Honey is a fantastic sweetener. As a natural sugar, it’s far easier on the human body than artificial sweeteners (none of which seem to be good for you in the long run), and some swear by honey’s ability to help with allergies. Plus, supporting your local beekeepers helps the environment as worldwide bee colony collapses continue to alarm scientists. But look, you just want to sweeten your tea, right? And wouldn’t it be nice if you got a little cannabis in there? Honey is a truly magical liquid, and can be made more so with this recipe for cannabis-infused honey. You can cook with it or just stir it into drinks, use it just like any honey. Of course, be aware that dosages in edibles are imprecise at best, so try a little before you use a lot.

Making cannabis-infused honey is actually quite simple. You see, honey is a very clever substance. Its water activity makes it impervious to microbial growth, giving it a shelf life of practically forever. Honey also contains all the vitamins, minerals and water that sustain life. You can freeze your cannabis honey as well, although this isn’t necessary for safety, just the longevity of potency and flavor. 

So let’s begin with the most important step in making this honey: decarbing your cannabis. Decarboxylating your marijuana is absolutely critical. This is the step most people mess up because it takes some time and attention, but again, it is vital. The process actually converts THCA to THC, which gives you the effects you’re looking for. Without applying heat, your cannabis is throwing away all of its potency for imparting a high. Not that there aren’t therapeutic uses otherwise, but if honey is how you’re wanting to consume THC, you’ll need to decarb first.

To decarb your cannabis, you’re going to put it in the oven. Make sure you have a non-stick baking pan of some sort, and ideally put parchment paper (cooking paper, NOT wax paper) on top of the pan to further prevent sticking. Lay your buds on the paper or pan. Preheat the oven to between 220-245 degrees Fahrenheit. THCA is converted to THC at 220, so setting the oven to 245 works great. Put the buds in once the oven is heated, and let them “cook” for about 30 minutes, gently rolling the buds around every 10 minutes or so, to evenly heat them. Yes, you can turn the heat up a bit and cook them in less time, but that will cook out some of the cannabinoids. “Slow and low” is ideal here.

Once the cannabis has been decarboxylated, you just put it into the honey… and heat it again. However, this time what you’re doing is getting the warm honey to break down the plant matter so the cannabinoids transfer into the honey. Best practice is to use a double-boiler, and put the honey and flowers together in the pot. This concoction should never boil, so keep it to a simmer at best, for about 40 minutes or so. 

Now, you’ve got some hot cannabis-infused honey, but it’s filled with plant matter. Once the honey has cooled, use cheesecloth and a funnel to strain the mixture and get the plant matter out. Yes, this takes a while — honey is quite viscous. But squeezing is just going to get funky-tasting plant stuff into your honey. Let it drip on its own time. 

Now you can store your cannabis-infused honey in jars for a couple of months (keep it in a dark, cool place). Do be careful when using it, as edibles are hard to judge, especially when transfused into new concoctions. Once you have an idea as to potency, you can start using it in recipes. Honey is great, and cannabis makes it even better — enjoy!

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