THC Syrup: What It Is and How To Make It
Humankind will never run out of ways to use cannabis and hemp. If you feel like it’s popping up everywhere, that’s because it is. It’s in your protein powder, your lotion, your makeup, your cereal, your tea, and your shaving cream. Its fibers were used to make your favorite reusable grocery tote and the cord for the jewelry you’re wearing.
Next on the agenda is THC syrup, one of the most popular innovations in cannabis edibles. DIY cannabis home cooks have been making their own cannabis syrup for ages, and prepackaged versions of this classic formula are beginning to pop up at dispensaries.
If you’re feeling the DIY spirit (or if you’re looking to flex your culinary prowess), you can make your own THC syrup from the comfort of your kitchen.
Is Syrup Dangerous?
THC syrup is something very different from the syrup or “lean” referenced in pop culture. It’s easy to get them mixed up, especially since they’re both colloquially shortened to just “syrup.”
Those are concoctions of over-the-counter medicines that are highly dangerous. THC syrup is essentially the same thing as cannabis edibles. There are no chemicals in it, and it can be made with completely organic ingredients.
What Is THC Syrup?
In order for THC to work as an edible product, it needs to be processed with heat and infused into another cooking ingredient. The heat causes a reaction called decarboxylation.
When cannabis isn’t heated, the cannabinoids have a small group of extra carboxylic acids that prevents them from interacting with the body’s cannabinoid receptors. Slowly backing off the carboxylic acid group puts cannabis in a potent state.
You could technically eat decarboxylated cannabis exactly the way it is, but it doesn’t taste very good. It has a strong flavor, and it’s tough to chew. Decarboxylated cannabis is used to infuse other cooking ingredients that can be used to prepare candy, treats, or meals. Cannabis is commonly infused into olive oil, coconut oil, or butter.
THC syrup is a simple syrup infused with cannabinoids. It’s similar to the simple syrup used to sweeten things like cocktails, coffee drinks, tea, or lemonade. It can be used for the exact same purposes.
Why Use THC Syrup?
We already have edibles, cannabis flowers, and cannabis vape cartridges. Why do we need to add THC to the long roster of cannabis products we incorporate into our everyday lives?
In truth, THC syrup is a sleeper hit. It’s a solution that no one knew they needed until they had it. It’s much more versatile than edibles, produces a long-lasting high, doesn’t stink up your back porch, and won’t make you cough. This discrete solution makes it easy to enjoy cannabis whenever you want, however you want.
THC Syrup Is the Most Versatile Edible
Edibles come pre-cooked. You buy all the mints, cookies, gummies, brownies, or chocolate bars that you want. This requires cooking, and you need to make something that uses oil or butter.
But what if you aren’t in the mood for something heavy?
THC syrup doesn’t involve adding something to your diet. You can take a spoonful of THC syrup on its own, or you can use it to replace whatever sweetener you currently use. Add it to your coffee or tea. Pour it on your toaster waffles. Use it whenever you’d ordinarily need to add a bit of sweetness.
Edibles Create a Longer High
Cannabis you smoke usually wears off at around the two-hour mark. Cannabis you eat lasts much longer, sometimes sustaining a high for up to eight hours.
To some people, that sounds like a nightmare. People who use cannabis for a gentle break in the middle of the day or boost their bedtime routine won’t want sustained effects for eight hours.
For people taking an extended break or weekend off, and for medical cannabis patients who prefer their beneficial strain to impart long-lasting effects, THC syrup is the perfect solution. They’ll feel relief from stress and tension throughout the day.
You Don’t Need To Smoke or Vaporize Anything
Many people want to enjoy the benefits of cannabis but have reservations about smoking or vaporizing it. These people are more comfortable with the idea of THC syrup or edibles because they can be used like supplements or herbal preparations.
How To Make THC Syrup
Making THC syrup takes a while, but it isn’t a very labor-intensive process. The hardest part is decarboxylating your cannabis. Everything else is fairly simple, and you don’t need much culinary knowledge to do it.
Decarboxylate Your Cannabis
Depending on how strong you want your THC syrup to be, you’ll need to grind up between one to three grams of cannabis into uniform pieces, roughly the same size as a grain of rice. Line a glass baking tray with aluminum foil and evenly distribute the cannabis over the surface. Cover it very loosely with another sheet of aluminum foil.
Pop it in the oven on the center rack for 30 to 45 minutes at 225 degrees. Stay close by and check it every 15 minutes. You want your cannabis to turn a toasty golden color. If it starts to turn dark brown or black, it’s burnt. Take it out if it seems like it’s overcooking.
When it’s done, set it aside to cool.
Make a Simple Syrup
Simple syrup means equal parts sugar and water. It’s very straightforward. For every one cup of water, use one cup of sugar. Some of the water will boil off, and you need to account for this loss. A ratio of 3:3 should be the perfect amount for your THC syrup.
Bring the water to a low boil on the stove. Add the sugar and reduce the heat to low. Continuously stir until the sugar has dissolved. If you have a silicone whisk that won’t scratch the bottom of your pot, now would be a great time to use it.
Add Your Cannabis
When the sugar is dissolved, keep the heat low and put your cannabis directly into the pot. The easiest way to do this is to place your cannabis in a metal tea infuser ball. If you do this, you won’t have to strain at the end. If you don’t have an infuser, you can put the cannabis directly into the mixture.
Let it simmer on the lowest heat for about half an hour. Give it a good stir every five minutes to help the cannabis move around and incorporate it within the mixture.
Toss in a Special Touch
If you know what you want to use your THC syrup for, you can add flavor to it. Baking extracts and flavors work very well for THC syrups, but remember that you only need a few drops. Try vanilla extract if you plan to use your syrup for lattes. You can add natural maple flavoring if you want to pour THC syrup on pancakes.
Thicken the Syrup
Your THC syrup will develop a proper syrupy consistency when adding two tablespoons of vegetable glycerin to the mix. Vegetable glycerin is a sugary oil derived from vegetables. It’s completely safe to ingest and is often used as a thickener in syrup-style wellness products.
Keep stirring until you notice the mixture thickening. This process takes between five to ten minutes and requires constant mixing.
Strain the Cannabis Away
If you didn’t use the tea infuser method, you’ll need to strain the cannabis away. Most recipes for cannabis infusions will tell you to use a cheesecloth, but you don’t have one, and you have no idea where to get one.
What you probably have is a fine mesh strainer somewhere in your kitchen or at least a colander that you can line with a coffee pot filter. Pour the mixture through your sifting device as you hold it over a huge bowl.
Store Your Syrup
Your THC syrup needs to be stored in a container that will block out light. You can pour your THC syrup into a Stori pod and stick it in the fridge to keep it cool. Write the name of the strain, the THC percentage, and the date on the lid.
When you’ve used all your THC syrup, make sure you’ve thoroughly washed and dried your Stori pod before using it to store dry herbs.
Stori Helps You Store Your Cannabis
You don’t want to spend your weekend making syrup and baking from poorly stored cannabis. Make sure you keep your cannabis in its best condition before starting your own DIY.
The Stori case is perfectly designed with cannabis in mind.
Sour Diesel aka Sour D | Leafly
King Louis aka King Louis XIII | Leafly
Green Crack aka Green Crush | Leafly
The Case for the Entourage Effect and Conventional Breeding of Clinical Cannabis: No “Strain,” No Gain | Frontiers in Plant Science