cookies with BHO pt. 2
After the last post, I left off hoping to improve three things:
1) absorption by the body to feel the effects of the THC quicker than 1 hour to an hour and fifteen minutes;
2) overall strength; and
I came across this cooking with cannabis internet personality BadKat. Through watching her videos and reading her blog entries, I discovered that there is a key ingredient that can be added to the butter, called lecithin (popularly soy lecithin). Lecithin is a nutrient that aids overall cell function and is used commonly for memory improvement. According to Vanderbilt.edu, “Lecithin, a lipid material composed of choline and inositol, is found in all living cells as a major component of cell membranes, which regulate the nutrients entering and exiting the cell.” I would love to lead an entire lecture on lecithin, but I just don’t think I can right now. I highly suggest you read more on it though. It will aid in our quest to improve speed of absorption and strength by improving our bodies’ ability to fully utilize the THC we are consuming .. which is GOOOOOD :) We found it at Whole Foods for a reasonable price:
Another aspect we added to the process is to decarboxylate the BHO. We knew that was an integral part when working with flowers, but questioned whether or not BHO had already undergone that process. There is a comprehensive explanation of the purpose behind decarboxylation below, along with instructions. If you are producing your own BHO, it’s recommended to decarb in flower state before processing into BHO.
The next valuable tip I learned was to clarify the butter. There is about a tablespoon’s worth of milk solids and water in each stick of commercial butter. When you clarify butter, you take out the 1/8 of the stick that is not absorbing THC, as it does not have any fatty properties, which if you clarify enough butter, you can just replace that tablespoon with more clarified butter when measuring it out for your recipe (which you will now need to do, since you are reducing the amount of butter from 1 stick to 7 tablespoons).
>>The only way to truly impact the strength of the cookies, to the degree that a person with a tolerance level 5 could eat fewer than 4-5 to get high, would be to increase the amount of BHO/stick. We will report on that another time. The improvements listed above and explained below have improved the speed of reaching the high and duration, but do not necessarily mean one will have a stronger high, just a better one :)<<
HOW TO DECARBOXYLATE
In order to fully activate the cannabinoids in your material to achieve the same potency as smoking/vaping, one must decarboxylate the material first. Decarboxylization (decarbing) is the process the material must undergo in order to turn the dormant THC-A into its active cousin THC (you do this all the time when smoking it, by sparking up). Decarbing is achieved by heating the material enough to achieve this conversion while keeping the temperature low enough to avoid THC vaporization. We put 3 grams of BHO in 3 separate ramekins and wrapped them in tin foil until it was airtight. We then placed them in an oven preheated to 245*F. We left them in there for 20 minutes. When we pulled them out, we allowed them to cool to the touch before uncovering the aluminum. This is an important step because if you open it early you’ll lose any THC, which is potentially initially in gas form. Another way to decarb BHO would be to double boil it (using Canola Oil in the place of water due to canola oil’s higher boiling temp). The advantages to double boiling are that you can see the process in action. As the BHO heats up, it will begin to bubble, releasing CO2. Once the bubbles are completely gone, the decarb process is complete. We will update you when we use this method. The chart below is a brief (and perhaps outdated;) ) guide to THC decarboxyilization. If you decarb for too long after the process is complete, you run the risk of degrading your THC, rendering it less potent, as shown on the chart below. The most common methods we have found online were to decarb at 250*F for 20 minutes or 220*F for 45-55 minutes, no matter if you are using the oven or double boiling approach.
HOW TO CLARIFY BUTTER
If you need 1 stick of butter for your recipe, you will need to clarify about 1 ¼ stick. I was making a full batch and a half (requiring 3 sticks) so I did 4 sticks. Place the butter in a heavy saucepan and melt over low heat. Without disrupting it, after about 10 minutes on low, there will be a top layer of milk solids. Skim as much of it off as you can with a spoon, and discard. Then, carefully and slowly start pouring the butterfat into a dish. When there’s a little left in the saucepan (about 20% of it), filter that through a coffee filter. There will also be a bottom layer on the saucepan. Do not attempt to scrape any of that out, it is also a waste and should not even be filtered. Voila! Clarified butter.
Now without that milk solid and water, ½ cup butter (1 stick) will be comprised of more bioavailable substance. This will allow the BHO to be better absorbed by the butter and make the cookies better. While the clarified butter was still in liquid state, and after the decarbed BHO cooled, I added a tablespoon of lecithin to each decarbed BHO ramekin poured ½ cup (1 stick) butter over each one. I then stirred them VERY well before covering them completely airtight again with aluminum foil. I put them back in the oven at 220*F for 1 hour. After 1 hour, we pulled them out and brought them to room temp, stirred multiple times and froze them for about 14 hours. It is recommended that you freeze it anywhere from 6-24 hours.
(^^right outta the freezer^^)
I brought them back up to room temperature and then put 2 out of the 3 ramekins back in for another hour at 220*F, and left one for 3 hours at 220*F. The one that cooked for 3 hours was cooked that way to reach a more sedative body high, as referenced in my previous post. The following images are of the 3 hour batch 1) immediately out of the oven after 3 hours and 2) after refrigerating and softening. Note that this butter is much darker than the 1 hour batch.
After that, I let it come naturally down in temp on the counter, refrigerated it for about 20 minutes before it was at room temp and I could begin mixing it with the other ingredients in the Nestle Toll House Mini Morsels Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe (see pt. 1 for recipe).
Again, I only ate one of these cookies this time under better conditions. The cookie kicked in after about 50 minutes which was an impressive improvement in the speed category. Also, the time was about 3-5 minutes in between when I started experiencing any high to when I felt completely at my peak. There wasn’t really any slow build up. I had a nice high that lasted about 2-2.5 hours, including the descent. I was in a completely comfortable, non-vegetative high. I felt that it was more of a “head high” until it was coming down. At that point, I felt sleepy. I ate the 1-hour batch. My boyfriend ate 4 cookies and his high came on after about an hour. He also felt like it peaked quicker and longer. He ate two 1-hour batch and two 3-hour batch.
Trial 2 has the advantage when it comes to first effect and peak, because they happen after a lower amount of time. The time between peak and descent is also longer for Trial 2, meaning the strongest of its high occurs for longer. Trial 2 also has a higher value at the finish, meaning the very start to very end was longer and that’s great because it also comes on faster! With Trial 1, the high is fading for 70 minutes, with Trial two the high is fading for 95 minutes. I would interpret this as it picks you up quickly after the delay from your body processing the THC carrier (butter) (0-65 minutes and 0-50 minutes, respectively) and sets you down gently, in both cases, but more so the second time.
These batches will also be tested by others, and when I have their feedback, I will post an update.
Thanks for reading and happy baking!