When I first started cooking with cannabis, I had no idea that it was going to be such a struggle to predict the perfect dosage. I’d make oil using the same method, but everytime I harvested a different strain, my cannabis oil would be stronger or weaker and I had to spend a day or two as a human guinea pig, slowly testing my oil until I knew it was just right.
Dosing soon became an obsession, and I learned how to guesstimate dosage over time using the method in this post. But doing the research took time and the method was sometimes confusing. I often had to double check my work to get a semi-accurate guess.
Even after all of that math, I would still be in the dark about how strong my oil was going to be. And in the meantime, I still had to guinea pig it up so I didn’t make a recipe too strong or totally ineffective.
While tracking down a strain’s THC content is getting easier all of the time thanks to websites like Wikileaf, you never really know. Sometimes different phenotypes of the same strain, and different growing conditions can affect the THC and overall cannabinoid content. That’s why on sites like Wikileaf, you’ll see that there’s the highest tested rate and the average rate of THC. And sometimes there can be a big gap between the highest and the lowest THC tested for the same strain.
And as a home cook who loves accuracy and sciency things, I wanted to really know how strong my oil was so I could use it instantly in my baked goods, cannabis salves, and weed lube without having to wait all day to test tiny increments and just feel it out to get an effective dose.
As some of you know, I’ve been looking for a home THC test kit that doesn’t require a degree in chemistry or taking out a personal loan and it finally arrived in my mailbox. The tCheck has become an irreplaceable tool in my edibles kitchen and I literally couldn’t accurately bake without it. I tested 5 different cannabis infusions in one day because it was so easy to set up and use over and over. No little parts to lose. No mess, fuss, or confusing results. It’s so simple and accurate that I won’t be left guessing about potency anymore.
I don’t review anything that I don’t love, because it makes me feel like an internet troll, so if it’s on the Wake & Bake blog, you can already guess what I have to say about it… Spoiler alert… I love this thing.
Using the TCheck: A Home THC Test Kit to Calculate Dosage
If you’ve read Wake & Bake, you probably know that I kindaaa like doing things the hard way. If I can find something in my kitchen that does the job, I’m going to use it even if it takes me 10 times as long to finish that job and then I’m going to pat myself on the back for being re-gard-damn-sourceful.
Well, I feel like I must be drawing in things from the universe that make life easier, because after adding the Magical Butter, the Nova and the tCheck to my kitchen, I can go from a big jar of cannabis trim to a table filled with edibles and topicals in a couple of hours. What used to take me and hour of questionable decarb, 8 hours of infusing in a crockpot and at least 8 hours of human guinea pig time, now takes an hour of super accurate decarb, 1-2 hours in the MB and 5 minutes testing the amount of cannabinoids with the TCheck. So, now I can pat myself on the back for being a pro-gard-damn-ductive.
When it arrived, the farmer instantly called it the “Pot Game Boy” because it’s a little rectangular device with a simple touch screen that looked kinda like the top part of a Game Boy. Opposed to the Breaking Bad/chemistry set THC testing kits out there, it looked uncomplicated and easy to use. And it was!
- You turn it on.
- Place the tray in that contains two drops of melted cannabis oil or butter (don’t worry, you’re not wasting it, you can eat it when the test is done 😉
- Push the button of the medium you’re testing (currently coconut oil, butter, and olive oil, but they told me that they’ll have tincture testing available with a software update in a couple of months).
- And the results will pop up in a few seconds.
Now… if you’re an American, you’re going to see this confusing unit of measurement… The results will say something like 7mg/ml. And you’ll be all like “whaaaaa the fffff is a ml?” Don’t worry. I’ve got you. There are about 5 ml in a teaspoon (thank you google conversion) and all you have to do is multiply your result by 5 to see how many mg of cannabinoids are in a teaspoon of your oil or butter.
So my first cannabis coconut oil tested at 30mg/teaspoon.
And we’re learning the metric system! Yay!
Since I’m working on a new book (which we’re going to get to in a minute), I’m so excited to be able to test the results of different methods and report back to you guys.
Is it accurate?
The tCheck is accurate within 10% of the reading, so 12mg/ml has an error of 1.2mg/ml. Again, for those of you who (like me) are metrically challenged, that means that your teaspoon of oil could be 6mg weaker or stronger than your test result.
Now, when handing an edible to your friends and family, you can say something like, “This cookie has approximately 25-35mg of cannabinoids in it.” Which is much better than, “I don’t know… one cookie was pretty strong for me. But ??? for you?”
