Making Chocolate Bars with Cannabis Oil
Are you a canna-chef looking for a recipe that combines chocolate with cannabis oil?
Are you a cannabis-oil chef? Are you looking to make your own infused chocolate using your favorite strain’s extracted oil?
Nearly any food can be infused with cannabis oil these days. Canna-chefs are on the rise, and many make their own cannabis oils at home – kudos to those dedicated individuals! But most of us simply buy what we see in the dispensaries, which carry a multitude of pure oil products that are already decarboxylated. Regardless of how you obtained your oil, you’re here to figure out how to use it to infuse it into chocolate!
There are a variety of ways to do it, including making it from scratch with infused coconut oil or melting pre-made chocolate with some infused butter. (See our article: DIY Cannabis-Infused Milk Chocolate).
But we’re talking about using cannabis oil here. Let’s dive into two different methods – the easy route, and the “made from scratch” route.
The Easy Route: Melting Chocolate & Combining with Cannabis Oil
Chocolate naturally melts at around 80 or 90 degrees (Fahrenheit). This is perfect for mixing with cannabis oil since we don’t have to use high temperatures that could vaporize its cannabinoids (like THC or CBD). All you have to do is melt your favorite brand of chocolate in a pot (the cooking utensil) on low/medium heat, add the cannabis oil, stir, then pour it into silicone molds before placing it in the fridge or on the counter to set.
The main question here would be: How much oil do I put in my chocolate? Take into consideration the cannabinoid concentration levels within the oil. This information should be available from the store where you purchased it and on the label attached to the packaging. It is not suggested that you work with any cannabis product for which you do not have verified lab data.
Consider your preferred serving size of the oil. Many suggest that when fist cooking with oil, you should start with a smaller amount to keep the cannabinoid concentration lower. As you get more familiar with the effects of various concentration levels, you can adjust.
Next, consider your personal serving size of chocolate. A typical Hersey bar is about 1.55 ounces. Assuming you eat the whole bar in one serving, just add one measure of your preferred serving of oil to 1.55 ounces of chocolate. If you melt 6 ounces of chocolate and want to infuse it with the same concentration, then put 3.8 servings of oil in the melted chocolate.
Everyone’s cannabis oil serving preference differs – Check out this article if you need to find out your own: Finding Your Cannabis Serving Size & Tolerance Level
*Note: Keep in mind that adding cannabis oil to chocolate will change the taste of the chocolate.
Chocolate Bars with Cannabis Oil Made From Scratch
Here’s an easy recipe you can follow to create your own chocolate bars infused with cannabis oil at home.
*Creates about 5 servings but this depends on your personal serving size. Adjust amount of cannabis oil accordingly.
Measuring cup & teaspoon
Silicone mold for bars
Cannabis oil of choice
¾ cup coconut oil OR shortening
¾ cup cocoa powder
¼ cup milk powder
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla or chocolate extract
*Note: Feel free to stir in nuts or other extras such as raspberries or coconut shavings or rice crispies, etc. after the ingredients have been stirred and you’re about to pour them into the molds.
- Melt the coconut oil/shortening in the saucepan over medium heat. Ensure the temperature never exceeds 325F to avoid vaporizing the cannabinoids which are about to be added.
- Add sugar and gently stir.
- Add cannabis oil, continuing to stir gently.
- Add cocoa and milk powder by folding them in while stirring.
- Add the vanilla or chocolate extract (or any other extracts you’ve chosen to enhance the flavor such as almond, rum, butter, cherry, cinnamon, coffee, peppermint, raspberry – you get the picture) and continue to stir gently.
- Mix until chocolate is of smooth/silky consistency.
- Pour the chocolate into your silicon bar molds.
- Shake or tap the molds to ensure that any air bubbles surface and dissipate.
- Refrigerate chocolate in their molds for about two hours or until the chocolate hardens.
- Pop the infused chocolate out of their molds/trays and enjoy!
If you choose to save some chocolate bars in the fridge and notice a thin white layer forming on the surface, don’t panic. It happens to normal chocolate as well and is known as fat bloom. It’s caused by the coconut oil or shortening (fat) migrating through the chocolate and crystalizing on the candy’s surface, happening when moisture comes into contact with the chocolate (condensation from being stored in the fridge). Don’t toss it – it’s still edible!
Have you fashioned your own chocolate bars infused with cannabis oil at home? Share your experience and tips for other canna-chefs in the comments below!
Nearly any food can be infused with cannabis oil these days. Canna-chefs are on the rise, and many make their own extracted cannabis oils at home. Let’s dive in to two different methods of using cannabis oil to make chocolate bars – the easy route, and the “made from scratch” route.
How Safe Is Your Infused Chocolate Bar?
Do you know what’s in your cannabis-infused chocolates?
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For many chocolate lovers, the only thing better than a mouthful of dark, rich, decadent chocolate is when that chunk of candy nirvana is infused with cannabis.
Except when it isn’t.
