mixing it with salt or other spices. I have found that adding a few pinches of decarboxylated bud can bring out new flavors in everyday foods like pasta or salad and in some cases a very light high. Keeping a journal is a must when making your own edibles. You can experiment with different recipes, dosages, decarboxylation time, infusion time, and amounts of bud to sticks. Keep an eye on yourself and how you feel, and adjust your recipes slowly. Finally, when consuming a final product you haven’t tried before, try eating half a serving then waiting 30 minutes before having more. Remember that you can always have more later but you can’t travel back in time once the edibles have activated.

Pairings

Certain foods mix well with edibles because they contain molecules that can enhance the THC experience. For instance, when I made pancakes with stick butter, I topped them with a mango syrup and the experience was much more intense than just having a pancake with maple syrup. This is because mangoes have myrcene terpenes, which are known to interact with and even enhance THC. Similarly, chocolate has anandamide inside of it, which can bind to the brain in a similar way that THC does. So using these ingredients in addition to medicated ingredients can create intense feelings without using up your whole cannabis supply.

It may seem like a lot of work, but making your own edibles is a great way to have a more personal relationship with how you get high or medicate. At first, there might be some trial and error, but the pay-off is more than worth it. Working on basic cooking skills helps a lot too, and if you’ve waited for a reason to get into baking, kombucha or breadmaking, now is your time. Above all, listen to your body and be as creative as you can!

Stick Tea

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Decarboxylation Time: 40 minutes

Activation Time: approx.15-40 minutes

Serving: 1

         Ingredients

                     -1/2 tsp of sticks

                     -1/2 tsp tea

                     -1 cup of hot water

         Directions

 1. Decarboxylate your sticks by placing them in an oven safe glass pan for 40 minutes at 220-240F. Stir them every 10-15 minutes to prevent burning.

2. In a tea strainer, reusable tea bag, or cheese cloth, place the sticks and tea inside.

 3. Let the mixture steep for ten minutes in hot water.

 4. Consume and enjoy!

Butter with Sticks

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Decarboxylation Time: 40 minutes

Activation Time: approx. 20-45 minutes

Servings: 8-12

         Ingredients

                     -1 stick of butter

                     -2 TBS of water

                     -2g of sticks

                     -0.5g of flower

         Directions

1. Grind the sticks and bud using a grinder. The sticks should be finely chopped, and the bud should be finely grated.

2. Use a mortar and pestle to finely grind the sticks and stems, or put them through the grinder two-four more times.

3. Once this is done place your mixture in a glass oven safe pan or inside a metal pan with tin foil. Let the mixture bake at 235F for forty minutes. Stir them every 10-15 minutes to prevent burning. This will decarboxylate the ingredients. 

4. Fill a small saucepan 2/3 of the way with water and place a metal bowl on top creating a double boiler. On a medium heat, melt the butter inside the metal bowl and wait for it to melt.

5. Once the butter has melted and the stick and flowers have decarboxylated, place the mixture in a stainless-steel tea strainer and turn the heat down to low.

6. Add the 2 TBS of water to the melted butter and let this mixture cook for four and a half hours, stirring the mixture every half hour. To make the butter absorb all of the THC goodness, when you stir the butter open up your strainer carefully and press down on the butter soaked stem/flower mixture with a spoon letting any excess butter drip into your bowl.

7. There should be a visible change in color and odor in your butter. Once this is achieved do a final drain of your tea strainer and put the butter mixture in a container with a lid. The butter should harden after three hours. Take the butter out of the container and drain any excess water that may be inside. Place back into the container or cook with it immediately. Store the butter in the fridge for up to a week.

Tiger Butter Fudge

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Chill Time: 40-60 minutes

Decarboxylation Time: 40 minutes

Activation Time: approx. 20-50 minutes

Servings: 13

         Ingredients

-2 TBS coconut oil (Infused with 1.5g sticks and 0.5g flower)

-1/2 cups peanut butter

-1/4 cup white chocolate chips

-1/2 cup of milk or dark chocolate chips

         Directions

1. Decarboxylate your ingredients, and infuse the coconut oil using the double boiler and tea strainer method on a low heat until there is a visible change in color/odor.

