Cannamilk is a great way to consume marijuana. You can either drink it down directly or use it as an ingredient in other pot recipes. In that sense, then, it’s a very versatile method of getting high or taking your medication.
As the name suggests, cannamilk is cannabis-infused milk. In fact, cannamilk is very similar to other edibles, such as Cannabutter, Cannabis stem tea, Cannabis coffee, Cannabis-infused honey, and more.
All of these delicious and useful edibles contain the “dissolved” cannabinoids from pot flowers without all the plant matter that just gets in the way and dilutes the experience. But don’t just grab a gallon of milk from the fridge and dump your pot in. That won’t work. There are several steps you have to take first before that stuff will do your body good.
More Than Just Milk and Raw Weed
Unfortunately, making cannamilk — or any cannabis edible — isn’t like mixing chocolate milk. You can’t just scoop out a spoonful of your favorite strain, stir it into a glass of milk, and hope to get high or reduce your anxiety. Weed doesn’t work like that because raw cannabis straight off the plant is not psychoactive.
Why? Because your body can’t process the raw plant matter in a way that would get the cannabinoids into your bloodstream and to your brain where they have the most effect. If, for some reason, you did choose to partake of raw weed (don’t do it), your body would just digest the plant matter as it would any other leafy green. That’s the best-case scenario. On the other side of the coin, your body may decide to reject the raw plant matter completely. The results would be stomach problems, diarrhea, and vomiting. That’s the worst-case scenario.
So, what’s a cannaboy or cannagirl to do to activate the psychedelic and pain-fighting properties of their chosen strain and get the most out of their cannamilk?
Always Decarboxylate First
Yeah, it’s a big word, but it’s not as scary as all that. It basically means to heat dried and cured cannabis in order to 1. make it more digestible, and 2. activate the cannabinoids so you feel more of the psychoactive and medicinal effects.
Here’s how to decarb your ganja in preparation for making edibles:
- Preheat your oven to 230℉.
- If you haven’t already, break up the dried buds into small pieces with your hands.
- Spread the small pieces and flakes on a baking sheet (one with a rim works best).
- Bake the cannabis at 230℉ for 35 minutes.
- Stir the cannabis every 10 minutes to ensure even toasting.
- After 35 minutes, check the cannabis. It should be light- to medium-brown in color and should be very dry. If it’s not, put it back in the oven for a further 5-10 minutes. Keep an eye on everything so it doesn’t burn.
- When finished baking, remove the cannabis from the baking sheet and let it cool. Careful, it’s going to be very crumbly at this point.
- When the cannabis has cooled sufficiently, put it in a food processor and pulse until the weed is coarsely ground (like oregano).
And if you’re wondering why you don’t have to decarb your weed before smoking a joint, blunt, spliff, or bong, it’s because setting your weed on fire is instantaneous decarboxylation — no oven necessary.
The problem with that, if you’re planning on making canna milk, is that there’s no ganja left with which to cook. So, instead of naked flame, we use low-and-slow heat in order to preserve the cannabis intact for the next step.
How To Make Cannamilk
The Higher The Fat, The Higher You’ll Get
Cannabinoids such as THC, CBD, CBG, and CBN absorb into fat much more readily than they do other liquids (with the exception of alcohol and some chemicals such as hydrocarbons).
That’s good news for cannamilk enthusiasts! The more fat there is in the milk you start with, the more cannabinoids will absorb into — and stay in — the final product. In essence, then, the higher the fat, the less cannamilk you’ll need and the higher you’ll get.
The whole fat variable also means that you can use other types of milk (e.g., soymilk, almond milk, coconut milk) instead of cow’s milk, which, because of the lactose, may cause stomach issues. If you want to try one of these vegan/vegetarian options, choose an alternative that offers at least three grams of fat per serving. That will facilitate cannabinoid absorption and make for a potent final product.
Ingredients & Supplies
- 7-10 grams of your favorite cannabis
- 2 cups of milk
- Baking sheet
- Parchment paper
- Weed grinder
- Large saucepan
- Fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth
- Storage container with lid
- Cooking thermometer
NOTE: We are using a small amount of milk in this recipe (2 cups), but you can scale the amounts up or down by using the same ratio of marijuana to milk (~10 grams/2cups milk). So, for example, if you wanted to make one cup of cannamilk, you would divide the ratio above by two to get ~5 grams of marijuana for 1 cup of milk. If you wanted to make four cups of cannamilk, you’d multiply the ratio by two to get ~20 grams of marijuana for 4 cups of milk. It’s simple math, so it shouldn’t be too difficult (unless you’re way too high).
Once you’ve got the ratios all figured out, here’s how to put them to use.
- Grind your decarboxylated bud into small pieces and dump them into a large saucepan.
- Place the saucepan on the stove.
- Pour in 2 cups of milk.
- Whisk the two ingredients together.
- Set your stovetop to low heat and monitor the temperature with the cooking thermometer until it reaches 220 degrees Fahrenheit.
- From there, maintain 220 degrees Fahrenheit for 45 minutes, stirring the mixture every five minutes or so.
- After 45 minutes, remove the pan from the burner and allow the cannamilk to cool to a safe handling temperature.
- Slowly pour the cannamilk through the strainer or cheesecloth into your chosen storage container.
- You can strain the milk a second, or even a third, time to make sure all the plant matter is gone (leaving little bits behind won’t hurt you, but it will change the taste and texture of the cannamilk and any recipes you add it to).
- Store your freshly-made cannamilk in a covered container in the refrigerator.
That’s all there is to it! From there, you can either drink the cannamilk straight, add it to a bowl of Cap ’N Crunch, or mix it into your favorite recipes.
However you choose to consume your cannamilk, start with a small dose, take it slow, and be patient. This is good advice for all edibles as they have a tendency to take an hour or more to kick in. But when they do, they kick hard. Be warned.
High-Quality Organic Weed For The Best Cannamilk
Different strains produce different effects. That’s why we encourage you to experiment with the strain you use in your cannamilk.
Try a sativa (Sour Diesel, Jack Herer, Durban Poison), an indica (Purple Punch, Ice Cream Cake, Northern Lights), a hybrid (Blue Dream, Thin Mint Girl Scout Cookies, Frooty Pebbles), or even a landrace strain lif you can get your hands on one.
It all depends on the results you’re looking for.
Regardless of the strain you choose, always opt for the highest-quality bud you can afford. Low-quality bud, such as mids and regs, will produce a low-quality final product. That low-quality final product will diminish any psychoactive or medicinal effects you experience.
When you cook up a batch of cannamilk, or any edible for that matter, always use the best bud you can get your hands on — the strain doesn’t matter — so that the end result doesn’t leave you dissatisfied and downhearted. Plus, with a high-quality, organic strain, you’ll need less cannamilk to experience the effects you’re after.
A little high-quality bud goes a long way.
Anthony Franciosi, also known as Ant, is an honest-to-goodness farmer whose fingers are as green as the organic cannabis he grows. He is the proud founder of Honest Marijuana – an all-natural, completely organic marijuana growery in Colorado. Anthony is also an industry expert contributing his advice to a variety of publications including Bustle, Medium, Elite Daily, Dope Magazine, Sierra Magazine, Marijuanadventure, and more.