Why I Don’t Blanche My Cannabis Before Making Edibles…

infusing olive oil with cannabis
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This is going to be a short post, but I felt compelled to do it this very moment because I’m getting lots of questions about it. You may have noticed that I don’t recommend blanching your cannabis in any of my recipes or oil tutorials.

Some chefs recommend blanching your cannabis before cooking with it and say it’s the bees knees, but I’ve gotten lots of comments from you guys about how it’s more like being stung by 1123314 hornets, leaving you with soggy half burnt weed and weird textured oils.

So what’s up with this technique? And why don’t I talk about it in my recipes or oil tutorials?

Why Blanched Cannabis Isn’t My Thing

There are edibles chefs that argue that for flavor’s sake, you need to blanche your cannabis before infusing oil with it to remove all of the “impurities” found in cannabis. Otherwise those impurities will make your infused foods taste terrible. And that’s really the only argument I’ve ever heard for blanching. They claim that the blanching process will remove all of those nasty little things, make your weed food taste better and give you a more pure cannabis infused oil.

Let’s get very clear about this. When chefs talk about the reason for soaking and blanching, the “impurities” they mention include things like “insecticides” and “chlorophyll.”

I’ll touch base in just a moment why labeling chlorophyll an impurity is ridiculous, but what I’d love to drive home about this topic is that whenever possible, let’s all use cannabis that is grown without using chemical pesticides and fungicides. Especially if you’re using it to treat a condition.

Blanching and Chemical Residues

I’d love to dive into the topic of alllll of the different pesticides and fungicides that are currently being used while growing cannabis, but I don’t have the time to do that here today. What I will say is that the chemicals used on cannabis are typically much more dubious than those used while growing conventional food.

If you’re consuming black market cannabis, you may be ingesting chemicals that are not legal for human consumption. Many of these chemicals are supposed to only be used in low concentrations on ornamental plants (like the sad shrubs growing in medians and in bank parking lots) and are being used in high concentrations on a plant you put into your lungs and your poor digestive system.

Buy weed without chemicals. Grow weed without chemicals. However you get your cannabis, try your damnedest to buy or grow it sans gnar.

If you do have to buy cannabis without knowing what’s on it, then by all means try to do something about it… these non-scientists say that soaking it in water for a few days and then blanching it will remove all of that, so I guess?… go for it?

I’m not convinced that it removes pesticides from the plant material entirely, and have never been presented with evidence to back up these claims, but I feel like it’s something worth researching.

Chlorophyll is Gross… wait… what?

So now we’re onto that supposed infusion ruiner – chlorophyll.

It’s what makes infused oil green and apparently (according to some chefs) makes your food taste bad. I get that I have a health-based palate (I’d drink Multigreen Kombucha over Dr. Pepper every. single. time.), but I think that there are many cases where infused oil enhances the flavor of what I’m eating.

I think I made one smoothie that tasted a little odd (pears and cannabis aren’t bffs), but I mess up the flavor of my smoothie about 3 times a week, so that’s really not all that special.

IMHO, nearly everything I’ve ever made with cannabis tasted great when I added my infused coconut oil. I put it on toast. I put it in my tea. I like the flavor of cannabis infused coconut oil. Scratch that. I love that flavor.

And here’s what’s crazy to me about this idea… chlorophyl is AMAZING for you. That green stuff that these flavor purist cannabis chefs are saying is the scourge of cannabis is considered a superfood. It is reportedly a cancer-fighting, liver detoxing, wound healing, colon cleansing badass.

And I don’t know about you, but taking all of the trouble of blanching to get rid of something that is good for me? Nah. I’ll pass.

Again, if you hate the flavor of cannabis, really want to put cannabis on fish or in delicate pastries, or if the cannabis you’re using is covered in chemicals, then… why not give it a shot? Otherwise… if you’re using tasty organic homegrown or dispensary cannabis, IMHO it’s unnecessary and can potentially make your next batch of oil more complicated then it needs to be.

I feel like this is going to be one of those troll bait posts that I’m going to wish I never wrote. Let’s do it… in the comments section below 😉

Much love,

Corinne

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36 Comments

  • Reply
    Walt Socha
    August 26, 2017 at 10:14 am

    I’ve heard (and wondered) about soaking in water to get rid of the “green”. Thanks for clarifying the not-need!

