Cannabis comes in a variety of delightfully edible forms. Honey is one delicious, versatile way to enjoy this natural product, and it’s easy to learn how to make cannabis honey. Cannahoney can be made in several simple ways. It’s not complicated, and it doesn’t take too long. It also has a long shelf life and can be used to sweeten tea or coffee, as a spread over toast, used in other recipes, or enjoyed on its own.
Understanding Decarboxylation When Cooking with Cannabis
Decarboxylation is the heating process that converts the inactive THCA molecule in raw cannabis to the active form of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). When converted to THC, these molecules bind to particular cell receptor sites in the central nervous system. Raw cannabis is not intoxicating because the THCA doesn’t bind to the body’s psychoactive cannabinoid receptors.
So, raw cannabis must always be heated before it can be used to make edibles, even cannabis honey.
To decarboxylate your cannabis:
- Break up 3 to 4 grams, then feel free to decarb more if you are going for a more potent infusion.
- Preheat the oven to 245 degrees.
- Cover a nonstick baking sheet with parchment paper to prevent sticking and loss of product.
- Spread the cannabis evenly over the baking sheet and bake for 30 to 40 minutes.
Although cannabis can also be baked for 10 to 18 minutes at 300 degrees, this method is discouraged because lower heat will better preserve the integrity of the THC molecules. As the cannabis bakes, shake the baking sheet every 10 minutes or so to ensure even heat distribution. The decarboxylated cannabis is for the next step: infusing the now-active cannabis into honey.
How to Make Cannabis Honey: Method One
Use one cup of honey for each 3 to 4 grams of decarboxylated cannabis. This is the recommended starting ratio. Amounts of either the cannabis or the honey are always adjustable to individual taste. Next, follow these steps:
- Over low heat, combine the honey and cannabis in a double boiler.
- Let the mixture simmer for about 40 minutes, no less than that, and ensure it never actually comes to a boil.
- Set a wide funnel lined with cheesecloth over a wide-mouth, clean jar. Allow the honey mixture to cool slightly, then pour it through the funnel. Let the mixture strain itself naturally. Squeezing the cloth may be faster, but it may also allow bitter-tasting plant compounds to infuse with the honey.
Once the honey mixture has strained through the cloth, set the jar in a cool, dry place. It will keep well for at least several months. In fact, honey contains natural antibacterial compounds and may be edible indefinitely! Archaeologists working in ancient Egyptian tombs have found honey thousands of years old that’s still perfectly good!
Method Two for Making Cannabis Honey
For this method, gather the following items:
- 3 to 4 grams of cannabis
- 1 cup of honey, any variety
- Crock pot
- Large, clean, airtight jar
- Cotton string and small kitchen towel
Up to 7 grams of cannabis may be used for this recipe for a stronger finished product. Don’t forget the decarboxylation step! Then:
- Wrap the prepared cannabis in a piece of cheesecloth and tie with clean kitchen cotton string. It’s also possible to place the cannabis directly into the honey, but this will require a straining step.
- Place the honey in a quart jar and drop in the cheesecloth-bagged, measured, decarboxylated cannabis.
- In the bottom of the crockpot, place a kitchen towel. Add water to the crockpot until the level is above that of the honey in the jar.
- Set the crockpot temperature to 200 degrees and leave the mixture for about 8 hours. Tap the jar every hour or so and watch for any pressure buildup. Burp the jar top if necessary.
- After heating, simply use tongs to extract the cheesecloth bag. After cooling, the cannabis-infused honey is ready for use.
Other Ideas for Cannabis Honey
To add flavors to the cannabis honey or cannahoney, sweet and savory spices may be added during the last hour of cooking. Citrus zest will also add flavor to the cannahoney. The additional ingredients may be either strained out after heating or left in. If not removed, the flavor imparted by the spicy additions will deepen over time.
Any type of honey may be used for making cannahoney. It’s a matter of personal preference. Truly raw honey will always be opaque in appearance. However, locally sourced, raw, unfiltered honey may offer more health benefits when compared to highly processed brands.
Any strain of cannabis may be used for making cannahoney. The scent of the plant comes from its content of compounds called terpenes. Watermelon Sorbet has a grape-like scent that would work well with cannahoney. Other possible choices include Mimosa, Blue Dream and Clementine.
Use caution when trying cannahoney for the first time. Edibles take much longer to show their effects than smoked or inhaled cannabis. Start with a quarter to a half teaspoon, and wait for at least one hour before deciding to take more.
That’s how to make cannabis honey. It can be used in any recipe or way that regular honey is. Try it in a honey salad vinaigrette, mixed with peanut butter, or in corn muffins. The possibilities for enjoying homemade cannabis honey are endless.