TRICHOMES, TERPS, & TEMPS in Canna Cooking

Trichomes, Terps, & Temps in Canna Cooking.
by Edible Dee

Trying to find the healthiest cooking oil matched with the boiling point of the medicinal compounds is important.  You want to cook with an oil that has a high flash (smoke) point while activating the medicinal properties of the cannabinoids, terpenoids and flavonoids found predominantly in the trichomes of the plant. 

strain: Kosher Dawg aka Hebrew National from DNA Genetics 

The definition of trichome is “a small hair or other outgrowth from the epidermis of a plant, algae, lichens, and certain protists, typically unicellular and glandular.”  Trichomes are the very factories that produce the known cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids that make different cannabis strains unique, potent, and effective! 

These “hairs” exist in many shapes and sizes.  The three that appear most often on cannabis plants are bulbous trichomes, capitate-sessile trichomes, and capitate-stalked trichomes. The gland heads of the capitate-stalked trichomes serves as the epicenter for terpenoid and cannabinoid synthesis. These glands may be seen by the naked eye whiles the bulbous and capitate-sessile trichomes can be as small as 10-15 micrometers and therefore only can be seen under a microscope.  

photo : cannabis under a microscope taken at DigiPath Labs Las Vegas, NV.

The Greek word”Trichoma,” meaning “cover with hair,” is where the Trichomes name originated.  However, it is now used amongst my work associates and myself as the term - what some of y'all call “couch lock”- to in our terms as a “Tri-COMA”! 

**There you go, if I was getting too science for you guys …i threw in a joke. :)

To extract is to remove a substance or active with desirable properties that is from the tissue of the plant and then discarding the unwanted, inactive plant matter. It is usually, especially in a lab-production setting, treated with a solvent (CO2, Butane, Ethanol - Alcohol).  However, this article is to educate you on infusion, an extract prepared by soaking the leaves of a plant or herb in liquid (oils, butters, etc) properly to maximize the most medicinal properties this plant has to offer for you.  A safer method for "the happy chefs" at home. :)

**WARNING : When cooking with canna at home you should have separate cookware as your "infusion-ware" from your normal every day cooking set. Cannabis Oil - ESPECIALLY ones extracted with a solvent (CO2, Butane, Ethanol) - sticks to stainless steel and majority of pots and pans surfaces.  Meaning, unless you soak and clean removing the extracted decarboxylated oil from surfaces with high proof ethanol, that oil remains on the surface of the cookware. In knowing that, with the reheating of the pot in a later use you will be slightly infusing your next dish - possibly many dishes - with marijuana. Most of you are thinking, "So what!! That's awesome!" ---NO - if you have guests, which a majority of you do, or you have kids, it is NOT OKAY to dose someone without their knowledge.  People have jobs that require them to be unable to enjoy our favorite plant and their circumstances are to be respected.  Safer to have a separate set when making your own medicine at home. #BeAGoodPatient

The method to any plant extract is heat and time. So let’s start by getting you familiar with temperatures and the boiling points of cannabinoids, terpenoids, and flavonoids.  



A description of some of the common terpenes molecules in cannabis 
(vary by strain) 


alfa-pinene (pinene)
pine odor, bronchodilators that opens the lungs to possibly improve THC absorbption.   Responsible for increasing focus, energy, and self-satisfaction. 

beta-caryophyllene (caryophyllene) 
woody, sweet, clove taste responsible for anti-inflammatory and neuro-protective effects through CB2 receptor activation.

d-limonene (limonene)
 citrus scent and may possess anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-depression, and anti-cancer abilities.

beta-myrcene (myrcene)
likely effects, intake of THC by brain cells to increase the overall effects of THC when ingested together.  

linalool :
floral smell that is believed to provide some anti-cancer effects as well as being known to cause severe sedation. + Also known as a anti-convulsant (esp R-linalool)



With the known information of the boiling temperatures of the different types of cannabis compounds it would be safe to stay within the temperatures of 240 F - 310 F (115.5 C - 155 C);if you are needing to maximize the benefits of beta-caryophyllene (caryophyllene), stay under 245 F (119 C). *CLICK FOR MEDICAL BENEFITS OF BETA-CARYOPHYLLENE. Staying within these ranges guarantees maximizing the medical properties of the plant during the decarboxylation process. 