    As for insecticides…I guess it’s “buyer beware”…I doubt that a water soak would remove any chemicals. Possibly a weak vinegar soak??? Luckily, this isn’t an issue for me.

  • Reply
    Lisa
    August 26, 2017 at 10:16 am

    Amen, Sister Corinne! *You’re* the badass! Sending good juju your way, for all the reasons.

  • Reply
    Kevin P. Maher
    August 26, 2017 at 10:19 am

    Agreed! After I carbolize the oil (coconut) I strain it, and put it in the fridge, I then eat a little at a time til it is gone, awesome stuff!

  • Reply
    Andrea N.
    August 26, 2017 at 10:32 am

    I would have to agree with you Corinne . I love the flavor of cannabis ! I did try blanching a batch of La Confidential, ( which has a strong flavor ) …. it was more of a pain in the @ss ! I say …. to each their own ! Happy Baking ~

  • Reply
    NSK
    August 26, 2017 at 11:39 am

    Thanks Corinne, makes sense.

  • Reply
    Gail
    August 26, 2017 at 12:14 pm

    Oh my goodness I could not AGREE with you more!! You hit the nail right on the head on every point!! As 100% soil grown organic no pesticide growers and caregivers in the state of Maine I never even heard of blanching your cannabis before using it!! They always think they are on the next best thing, where did simple thinking with your God given brain go to?? And how stupid the logic behind the pesticide water soak and chlorophyll being bad for you?? Well thank God you are using your brains and see the nonsense in this. Thanks for the great article!!

  • Reply
    Tasha G
    August 26, 2017 at 12:25 pm

    Ha. Wish I were there to high five you. Bad mood or no, it’s real and cuts to the points perfectly! I was curious about it and was on my list to further research but having read this I’m already uninterested 🙂

  • Reply
    Jenn Borjeson
    August 26, 2017 at 12:28 pm

    Yes yes yes yes yes! We grow our own and I don’t worry about blanching for a single second. My edibles are awesome – so I know I’m doing the right thing! 🙂 Sending you and your grumpy a** a big old hug. xo

  • Reply
    Meredith Arnold
    August 26, 2017 at 2:12 pm

    For some reason, people always think they can improve on Mother Nature and so manipulate stuff for whatever reason…that’s how animals go extinct (e.g. passenger pigeon – squab anyone? Rhino horn, etc.). Bad mood or no, you are right on and I appreciate you said it loud! Don’t mess with a good thing.

  • Reply
    Pearl
    August 26, 2017 at 3:09 pm

    Uppity cannabis chefs have been getting on my nerves lately too. Bong Appetit isn’t helping either.

  • Reply
    Terry
    August 26, 2017 at 3:52 pm

    A water soak and blanching makes sense with ABV if you’re using it, really takes out the burnt flavor, but that’s the only time it always makes sense. I’m with you on chlorophyll!

  • Reply
    Phillip
    August 26, 2017 at 3:54 pm

    Hope you are getting back to being you. The world needs you and the Cowboy.

  • Reply
    Darrell Parker
    August 26, 2017 at 5:16 pm

    Flavor like most things is a personal issue. While looking for the most potent method of preparing cannabutter. I came across a High Times lab tested recipe. This recipe calls for 1 hr of decarb in the oven, then cool and spray with Everclear before transferring to crock pot. Definitely improves potency but also has the side effect of taming the what I call “green” or “grassy” flavor of previous batches. P.S. I didn’t have Everclear handy so I used the Jose Cuervo Gold I did have. It turned out great. I served the cookies I made with Lime and Salt. 🙂

    • Reply
      Corinne
      August 27, 2017 at 10:55 am

      I just saw this a few days ago and was intrigued. Thank you for sharing your experience with that method. That cookie recipe sounds amazing! This is something I can really get behind. I can’t wait to try it!

      Much love,
      Corinne

    • Reply
      EliseMcD420
      October 14, 2017 at 11:33 pm

      Hi Darrell! Thanks for checking out the “Ultimate Cannabutter” videos. Tamar’s decarb + Everclear + Crockpot method is definitely my go-to way of making potent cannabutter, but it does taste grassy! There’s two schools of thought on cannabis flavor, and many chefs seek to eliminate it as much as possible; while others choose to work with it. That’s the great thing about cooking with cannabis, there’s so many variables that it’s possible to tailor recipes to the tastes and needs of individuals.