2. Mix in the peanut butter with the infused coconut oil until it is completely melted. Keep on a low to medium heat to avoid burning.

3. Add white chocolate chips, wait until they have completely melted into the peanut butter before taking it off the heat source.

4. In a separate double boiler, place the milk or dark chocolate chips in the bowl on a low heat until completely melted. 

5. In a glass oven-safe dish or pan place about ¼ of the peanut butter mixture. Be sure to cover as much of the bottom as you can and work quickly before the mixture hardens.

6. Add about 1/3 of the milk/dark chocolate mixture in various areas of the pan. Mix lightly with a chopstick.

7. Alternate between adding the peanut butter mixture and the milk/dark chocolate mixture until they are both depleted. You should end with milk/dark chocolate to get the distinctive tiger stripes.

8. Use the chopstick to design the tiger stripes, I recommend using s-shaped swirls. Stop when you have reached a nice design, but before the two mixtures are completely incorporated.

9. Place in the fridge for 40-60 minutes, the fudge should be solid and cool to the touch.

10. Take out of the fridge and cut 13 even slices. Store in the freezer for a week or the fridge for a week and a half. 

11. Consume one slice at a time, and wait at least 30 minutes before eating more. Enjoy with strawberry ice cream for a canna-peanut butter and jelly flavored sundae.

Cooking on High

words by Josh Delzell photos by Marin Stuart

It’s well known that classic consumption of cannabis is done by burning, puffing and smoking it. It is an easy and direct way to to get in into your system quickly, but another rising consumption trend is edibles. While it takes longer to kick in, the payoff is a more intense high that often lasts for hours. Usually edibles tend to be pastries, like cookies and brownies, but some connoisseurs have taken it a step further and began to incorporate cannabis into other foods. Daniel Ramirez, a Sophomore at the University of Oregon, has been infusing cannabis into food for nearly four years.

A self described foodie, Ramirez was hooked on the idea of cooking with cannabis from the start. “I’ve always cooked it into brownies, but my friends and I have been experimenting with putting it into savory foods,” he said. “Like we put it into a sandwich, it’s so easy. You get a pretty good sandwich, but it also gets you high.”

Cannabutter is one of the most direct ways to infuse cannabis into cooking. “I usually make a batch per year,” said Ramirez. “And I use a double boiler mason jar method, so I can experiment with different strains.”.

Strains play a huge factor in the process of making cannabis snacks. It affects how lethargic you may become, or other desired effects like sharp focus or sleepiness. “Personally, when I make the butter, I like an indica hybrid,” said Ramirez. “When I think edibles, I think about being melted into the couch, not being super energetic [like using a sativa].”

Edibles are also available at most dispensaries in a wider range of products. They tend to be more expensive, but also provide information on what you are consuming and are more accurate in dosage. For self-described chefs like Ramirez, the fun comes from the DIY aspect of cooking with cannabis. “I definitely prefer to make it rather than buy it,” said Ramirez. “I mean, ones from the dispensary tell you exactly what going on, but it’s so much doper to make it and find out yourself. It adds to the mystery.”
Ramirez was able to show us how he makes omelettes with cannabutter. “It’s pretty easy,” said Ramirez. “It just a basic omelette recipe, but it happens to have weed in it. The trick is to not let any of the oil get out of the omelette,” said Ramirez. “Omelettes are pretty oily, so it’s easy to lose the THC.”

Following a basic omelette recipe, Ramirez cooked his veggies and meats in separate pans without any cannabutter in it; the heat would burn off the oil and render it ineffective. While you’re cooking the eggs, add an even layer of melted cannabutter over the eggs just as they begin to firm up. After that, add meat and/or veggies to one half, and drizzle that half in even more cannabutter (to preference). Fold and flip to make sure you get the omelette is evenly cooked. Just like that, you have a pretty tasty cannabis omelette— one that will leave you with a relaxing, refreshing high.  The only downside with cooking cannabis yourself is you really don’t know how much THC you are consuming. Meaning, you either won’t feel anything, or you’ll have a crazy intense high, so make sure to be safe and take small doses to start off with. Whatever you make, incorporating cannabis to your cooking is a fun way to mix things up and experiment.

