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May 10, 2021 4 min read

How to make cannabis sugar

author
by Ben Hartman
Spooning white sugar out of a yellow bowl

Every dinner, late afternoon lunch, or relaxing evening at home could use a bit of sweetener. Cannabis sugar allows edibles chefs to sweeten any dish with a dash of THC — and sugar — without needing to add an infused fat like cannabutter or cannabis oil. 

But what is canna sugar? 

Cannabis sugar is just that — it’s sugar that’s been infused with cannabis after a quick soak in grain alcohol and a short trip to the oven. It is especially versatile. It can be used as a sweetener in cookies, a dynamite bowl of wake-and-bake oatmeal, or spooned into a cup of coffee at any time of the day. You can also use it to make cannabis caramel.

➤ Go straight to the recipe

Wherever you like to add sugar, spice and make absolutely everything nice, cannabis sugar can be there. 

Why canna sugar?

Smoking a perfectly twisted joint is probably the most classic cannabis experience there is. And a few pulls from a vape or a well-rolled blunt? Divine, and almost guaranteed to work every time. 

But there’s no need to be rigid when it comes to cannabis. There will be times when you prefer to smoke or vape cannabis, and times when an edible will hit just the right spot. 

This is mainly because edibles make for a great time and produce a truly unique high that courses through the body and can make any movie a comedy, and anything in the cupboard a delicacy. 

Also, making an edible like canna sugar means that you are always one step away from making any snack, meal, or beverage into something special. Just break out the canna sugar, and get comfortable.   

Heating up sugar in a pan
There will be times when you prefer to smoke or vape cannabis, and times when an edible will hit just the right spot. (Shutterstock)

Making edibles for the first time? Avoid these mistakes

Chances are you’ve heard this cautionary tale before. An eager cannabis consumer is trying out a new type of edibles for the first time, and the impatience gets the best of them. After 45 minutes or an hour, the THC hasn’t kicked in and they decide to take matters into their own hands and double down on their dose. Within minutes, things take a stony turn and it dawns on our protagonist that they have just taken a double dose and it’s gonna be a long night. 

With edibles, always make sure to wait at least a couple of hours to gauge the effects. This is especially true if it’s your first time with the recipe and you aren’t quite sure how potent it is. You may even want to try a half dose the first time, just to be on the safe side. Worst case, you can always take a bigger dose the next time. 

Another common mistake is to forget to decarboxylate, without which your edibles will not get you high — no matter how tasty they might be. 

What is decarboxylation?

Decarboxylation refers to a chemical process during which marijuana is heated up and the cannabinoid THCA is converted into THC. This happens instantly when smoking cannabis, but when you are ingesting cannabis, decarboxylation must be done ahead of time in order for it to have an intoxicating effect. 

Decarboxylation is pretty hard to get wrong. Simply grind up some cannabis and bake it on a sheet in the oven for about 30-45 minutes at around 220-245°F (105-120°C). Check every 10 minutes or so to make sure the cannabis isn’t scorched and you may also want to crack a window so your whole kitchen and living room don’t smell like cannabis. 

How to make canna sugar

Ingredients 

Making cannabis sugar is similar to making a cannabis tincture

Instructions

Take about 3 grams of ground, decarboxylated cannabis and pour it into a jar. Cover the cannabis with the grain alcohol and close the jar. Let it sit for around 30 minutes, shaking every few minutes. 

Next, strain the liquid through a cheesecloth into a bowl and discard the cannabis flower.

Add the sugar to the strained liquid, stir well, and then pour it into a glass baking dish.

Bake the dish at 93°C/200°F, stirring regularly until the alcohol has evaporated and remove it  from the oven. Alternatively, you can place the liquid mixture in a pie plate on the stove on low heat until all of the alcohol evaporates. 

After the sugar cools, break up any large pieces and place in an airtight container. 

How much cannabis sugar should I use?

A woman pours a teaspoon of sugar into her coffee
Consider using a half teaspoon or less of weed sugar your first time until you know how strong it is and how it affects you. (Shutterstock)

There are 48 teaspoons of sugar in a cup. The amount of THC the marijuana sugar contains depends mainly on the potency of the cannabis in question. 

For instance, 3 grams of a strain with 20% THC, should contain about 600 mg of THC. Divided by 48, this would be 12.5 milligrams of THC per teaspoon. Most people start with a dose of 5 mg of THC, although everyone’s tolerance is different. 

Regardless of the potency of your cannabis, consider using a half teaspoon or less of weed sugar your first time until you know how strong it is and how it affects you. You can always take more next time.

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