  • Reply
    Laura Jensen
    August 26, 2017 at 6:38 pm

    I’m with you.
    Short and sweet, cuz I’m less than enthusiastic about the world today as well.
    xo

  • Reply
    Tammy Coulter
    August 26, 2017 at 8:45 pm

    This article is why I subscribe to you/and learn to cook from you and no one else!
    Atta girl 🌹xo

  • Reply
    Susan Winters
    August 26, 2017 at 9:39 pm

    Couldn’t agree more about chlorophyll. I’ve never understood the problem with it. Maybe because it messes with the flavors of concentrated oils? I make a fresh harvest infused oil with olive oil and it smells and tastes sooooo good it’s almost sinful.

    Thanks Corinne. To blanche the terpenes out of the plant material is concerning too, since no the terpenes direct the action of the cannabinoids. I want all the flavor of the strain I worked so hard to bring to harvest.

  • Reply
    Thomas M Doy
    August 26, 2017 at 11:44 pm

    I’ve never heard of blanching. From your description it sounds like a crock of shit. I guess if you don’t like the taste of good home grown or dispensary bud, go with the canna caps and just eat plain brownies. : }

  • Reply
    mounia
    August 28, 2017 at 8:07 am

    Right on !! I saw this method with a product I just bought and said “Whaaaat ?” to myself !!Now I have to do what ??THANK YOU
    THANK YOU THANK YOU !!! for clearing this up ,( I skipped it anyways ) LOL !!!! Love you Corrine ,Feel better !!!

  • Reply
    Wendy Layne
    August 30, 2017 at 10:40 am

    AGREED. Also: there’s no way some of the trichomes aren’t falling off during the blanching process. What a waste!!!

  • Reply
    Josie Williams of Herbal Roots & Assoc
    August 30, 2017 at 10:54 am

    Yes Maam Your absolutely right. They can tell me the same and I feel the same as You do. And I HAVE BEEN VOTED BEST EDIBLE @slocup2017 and 2nd Place @ harvestfest2016. I have 2 Trophys to say Hey We doing Our thang…

  • Reply
    Gia
    September 1, 2017 at 8:31 am

    As a baker, I have tried different methods of infusing oils/butter. Recently, I tried the blanching method and I got excellent reviews. There are some folks who really don’t like the chlorophyll taste. High Times tested the potency and the blanching method scored nearly as high as the alcohol spray method. Taste and potency are important to my clientele. To me, it’s just another way to bake.

  • Reply
    Joe P.
    September 4, 2017 at 1:16 pm

    I couldn’t agree more. In fact, I was more than a tad dismayed when the 2nd Levo infusion guide they emailed me a link to (pre-product arrival) actually flat-out RECOMMENDED blanching cannabis before infusing with it!! My immediate reaction was WTF – that just plain makes no sense to me. There’s a really good reason that ice water is a time-honored hash extraction method – the trichomes (and many other good things found in the flower) are water soluble, the colder the better. Why the hell would anyone want to flush much/most of the THC and other medicinal substances out of their flower before infusing it in a base oil for further use? That seems silly stupid, not to mention incredibly wasteful, to me.

  • Reply
    Joe P.
    September 4, 2017 at 1:22 pm

    To clarify a factual inaccuracy in my previous post, I realize that of course the trichomes don’t actuallydirectly dissolve in the water, they remain in suspension. The coldness simply helps to dislodge them, then typically a series of ever-finer mesh screens are use to separate them from the water by trichome size, as sativas and indicas (for example) have very different sized trichomes. The “sweet spot” size is very strain-dependent. Anyway, the point is still that water dissolves (OR washes away) much stuff you very much want LEFT in your medicine. So don’t do it!

  • Reply
    tony
    September 6, 2017 at 7:22 am

    I’ve been reading your website and using your tricks for awhile now. I’m about to do an extraction with my MBM2e. Since you mentioned it, should I use MCT instead of organic Coconut oil? I will be using the Coco budder for baking cookies and brownies mainly. I’ve also invested in a Nova and this will be the first extraction using buds processed by the Nova.
    I await your response and thank you for your website!

