How to Make Cannabis Chocolate: An Easy, At-Home Recipe

a chocolate bar wrapped in foil

Introduction

Do you remember your first bite of chocolate? I do.. the rich, smooth sweetness made my eyes widen and taste buds pop. But what if you could add even more magic to that oh-so-sweet chocolatey experience? That's right, y'all we are talking about adding a little canna to your chocolate experience. And while large quantities are definitely not for everyone (including me), the great thing about making your own cannabis chocolate is that you can control the amount of cannabis and THC you add to your recipe. So, if you prefer to benefit from cannabis by microdosing, you can do that as well!

Whether you know all things cannabis or you're a newcomer, cannabis chocolate can be a fun way to dose, combining both the pleasures of baking and cannabis. So let's dive into this easy-to-follow chocolate cannabis recipe!

Why Cannabis Chocolate?

Hold up, before we jump into the actual recipe, some of you who are new to cannabis may be asking: "what are the benefits and effects of cannabis chocolate, anyway?" Well, here are a handful of reasons why people make and consume cannabis chocolate:

  • Controlled Dosage: Making your own edibles allows you to control the amount of cannabis you consume.
  • Health Benefits: Cannabis is known for its medicinal properties, including pain relief, anxiety reduction, and improved sleep. Pairing it with dark chocolate, which is rich in antioxidants, can be a powerful wellness combo.
  • Gourmet Experience: Store-bought edibles can be hit or miss. Homemade cannabis chocolate gives you the freedom to create a high-quality, delicious product tailored to your taste preferences.
  • Fun Project: It's a fun and rewarding DIY project that you can enjoy by yourself or with friends.

Ingredients You'll Need

Alright, let's get our hands dirty—or rather, chocolatey. Here's what you'll need for this whimsical culinary adventure:

  • 1 cup of high-quality dark chocolate chips or chopped chocolate (70% cocoa or higher)
  • 1/4 cup of cannabis-infused coconut oil (more on this below)
  • Optional add-ins: Nuts, dried fruit, sea salt, or any other flavors you fancy

Making Cannabis-Infused Coconut Oil

Hold up! Before we start with the chocolate, we’ve got to make our cannabis-infused coconut oil. This is the base of many cannabis edibles and serves as the magic ingredient that will give your chocolate its special kick.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of coconut oil
  • 1/2 ounce of cannabis flower

Instructions

  • Decarboxylate the Cannabis: Preheat your oven to 245°F (120°C). Break the cannabis into small pieces and spread them evenly on a baking sheet. Bake for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally. This process activates the THC in the cannabis.
  • Melt the Coconut Oil: In a double boiler, combine the coconut oil and decarboxylated cannabis. Heat over low heat for 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally. Ensure the temperature doesn’t exceed 245°F (120°C).
  • Strain the Mixture: Using a cheesecloth, strain the mixture to remove the plant material. Squeeze out as much oil as possible. Your cannabis-infused coconut oil is now ready!

Making the Chocolate

Now that we've got our magic oil, it's time to make some chocolate.

Instructions

  1. Melt that chocolate, baby: We find this to be fun - almost therapeutic - to watch chocolate melt. Place the dark chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Set the bowl over a pot of simmering water (double boiler method). Stir until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth. This is not something you want to take your eyes off of while doing, as you do not want to burn the chocolate (it can happen quickly)!
  2. Combine with Cannabis Oil: Slowly and steadily stir in the cannabis-infused coconut oil to the melted chocolate. Continue to stir to ensure the cannabis oil is well blended in the melted chocolate (this is key to consistent dosing).
  3. Add Optional Flavors: Alright, this is where things can ger really fun, if you're feeling jazzy, that is. This is when you can your extras - dried fruit, nuts, sea salt. A lot of things go well in chocolate!
  4. Pour and Set: Pour the mixture into silicone molds or a parchment-lined baking dish. Tap the molds gently to remove air bubbles.
  5. Chill: Place the molds in the refrigerator for at least an hour, or until the chocolate is fully set.

Tips for Perfect Cannabis Chocolate

  • Quality Matters: Finding both high-quality chocolate, and high-quality cannabis for the best taste and texture.
  • Store your cannabis chocolate in an airtight container in the fridge, or freezer. It can last for several weeks in the fridge, and several months in the freezer!
  • Dosage: Be mindful of dosage. The golden rule is start low and go slow. Because edibles can take longer to kick in (sometimes 90 minutes), be patient before you consume more. Start with a small piece and wait at least an hour before consuming more to gauge the effects.
  • Have Fun: Experiment with different flavors and add-ins to make the recipe your own.

Health Benefits of Cannabis Chocolate

Combining cannabis and chocolate brings a unique set of health benefits that go beyond their individual properties.

Cannabis Benefits

  • Pain Relief: Cannabis is widely known for its pain-relieving properties.
  • Anxiety Reduction: Many people use cannabis to help manage anxiety and stress.
  • Improved Sleep: Cannabis can improve sleep quality and help with insomnia.

Chocolate Benefits

  • Antioxidants: Dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants, which help fight free radicals in the body.
  • Heart Health: Consuming dark chocolate in moderation can improve heart health by lowering blood pressure and improving blood flow.
  • Mood Booster: Chocolate contains compounds that trigger the release of endorphins, the body’s feel-good chemicals.

Safety and Legal Considerations

  • Know Your Laws: Cannabis laws vary by location, so make sure you’re aware of the regulations in your area before making cannabis chocolate.
  • Consume Responsibly: Always consume cannabis products responsibly. Start with a small amount and wait to see how it affects you before consuming more.
  • Keep Away from Children and Pets: Store your cannabis chocolate in a safe place out of reach of children and pets.

