Though cannabis science is reaching levels that never seemed possible, one thing remains a constant and unquestionable fact: very few people agree on how pot should be cooked, decarboxylated, etc. In the coming weeks and months we will be interviewing everyone from scientists to civilians to chefs on this topic, starting this week with Tony Jr, the founder of the extremely resourceful cannabis destination site THCoverdose. Among other handy helpers, it’s where you can find our favorite cannabis cooking calculator. We asked Tony about his inspiration for the culinary crutch.
You reached out because you saw an article we had about baking cannabis. How did you become an expert in this field?
I wouldn’t call myself an expert on cooking with cannabis. I mainly focus my efforts on growing and writing about cannabis culture. But I am a huge enthusiast, and I’ve learned a lot through getting my hands dirty. Truly, what you can gain through trial and error is priceless.
What are some of the first things that you remember baking?
The first time I ever cooked with cannabis was just over eight years ago. Of course, like most people, the first thing I ever cooked was pot brownies. But, having had a taste of eating cannabis, I wanted more and started making blueberry muffins and, my personal favorite, fettuccine alfredo.
When did you start seriously researching things like how to best cook cannabis, decarboxylation, the science behind it all?
Being taught to cook by an old timer, decarboxylation was never brought up. And, since my recipes all involved me using cannabutter, I didn’t think I was doing anything wrong. So, it wasn’t for a few years that I started to learn the differences between THCA and THC, or how much stronger your edibles will be if you decarb your marijuana first. It’s all thanks to the legal cannabis boom that we’ve all been able to access a lot more information.
What are some things that people most commonly do wrong when they are cooking cannabis?
I think one of the most common mistakes I see people making is grinding up their buds too finely. From my experience a rough grind, like you would for a joint, is perfect. If you shred your cannabis, the food takes on a stronger chlorophyll taste from my experience.
Tell us a little bit about your site, thcoverdose.com.
I started the site because I love writing about cannabis. The science behind growing cannabis is infinitely fascinating to me, and THCoverdose has become a great way for me to not only study the latest ideas but become a better grower myself.
How did you develop the cooking calculator?
I know nailing down edible dosage is a real pain point for those just starting to cook with cannabis. It’s just a simple math equation that anyone who paid attention in algebra can do. You multiply the amount of cannabis you’re using by 1,000 to get the weight in milligrams, multiply that number by the THC percentage of your strain, and then, finally, divide that number by the number of servings your recipe will make. But who wants to do all of that math every time they cook?
What was the closest thing to a cooking calculator that you were able to find before you developed your own?
There are other cooking calculators out there, sure. Some are phone apps, and some are spreadsheets that you can plug your numbers into. I wanted a cooking calculator that was integrated into THCoverdose so our readers didn’t have to sign up for anything to download it.
Any other parting tips to take into account when calculating?
You also have to think about potentially losing cannabinoids during decarboxylation which could make your edibles weaker than expected. And remember, unless you send your edibles to get lab tested, you’re not going to know the exact amount of THC in each one. Instead, use the calculator as a guide to get you close to the potency level you want your edibles to be.