 

If you want to learn how to make cannabutter or other cannabis infused snacks yourself, check out our recipes on our website.

Like Honey To Bees: Cannabis Extraction from Flower to Jar

Words by Anna Glavash | Photo by Sierra Pedro

If you’ve ever dabbed or vaped cannabis oil, you’ve probably wondered, “How did the cannabis flower become this golden substance?”

Cannabis extracts have come a long way since the dangerous days of open blasting and black-market butane hash oil (BHO). Today’s extraction process is done by highly trained experts in lab coats with state-of-the-art equipment, and the product is put through rigorous tests before going onto dispensary shelves. With so many quality extracts now on the market, it can be tough to choose. Here’s a look at how two innovative local extractors produce premium cannabis oil.

Hydrocarbon Extraction

Willamette Valley Alchemy (WVA) makes a range of top-shelf cannabis products including edibles and solventless concentrates, but specializes in hydrocarbon extracts, which is cannabis oil that’s been separated from dried plant material using a hydrocarbon solvent blend.

The process usually begins with trim or flower that didn’t make it to market for one reason or another, such as small batch or small bud size. WVA mostly works with farms that are Clean-Green certified, which is the cannabis industry’s version of the organic standard. All their products are co-branded, so you know which farm and flower it was made from.

WVA sources locally-manufactured lab equipment from Cascade Botanicals and Sweet Leaf Extractors. They use a passive closed-loop system which allows them to recapture almost all of the solvent for reuse. They clean the equipment obsessively to minimize any contamination, and double-distill their solvents to ensure they’re ultra-clean. Because the flower they source is top-shelf, they only use the highest quality gas and equipment they can get to honor the plant. “We treat everything like gold,” says WVA Head of Production Adam Chase.

Picture yourself in Walter White’s lab from Breaking Bad—and not the one in the Winnebago. Chase may not be a chemistry teacher, but he’s no less meticulous. Here’s what happens in the spark-proof room where the oil is extracted:

The dry plant material is packed into a column through which a liquid gas is pumped. They use a proprietary blend of solvents including butane and propane to separate the cannabinoids from the plant. The gas is chilled to -100 degrees using dry ice.

Once it’s been run through, the solvent is distilled out using warm water and what’s left is the oil. Once filtered, this oil is poured off and put into a vacuum oven for several days to cure. The negative pressure lowers the boiling point of the residual solvent, which slowly bubbles out. The low temperature allows the oil to retain maximum cannabinoids and terpenes for the most similar user experience to smoking the actual flower.

When all the solvent is gone, the product is sent off to be independently tested, and when confirmed that it’s free of solvents and pesticides, it’s packaged onsite. Test results, including THC percentage, are printed on the label.

The extract might be packaged in a resealable plastic pouch or weighed out into tiny glass jars, depending on its consistency. Though the process is the same, different flowers produce different results. Chase likens it to a unique personality: “The lifeforce of one plant is going to be different from that of another plant, even it’s the same strain grown in the same region.” This can range from a very stable “shatter” to a “sauce” or somewhere in between: “budder” or “wax.” Higher terpene content produces a more flavorful but also more volatile, less stable oil. All of these products are best refrigerated.

