A relaxing smoke, a topical solution, or a perfectly crafted cannabis cookie — there are all types of ways to ingest cannabis, and each has its pros and cons.
Among the reasons some prefer edibles is that they tend to produce a strong, long-lasting and more powerful effect that can be more suited for patients dealing with severe pain or who are having great difficulty sleeping. The different “high” produced by edibles is partly because THC is metabolized differently when it is eaten than when it is smoked.
Also, edibles don’t require smoking and are a great alternative for people with respiratory illnesses or those who simply don’t want to smoke or inhale anything.
A wide array of edibles are available for purchase these days, but even with all the options out there, there’s something to be said for making your own edibles at home. And while some recipes and methods are more complicated than others, most cannabis concoctions call for using a THC-infused fat, be it “canna-butter” or cannabis infused oil.
Making a home infusion isn’t quite nuclear fission, but it can be a bit tricky. This is where home infusion devices come in.
What are home infusion machines?
Home infusion machines take the confusion out of infusion. With a home infuser, you place your cannabis flower inside the machine along with the base of your choice, select the temperature, set the timer, and that’s it. Some infusion machines take things further by decarboxylating the cannabis inside the machine, removing an entire step in the process.
Most home infusion machines come with a handy guide as well as easy-to-follow recipes that walk the user through preparing all types of infusions, including what temperature and how to infuse according to whichever fat they choose.
Most infusers can also be used to make oil tinctures.
How to make sure you’re using it right
First things first you’ll want to know if your machine can decarboxylate cannabis or if you’ll need to do this before placing the cannabis in the machine. If the machine doesn’t perform this step, then find the recipe you want to make and decarboxylate the amount of flower you need.
Most home infusers include a cup or pod-like receptacle for placing the cannabis flower inside the machine, as well as an interior basin for the fat. In most cases, after placing the flower in the receptacle, you’ll select the time and temperature needed and that’s it. Some infusers even have default settings that take the guesswork out of it.
Make sure not to overpack the cannabis receptacle, or forget to put the butter or oil in the machine with it.
How much cannabis should you use?
If you’ve never made a home infusion before, it’s a good idea to start out with a basic cannabutter or THC oil recipe (coconut is a great option). Most infusion machine companies include these recipes on their websites. With your first batch, it’s a good idea to follow one of these recipes, and consider even putting a little less than the recommended amount of cannabis.
For instance, on the Magical Butter website, the infusion machine company has a recipe for cannabis butter that calls for 7 to 14 grams of cannabis and a cup (227 grams) of butter. You could try aiming for the lower end, or even a little less and use just five grams until you can gauge the strength. The potency also depends on the strength of the marijuana used. Edibles have a powerful effect and a long, sustained sensation. You should be perfectly fine using a moderately strong strain or even a milder one.
Two of the top home infusing machines
The LEVO II
The LEVO II is the second incarnation of the LEVO, a countertop home infusion machine that decarboxylates the herb inside the machine, making it one of the most convenient options on the market.
The LEVO II boasts a sleek, attractive design and comes in several colors (jet, meyer, alpin, robin, cayenne). It has three main settings – activate (decarboxylation), dry (for drying herbs), and infusion. There are default temperature settings but the company also includes a handy online calculator on their website that will tell you the precise temperature and time you need depending on the fat you are using.
The LEVO II also comes with a “gravity dispenser” which reduces air bubbles and moisture, helping boost the shelf life of the finished product.
The LEVO does have a somewhat smaller capacity though – the “power pod” only holds up to 14 grams of cannabis, though this should be enough to make a solid batch of infused oil or butter.
The Magical Butter Machine
The Magical Butter Machine bills itself as “the world’s first countertop Botanical Extractor” and it’s a long-time favorite of home infusers for making butters, oils, lotions, and tinctures.
The machine grinds the flower and then heats and extracts the cannabis into the fat of your choice according to the temperature and time you set. The machine has four different temperature settings and four timers, each of which corresponds to the preparations of a different infusion.
The machine also comes with a self-cleaning option that makes cleaning a cinch.
Buy the Magical Butter Machine
The Magical Butter Machine does not decarboxylate cannabis, so this requires an additional step before infusing. Beginning this summer, the company plans to start selling a “DecarBox Thermometer” combo pack to make this step easier.
The Magical Butter Machine can infuse a much larger amount of cannabis than the LEVO II however – up to 1 oz of flower per infusion batch. This makes it somewhat more suited for people who plan to make big batches.
Incredible edibles — from your home kitchen
Having your own supply of cannabutter or cannabis oil in the house means any time you want to whip up a small batch of edibles, you just need to add a dab of the infusion to the recipe, and you’re in business.
Making your own edibles also means you can choose exactly what strain you’re eating (sometimes the selection in dispensaries is limited) and you’ll have full control over the other ingredients that go in. Don’t let food allergies stop you from enjoying edibles anymore.
Edibles do have a powerful effect though, so like always, start low and go slow when you’re trying out a new infusion you’ve whipped up.
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