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Lecithin In Cannabis Edibles: Why You Need It

Lecithin is a phospholipid that can be found within eggs, avocados, soybeans, and sunflowers. The substance acts as a binding agent that keeps ingredients stuck together. It may even play a role in increasing the potency of edibles. We take a closer a look at what is going on.

Just like the process of growing cannabis plants, adding the flowers into food recipes and creating edibles is an artform. There are countless recipes out there now and almost any dish, whether sweet or savoury, can be infused with cannabinoids for either medicinal or recreational purposes. Making edibles isn’t always simple, especially for those cannabis enthusiasts who are new to the world of cooking. There are many ways to improve certain dishes and recipes, and factors such as flavour, texture, and presentation can be optimised in order to really make an edible experience fun and memorable. One secret weapon when it comes to baking with weed is the use of lecithin, an ingredient that can greatly improve the structural integrity of an edible, and may enhance the absorption of the prized cannabinoids within.

WHAT IS LECITHIN?

Lecithin is a phospholipid, a type of fat, that is often used as an additive within food to enable certain ingredients to bind and stick together that would usually repel each other. Lecithin can be found within egg yolks, which is why eggs are frequently used in recipes to thicken sauces and bases. Vegan sources of lecithin include avocados, soybeans, and sunflowers. Lecithin serves an essential role within the body and makes up parts of cell membranes – the protective barrier that separates the interior of cells from the outside. There is evidence to suggest that lecithin may be useful in cases of liver and gallbladder disease, and some even employ it in attempts to treat cognitive impairment, dry skin, and numerous other conditions.

Aside from being used as a health supplement, lecithin plays a major role in cooking and food products. It works as an emulsifying agent and additive that works to stabilize processed foods. It helps foods that usually don’t mix to stay together. For example, when adding a teaspoon of coconut oil into a cup of coffee the oil will rise to the top of the liquid, the two substances won’t mix together. When adding an emulsifier such as lecithin, the two will mix together and stay together, creating a more pleasant beverage. It’s easy to see why lecithin is so important and widely used in food products that use oils and water. Lecithin basically helps oil-based ingredients interact and stabilise with water-based ingredients.

WHY YOU SHOULD ADD LECITHIN TO YOUR EDIBLES

There are multiple reasons to use lecithin when cooking up a batch of psychoactive cannabis edibles. As alluded to above one great reason is to improve the structure of your edibles. Adding lecithin to a mixture before baking will help certain particles bind together instead of rejecting each other and falling apart. For example, when making chocolate brownies or cakes, lecithin will help sugar and cocoa stick to cannabutter. Sugar and cocoa bind well with water, yet cannabutter doesn’t. Lecithin can be used to remedy this issue. Additionally, the presence of lecithin within your cannabis edibles can increase the shelf life by preventing the separation of fats and waters. This may lessen the chance of mould formation which will ruin your stash.

Perhaps the best reason to add lecithin to your edibles is one that will really get cannabis enthusiasts excited. The emulsifier can act to increase the potency of cannabis edibles in numerous ways, helping users to make the most of the weed they are using. Your body may have an easier time digesting the bound ingredients and will be able to access and digest THC and other cannabinoids more easily. As well as this, lecithin is known to be a surfactant, a compound that lowers surface tension. This fact means that lecithin helps to distribute THC and cannabinoids more efficiently.

HOW TO ADD LECITHIN TO RECIPES

Now that we have covered what lecithin is and why it acts to optimise cannabis edibles, it’s time to get baking. Adding lecithin to edibles is an easy and straightforward process. When using it is as a dough conditioner add around 1 teaspoon of lecithin to every cup of flour used in a recipe. Next, dissolve the lecithin in the liquid ingredients. Bake the goods using the normal directions that the recipe states. When your goods are finished it’s time for a taste test. If the texture isn’t as good as it could be, add some more lecithin to the next batch of your edible of choice. If it has left behind an obvious flavour, add a little less.

When it comes to vegan options and eggless baking, the process is slightly different. Mix 1 ½ tablespoons of lecithin granules into 2 teaspoons of water for each egg yolk that is needed within a typical recipe. Next, add the required fats, flavourings, and binding ingredients and bake away. Because eggs provide a good binding effect, vegan options will need these additional ingredients.