Chase and co-owner Brice Sherman built WVA to produce exactly what they wanted to smoke and share it with the community. His favorite part of the job? “It helps people who have medical conditions, and it makes people happy. If somebody had a shit day at work and they got home and they had their partner yelling at them, and their dog bit them when they walked in the door but they have their WVA dab ready, and they take that dab and they’re good, that is the most satisfying part. ”

CO2 Extraction

Critical Source (CS) is focused on full-spectrum CO2 oil formulas, but take a very different approach from other vape pen producers. Cartridges are popular for their convenience, but the flavor or effects can be compromised by a quick and dirty extraction process. The goal of CS’s full-spectrum extracts is to replicate the experience of smoking the real flower, but in cartridge form. Not only should the experience feel more authentic, “the effects can last substantially longer than distillate products,” says founding partner Kenan Hester.

CS’s CO2 extraction process is focused on retaining dimensionality and bioactive compounds of the flower through terpene profile preservation and cannabinoid profile retention that’s true to the cultivar—capturing the plant’s unique essence, if you will.

Initially created for the medical market, their extracts are made using CO2 in place of a hydrocarbon solvent. Although more expensive and time-consuming, CO2 is considered among the safest ways to produce and consume extracts. Hester says, “Great extracts that target therapeutic value should capture everything that you want from the plant and strip away everything that you don’t want.” The good stuff is those bio-active terpenes and cannabinoids. In post-processing, they aim to exclude plant compounds like waxes and lipids that can cause irritation in the lungs.

The process goes like this: The flower is put into the extraction chamber and saturated with low-temperature, low-pressure “subcritical” CO2. First, the terpenes are isolated in a liquid form and put aside. Then temperature and pressure is ramped up to “supercritical” levels, and the CO2 extracts the cannabinoids in a process similar to steeping tea.

The system’s patented back-pressure regulator gradually drops levels back down as the solution travels to the collection point, where CO2 and raw extract are separated. The CO2 vapor rises and is recycled back into the system. The raw extract left behind still contains those unwanted plant waxes and lipids, so it’s then homogenized with ethanol and put through a process called winterization to remove them.

Many CO2 extractors aren’t able to isolate the terpenes at the first stage, so they get winterized too, which can destroy them and create a generic flavor and character. Others may spend 2-4 days winterizing, but CS lets theirs go for 10-12 days until absolutely nothing else can be removed, giving their cartridge a very smooth hit.

Finally, the terpenes are reblended with the cannabinoids to achieve the finished product. CS never uses food-grade or bulk-cannabis derived terpenes, so you can be sure everything in the cartridge came from the same source and vaporizing it will mimic the experience of smoking the flower itself.

Hester likens this process to wine blending and says a little goes a long way. “You can have a Cabernet and Merlot blend that has only 1% Merlot, but as soon as you add that in, it can completely change the entire experience.” Similarly, using just a tiny bit of the original terpenes has a huge effect on the character of the extract.

When Hester founded the company in 2014, the market had a lot of great hydrocarbon extracts, but CS saw a need for more connoisseur-grade CO2 extractions. Though the barrier to entry in this method is much higher, CS wanted to advance the quality and availability of options for patients. It maintains these standards of quality in its recreational products and has just launched a premium line of co-branded vape cartridges called Kalapooya Fire. This brand seeks to honor the history of the Kalapuya people, from whom the culture of eco-stewardship in the Willamette Valley originated hundreds of years before the modern cannabis industry. Kalapooya Fire seeks to source from farms that emulate the sustainable practices of the Kalapuya people. To honor this legacy, they’re also launching a scholarship which supports Oregon Native American students who study chemistry & horticulture at the University level.

Live Life WYLD

words by Sierra Pedro and Kelsey Tidball | photo contributed by WYLD

Have you ventured into the wonderful world of edibles yet? Whether you’re already an edibles fan or you have yet to try them, you’ve got to hear about one of the best edibles companies in the Pacific Northwest. WYLD, an Oregon-based cannabis company founded in January 2016, makes edibles so elegant and tasty, you’ll think you’re eating something from a gourmet candy store. WYLD specializes in gourmet, hand-crafted chocolates and gummies that are delicious, sweet and adventurous. The company was founded by born-and-raised Oregonians Aaron Morris and Rene Kaza, who are both UO alumni, and Chris Joseph, a PSU alumnus. WYLD’s products are perfect for the Pacific Northwest spirit. Take them hiking, give them as gifts or get some for yourself for a relaxing night in. If you haven’t tried edibles yet, you’re definitely going to want to try these. We promise they’ll become a new favorite treat.

