Chocolate: It’s a sacred confectionery.
A gift from the gods, according to the Mayans; an aristocratic delicacy, according to 16th century Europeans, and the perfect remedy to the munchies, according to contemporary stoners. The influence of chocolate is clearly yet to abate.
But what if you were to eat chocolate before getting high? What if you could eat cannabis-infused milk chocolate made at home? Although this prospect should make you rightfully trepid – you wouldn’t want to adulterate the most prized candy on the planet, would you?
Thankfully, we’re here to share the good news: You don’t need to be a Belgian chocolatier to pull off the “impossible”! And if you’re looking for a few sweet gift ideas for this upcoming Valentine’s Day, our recipes for chocolate can be as good as gold.
Read on as we demystify how to make cannabis chocolate candies with little more than cannabutter, chocolate chips, and chocolate molds. And, for the more experimental out there, we’ll also cover how to make cannabis ganache truffles. Let’s dig in!
How Do You Add Cannabis to Chocolate?
The preparation is arguably the most difficult part of the process, which involves making weed-infused butter, better known as cannabutter.
Getting the cannabutter right is vital in creating cannabis chocolate, as it defines the psychoactive properties of the finished product. And before getting to the butter, you need to first decarb the cannabis.
The Decarbing Process
When making cannabis-infused chocolate, or any form of cannabis baked goods for that matter, you’re going to have to decarboxylate the whole plant first. What does the decarboxylation – or decarb, for short – process entail, exactly? Essentially, it is the conversion of THCA into THC, which is attained through heat.
When you smoke a joint, this process is completed when the cannabis is exposed to the flame. Therefore, when preparing weed for edibles, you’ll have to expose the weed to the same level of heat to free the THC and give the chocolate psychoactive effects.
You can do this by placing your cannabis on a baking sheet and in the oven at 230°F for about 1 hour before starting the chocolate weed-making process. You can read more about the decarb process in our Decarboxylation 101 article.
The amount of weed you should decarb depends on how strong you wish your cannabis chocolate to be, and can vary from strain-to-strain (or even harvest-to-harvest). If unsure, refer to this article on How to Make Cannabutter the Easy Way for tips on calculating cannabis potency.
Once decarbed, you can start making the cannabutter, which is best achieved using a double boiler.
In terms of the butter-to-cannabis ratio we recommend a 2:1 mix, meaning in this recipe you should combine roughly 1 cup of butter with 1/2 cup of ground cannabis to achieve the best results. However, as long as the cannabis is completely saturated in the butter when mixed, this measurement does not have to be exact.
Add water to the bottom pan of your double-boiler over high heat. Once simmering, bring the heat down and add the butter to the top pan. Some would recommend adding 1 cup of water to the butter at this stage, as it ensures that the butter doesn’t burn, however as water and chocolate generally tend not to play well together, we recommend just being patient and watchful instead.
As the butter melts, add your cannabis to the butter mix, and allow it to steep for a minimum of 4 hours. As an alternative, you can use equipment such as slow cookers or home infusion devices; for more on these, check out our article on cannabutter linked above.
How to Make Infused Chocolate Candies
Once you’ve prepared your cannabis-infused butter, you’re ready to start adding it to your chocolate to make your cannabis-infused chocolate candies. Depending on the size of your chocolate molds, you should be able to fill a couple of trays by following this recipe exactly.
A note on compound vs. couverture chocolate: “Compound” or “melting” chocolate is often found in chip or bar form at the grocery store, and is designed for melting and non-tempered applications. “Couverture” chocolate is a more-expensive, higher-quality chocolate, but requires tempering for use (and more on this later).
Our recipes today will not be requiring any tempering, meaning any regular compound melting chocolate found at your local store will work perfectly.
- 2 tbsp cannabutter
- 2 cups of chocolate melting chips
- Cooking spray (optional)
- A bain-marie or a double boiler
- Chocolate candy molds
Firstly, ensure the lower half of your bain-marie is still sufficiently filled with water and, after topping it off, put it on high heat until it starts to simmer lightly. Once simmering, switch to low heat, and add your chocolate chips to the top pan of the bain-marie, stirring it occasionally to allow it to melt gently.