THE BEST SOURCE OF LECITHIN

Eggs are probably the best source of lecithin to use in edible recipes, however, they won’t suffice in vegan recipes. Soy lecithin is commonly used in many processed foods, though there is a large debate about just how healthy it is. Soy lecithin is known to be highly processed and manufacturers often used solvents to extract it. Therefore, sunflower lecithin is advised instead. It is also worth noting, while egg and sunflower based lecithin are superior, they are also harder to get hold of – with soy being the most common in powder form.

Lecithin is an emulsifying agents than can help to improve the structure of edibles, and even make them more potent. Here is the info.

Slowcooker Cannabis Coconut Oil and Sunflower Lecithin Questions

Nematode128
New Member
  • Jun 18, 2019
  • #1
  • My girlfriend has some dietary restrictions and can’t usually eat the edibles I make with butter so we’ve been talking about making some coconut oil as an alternative for her. I’ve seen a few ration for weed to coconut oil. (1 oz to 1 cup, enough to completely cover the herb, etc) so I have a few questions.

    1) What ratios have you found to work the best? Cooking time?
    2) If you follow the “enough to cover the herb”, how do you know how much will be enough if you’re starting with coconut oil in solid form? Do you just melt however much you plan on using and just add herb until the oil cant cover anymore herb?

    Final question not directly related to coconut oil but still curious about it,

    3) I’ve been seeing a lot of people use sunflower or soy lecithin in their infusions. Have you noticed a difference in your edibles made with an infusion containing lecithin vs edibles not containing lecithin? When do you add the lecithin into your infusion? When you first start melting the oil or after you add the herb?

    shredder
    Well-Known Member
    • Jun 18, 2019
  • #2
  • My girlfriend has some dietary restrictions and can’t usually eat the edibles I make with butter so we’ve been talking about making some coconut oil as an alternative for her. I’ve seen a few ration for weed to coconut oil. (1 oz to 1 cup, enough to completely cover the herb, etc) so I have a few questions.

    1) What ratios have you found to work the best? Cooking time?
    2) If you follow the “enough to cover the herb”, how do you know how much will be enough if you’re starting with coconut oil in solid form? Do you just melt however much you plan on using and just add herb until the oil cant cover anymore herb?

    Final question not directly related to coconut oil but still curious about it,

    3) I’ve been seeing a lot of people use sunflower or soy lecithin in their infusions. Have you noticed a difference in your edibles made with an infusion containing lecithin vs edibles not containing lecithin? When do you add the lecithin into your infusion? When you first start melting the oil or after you add the herb?

    Anytime you use herb in a medibles recipe it’s a crap shoot. Concentrates are much better for dosage control.

    Having said that I’d use a minimal amount of oil, since a lot of medibles are pretty weak. Then sample and adjust. Figure your dosage and go from there.

    Lecithin makes the cannabis oil more available for uptake. It’s more efficient, so the same amounts will seem stronger when you use lecithin. It makes larger cannabis oil molecules smaller so you absorb more than without.

    Nematode128
    New Member
    • Jun 18, 2019
  • #3
  • Anytime you use herb in a medibles recipe it’s a crap shoot. Concentrates are much better for dosage control.

    Having said that I’d use a minimal amount of oil, since a lot of medibles are pretty weak. Then sample and adjust. Figure your dosage and go from there.

    Lecithin makes the cannabis oil more available for uptake. It’s more efficient, so the same amounts will seem stronger when you use lecithin. It makes larger cannabis oil molecules smaller so you absorb more than without.

    Is the dosage formula basically the same as calculating butter? If so one oz of herb to one cup of coconut oil would be pretty strong unless you’re saying that the recipes usually call low amounts of oil making the medibles low mg?

    Thanks for the response!

    shredder
    Well-Known Member
    • Jun 18, 2019
  • #4
  • Is the dosage formula basically the same as calculating butter? If so one oz of herb to one cup of coconut oil would be pretty strong unless you’re saying that the recipes usually call low amounts of oil making the medibles low mg?

    Thanks for the response!

    Yes, use the same ratios of herb to oil/butter. And find if your recipe calls for a 1/2 cup or 1/4 cup, (of oil/butter) then figure the servings. If say you are making a recipe for 12, sample 1/12 of the infused oil. Then you can adjust your recipe to your desires. You can use weight or volume, whatever is easier for you. Make sense?

    It’s hard to get out all the oil from the used herb. One tip is to first squeeze out as much as you can, then pour hot water over the herb. Place it in a freezer. When it gets cold the oil/ butter will coagulate on the top. You can use a slotted spoon the get the oil, and pat dry on a paper towel.

