The 5 Most Important Edible Facts

By Eric Miller

IG: @medicatedeveryday

The biggest downfall of edibles is unquestionably the taste of lawn clippings that floods your mouth after biting into it. More often than not, the grassy and off-putting flavor of most commercial edibles reminds me of mowing the lawn. Edible companies, by and large appears to be incapable of eliminating the majority of the “weedy” taste out of their products. In addition, these same companies are fervently against expanding beyond the pastry and candy world evident by small unremarkable product lines crowding the end display case of a dispensary. No one seems to be interested in making edibles, merely sugar laced THC vessels with no regard to the potential in front of them.

In addition to the nasty and off-putting taste, most of the time, edibles don’t work, or they work too well. Both of which suck in their own unique way. It’s a problem now, whether it’s at a sesh or a dispensary. The perfect storm of an overabundance of edible companies, lackluster quality cannabis and a complete lack of understanding of the science of making edibles, has turned off an entire generation to the idea.

The joke that edibles have become really breaks my heart, so to that end I present to you, the 5 ways most important edible facts to help you succeed where so many have failed before.


I’m sure you’ve asked, “Why does this brownie taste like a bag of grass clippings?”

The blame rests with the molecule family of chlorophyll, the same stuff that makes grass green is what gives edibles the distinct essence of manual labor. When making edibles with the flower you have all that bitter tasting chlorophyll floating around the entire edible because the GREEN flower is your THC product. So how to avoid this? Why simply make your edibles with concentrate.

There are a lot of different options to pick from when selecting a concentrate. Whether it’s shatter, bubble hash, rosin, resin or any litany of concentrates it can be incredibly overwhelming. We’ve all heard that butane hash oil, better known as the most common concentrate method in use today, contains butane a lethal chemical as the solvent for extraction. There are so many things to consider when purchasing concentrates, price, solvent, solventless, trim run, nug run, budder… My heart hurts thinking about it.

Luckily the marvelous news, for us, is that regardless of the concentrate you purchase unless it’s really dreadful, will eventually mean very little. Why is that? Because we’re ingesting weed rather than inhaling it.


Ingesting weed means eating an edible and inhalation means applying heat to flower or concentrate and breathing in the smoke. Be it from a joint, rig, bong or blunt, you smoke you inhale. I apologize if it seems condescending but I need absolute clarity from here on out because here’s a whole lotta science.

To understand how THC works on the body we need to understand this wonderful compound on a molecular level.

THC or tetrahydrocannabinol is the active ingredient in cannabis, a psychoactive chemical that induces a wide range of therapeutic and recreational effects. More often than not people who inhale cannabis report side effects such as increased creativity, the munchies and a cosmic connection to another plane of existence. Whereas those who ingest cannabis tend to feel ripped off for their purchase and then melt into whatever piece of furniture they are sitting in.

Scientifically speaking THC, as we see it on jewelry, is a chemical compound primarily made of a molecule called THCa, or rather tetrahydrocannabinol ACID. THCa is a non-psychoactive ingredient, but when heat is applied such as lighting your bowl full of the flowers, it transforms into delta-9 THC. Now, the term psychoactive ingredient isn’t as amazing as you think it is. Psychoactive means that it causes brain activity, sugar and fat do the same thing, hint, hint. I’m not downplaying the effects of delta-9 THC, I’m just making sure that we’re speaking scientifically correctly.

The metabolic process of THC begins with your method of consumption. Depending on how it gets into your body, THC breaks down the same way but affects the mind differently. Now, this requires a little more explanation. Delta-9 THC is what induces the feeling of being high, or euphoric when you inhale cannabis. Upon inhalation, you have a direct shot of the main chemical that heading straight to your brain via the lungs. When you ingest cannabis, you are processing the chemical through your GI tract; your stomach absorbs 90% of the THC but the liver destroys the remaining THC before it enters the bloodstream. Both methods absorb the delta-9 THC into the body and during the metabolic process creates 11-OH-THC or 11-hydroxy-THC. 11-OH-THC is a cannabinoid receptor molecule and opens up the parts of your brain so the delta-9 THC can get into your head and grant you that famous feeling. The interesting part here is when you inhale cannabis you’re feeling more delta-9 THC in fewer parts. Fewer parts of your brain generating the intense euphoric effects cause said effect to wear off more quickly. Conversely, there are 3-7 times more 11-OH-THC when you ingest cannabis. Meaning your brain is opened that much more resulting in the famous edible delay and hours of intensity sometimes.

So aside from the brain activating chemicals being different between smoking and eating your medicine, there are also the negative side effects as well. The negative side effects of inhalation result when you actually light the flower or concentrate on fire. Whether it’s with a lighter on a bong or a torch on a dab rig, you’re causing the product to combust, and breathing in that stuff is damaging to everyone. The level of damage is subjective but when you consider that the boiling point for THC is roughly 315 °F and the average Bic lighter burns at a staggering 3,578 °F you can bet that chemically speaking, it’s not a great idea to take that into your lungs. Burning cannabis, even the sweetest smelling flower, is still a plant, and inhaling it into your lungs damages just everything it touches and directly introduces carcinogens into your body.