Sold in over 400 stores across Oregon, WYLD products can be found wherever your heart may take you. Their gummies are made with real fruit and packaged in an elegant and unique prism-shaped box perfect for carrying on a hike or any other outdoor adventure. Each box comes with ten pieces of candy in a convenient, child-proof airtight container. These edibles are great for beginners and experts alike. When first trying these products, WYLD recommends starting with a ¼ or ½ dose — these gummies are specifically designed at a small 5mg dosage to help WYLD enthusiast find the perfect amount that works for their system. Remember to consume in small amounts to begin, you can always take more later!

WYLD currently offers gummies in raspberry, marionberry, strawberry and pomegranate flavors. We recommend trying their newly-introduced pomegranate 1:1 gummies for a wonderful, tart and tropical taste with a balanced blend of 5mg THC and 5mg CBD per serving. These bad boys were just launched in October, and we’re absolutely WYLD about them! If you’re looking for a product to help you wind down, reduce stress and sleep better, try the strawberry CBD-enhanced gummies. If you love all things PNW, try the indica-enhanced marionberry gummy. This classic, Oregon berry taste paired with its relaxing effects are sure to help you wind down and enjoy the beauty that surrounds you. What we love most about these products is that there is no cannabis flavor lingering around, only amazing sweet, tart and fresh fruity flavors. Looking to explore or get things done? The raspberry sativa gummy is the perfect, uplifting adventure buddy! Are you more of a chocolate kind of person? Their white chocolates are perfect for on-the-go, and they’re price-friendly, too! WYLD’s products range from $3 to $24. Chocolates come in ten-pack or single-serve options. They are sure to provide a wonderful taste of a classic fruit and cream combination. Try the blood orange white chocolates for a sweet, sativa-enhanced experience, the indica-enhanced peach white chocolates for a relaxing experience, or the strawberry hybrid white chocolates for a more traditional taste.

By now, your mouth is probably watering and you’re wanting to run to the nearest dispensary to pick up a serving or two of these treats. Visit wyldcanna.com/findus for WYLD’s interactive map to find a store closest to you and to pick some up for your next party, event, or night in with friends. Don’t wait too long — a WYLD adventure is waiting for you. #LiveLifeWyld

Website: wyldcanna.com

Instagram: @wyld_canna

Facebook: /wyldcanna

Exceptional Edibles: Gourmet Treats For Your Next “Retreat”

words by Anna Glavash | photo by Trevor Meyer

It’s important to know cannabinoid profiles when choosing between the different types of edibles out there. Some are THC-dominant, others are all CBD and some contain both, with 1:1 ratios or a variety of other proportions.

When most of us think of edible cannabis, we think of the psychoactive effects of THC. But there are many other ways CBD, a non-intoxicating, therapeutic cannabinoid can behave in the body. We visited Moss Crossing, recent winner of best dispensary in Eugene Weekly, and talked to edibles cannasseur and budtender Jessie Daher about her favorites and when to eat them.

“For me, getting into edibles was the key to unlocking a better lifestyle and quality of life in general. I had severe insomnia for years that was feeding into other chronic pain issues. Once I got that handled, I realized what deep sleep felt like. Now I use edibles every night,” says Daher. So how can we know what to expect from these different products? “1:1 products are amazing for insomnia and chronic pain. THC and CBD work together synergistically to promote relaxation and healing in the body. You can’t go wrong. CBD in particular is preventative, and a lot of people don’t realize that. They think CBD is just to treat a problem. It’s actually better to prevent one. It’s one good way to lower inflammation and decrease cortisol [a stress hormone] in the body long term,” says Daher.