    ClearBlueLou
    unbearably light in the being.
    • Jun 18, 2019
  • #5
  • Nematode128
    New Member
    • Jun 18, 2019
  • #6
  • ClearBlueLou
    unbearably light in the being.
    • Jun 18, 2019
  • #7
  • Nematode128
    New Member
    • Jun 18, 2019
  • #8
  • shredder
    Well-Known Member
    • Jun 18, 2019
  • #9
  • We mostly make cannabis caps. For them a basic recipe is 1/2tsp lecithin per 1 fluid oz of coconut oil.

    A ratio is 1-3 grams of concentrate per one fluid oz of coconut oil. BTW at 3 grams it’s very strong and too much for rookies. And it varies by concentrate. Obviously CBD concentrate has less euphoria.

    Nematode128
    New Member
    • Jun 18, 2019
  • #10
  • We mostly make cannabis caps. For them a basic recipe is 1/2tsp lecithin per 1 fluid oz of coconut oil.

    A ratio is 1-3 grams of concentrate per one fluid oz of coconut oil. BTW at 3 grams it’s very strong and too much for rookies. And it varies by concentrate. Obviously CBD concentrate has less euphoria.

    shredder
    Well-Known Member
    • Jun 19, 2019
  • #11
  • I add lecithin to the coconut oil and gently heat it and stir to fully melt it into the oil. Once it’s clear I would add the herb.

    I try to avoid water, until the infusion is complete. Oil and water don’t mix and could make a real mess. When you mix the recipe ingredients then it’s fine.

    Nematode128
    New Member
    • Jun 19, 2019
  • #12
  • I add lecithin to the coconut oil and gently heat it and stir to fully melt it into the oil. Once it’s clear I would add the herb.

    I try to avoid water, until the infusion is complete. Oil and water don’t mix and could make a real mess. When you mix the recipe ingredients then it’s fine.

    ClearBlueLou
    unbearably light in the being.
    • Jun 19, 2019
  • #13
  • Nematode128
    New Member
    • Jun 19, 2019
  • #14
  • shredder
    Well-Known Member
    • Jun 19, 2019
  • #15
  • You don’t want water in your infusion. It will be less efficient if you do. I’ve seen it before in old recipes, but there’s no good reason to add water when your infusing the oil.

    Later after the infusion is done you can then add water if it’s called for in the recipe.

    The point of adding lecithin is to be more efficient. Water makes it less so. In fact instead of butter use ghee. It’s butter with higher fat and less junk. And it works better than butter in infusions.

    Nematode128
    New Member
    • Jun 19, 2019
  • #16
  • You don’t want water in your infusion. It will be less efficient if you do. I’ve seen it before in old recipes, but there’s no good reason to add water when your infusing the oil.

    Later after the infusion is done you can then add water if it’s called for in the recipe.

    The point of adding lecithin is to be more efficient. Water makes it less so. In fact instead of butter use ghee. It’s butter with higher fat and less junk. And it works better than butter in infusions.

    ClearBlueLou
    unbearably light in the being.
    • Jun 20, 2019
  • #17
  • There are lots of recipes for cannabutter, and most of them include watershed logic is that chlorophyll and other wate-soluables end up in the water, thereby keeping them out of the butter. but since they aren’t fat-soluble they wouldn’t be extracted into the butter at all, so I consider the water part an unnecessary complication.

    My preferred method is to use a clean, steel and removable-glass French press. I scavenged the plunger shaft from a 1L press to get more pressure in a 750ml press. The removable beaker makes it easy to pop it back in the microwave for a reheat (I like to keep the butter 160-180F), the plunger exerts considerable pressure when straining, it’s designed for pouring, can be used for second and third soaks with virtually no in-between fiddling, and they’re a breeze to clean.

    Regarding heating: people subject their bud bits to high heats for a long time, to get the goods out; the tale is that you need that heat and that duration to convert THC-a “completely”. The principle’s good, but it doesn’t quite work like that.

    Most decarboxylation studies don’t show early data, but there is one I’ve seen, and it shows that the decarb is 90% complete in the first half-hour – basically by the time you get it to temperature. The rest of the time and temp only accomplishes the remaining 10%. and at around 95%, your THC starts breaking down into CBN anyway,so be nice to your herb

    Yes, butter and ghee are the same for directions and process

    Regarding lecithin: lecithin is an emulsifier, it makes combinations occur faster, so don’t be surprised if the lecithin begins to break down the plant matter. I like to start smart and add more if needed

    My girlfriend has some dietary restrictions and can't usually eat the edibles I make with butter so we've been talking about making some coconut oil as an…