How to Make Your Own Edibles with Wax and Shatter
Homemade edibles have always been made the old fashioned way - with marijuana flower or trim. The green tint and strong marijuana flavor in cannabis-infused butter is a result of of this process.
But we can also use marijuana concentrates like wax, shatter, live resin, etc to make homemade edibles, and using concentrates instead of flowers makes the process much easier because we're only infusing, not extracting. We don't have to strain plant matter out of butter or olive oil, and when we use a concentrate instead of flower, the melted, decarboxylated concentrate can be mixed directly into anything we want.
Marijuana concentrates in dispensaries are either made with butane or CO2. Butane hash oil is used for making most of the waxes, shatters and live resins you see on the shelves. But CO2 oil can also be made into waxes and shatters and can be used to make edibles. CO2 oil is packaged in an oral syringe to make it easier to contain and dispense. CO2 oil may also be decarboxylated before you bring it home, so you can skip that step, too. If it is not, squirt all of the oil into a small glass dish before decarbing. The syringe is plastic and will melt in the oven.
The basic instructions are simple: bake for 30 minutes at 250 degrees.
You want the concentrate to melt, and the cannabinoids to covert from THCA to THC. Solvent concentrates like wax, shatter, budder and live resin easily melt into a liquid oil, but hash like bubble, moroccan and dry sift retain their solid state, even when decarbed. Use a fine mesh strainer to grind decarboxylated hash into a fine powder. This powder can be used to infuse marijuana into edibles.
If you are decarbing more than a few grams of concentrate in a single container, bake them for 45 minutes.
TIPS FOR MAKING EDIBLES WITH CONCENTRATES
1. Silicone and glass are the only substances that your concentrate should touch. If the concentrate is packaged in a glass container, you can place the container in the oven. If you use CO2 oil in a syringe or a concentrate in a silicone container, scoop it out and place it in a small glass dish before placing it in the oven. Use small silicone spatulas to scoop every drop of concentrate. A gram of oil is small, so every drop counts.
2. Concentrates are STICKY. If you have a hard time getting it from the oven to your batter, add a tablespoon of butter or oil to the concentrate before you put it in the oven to decarb. The melted fat will help you transfer the concentrate and prevent it from sticking to bowls and spatulas.
3. When stirring concentrates into a recipe, make sure the concentrate is stirred evenly into wet ingredients. Don't try to add a gram of melted wax to a cup of flour - it won't mix in well. If you can, time it so you are mixing your wet ingredients as you pull the concentrate out of the oven.
4. Stir, stir, stir. You want an even amount of cannabis oil in each serving, so the oil must be evenly mixed throughout the recipe.
5. We can still use lecithin, even without a solvent like butter, oil or alcohol. Lecithin creates an emulsion that helps to evenly distribute the marijuana into each dose, and it helps the body absorb the medicine, which means our cannabis medicine is more effective. But lecithin tastes awful, so I tend to only use it for skin creams.
6. Even though we don't have to, we can create infused butters and oils with concentrates. I like using concentrates in compound butters (let butter warm to room temperature, then stir in herbs and other flavorings). Concentrates reduce the flavor of marijuana so the flavors I add, like honey, lavender and dill, taste better.
7. Do not make an alcohol tincture with concentrates. Cannabis and alcohol do not create an emulsion, so the marijuana doesn't evenly distribute. Pouring a gram of melted wax into room temperature alcohol just creates a glob of oil at the bottom of the glass.
8. Dosing: Marijuana concentrates have anywhere from 60-90% potency, which means each gram of concentrate has 600-900 milligrams of THC (or other cannabinoids like CBD, CBG, etc)
You need to do a little comparison shopping at the dispensary to know if flower or concentrate is the more economical choice for you. One gram of 85% potency shatter has 850 milligrams of THC. One gram of marijuana flower (15% potency) has 150 mg of THC, and since we aren't able to extract every single milligram from flower, we can only assume we get around 100mg of THC per gram of flower, so we need to buy 8.5 grams of flower to equal one gram of shatter. Concentrates can cost anywhere from $20-$80 a gram, and marijuana flower can cost anywhere from $5-$25 a gram.
I like to buy the cheap/discounted/"on sale because it's old" concentrates for topicals and skin treatments, and I spend a bit more when I want my edibles to taste good. I prefer CO2 oil when I want an easy concentrate. I go for live resin or bubble hash if I want a lot of terpenes, and if I'm not feeling flush, I buy whatever is on sale.
If you have any questions about cooking with concentrates, leave them in the comments.