What is cannabis flour?

Much like the name suggests, cannabis flour is a combination of cannabis flower with baking flour. This culinary treat is easy to make at home and stores in a cool, dark and dry place for a minimum of 12 weeks. Once your flour is ready to go, you can add the concoction to all manner of baking or cooking for a special cannabis kick.

Why make cannabis flour?

Cannabis flour is an easy and quick way to enjoy adding your favorite cannabinoids to your favorite sweet or savory recipe. Additionally, it makes almost total use of the Cannabis Sativa plant. Fresh flower buds, small stems and even leaves can all be ground and used. This maximizes the plant power while helping to save money and waste. It even provides a fiber boost to any recipe! Furthermore, cannabis flour does not have the intense odor that cannabutter creates. It can also be made in advance and kept as a pantry staple for a minimum of 12 weeks. For comparison, once infused, cannabis butter only lasts a few weeks in the fridge but no longer than a month. You can freeze cannabis butter in an airtight container for about six months, but using frozen butter usually requires advance planning for baked goods (such as cookies) as the butter must come down to room temperature. Cannabis flour requires no advance planning to use; just sprinkle it in your food for a delicious cannabis boost.

How do I activate cannabis flour?

Cannabis flour is easy to make, but the process is not as simple as adding ground hemp flower to baking flour. To activate the cannabinoids in the plant, the flower needs to undergo decarboxylation.

While decarboxylation sounds a bit like a Harry Potter spell, it actually just means a heat-driven molecular reaction. Cannabis buds are dotted with small, crystalline structures (known as trichomes) that produce a resin full of cannabinoid acids (the molecular form before becoming cannabinoids) such as THCA and CBDA. To transform THCA and CBDA to the effective THC and CBD, high heat must be applied. The heat causes the extra molecules (known as a carboxyl group and represented by the “A”) to eject from the cannabinoid acids; aka decarboxylation.

To make the best cannabis flour, the temperature must be balanced between a high enough heat to cause decarboxylation and a low enough heat to preserve the terpenes and other desirable phytochemicals intact. Baking the cannabis at 230°F (110°C) for 30 to 45 minutes accomplishes activates the psychotropic elements of cannabinoids like THC as well as the holistic elements of cannabinoids like CBD.

What is CBD flour and THC flour?

Cannabis flour can be used to make CBD products or THC products because it is made from the Cannabis Sativa plant. Cannabis Sativa is the species of plant that is commonly known as pot, weed or marijuana. This cannabis plant contains many different chemicals called cannabinoids. Two of the most famous cannabinoids found in cannabis are THC and CBD. However, researchers have found more than 100 cannabinoids as well as other smaller organic compounds, known as terpenes, in the plant.

“Hemp,” on the other hand, is a category name for the different strains of Cannabis Sativa that are rich in CBD and contains less than 0.3% THC. In 2018, the Farm Bill changed hemp plants fitting the above description from a controlled substance to an agricultural commodity, meaning that farmers across 46 states (sorry Idaho, Mississippi, New Hampshire and South Dakota!) could grow hemp legally. 

Restaurants have also been swept along with this legalization. In California, Rancho Palos Verdes’ Burattino Brick Oven Pizza uses a pizza dough with 30% hemp flour as a base for its decadent ingredients. In Arizona, Hempful Farms Café uses everything from hemp flour to hemp oil and hemp seeds in their clean and healthy culinary delights. In Colorado, Hemp Way Foods uses hemp hearts and hemp protein to create a meatless hemp burger. No matter how you slice it, hemp is taking the culinary world by storm.

While, in the common vernacular, hemp and CBD are generally used as interchangeable terms, hemp is a strain of the Cannabis Sativa plant which contains a high volume of the cannabinoid known commonly as CBD. THC is the cannabinoid responsible for the “high” feeling associated with the Cannabis Sativa plant. CBD is a cannabinoid with no psychoactive effects but many desirable ones.

If the flower buds and leaves are derived from the Cannabis Sativa plant with all of the natural cannabinoids, it will produce a “high” feeling and the psychoactive effects of CBD; in other words, “THC flour.” If the flower buds and leaves are derived from a hemp Cannabis Sativa plant, the mixture will contain a high volume of CBD and less than 0.3% THC; In other words, “CBD hemp flour.” Cannabis flour is nearly as versatile as the health benefits of cannabinoids.

How do I make cannabis flour?

  1. Preheat the oven to 230°F (110°C)
  2. Break up the cannabis flower, leaves, and stems into small pieces
  3. Spread out the cannabis on a rimmed baking sheet
  4. Bake for 40 minutes
  5. Remove and set aside to cool
  6. Grind using a food processor or a coffee grinder into a fine, flour-like consistency
  7. Store in an airtight container in a cool, dry, and dark place

How strong is cannabis flour?

The strength of the flour depends on the cannabinoid percentage content of the flower used. You only need to know a few things.

  • The CBD or THC percentage in your cannabis flower
  • The grams of cannabis flour used
  • number of servings in the final dish

From there, simple fill-in-the-blanks formulas will tell you how many milligrams of CBD and THC are in your dish:

  • (cannabinoid percentage content/100) x (grams of cannabis flour x 1000) = mg of cannabinoid per gram of cannabis flour used
  • mg of cannabinoid per gram of cannabis flour used/number of servings in recipe = expected cannabinoid dosage

For example, if you use 5 grams of hemp flower with a CBD content of 18% to make 12 cookies, the formula would look like this:

  • (18 / 100) x (5g x 1000) = 900 mg of CBD in the entire recipe
  • 900mg / 12 cookies = 75 mg CBD per cookie

How can I cook with cannabis flour?

When cooking or baking, use up to 25% of the requisite baking flour in your recipes with your bud of choice flour instead. Swapping out more than 1/4 of the flour can cause unpredictable results when it comes to baking. Moreso, it is a good idea to start slowly when taking edibles of any kind. Sift the flours together right before use to ensure the proper consistency (you should also sift all of your dry ingredients while baking to incorporate them and remove any lumps).

The only potential downside is that the cannabis flavor translates strongly into the final dish. However, it can easily be masked by increasing the amount of other strong flavors in your dish such as adding more spice.

How can I maximize the effects of cannabis flour?

On a molecular level, cannabinoids like CBD and THC work best when they are combined with saturated fat. Hemp’s cannabinoids are fat-soluble so oils like coconut, palm, and palm kernel activate the cannabinoids by helping your body properly break down and absorb the nutrients. While it is good to limit saturated fat in your diet overall, coconut oil is largely comprised of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which are easy to break down and absorb.Olive oil is composed of unsaturated fats and is thus not the best choice for hemp solubility whereas butter has a higher saturated fat content.

What should I make with cannabis flour?

While all manner of dishes can be improved with cannabis flour, these banana muffins are sure to impress. The incredible spice blend helps mask the sometimes overly prevalent taste of cannabis in the dish. Fair warning, you might find these banana muffins are your new favorite edibles!

Mini Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup of sour cream
  • 1 cup mashed bananas
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1.5 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips (optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F
  2. Cream the butter, sugar, and egg in a medium-sized mixing bowl.
  3. Fold in sour cream and mashed banana.
  4. Create your cannabis and baking flour concoction.
  5. In a separate bowl, sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, ground cloves, ground nutmeg, and cinnamon together.
  6. Gently combine the wet and dry ingredients
  7. Stir in the chocolate chips (optional)
  8. Butter a mini muffin pan and pour in the batter.
  9. Bake for 15 minutes then place on a cooling rack.
  10. Enjoy!
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