You've probably heard of it when it comes to making cannabutter or canna-infused oil. But what is it exactly? What does it do? And can you find it in non-edibles?
This article will act as your guide to lecithin, helping you understand what it is and why it is helpful in making infused butters and oils. We'll also discuss some of the health benefits of lecithin in general, and why it is recommended that specific populations have it in their diet.
Read on for more information on how this widely found and used product can make your edibles taste better and last longer.
Guide to Lecithin 101: What Is Lecithin?
If you're not familiar with making edibles, you may have never heard of lecithin before. But, you've most definitely eaten food that contains it in the past, edible or not.
One of the things lecithin is used for is to bind and emulsify. Lecithin itself has both water-soluble and oil-soluble parts, making this possible.
You may have noticed that products you eat have ingredients that naturally repel one another, like water and oil. Lecithin helps counteract that and allow them to bind, creating a cohesive piece of cake, for example, instead of making it crumble all over the place.
Lecithin is also used in many commercially available foods to help increase its shelf life. Over time, foods become moldy or full of mildew and impossible to eat. This allows people to buy things like bread in bulk and not worry about it going bad too quickly.
Long story short: you've been eating lecithin for a long time without even realizing it!
Why Is Lecithin Important in Baking and Making Cannabutter or Other Oils?
Lecithin helps oil and water bind to one another, but why is this important specifically in making infused butters and oils or in baking with it?
Let's take a closer look.
Binding in Baking With Cannabinoids
After you make cannabutter or oil you'll need to then turn around and use the infusion in creating your edibles, and lecithin will help your finished infusions bind to your water-based ingredients.
Ingredients that are water-based include sugar and cocoa, and in some recipes, water itself. Without lecithin, you run the risk of the edibles crumbling your hands. While it may not be a huge deal for you to make a crumbly cake or cookie if it doesn't contain T-C, if you're looking to get a great high, you may find that it isn't as easy to come by when your cake is all over the place.
In addition to helping your it also helps your cannabinoids bind to the fats in your butters and oils during the infusion process itself.
Creating a Better Dispersed Dosage
When you first tried making special brownies, did you know what you were doing? If so, you're amongst the very few that did! If not, can you remember what one of the top mistakes was when making edibles at home?
If the answer was, "not dispersing the herb correctly throughout the baked good," you win! You might even remember not understanding how it works and realizing you had to eat the entire tray of brownies to get the high you were looking for.
This is a common problem for people who don't know a lot about making canna products or edibles, and they end up having an unenjoyable time. Having a stomachache while you're flying isn't really what you're looking for.
Lecithin helps keep water and fats close together, which in turn helps to make a uniform dosage of T-C throughout your baked goods. For example, if you and friend both eat 1/8 of an edible cake you've made, you'll both get the same amount of T-C. While how high you'll get may vary person to person, you'll still know you've dispersed it evenly.
This means you'll be able to eat the same amount of cake the next day and know exactly how high you'll get. That's a significant win.
Lecithin May Help Make Your Edibles Feel More Potent
Yes, you read that right. Lecithin may help make your high that much more effective. Lecithin is a phospholipid, and phospholipids help increase the bioavailability of cannabinoids. This also means that it helps your body absorb the T-C that much better, which may make the effects feel stronger.
Sunflower and Soy Lecithin
Lecithin is made from a variety of different products, and you'll most commonly see it made from sunflower, soy, or egg. But for our purposes, we'll skip the egg lecithin and discuss the two most common: sunflower and soy.
Sunflower lecithin is much better for you for a variety of reasons. The first being that many people generally are allergic to soy, and they don't have the same reactions to sunflower oil.
If we include eggs in the mix, many people also have allergies to eggs. As such, sunflower oil is the least harmful and means you can share your edibles with even more people.
Secondly, when extracting sunflower lecithin, there is no use of solvents as there are with soy. This means when you eat soy lecithin, you're at risk for chemical contamination, which most people try to avoid.
Powder vs. Liquid Lecithin
There are two types of lecithin that you'll find on the market, at least in terms of its consistency. You can purchase either powder or liquid lecithin to use when baking your edibles. Which is the better product for making canna infused items?
For some people, it's a matter of personal choice, but one huge reason to buy powder over liquid is that it has low-fat content. Powder lecithin contains very little fat when compared to the liquid form, so this is something many health-conscious people will think about when choosing which to use.
In a non-health-related advantage, many people use the powder form because it is much easier to clean up. When you make food, either cooking or baking, you'll always have spills and tumbles with your ingredients. The powder is always easier to mop up quickly and efficiently.
Lecithin Health Benefits
Lecithin also has a few health benefits that make it part of why some canna enthusiasts love it so much; and why some people who aren't interested in canna still make sure to eat it.
Firstly, Lecithin can help aid in digestion. It has been proven to work as a therapy for those who have ulcerative colitis and is also recommended for those who live with irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS. It has been shown to help lower cholesterol levels, as well as to increase liver function.
Lecithin is also important for breastfeeding mothers. The Canadian Breastfeeding Foundation recommends that they take 1200 mg of it per day. This is because evidence shows that it decreases the stickiness of the milk by increasing the amount of polyunsaturated fatty acids. This means that it can help ensure they don't get blocked ducts, which is very painful.
Lastly, lecithin will even moisturize your skin! It makes your skin feel smooth by restoring hydration.
All of these are great reasons to use lecithin in your baking, with or without the T-C.
Using Lecithin in Your Edibles
While some people choose to skip lecithin when making edibles, we hope this guide to lecithin shows you why that's not the best idea. Not only is lecithin good for you, but it helps you enjoy your high that much more.
If you're looking for powder, sunflower lecithin, we've got you covered. Click here to order our own and create your own delicious edibles at home.