Recipe: Cannabis-Infused Maple Syrup
Maple syrup is not just a delicious addition at the breakfast table, it’s also an excellent natural sweetener in smoothies and desserts, not to mention savory recipes like glazed meats, roasted root veggies, marinades and dressings. This recipe for cannabis-infused maple syrup requires just the two ingredients in the name, indirect heat, and a bit of time.
The first time I made a batch, I licked a spill off my finger without thinking, and spent the next eight-ish hours on Jupiter.
It’s surprisingly easy to make very strong infused syrup. The first time I made a batch, I licked a spill off my finger without thinking, and spent the next eight-ish hours on Jupiter. I was productive, at least, but it was potent enough that I cut future servings from that batch with regular non-infused syrup. If you’re like me, you drown your pancakes and waffles in oodles of syrup, so if you want to be able to do that, maybe go a bit lighter on the strength. The strong batch was, however, a glorious addition to homemade Sunday lattes.
Step by step instructions and additional dosing notes are provided below.
How to make cannabis-infused maple syrup
- 1 cup of maple syrup
- 3.5-7 grams of cannabis (depending on desired strength)
- Double boiler
- Baking Sheet
- Tinfoil/ Parchment Paper
The essential (and often missed) first step: Decarboxylating the cannabis
Before making your infusion, you’ll need to decarboxylate, or “decarb”, the cannabis flower you’re working with. Skipping this step may result in a weaker or inactive finished product. Here’s why: Cannabis buds produce a non-intoxicating acidic cannabinoid called THCA. When we smoke or vaporize cannabis, the heat converts THCA into THC, the molecule that delivers euphoric effects. If preparing CBD edibles, this same process should be applied.
Directions for making a cannabis infusion with maple syrup
- Decarb the cannabis. Preheat your oven to 245ºF. Cover a non-stick, oven-safe tray with parchment paper to prevent sticking. Place finely ground cannabis buds on the paper.
- Insert the tray into the oven and set a timer for 30-40 minutes. Older, drier cannabis may require less time. (Tip: you can also set your oven to 300ºF and heat for 10 to 18 minutes, although low-and-slow is the recommended approach when decarbing to better preserve cannabinoids.) Every 10 minutes, gently mix the buds with a light shake of the tray to expose the surface area of the buds equally.
- Remove your buds from the oven. It should smell great by now!
- Infuse the maple syrup. In the last 10 minutes of decarbing, place the maple syrup in the top part of a double boiler, with an inch or two of water on the bottom part. Heat the syrup to no more than 160º. If you want to keep things neat, place the bud in a cheesecloth bundle tied with twine before mixing in with the syrup.
- Simmer. Maintain low heat and let the mixture simmer for at least 40 minutes. The mixture should never come to a full boil. Some recipes suggest cooking for as long as 1-2 hours.
- Strain the maple syrup. Set a funnel on top of a jar and line it with cheesecloth. Once the maple syrup has cooled off, pour it over the cheesecloth funnel and allow it to strain freely. Or, if you bundled your cannabis into cheesecloth during cooking, simply remove the bundle from the syrup, allowing it to drain.
(Tip: Squeezing plant matter through the cheesecloth may result in more plant matter and bitter-tasting chlorophyll in your syrup, so don’t squeeze with too much gusto).
- Refrigerate maple syrup for up to 30 days.
- Consume with caution – start low and go slow. Refer to dosing information below before adding your maple syrup to any snacks, dishes, or desserts.
Note: Homemade edibles are very difficult to accurately dose. The below will give you a few tips for more precise dosing, but all DIY cannabis cooks should be aware that there’s no way to guarantee the potency or homogeneity of their batch.
Tips for dosing cannabis infusions
The potency of your infusions depends on many factors, from how long and hot it was cooked to the potency of your starting material. To test the potency of your finished product, try spreading ¼ or ½ teaspoon on a snack and see how that dose affects you after an hour. Decrease or increase dose as desired. You can then use this personalized “standard” dose as a baseline for your recipes.
Note on Cooking Syrup
Be careful not to cook your syrup for too long – if too much water evaporates, you’ll get ‘heavy’ syrup, and the inside of your container will end up covered in maple crystals. Just in case, it may be wise to put your syrup in a wide-mouthed container, so you can scrape off the infused crystal goodness after you’ve exhausted your liquid supply.
The crystals can be melted down in a pan on your stove over very low heat- ideally with a bit of maple sap, but water will do. If you’re lazy, pour a little hot/boiling water in the container, put the lid on, and shake. For either method, shake/stir until the crystals are dissolved. You can also just eat the crystals – they’re basically weed-infused rock candy.