If the world’s most ardent cannabis fans decided to establish a breakaway republic, it’s a pretty safe bet what their national dish would be — pizza. New York style, Chicago style, Detroit style, the one with the pineapples and canadian bacon, or just “whatever is available,” pizza is the perfect stoned meal. It fits easily in your hand, it’s salty, cheesy, and filling, and like cannabis (or sex), even when it’s bad it’s usually still pretty good.
Typically, weed and pizza go together in a very linear fashion: you smoke weed and then you order a pizza, invite the pizza guy in to smoke a bowl, eat the pizza, and then eat more pizza for breakfast. (The pizza guy should have left the night before.)
But what if you did things completely differently? What if your pizza came with a healthy topping of THC in every slice?
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Why make a marijuana pizza? Why not just get high and order a pizza?
This is a good point but the “why take edibles” question doesn’t really have a yes or no answer. It’s more a matter of individual desires and what you’re looking for.
Some people prefer edibles because they don’t like smoking or they have a respiratory issue that precludes them from it. Some people don’t want the house to reek of smoke, or they just want a cannabis-infused dish that they can enjoy with company.
But the biggest reason may be that edibles simply feel different. With edibles (depending on what type of cannabis you use), you can expect a fully immersive high that can send tingles up and down the body and cause sudden fits of giggles.
Edibles can also be the perfect sort of high for a special occasion. It takes about an hour for the effect to kick in and can last a few hours into the night, so it can mean a fun and memorable change of pace.
Tips and common mistakes when making edibles
There’s no shame in eating a whole pizza, but with edibles, you always want to take it easy when it comes to dosing. Perhaps the most common mistake people make is being impatient. Many people find that after about 45 minutes the edible isn’t working and decide that maybe they need to take another dose — only to realize about 15-20 minutes later that they should have waited just a little bit longer.
The other big mistake is forgetting to decarboxylate your weed, which can leave you with a relatively expensive pizza that doesn’t get you high.
What is decarboxylation?
Decarboxylation is a tongue-twister of a word and a process that involves heating up cannabis in order to activate the compounds in the plant. In short, the cannabis plant doesn’t actually include much THC — it includes a different version of the molecule, one which needs to be converted before it will have the effect you’re likely looking for.
And while the science of decarboxylation may be complicated, the process is quite easy.
Just grind up the cannabis you need for your recipe and heat it in the oven on a baking sheet for about 30-45 minutes at around 220-245°F (105-120°C).
Keep an eye on it to make sure it’s not burning, and you may also want to crack a window to get rid of the weed smell.
How strong is your cannabis infusion?
Recipe: How to make cannabis oil
One of the key steps to making edibles is infusing a fat — usually oil or butter — with cannabis ahead of time. This is because both THC and CBD are fat-soluble and must be consumed with a fat to be best metabolized by the body.
Olive oil and coconut oil are two of the easiest oils to use for cannabis infusions. And once you have your own batch of infused oil, you’re always just one prepared ingredient away from great edibles.
This recipe calls for 7-14 grams of ground, decarboxylated cannabis, but feel free to use less if you’d like to make a more mild blend.
- 1 cup or around 7-14 grams of ground, decarboxylated cannabis
- 1 cup of olive or coconut oil
- Double-boiler, saucepan, or crockpot
- Storage container
To make cannabis oil you can use a saucepan, double boiler, or slow cooker. All three methods are basically the same in that they entail slowly cooking the oil with the cannabis at a low heat for around three hours, though some recipes call for more time or even somewhat less.
The saucepan method is perhaps the simplest of the three, in that it involves heating the oil and decarboxylated cannabis for about three hours or so at a low heat 130-150°F (55-65°C), making sure to stir frequently.
With the double boiler, simply put water in the bottom pan and add oil to the top section. Stir the cannabis into the oil and heat at 130-150°F (55-65°C) for around three hours. With the slow cooker method, combine the cannabis and oil in a closed jar and cook in a few inches of water at 130-150°F (55-65°C), also for about three hours.
Whichever method you use, when you’re done cooking, let the cannabis oil cool and then strain it through the cheesecloth into a glass container. Make sure to squeeze the cheesecloth a few times to get all of the oil out.
Once it's in the jar, discard the remains of the decarboxylated cannabis and store the oil somewhere out of reach of children.
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How to make weed pizza
There are two basic ways to make weed-infused pizza: using cannabis oil to make the dough, or just drizzling it over a homemade or store-bought pizza before baking.
If adding the infused oil to the dough, simply replace the olive oil in the standard dough with cannabis-infused oil, and follow the rest of the recipe as is.
For instance, you can tweak this very simple New York Times pizza dough recipe, simply by replacing the olive oil with an identical amount of cannabis-infused olive oil. The recipe makes four dough balls — enough for four 10-inch pizzas.
Place 1 ¾ cups of lukewarm water in a mixing bowl and sprinkle the yeast over the water. Let the yeast dissolve in the water, which should take about two minutes.
Add flour, salt, and infused olive oil and mix for about five minutes until the flour is incorporated and the dough is formed.
Dust your countertop with some flour and place the dough on top. Knead the dough lightly for about 3-4 minutes until it looks smooth and then cut it into four equal pieces.
Wrap both of the dough pieces in plastic bags and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
Take the dough pieces and form them into smooth, firm balls on a flour-dusted or parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel and let rise in a warm spot for about 30 minutes. Each dough ball should rise and double in size.
Now that your dough balls are ready, roll each one out to about 10 inches diameter and about ½ inch thick. Make sure not to work the dough too hard. Prepare whatever toppings, sauce, and cheese you want to use. About one-third to one-half of a cup of tomato sauce and the same amount of cheese should be enough to cover one pizza — but you’re an adult, you can put on as much cheese as you want!
If you have a pizza stone, place it on a rack in the lower half of the oven. Preheat the oven to 475°F (245°C) and bake the pizza for about 10-15 minutes, keeping a close eye on things so that the crust doesn’t overcook. (If you don’t have a pizza stone, a regular old oven tray will work. For best results, preheat the tray before putting the pizza on it.)
Make your own dough or use frozen/delivery pizza?
As we mentioned above, if you’d like to make things a lot easier for yourself, you can simply add some of the cannabis oil to an already-prepared pizza of your choice.
Simply take about 2-4 tablespoons of infused olive oil and evenly spread it onto the pizza. With a frozen pizza, spread the oil across the pizza before placing into the oven.
If you’re ordering pizza delivery, simply place it on the middle of the dinner table and either spread the oil across the pizza or drizzle it evenly.
You could even consider taking your favorite pizza dipping sauce and just adding infused oil to it, but that sounds like a recipe for a different day.