**I know some of y'all read that and are thinking, "wait i thought THC boiling point is 315 F, thats what Wikipedia and other sources say..." and you would be correct.  Many sources site Wikipedia as their go to for the "facts" and yes they are a great source.  However, it was recorded on the boiling point of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol as 392 F (200 C).  With what I have seen in my personal experience at the lab is that I believe the boiling point to be higher than 315 F and to be in upwards of closer to 400 F.  Which makes since do to the vaporization temperatures to be believed ranging from 250 - 400 F. But also, staying in the 240 F - 320 F range allows maximum potency of the other compounds other than delta 9.

With this knowledge lets now choose the proper cooking oil for ourselves catered to our cooking habits and diets. 


WE HAVE NOW HIT 420 F (lol) 

**It is important to know the smoke point of oils because heating oil to the point where oil begins to smoke produces harmful free radicals and toxic fumes. 

It is better to use a cooking oil that has a healthy balance of antioxidants, vitamins, and Omega-3 to Omega-6 fatty acids.  Bottom line is that when possible, buy and use organic, unrefined, cold-processed vegetable oils. DO NOT use extra virgin olive oil for high temperature cooking, but rather in salads or to add to cooked foods.

Edible Dee Oil Preferences

extra virgin olive oil (low temp cooking)
coconut oil (mid temp cooking)
extra light olive oil (mid - high temp cooking)
avocado oil (high temp cooking)

For low temperatures cooking I use extra virgin olive oil.  It's best to choose oils with a higher Omega-3 fatty acids, they promote healthy cells and decrease stroke and heart attack risk.  Also they are known for their anti-inflammatory properties - which matches and combines nicely with the medicinal benefits of the cannabis compounds.  

Your body also needs Omega-6 fatty acids to maintain cell wall integrity and to provide energy to the heart.  Although your body needs Omega-6 acids, too much of it can increase inflammation in the body. As you see in the above charts cannabinoids, terpenoids, flavonoids, and many of the vegetable oils have anti-inflammatory properties to possibly counter having too much Omega-6 acids in the body - it is still best to keep an eye on your intake. 

For high-temperature cooking I use avocado oil.  Avocado oil is high in Omega-9. Omega-9 fatty acids are considered to be “conditionally essential,” which means that although your body produces them, they aren't produced in meaningful quantities.  Consuming omega-9 fatty acids such as oleic acid lowers the risk of heart attacks, arteriosclerosis, and acids in cancer prevention.  It is always best to look for organic, cold-processed oil. *Extra virgin olive oil and Extra light olive oil are also high in Omega-9. 

You can use coconut oil for most mid-temperature cooking, which is high in beneficial saturated fats and medium chain triglycerides.  Also has anti-viral, antibacterial and antioxidant properties - which again also pairs nicely with the benefits of our cannabis compounds.  And to add another #HappyFact ! Coconut oil is just simply amazing! It is probably my absolute favorite as it sustains many uses.  Coconut oil is very beneficial for your body : teeth, hair, nails, skin...It is a essential and required ingredient in my kitchen for making THC, CBD infused topicals : lotions, salves, massage oils, and lubricants.  I urge you all to do some research on the benefits of coconut oil and put it into your daily use and diet.  Or maybe I'll do another article on the subject. :)

- Edible Dee


+ Be sure to check out Edible Dee's The Happy Chef Expert Cannabis Cookbook for a behind the scenes on "the Herb" and a breakdown of boiling points and recipes to help you maximize the benefits of this healing plant and learn to cook with cannabis

expert cannabis cookbook

And a special thanks to :


for their contributions to make this cookbook extra delicious! 



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