Conclusion

Easier than you thought, right? Making cannabis-infused chocolate in your home can be fun, and rewarding, and the best part is that you now have chocolate that you can enjoy (in moderation, depending on your dose) that has the benefits of chocolate and cannabis! 

So, if you think you're up to the task and have the time, why not gather the ingredients needed to make this chocolatey dream a reality.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is for educational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for medical advice. Always consult a healthcare provider before starting any new health or wellness regimen.

Cannabis & Chocolate FAQ

What Are the Potential Benefits of Cannabis-Infused Chocolate?

So, why exactly should you be excited about cannabis-infused chocolate? Let’s dive into some of the amazing benefits that this delightful combination can offer:

  • Pain Relief: Cannabis is known for its pain-relieving properties. Incorporating it into chocolate makes for a tasty way to manage chronic pain or post-workout soreness.
  • Reduce that stress: a double perk here is that cannabis and chocolate (in particular dark chocolate) have stress-busting properties. 
  • Deeper, better sleep: many people struggle with sleep, with more about 30% of people in the U.S. exhibiting symptoms of insomnia. Cannabis, in particular Indica strains, or a combination of cannabinoids including CBN, CBD, and THC, may help sleep issues. 
  • Mood boost: Chocolate is well known to give your mood a boost, and in combination with cannabis, the two can have synergistic effects! 
  • Antioxidant-Rich: Dark chocolate is loaded with antioxidants, which can help with everything from heart health to skin care. Add the therapeutic qualities of cannabis and you’ve got a superfood treat.
  • Make them your own. The best part about creating your own anything (from edibles to pasta dishes) is that you make it the way you want it! And with cannabis chocolate, you can easily control how much cannabis extract you use, finding your own sweet spot.

Potential Risks of Cannabis and THC

While there is more research being done focusing on the benefits of THC, the cannabinoids and other components of hemp and marijuana, it is also important to be aware of the risks.

  • They take a while to kick in. Because cannabis edibles, not just cannabis chocolate, need to be digested and absorbed through your GI tract, they take much longer to take effect than other forms of consumption (like smoking or vaping) - sometimes up to 2 hours! This can spell trouble for someone new to edibles, or someone who is impatient and eager to feel the effects, as they could overconsume. Edibles also tend to cause a longer lasting (4 to 12 hours!) experience than smoking or vaping.
  • No matter how well you emulsify (a.k.a. mix) your cannabis into your chocolate or edible formulation, it will not be perfectly even, and potency can vary. This is why it is always recommended to start low and go slow, in case you get a piece of a slightly higher concentrated edible.
  • Because cannabis edibles can be mistaken for normal, edible treats, someone in your household (a pet or child) may mistake them for that and eat them. It is imperative you store cannabis edibles in a safe place, out of reach from children or pets, and label them!
  • Legality. Cannabis laws are continually changing, particularly in the U.S. Unfortunately, cannabis is still not legal in all states (yet), so check what the rules and local regulations are in your state before you get your cannabis cooking!
  • THC, the active component in cannabis, is psychoactive (meaning it can get you high) and can therefore cause impaired judgement and motor skills. Do not drive or operate machinery after consuming cannabis edibles.
  • Mental health risks. For some, especially those who have a family history of anxiety or mental health issues, cannabis can exacerbate these issues. 

Why is Chocolate So Good When High?

When your senses are heightened from consuming cannabis, tasting chocolate can be even more pleasurable.

And because we are nerds (and maybe you are too, since you have read this far!), let's look at the scientific side of things. Chocolate has an itty-bitty compound called anandamide, which has been dubbed the "bliss molecule". Anandamide has been found to increase feelings of pleasure, which can already be heightened by the effects of THC. And to add to that, chocolate can contain small amounts of caffeine which can boost your energy, all of these effects can create a synergistic release of pleasurable hormones in your brain and body.

Can You Melt Cannabis Chocolate? Will It Ruin the Cannabinoids?

Short answer: yes, you can melt cannabis chocolate... butt, and there is a big but, you cannot heat it to too high of a temperature, or the cannabinoids and other components of the cannabis (like terpenes) will degrade.

The key lies in the gentle touch of the heat. Cannabinoids, such as THC and CBD, start to degrade at high temperatures, typically above 300°F (150°C). Therefore, it's crucial to melt your cannabis chocolate slowly and at low temperatures to safeguard its precious compounds. Utilizing a double boiler or a microwave set to a low setting can help achieve the luscious, silky melted chocolate without harming the cannabinoids.

What Chocolate is Best for THC Edibles?

When it comes to choosing the right chocolate for cannabis edibles, it really boils down to personal preference! If possible, we do recommend using high-quality chocolate (which sometimes can be referred to as couverture chocolate), that contains higher percentages of cocoa. You can experiment with dark chocolate (our favorite, as it has the most health benefits), milk chocolate, and even white chocolate!

Each type of chocolate brings its own magic to the table, transforming your edible experience into a whimsical, nostalgic, and romantic adventure for your taste buds.

References

1) Mack A, Joy J. Marijuana as Medicine? The Science Beyond the Controversy. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2000. 4, MARIJUANA AND PAIN. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK224384/

2) Katz DL, Doughty K, Ali A. Cocoa and chocolate in human health and disease. Antioxid Redox Signal. 2011 Nov 15;15(10):2779-811. doi: 10.1089/ars.2010.3697. Epub 2011 Jun 13. PMID: 21470061; PMCID: PMC4696435.

3) di Tomaso E, Beltramo M, Piomelli D. Brain cannabinoids in chocolate. Nature. 1996 Aug 22;382(6593):677-8. doi: 10.1038/382677a0. PMID: 8751435.

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