Now ingesting weed in an edible will save you a lot of trouble in this department. Thanks to a simple process that most edible companies are not doing.


Decarboxylation is simply “a chemical reaction that removes a carboxyl group and releases carbon dioxide (CO2)” [wiki]. The process of removing a carboxyl group (written as COOH) from the molecule THCa. Carboxyl groups are weak acids that dissociate partially to release hydrogen ions from THCa molecules through an exothermic reaction to release CO2 (carbon dioxide) in our concentrate. What all that science mumbo jumbo means is, it not only removes excessive chemical leftovers, it also turns non-psychoactive into psychoactive delta-9 THC. But how is that done? By applying low amounts of heat we are actually creating delta-9 THC from the cannabis concentrate that is just sitting there waiting to be used. The term delta-9 THC means that heat (delta) has been applied and has created a double bond in molecule position 9 of THC. By ALWAYS DECARBING your concentrate, flower, CBD oil, or anything else from the cannabis plant you wish to incorporate into your food must be activated. How do you do it yourself?

Debarbing is easy, arrange your concentrate in low heat convection oven, wait a bit, then freeze. How long and how hot do we have to keep the oven? The longer you let your concentrate decarb the better. My personal recommendation is 200°F for 2 hours. If you can’t wait that long, 1 hour is acceptable.

Here’s a simple decarb set up in the oven:

  • Wrap a baking sheet in parchment paper.
  • Place concentrates at the center of the baking sheet.
  • DON’T ADD WEIGHT there’s no need to add pressure we need HEAT
  • Either use immediately or freeze to harden and ease of portioning.

A quick note about freezing your new decarbed product, no matter what, after you’ve decarbed your concentrate the terpenes and other chemicals that carry the “Entourage Effects” begin to be destroyed. The sativa and indica strain-specific effects are not present in edibles because of the metabolic process. INHALATION AND INGESTION ARE DIFFERENT. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise, edibles made with sativa weed are the same as the edibles made with indica strains.


How quickly THC begins its effect on the body is based on metabolism of the individual. The question “How much do you recommend I take?” is difficult to answer because we’re all unique. Badasses who can smoke their individual city under the table can sometimes have trouble with a 10 mg THC brownie bite. It’s based on metabolism and the quality of the edible, if you have too much of a garbage edible life tends to suck.

What is a garbage edible? Any number of definitions exist but basically a garbage edible is “any edible that doesn’t render you with exactly the experience you want.” It’s as much art as it is science when making edibles and I’ve seen companies that can’t do either.

The best way to prevent a tragedy is to start small. Even those of you reading with lots of edible experience should still exercise caution when proceeding from here on out. Edibles have a razor-thin threshold for mistakes so exercise caution and understand that we are all special in our uniqueness. So knowing how to properly dose and portion your concentrate begins with understanding how much THC you actually have.

As explained before, we’re dealing with human metabolism and individual needs, so start dosing with limited amounts of concentrate. But how do we know how much THC is going into our edibles? This is where lab testing and corporate responsibility meet in hopefully easily accessed ways for you, the dear reader. The next time your shopping for concentrates, simply move a decimal point over to get your THC content.

Say what?

Here’s a more beneficial way of saying that. You purchase 1 gram of a lab verified nug run that has a sticker on it that reads 89.14% THC. Simply convert the 1 gram to 1,000 mg and now your 89.14% becomes 891.4 mg of THC. It’s a bitch to work with such bizarre numbers, though. My solution, round up to the nearest whole number that is easiest for you to work with. In this case, I would round up 891.4 mg to 895 mg because unless your tolerance is astronomically low the difference in mg when rounding up is minuscule. Can’t find any lab verified products? You may want to consider going to another shop.

So why does THC bond so well to certain ingredients? The answer lies in the arrangement of molecules.


THC and fats, particularly the ones found in healthy olive oil, for example, are monounsaturated fatty acids, and both are chemically hydrophobic. On a chemical level both the fat and THC bond to one another because they both repel water as nonpolar molecules. Nonpolar molecules are bonds made by the basic atoms bonding together by sharing and giving electrons. When this happens, the result has no charge positive or negative. Water is a polar molecule, so when the hydrogen and oxygen hook together to form water it gives off a positive and negative charge. Water bounces right off the bonding fat and THC as it moves through your body, all through the bloodstream, until finally passing through the blood-brain barrier to the cannabinoid receptors. The cannabinoid receptors rest in the part of the brain that compels some people to think the Earth was created by aliens. That simple chemical law opens up the complete world of cuisine. Nonpolar molecules are also found in sugars, alcohols (wine, vinegar) and glycerin (sugar substitutes for diabetics). So by having an understanding of these nonpolar covalent bonds, you can work THC into your diet.

Creating a diet with THC in it is incredibly easy, for some reason this simple concept of chemical cleanup is lost on commercial edibles. Save yourself the guesswork, the hassle, and your money, make your own edibles at home with the power of science!