  • Reply
    Cindy
    September 22, 2017 at 7:21 pm

    Well Darrell, I am definitely going to try your spray method. Hopefully I don’t blow up my Magic Butter machine. I usually use a crock pot method. I do not disagree with anyone’s opinion but personally, I love the smell of a nice sensi bud but I don’t want to chew it and evidently neither does 80% of my recreational clients. Tasteless cannabis is the golden ticket. Yep. I kid you not. Love this website.

    • Reply
      Darrell Parker
      September 23, 2017 at 8:38 am

      As long as the MB machine does not create any type of “spark”, which I hypothesize it does not, you will not have any trouble using this method in that machine.
      My method is to spread the cannabis on a cookie sheet. Decarb in the oven at 240 for 60 mins. Cool for 10 mins. Spray and let set for 15 mins. Then into the crockpot for 6 hours. So you only need to change last step and should get same or better results.
      Blessed be and merry met.
      May the Goddess always shine a smile upon all your good works.

  • Reply
    Lee Gal
    September 29, 2017 at 12:32 pm

    Many cannabutter/oil recipes have you mix the herb, butter/oil, and several cups water before cooking it down. IMO this lengthens the process and is messy. So I decarb at 240F for 30 minutes, then tie it up tight in cheesecloth like a bouquet garni. Then I put a large sealable Mason jar in a crockpot with water AROUND the jar (not in it!), put the bouquet garni into the Mason jar and pour melted coconut oil or butter on top, set the crockpot on low (~140F) and leave it alone for 24 hours. At the end I just pour the oil into its original container, squeeze the bouquet garni into it to reclaim any remaining oil or butter, and refrigerate or freeze. No watery/weedy sludge to separate from water and no mess in the sink. Works great every time!

    • Reply
      Kristina Etter
      October 20, 2017 at 11:46 am

      I’ve actually used a similar process myself, Lee. Check out my article about Mason Jar Cannabis Oil.

      • Reply
        Lee Gal
        October 20, 2017 at 1:54 pm

        Works like a charm. Just an aside: I noticed that the weed/cheesecloth packet still retains up to 1/4 c. oil even after squeezing. So after wringing it out, I put the packet in a funnel over an empty jar, and pour small amounts of boiling water over it, squeeze some more, and repeat several times until the jar is full of water/oil. Then I put the cap back on, put on its side in the frig for an hour, then open and pour the water out. The hardened oil remaining recaptures quite a few doses that would have otherwise gone down the drain! (Or you can just make weed chai with packet….)

        PS Please keep our NoCal farms in your wishes!

        • Reply
          Kristina Etter
          October 23, 2017 at 10:49 am

          Thanks for the tip, Lee Gal! California has been in our thoughts daily, such a tragedy up there. Much Love!

        • Reply
          Tracy
          October 23, 2017 at 6:49 pm

          I’ve been doing what I call the ‘wash method’ for years – butter or oil, crockpot or MB Machine, same process. Once I’ve wrung it out, I run more oil / butter through it until what’s running through it is clean. I usually get about 4 cups of wash butter or oil and use that as the starting base for my next cook.

  • Reply
    Mellissa
    October 28, 2017 at 9:44 pm

    If your a serious non lover of the taste of coconut cannabis oil I’ve read the stovetop method with 2 inches of water helps filter out what it’s able to during the cook. I enjoy it so have never tried to see a difference. Besides I’m a MB2 owner and going back to possible scorched batches is not in my future.
    I am not keen on the coconut oil alone , I find it lacks what I enjoy about the flavor of the oils I make. Yet I love it when it’s been combined.

  • Reply
    Highguy
    November 8, 2017 at 10:23 pm

    The chlorophyll is what makes cannabis rough to smoke and gives headaches when there’s too much in it (dried too fast), that’s why it’s got such a bad reputation.
    Never heard about “blanching” the weed, what I’ve tried (with some success) is water curing my weed in distilled water. It works trough reverse osmosis, the water absorbs all the extra nuts that are still left in the plant and washes out all the chlorophyll.
    The resulting weed is more compact/potent, depending on how long you cure will lose all the flavor and aroma, but a very smooth smoke.

    It’s good ninja-weed if you want to smoke without anybody noticing, it might also be a good option for edibles to remove the grassy taste if people don’t desire that.

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