Importantly, make sure no condensation from the evaporating water underneath the bain-marie makes its way into your top bowl; though water is only a true killer of chocolate when tempering (and more on that below), it’s always best to take extra care to avoid. Your double-boiler method will do a lot to prevent this from occurring, but watch out for dripping condensation from any overhangs or the edge of the bowl.
Once the chocolate chips have fully melted, add the cannabutter and gently stir it together. Once the cannabutter has fully melted, you can either proceed to temper the chocolate, should you desire to, or proceed to fill your chocolate molds with the melted chocolate.
Once in the molds, place your chocolates somewhere cool and dry, with plenty of air flow. So long as your chocolate is already somewhat cooled, a quick jaunt into the refrigerator to aid with the final cool-down won’t hurt.
Make sure to avoid placing warm chocolate inside the fridge, though, as condensation can form, ultimately harming your end product (and never place warm tempered chocolate into a fridge).
Once hardened, serve, and wait for the psychoactive effects to kick in!
This recipe is a simple, no-fail way to make not just chocolate candies, but also a chocolate “shell” dip that’s great for coating other tasty treats – Try making cannabis chocolate-coated strawberries, marshmallows, or even pretzels for a heavenly sweet-and-salty combination!
How to Make Infused Ganache Truffles
Fancy something a bit more luxurious? Then you’ll want to try our recipe for weed-infused ganache truffles. The number of truffles produced should be around 12, but this will depend on how large you roll them; we recommend aiming for a size that can be downed in two bites.
- 1.5 cups milk melting chocolate
- 1/4 cup of cannabutter
- 1/4 cup of almond flour
- Pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup of cocoa powder
- A bain-marie or a double boiler
Over high heat, fill the bottom pan of the bain-marie or double boiler with water. Once simmering, take the heat down and add the chocolate. Once the chocolate has melted, add and stir in the cannabutter.
Once the cannabutter has melted in, take the cannabis chocolate mix off the heat. Add the almond flour and salt to the mix. Stir and build up a texture.
Allow the cannabis chocolate mix to cool and become firm. This step can take up to an hour if the mixture is left at room temperature, so be patient!
Once firm enough to roll into balls, do exactly that! Prevent the mix from sticking to your hands by coating them with a bit of melted butter or oil before working with the chocolate mix.
Now, split the chocolate into equal tablespoon sizes, rolling them each into a ball. Once rounded, dip and roll the balls into the cocoa powder until satisfied with the coverage.
Lastly, allow them to cool for an extra 15 minutes in the fridge before consuming; storing these inside a lidded container inside the refrigerator will be fine, so long as they’re completely cooled before being sealed.
How To Enjoy Your Delicious Cannabis Chocolate
Elevate the flavor of your cannabis chocolate and truffle creations by adding nuts and fruit to the recipe during the mixing stage! You could even add flavored oils such as vanilla to the mix in order to give the chocolate a richer taste.
A popular way of enlivening cannabis ganache truffles is by adding 1 tbsp of orange zest while mixing the cannabutter with the melted chocolate; likewise, adding in confectioner’s flavoring oils (such as those from Loranne’s) can give your chocolate a world of potential flavor profiles.
What Is Tempering? Is It Necessary?
Greatly simplifying: Tempering is the process of heating and cooling chocolate to very precise temperatures several times before pouring the mix into the chocolate mold; this is done to give the chocolate a better taste, texture, and smoother finish once it’s ready for consumption.
Tempered chocolate has an attractive glossy finish and doesn’t melt as easily as untempered chocolates; when you eat a well-made piece of chocolate that features a crisp, defined “snap” when you bite into it? That’s due to tempering.
Tempering is, however, a notoriously tempestuous beast, and for a number of reasons:
(A) Your temperatures must be very precise, and fall into a range of variables depending on what you’re doing.
(B) Your chocolate becomes much more vulnerable to things such as water and, more importantly, oils.
As we discuss in our “How to Make Weed Gummies” article, oil and candies don’t play well – Same with tempered chocolate. And, unfortunately, cannabis extract is an oil, meaning it won’t naturally mix well into the hardened structure of well-tempered chocolate. Emulsification can go a long way toward solving these issues but, for now at least, is a bit outside the scope of today’s article.
Regardless, with our recipes above tempering is not necessary when it comes to making cannabis-infused chocolates. However, if you want to impress others with your chocolatier skills, you can certainly give it a try.
