I prepared this for a forum which supports people with Chron's disease an ulcerative colitis. UC is what led me to use cannabis regularly, and since I've been accepted into the Canadian MMAR program, I've experimented a lot. This post was written so a complete stranger to cannabis could still bake these brownies. Hopefully you will not feel patronized as you read this because it is likely most of you guys are already familiar with all of this. I'm just too lazy to edit the whole thing just so I can remove information you probably already know. Many people with IBD are completely unaware of the power of cannabis and many of them are even prejudiced, so I made this tutorial so people would see it's inoffensive and worth trying. I figured this may be useful for other folks too, and since FC made me discover things like the Underdog and the Solo, if this has a chance to help someone even minimally, it's something. I hope you enjoy, and if you try the recipe, do let me know if you liked it! FOREWORD This is a brownie recipe I’ve done about a dozen times. I tested many recipes before settling on this one. I like it because it’s simple, and it can be adapted to be more cakey or more fudgey/gooey depending on your personal taste. It will beat any store-bought mix, isn’t too expensive, and can be made into really nice brownies with quality Belgian chocolate and finer quality ingredients. Cooking is both a science and an art in that you mix ingredients, but use your senses to guide the process. Baking is however much more science than art. It is vital that you measure the ingredients exactly, use the right baking pan size, and follow the mixing directions provided also to the letter. Baking is all about the chemistry of ingredients. The order in which they are mixed matters and how they are made to interact with each other will affect the final taste and especially texture. I’m an experienced cook and it took me years to understand you do not approach baking the same way you approach general everyday cooking. If you want consistent results you will need consistency in your method. In fact, you should treat baking cannabrownies as a scientific experiment that requires rigor and attention. If you do, you are guaranteed to find long-lasting, soothing relief of your symptoms with a successful batch. Considering the price of cannabis is significant in most places of the world, I encourage you to get the proper equipment to measure your ingredients (measuring cups, measuring spoons, a scale, and properly sized baking pan to begin with) otherwise the results might be less than impressive and you’ll have wasted precious medicine. LET’S BAKE To make any sort of cannabis edibles, there are always two steps: 1-Prepare the cannabis so it is in a cooking-ready state by extracting the cannabinoids out of the plant into a suitable fat 2-Bake your recipe as usual with the fat you prepared previously If you are going to make cannabis edibles, it may be helpful to have some basic understanding on the chemistry of cannabis and how it interacts with our body. The medicinal benefits of cannabis come from molecules called cannabinoids. Cannabinoids are produced by structures called trichromes. Trichromes look like tiny, gelatinous, translucid tentacles that grow on the surface of the cannabis flowers near the end of the plant’s grow cycle. A cannabis plant in late flowering stage will appear frosty and scintillate under light. A bit like the vampires in Twilight. *Shrug* After the plant is harvested, the trichromes dry and form a white/brown powder over the flowers (or buds). It is this powder that contains the bulk (99%) of your medicine. The plant itself consists of fibers and other plant material that are of no benefit to you. This is why vaporization is much superior to combustion, because it removes as much as 80% of the unneeded byproducts you would normally get with combustion. If you simply grind some flowers and add it to your brownie mix, an important quantity of cannabinoids will never be metabolized and you will lose significant potency. Cannabinoids are liposoluble. This means they are molecules that can bind with a molecule of fat if they are provided with enough energy to do so. It cannot bind with water, which is why water filtration devices such as bongs or waterpipes are often used by smokers. Water acts as a filter that catches unwanted plant material, “smoothing” the smoke (so you don’t cough). Since the cannabinoids cannot bind to H20, cannabinoids remain in the smoke until it makes contact with your bronchioles in your lungs. Then, the cannabinoids are assimilated into your bloodstream and will eventually bind with your CB1 or CB2 receptors, which are mostly situated in your brain and your gut. What we’re going to do is cook the cannabis into a fat, in this case butter, for a very long time and at very low temperatures. When we do this, the cannabinoids contained in the powder that is attached to the plant itself will slowly come undone from the plant and bind with the molecules of fat contained in the butter. Think of it as the musical chair of cannabinoids. The idea is that when the music stops (when you turn off the heat), all the cannabinoids should be sitting comfortably on their molecule of fat inside the butter and have left the plant behind. By extracting the cannabinoids into a fat, you ensure they are in a state ready to be metabolized by your body, which will increase potency to maximum levels. STEP 1 – PREPARING THE CANNABUTTER INGREDIENTS One pound of butter (salted or unsalted) 7g of dried cannabis flower buds The method I use for extraction is completely dummy proof. You will never ruin your butter or waste herbs if you follow it. It does involve the purchase of a slow cooker (crockpot), and if you don’t have one you will have to, but see it as an investment. You are essentially making your own medicine; you should get the proper tools suited for the job. 1.1 I add 7g of fresh cannabis for every pound of butter I melt. In this particular case, I added 14g since I was making a double recipe. The brownish looking spices is vaporized cannabis. A few weeks worth in this case. Vaporization is efficient at extracting cannabinoids but it is not 100% efficient. By recycling your vaporized herbs, you ensure no cannabinoids will go to waste. This is vaporized cannabis. 1.2 Start melting the butter on LOW in a saucepan, making sure it never bubbles or rises to high temperatures. If you heat the butter too much you will induce changes in the chemical properties of its makeup and it will affect potency later. 1.3 Grind your herbs using either a blender, food processors, manual grinder or coffee grinder. If you have none of these, then do not grind the flowers and simply add them to the mix as they are later. If you use a blender, make sure to recuperate all the cannabinoids that have nested on the surface. You can use a spatula, or a little amount of water. If you use water, you can dump it into the crockpot and it will simply evaporate, leaving the cannabinoids behind with the others. This is the actual medicine. Don't waste it! 1.4 Take out the crockpot. Set it on low. Add a few tablespoons of water so the bottom is covered. This is to prevent any potential burning. Add the melted butter to the crockpot. 1.5 Sprinkle your grinded cannabis in. Mix thoroughly, but gently. Cover, and let the crockpot sit there overnight (8-12 hours). By cooking at low heat, you are not damaging the cannabinoids. By cooking it for a long time, you ensure all the cannabinoids will find their way into the fat, saturating it with the Δ9-THC and CBD we desire. 1.6 In the morning, turn the crockpot off. Let it cool 15 minutes, then use a cheese cloth (best) to filer the butter. You should have a brownish/greenish looking mixture (which for some reason I forgot to photograph). This is what a cheesecloth looks like. You can use a coffee filter instead, but it will retain some cannabinoids, so you will lose some potency. 1.7 Refrigerate the mixture. The fat will solidify, while the water left behind will accumulate at the bottom. After about two hours, the butter will look green like pictured below. Take a knife and dig yourself a hole in one of the corners of the Tupperware. Pour the water out. You are left with pure cannabutter ready to be used in your recipe. You may freeze it if you have too much. Frozen cannabutter can be preserved this way for months without losing much potency at all.