You guys know how this goes. I die for pros and cons lists, so let’s hit it!
- Ease of use- It’s so very simple. Push a couple of buttons and you know the potency of your oil or butter in less than 2 minutes.
- Accuracy- At 10%+/-, it’s accurate enough for cannabis home cooks and caregivers.
- Software/firmware updates- This is my favorite thing about the tCheck. I asked them about whether or not the tCheck could test tinctures, and they said the next softwar update will be in a couple of months and it will include a test for tinctures. So when my next batch of tinctures are done, I can test them with the tCheck. So excited for a device that will continue to become more useful.
- No easy-to-lose parts or having to buy any other testing supplies- There are only three necessary parts of the tCheck (four if you count the usb charger that is universal). The device itself and the reusable testing slide. Other test kits are disposable, so you can only use them a few times. Plus, they generally test the plant material, so you don’t know what your final oil or tincture has extracted. I love that you can use the tCheck over and over again without ever having to worry about replacing anything or losing little parts.
- Not just THC- The tCheck measures total cannabinoids, so you’re not just checking THC content. If you want to break it down further, you’ll have to know your strain and do some extra math. The tCHeck folks are working on integrating a calculator, but for now, you’d have to do that legwork on your own. I love all of the cannabinoids, so knowing how much medicine is in my cookie is good enough for me, but if you only want to know the THC content of your infusions, we’re going to have to hang on until technology catches up.
- Waiting on an Update- I guess this is the flipside of the thing that I love most about the tCheck. I love that they’re going to update the software so I can test more stuff in the future. But, like that little Varuka Salt in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, I want it nooooooooooowwwwwww. While I’m mostly going to use the device to test my butter and oil, it would be nice to be able to test tinctures right out of the gate. I guess I’ll just have to be patient.
- Cost- Here we go. I’m sure someone out there is going to reem me for suggesting that a device that costs money is worthwhile. Everytime I get stoked on an innovative cannabis product, someone writes me a troll letter telling me that I’m trying to pull one over on someone I must consider a “stupid stoner”. I don’t think any of you are stupid, and I know for a fact that some of you guys love stuff like this. Some people buy fancy shoes or take long vacations, I’d rather spend my money on cannabis stuff for my kitchen and I know some of you are with me.
So I put this under cons because it costs money. The tCheck retails at $299 and they’ve given me a coupon code for you guys for 15% off (or $45 off) making it $255 bucks for you guys. I literally would have paid that much for someone to tell me how strong my hash butter was before I melted into the floor for several hours after eating too much too soon without doing my dosing math first. I would have paid the same amount to skip all of that cannabis math guesswork for all these years so it wouldn’t have taken so long to find the perfect dose for me. But, maybe that’s just me. I’m sure you’ll let me know.
There are other devices out there that retail at over $700, like the MyDX Analyzer that does virtually the same thing, but looks like something darth vader would use to test his weed. And while I save my pennies so I can check that one out for you guys and compare the two, I’m going to continue to use the tCheck because being able to test my cannabis at home has already been worth it.
tCheck Coupon Code
While we’re talking about monies… Here’s that coupon code for the tCheck:
It’s for 15% off your order, which equals $45 off the tCheck.
A New Cookbook?!?!?!
Since this is the first thing I’ve written in awhile, and it’ll probably be one of the last things I write for awhile, I wanted to let you know that I’m working on a new book! This means that I won’t be as responsive to emails and comments (there are so many these days because you guys are awesome and curious a.f.), but it’s totally going to be worth it. I’m compiling every oil, tincture, and hash infusion you can think of along with everything I’ve ever seen in dispensaries that made me go, “I waaant.” So this next book is going to be filled with infused hard candies, gummies, lollipops, massage oil, cannacaps, HighQuil (right?), canna soda, chocolate bars, cannabis lip balm (it’s a thing) and so much more. I’m also diving into the science of cannabis and breaking it all down so you can be the hippest and most educated cannabis enthusiast on the block. You’re going to be so cool.
And because I’m an overachiever, I’m also going back to school next month to become a health coach and get my holistic cannabis counselor certification. That way, I can do more focused one on one work with all of you in the future. And I love you guys, so I’m super excited about that.
But back to the book. I want to hear from you… would you rather get a book called:
DIY-spensary: the ultimate guide to cannabis infusions and dispensary favorites
Dazed & Infused: the ultimate guide to cannabis infusions and dispensary favorites.
Let me know in the comments below!