From egg nog to latkes to fruit cake, the winter holidays are full of seasonal treats — and tons of opportunities to get high with or without your extended family. Fudge, that sugary, creamy confection that’s so popular at Christmastime, can be customized with all types of add-ons from pecans to marshmallow cream to salted caramel.
But one special ingredient — cannabis butter — can make any fudge extra special, and make any day a holiday. Here’s how to make your own batch of cannabis fudge, and why you may want to.
Why we love edibles
Whatever your preferred way to consume cannabis — be it smoking a joint, hitting the bong, or pulling on a perfectly rolled blunt — it can be great to mix it up sometimes. As legalization spreads and cannabis becomes more mainstream, there are more options than ever before, and edibles are definitely having a moment.
Edibles are a great option for people who may not want to smoke, either because of respiratory issues or maybe they just don’t like the taste or smell, or want to be more discreet. With edibles, you’re just a couple bites away from enjoying cannabis on your own terms.
But beyond the ease and convenience, edibles create a very different high than smoking. It can be more immersive, longer lasting, or simply more of a body sensation that leaves you feeling warm and fuzzy as the stress drifts out through the living room window.
That doesn’t mean that you should toss out your papers and ditch your lighter, but edibles can be a great change of pace and a lot of fun — especially when you know how to make your own.
Common mistakes with edibles
It’s hard to say no to delicious sweets, even if you don’t have an addiction to confections. This is especially true with fudge, and can get you in a sticky situation if your fudge is infused with cannabis.
Part of the problem has to do with how the body metabolizes edibles. Because the THC and other active ingredients have to work their way through the digestive system, it can take around an hour or so for edibles to kick in. That’s not a problem if you aren’t in a rush, but oftentimes, people find that after about a half hour or so they aren’t feeling any effects — and decide to eat another. Instead of waiting for the first dose to kick in, they have now ingested two doses when one may have been enough.
Of course, you can’t die from overdosing on cannabis edibles and everything will be fine in the end, but too high a dose could create too intense or an unpleasant experience. The best way to avoid this is to simply start low and go slow. The first time you’re trying out a new edible, take a small dose and wait at least an hour or two to gauge the effects. The worst case scenario? You get to eat more fudge in an hour or so.
What is decarboxylation? (Do not fudge this step!)
If you want to get high by eating cannabis, you can’t simply eat some weed and call it a day. This is because in order to get you high, the THC in your cannabis must first be created. Yup, you read that right. The cannabis flower in your jar doesn’t actually contain much THC at all — it has THCA, which needs to be heated in order to convert into THC. With smoking, this happens when you light the joint or bowl, but with edibles, you have to first carry out a step called decarboxylation.
Decarboxylation is a long word that describes a short and simple process. All you need is to take the cannabis you plan to use, grind it, and bake it on an oven sheet for about 30-45 minutes at around 220-245°F (105-120°C).
It’s really as simple as that. Just don’t let it burn.
Check out our step-by-step directions: How to decarboxylate cannabis
How to make cannabis butter
Cannabinoids like THC are fat soluble, and must be consumed with a fat in order to be metabolized by the body. This is why edible recipes — like the one we’re making — typically call for using a fat, such as cannabis-infused coconut oil or olive oil. For fudge, you’re going to want to make your own batch of cannabis butter first.
3-14 grams of ground, decarboxylated cannabis 2 sticks of butter (one cup) Cheesecloth Storage container
There are three main ways to make cannabis butter — in a crock pot, slow cooker, or a saucepan. The saucepan is probably the easiest method, and it involves placing a cup of water and a cup of butter in a saucepan and letting it simmer until the butter melts. Then mix in the decarboxylated cannabis and continue to simmer at around 160-180°F (70-80°C) for 2-3 hours. Make sure to keep the heat low so it doesn’t boil, and after 2-3 hours take it off the heat. Once it’s cooled, pour the mixture through a cheesecloth into a container, and just like that, you now work in the dairy industry!
Here’s a video of the crockpot method:
If you’re using a crockpot or infuser, simply set the temperature to around 160-180°F (70-80°C), add in the butter and cannabis, and let simmer for about three hours, stirring occasionally.
After the butter has cooled, strain through a cheesecloth into the container.
How to make cannabis fudge
Once you’ve prepared your cannabis butter, you’re ready to make weed fudge. The basic concept here is to take a fudge recipe of your choosing and substitute some or all of the butter with cannabis butter.
We decided to use this extremely easy recipe from Live Well Bake Often, which requires only three ingredients and should help you live well and get baked often.
3 cups (525 grams/18.5 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate chips 1 14-ounce can of sweetened condensed milk 2 tablespoons cannabis butter
In a large saucepan, combine chocolate chips, condensed milk, and cannabis-infused butter and place over medium heat Stir until the mixture is fully melted and smoothRemove from heat and pour into an 8-inch baking dish that you lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil Make sure the mixture is smooth and of even height, and then refrigerate for at least three hours or until the fudge is firm Remove the fudge from the baking sheet and cut into squares or other shape
How many edibles is too much?
When it comes to edibles, dosing can arguably be the trickiest part. The potency of two separate batches of cannabis fudge can vary widely, and depends on factors including the amount and strength of the cannabis strain used to make cannabis butter, and the tolerance of the user.
The potency is up to you, and revolves around the strength and amount of cannabis used. Also, with any recipe that calls for cannabutter, you don’t have to entirely replace the butter with cannabutter. You could do half and half in order to keep things more mild.