Retreats CBD Gummies by Willamette Valley Alchemy (Eugene) $19

  • CBD
  • 3 gummies per package
  • 24 mg CBD, 1 mg THC per gummy

These tropical gems are nothing like Haribo Bears. Made by hand right here in Eugene with real fruit purees and no artificial ingredients, they come in passionfruit, grapefruit, and strawberry flavors with blueberry launching soon. Retreats are “one of the strongest CBD edible products out there. They’re great if you tend toward anxiety or want to prevent inflammation,” Daher says. There’s also a THC version if you want psychoactive effects. Each batch is strain-specific, kind of like a single-origin coffee or chocolate bar, except Retreats uses locally-grown flower.

Mr. Moxey’s Mints CBD Herbal Pastilles by botanicaPORTLAND (Portland) $30

  • 5:1 CBD : THC
  • 20 Mints per tin
  • 5 mg CBD : 1 mg THC per mint

For the proper people. “Not only are they discreet, easy to take with you and tasty, you’re not going to have the psychoactive effects either.” These are perfect thing if you’re a microdoser and want to pop one or two at the end of your long day to unwind. With a 5:1 mg ratio of CBD:THC, the effects are very subtle. Mr. Moxey’s Mints won first place in the 2017 Dope Cup for the CBD Edible category. Find out why.

Junk Marshmallow Bon-Bons by Leif Goods (Portland) $24

  • 3:2 CBD : THC
  • 9.4 mg CBD : 6.8mg THC per bon-bon
  • 6 bon-bons per box

Vegan marshmallows. Covered in chocolate. Topped with chocolate salt. Yes, the salt is infused with chocolate. Far from junk, these are the ultimate indulgence. The near-equal ratio in this product makes it a favorite among those with complex medical issues, but it’s also great for anybody looking for a balanced high.

Leif Goods Peanut Butter & Jelly Organic Chocolate Bar $24

  • 1:1 THC : CBD
  • 42 mg THC, 47mg CBD per bar
  • 10 servings

The golden ratio (and maybe the golden ticket too) can be found in this chocolate bar. It’s truly amazing how much it tastes like a PB&J sandwich. The secret is the strawberry powder sprinkled on top. Chocolate is also a quick way to get results. “It’s a vasodilator, so it helps your system absorb the cannabinoids a lot faster,” Daher explains.

Cinnamon Maca Almond Butter by Lux (Bend) $17/27

  • THC
  • 500 mg per jar
  • Available in a 6.5 oz or a 1.27 oz. jar

Want to keep the good times rolling on a backpacking trip? Just toss this jar in your bag. With a malty, butterscotch flavor, Maca is a powdered root. According to Lux, the Incas used it for strength and stamina, and this THC formula will make your hike all the more enjoyable. Imagine cookie butter that tastes like graham crackers, but good for you. Yes, you can consider this a health food. Lux already took home first place for Sweet Edible in the 2017 Dope Cup. It’s delicious right off the spoon, or if you’re snacking, why not add some to sliced apples or toast, or drizzle on a smoothie or granola bowl. Though it’s tempting, we don’t recommend eating the whole jar.

Piqmiup Tea in Lemon & Jasmine Harmony Sativa Blend by Upward Cannabis Kitchen (Portland, OR) $14

  • THC
  • 5 mg each
  • 3 tea bags

There’s not much a cup of tea can’t cure. Daher says these are another good option for microdosing and a good way to get THC into your system quickly. Piqmiup comes in several blends including indica and hybrid. They’re made with looseleaf tea, other herbs like lavender and cannabis distillate, which is flavorless. Sativas are more energizing, indicas are calming, and a hybrid is, well, somewhere in between.

Magic Number Ginger Beer (Bend) $5/$7/$9

  • THC
  • 3, 10, or 25 mg per 12 oz. bottle

Daher says people can’t get enough of these drinks, which are a favorite among the edibles crowd. Why? Because they’re super affordable and get into your system a bit faster. What’s not to love? The best part is that the mg marks on the 25mg bottle show you where to stop drinking to control your dose. We’ve heard these make amazing floats, and yes, Moss also sells medicated ice cream. Cheers!