If you make cannabis chocolate frequently, or are looking for a true show-stopper chocolate gift, learning how to temper can be fun (and occasionally frustrating), but making delicious chocolate treats at home doesn’t need to involve the tempering process at all.
PS: For more on tempering (and a bunch of other great chocolate-making knowledge), we highly recommend taking the 15 minutes to watch Ann Reardon’s amazing “Chocolate Secrets” video – It goes fast and dives deep with a ton of great information, so get ready to take notes!
Can You Make Cannabis-Infused Chocolates Vegan?
You can easily make cannabis chocolate vegan by simply trading milk chocolate for dark chocolate, using vegan butter for the cannabutter, and following the recipes listed above. We’d recommend using coconut oil for the best results in both cannabis chocolate and ganache truffles.
One method for creating coconut oil cannabutter (more at the link):
Use a pie plate or another appropriate oven-safe dish to infuse the cannabis with the oil. Place the cannabis on the plate and dollop a sufficient amount of coconut oil to completely saturate the cannabis once melted. Cook this mix at 230°F in the oven for around 3 hours, until a green and yellow hue has been attained.
Once the vegan cannabutter has been made, you can follow the recipes listed above, with dark chocolate swapped in.
Can You Use Infused Oil Instead Of Cannabutter?
Yes, you can use cannabis-infused oil instead of cannabutter when making cannabis chocolate. You can even use the same method presented above, but instead, swap cannabutter for weed oil.
A double boiler is recommended for this process, as it gives you better control over the temperature of the mixture. Avoid using high heat during this process as it can vaporize the cannabinoids in the oil.
In terms of how much oil to add to the mix, we’ll leave this to your discretion. You can base your decision on the THC or CBD level stated on the bottle, as well as how high you intend to get from the cannabis chocolate. If it’s your first time experimenting with making weed-infused candy, it’s best to start with a lower dosage and work your way up over time.
What are some common mistakes when making cannabis-infused chocolate?
The biggest mistake you can make when making cannabis chocolate is cooking at too high a heat. Low temperatures are always preferred when adding cannabutter or cannabis oil to the mixture, as too high a heat can break down the cannabinoids, rendering the finished product devoid of psychoactive effects. Using a double boiler is one of the best ways of keeping the heat at a moderate temperature.
The second common mistake committed when making edibles is not decarbing the cannabis, and proceeding to cook with raw weed. The THCA naturally present in your weed must be turned into THC for the edible to give you any sort of high. Converting THCA into THC is best attained through decarboxylation, a chemical reaction initiated by heat.
Lastly, another common mistake made when making cannabis chocolate is failing to evenly distribute the cannabutter or cannabis oil when mixing. Make sure that you are stirring the mix in well during the cooking process to ensure that each square of chocolate has an even potency of cannabis.
How do I dose my cannabis chocolate correctly?
It is essential that you consider your tolerance levels and the THC content of your weed when deciding how much of your cannabis chocolate you can eat. Unfortunately, truly accurate dosing at the home level can be difficult, taking into consideration varying THC content in cannabis. In general, if you’re new to edibles, it’s best to start with a small dose and see how you react.
Can I use white chocolate instead?
It is possible to use white chocolate instead of cocoa butter when making cannabis chocolate. Similar to milk or dark chocolate, all you need to do is melt it at low heat, add and mix in the cannabutter, and then pour the mixture into chocolate molds.
If you plan on making white chocolate ganache, you may have to adjust your recipe slightly. Expect to use less cream, and consider adding in a tablespoon or two of powdered sugar or cornstarch to act as a stabilizing agent.
Is all dark chocolate vegan?
Unless otherwise stated on the packet, all dark chocolate is vegan because it is generally not made using dairy. Dark chocolate is made primarily with cocoa butter, making it the perfect option for vegans.
By following one of the recipes above, you’ll be able to impress your friends with a delicious alternative to smoking. Turn your evening on its head by satisfying your chocolate cravings before getting high; let one of your homemade chocolate candies or ganache truffles melt on your mouth, and get excited for the psychoactive effects that will soon follow.
And let your inner chocolatier get creative with add-ons such as nuts, fruits, and additional flavors as well! With our easy guides, you’ll have never-fail chocolate delights any time you crave. We hope you’ve enjoyed today’s article – Happy munching!