In a trend that dismays us but demands reporting, labs across the country are finding that chocolate interferes with tests for cannabis potency. At the fall 2019 national meeting of the American Chemical Society, Dr. David Dawson, chemist and lead researcher at CW Analytical in Oakland, California, called out cannabis-laced chocolate as one of the more difficult foods to test because “it’s a veritable organic soup of compounds.” Researchers suspect it may have something to do with the chocolate’s high fats effectively camouflaging the THC.
The implications for cocoa fiends are nothing short of an existential crisis. A product labeled as having only 8 or 10mg of THC could contain much more, potentially ending in a green out—smoker speak for a state of heightened anxiety.
Jeffrey C. Raber, Ph.D., CEO and CVO of the Werc Shop, an analytical testing laboratory for cannabis products in Los Angeles, explains. “If the chocolate manufacturer said it’s 10mg per unit, and the lab says it’s seven, then depending at what stage the lab caught it, the manufacturer may just relabel it as seven and send it out to the marketplace, because they don’t want to trash the batch.
“Or they may think they need to make it stronger. If they add more, they might end up with 13 or 14mg in the end product, but label it as 10. So now you can have mislabeling and mis-dosing.”
Even 1mg more or less than advertised can send unwary consumers flying high into a cerebral La La Land. That’s why the “Golden Rule” of edibles—start low and go slow—came into being. Because of the way edibles are metabolized, those who indulge might have to wait anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours for their desired results to take effect.
Why so long? One reason is edibles pass through the stomach and are metabolized by the liver. In doing so, the THC is converted into 11-hydroxy-THC, which is notoriously effective at sneaking across the blood-brain barrier, resulting in a more intense high. Inhaled THC travels directly to the brain without being converted to 11-hydroxy-THC, which is why the effects of smoked or vaped cannabis happen faster and then fade quickly.
Exact, step-by-step testing protocols are still being established. “Cannabis is complex,” Dr. Raber says. “With all these derivative products, it will take time until everybody has harmonized and established protocols” for isolating potency-skewing variables.
That’s why you should nibble a bit less than the amount you think will deliver the proper dose; wait and assess for two hours; then eat more as desired. Reliable brands should be fine, but if you want to be extra cautious check the Certificate of Analysis (COA) and follow the golden rule when sampling new batches.
For those who inadvertently overindulge, Dr. Raber has this advice: “Try to relax and be calm, and know that time is your friend. Your body will metabolize it and you will be okay. If you can go to sleep because you’re feeling drowsy, that would be fantastic. Relax as much as possible and know that it’s just going to be a matter of time.”
Seattle fitness instructor Reeann T., who asked that her last name not be used, is one of those accidental overeaters. She spent 30 minutes curled up on her bed after eating too much of a pot-chocolate bar. “The room was spinning,” recalled Reeann, who had been eating cannabis-infused chocolate for two months to manage her pain. “I knew I wasn’t in danger. However, I didn’t like that feeling. So, I had to come to a calm state and not panic. I laid down, and I just had to wait it out. It took about a half-hour to 45 minutes.”
What’s In This CBD?
Why you should care, and how to read the fine print of a COA
When you buy beer, do you worry about the stated alcohol content? Or that your brew may contain toxins? Of course not. There are regulations, inspection protocols, and a century-old industrial process that guarantees a safe, homogenous product.
Until similar safeguards exist for CBD, there is a tool consumers can use to separate reliable cannabis from untested, potentially unsafe goods: a
Certificate of Analysis (COA).
To measure CBD/THC levels and validate ingredients, reputable brands submit samples to independent labs. The jargon-filled reports, called COAs,
provide measurements of cannabinoids, vitamins, heavy metals, and pesticides.
It’s standard practice for brands to require COAs from hemp oil manufacturers to make sure they’re getting what they pay for and can blend correct
ratios into their products. Every batch of oil is different and needs to be authenticated.
Before offering their oil for sale, responsible extractors test their plants in the field, after curing, and before blending to make sure THC levels are low enough (less than .3%) to be legal. They will typically do one full workup per lot of flower and multiple tests before and after blending.
The Supplement Facts on a product label are pulled from testing, but it’s worth diving deeper into the COA (usually accessed via QR code). The
first thing to verify:
(1) That the company performing the test wasn’t the company making the product.
COAs are typically divided into two columns. Scan the left side to find THC (2) and verify it’s under the 0.3% permitted by law. Then check the CBD
levels (3) to make sure they match the potency (%) and amount (mg) listed on the label.
In the right column, you’ll find a terpene readout (4). As you become more sophisticated and selective in your cannabis consumption, you’ll start basing purchases on the terpene profile. Maybe you’ll want the mood-lifting benefits of limonene or the insomnia relief of myrcene.
Below these figures are results on heavy metals and pesticides (not shown below). Check these to verify that the product satisfied the safety limits set by the state where the testing was done. (Most states are following the FDA’s recommendations for contaminants in food products.)
“Pass” means the product contains amounts under acceptable levels. A blank cell in that column indicates that there was no trace of any contaminant. “No Pass” means, well, don’t buy this product.
Three chocolates with cannabis content that consistently matches their labels:
Do you know what's in your cannabis-infused chocolates?