Cannabis cooking is a modern art. People who love to cook, entertain and soothe their body with natural foods are bringing creative insights into this new form of self-care.
Whether you enjoy a social buzz or feel better in your skin with the clear-headed calm of CBD, cannabis edibles are a wonderful way to engage your senses. Read on to learn how to incorporate cannabinoid benefits into your food and beverage routines.
Edible Strategies to Match Your Needs
● For maximum relaxation, combine CBD or THC with cozy foods and comforting aromas. A lavender honey biscuit (with infused butter instead of plain unsalted) can make a soothing snack before bed1. Or try a drop of cannabis oil in lemongrass tea to boost your calm2.
Read More: Relaxation, Self-Care and Cannabis
● CBD pairs beautifully with anti-inflammatory foods to relieve sore muscles, irritated nerves, and digestive issues. Try it in turmeric lattes, yellow curry, gingersnap cookies or an anti-oxidant berry smoothie.
● A proper dose of THC at bedtime can help carry you off to sleep, and slow-metabolizing edibles can help keep pain at bay through the night. A few drops of oil in a creamy rooibos chai can help ease your body and brain to a peaceful rest.
Read More: Cannabis Routines to Manage Pain
Focus and Creativity
● Did you know you can stimulate your synapses with uplifting smells? Adding infused oil to a marinade that contains rosemary can increase your mental energy and focus.
● Another way to maximize your creativity is to take your treats outside. Combining edibles with fresh air and lush greenery helps the inspiration flow.
● Making edibles social can help you get a lift without getting lost. Sundial’s edible and beverage product manager, Trudi-Ann Webster, predicts that edibles will change the shape of social consumption. “At a corporate dinner recently, I was surprised when half the table got up and left. It occurred to me that everyone was going outside to smoke. I realized that when we can all stay at the table, it will bridge the gap between consumers and abstainers, and help everyone feel more connected.”
● Alongside Instagram-worthy infused dinners, cannabis cocktails are going to lead the revolution of social consumption. Adding infused syrups to virgin cocktails will open a whole new world of friendly beverage adventures.
● Infused chocolate strawberries might be the perfect food to spark a cuddling mood. They’re so decadent and sweet, and the way that chocolate melts on your tongue really wakes up your senses. Sensual edibles like this can help you “get into your body” and feel relaxed and ready for pleasure.
Read More: Cannabis, Relaxation and Pleasure
Did You Know?
The iconic pot brownie is a mix of art and science. Cannabinoids (like THC and CBD) bind to fats and are more active in your system when consumed with fats and oils3. That’s why one of the most popular infusion methods is to slow-cook bud into butter. As experienced edibles’ chefs know, cannabutter retains some of the green taste and colour of the plant matter (even after the solids get strained out), so the dark, fragrant traits of brownie batter make for a great cover.
Whoever first grasped this insight was probably fuelled by the munchies; THC revs up your brain in the areas that crave sweets. Brownies might come to mind naturally when you’re high. Not only do they hit the spot and give good camouflage, but their cocoa contains anandamide–the chemical our bodies make that mimics THC. This is why chocolate is such a beloved source of good feels, and possibly why it seems like a natural partner for cannabis.
The first person to make magic brownies was probably not aware of how next-level genius they were being since the science of edibles took ages to catch up to real-life wisdom. But now that we know more about the botany, biochemistry and gastronomy of our treats, it makes perfect sense that chewy chocolate confections have reigned for decades as the preeminent method of eating weed.
Modern canna-cooks are reinventing the edible and turning all this science into fresh, delightful combinations of cannabinoids, fats, flavours and foods that enhance our effects and bring our bud into today’s intentional lifestyle.
The Full Potential of Modern Edibles Is in Creating an Immersive Experience
Not every moment calls for a brownie. The wide variety of infusion possibilities can let you tap into your mood. Are you craving a cozy tea? A luxurious hot chocolate, refreshing smoothie, savoury sauce or a sophisticated sip? Once you learn how to use the basic staples of infusion, you’ll find endless ways elevate your eats.
Q: Can I just crumble a nug into my granola?
Technically you could, but it would taste gross. It would also be a waste of weed. If your bud hasn’t been decarboxylated, you won’t be able to absorb the cannabinoids. It takes heat to release the CBD and THC.
Q: Should I put cannabis into everything?
Nope, just a dab will do ya. The golden rule of a pleasant edible experience is “low and slow.” Whether you’re eating alone or feeding the gang, make sure to arrange the offerings, so there are only a couple of low-dosed infused items and plenty of "clean" offerings to protect everyone from accidentally over-indulging.
Low and slow is even more critical for edibles than for inhaled forms of cannabis. When you eat THC, it can take up to 2 hours to feel the effects. That means if you snack continuously on infused treats, you could suddenly get hit with an overwhelming high. The general rule is to keep each serving below 10mg of THC, possibly as low as 2.5mg4 and wait at least two hours before having another.
Q: Are cannabis infusions at a party safer than alcohol?
Sort of, but not really. According to the Center for Disease Control, cannabis is unlikely to give adults a life-threatening overdose like alcohol can (e.g., alcohol poisoning). However, the risks of impaired driving after consuming cannabis are an issue. The long duration of effects from edibles (up to 10 hours from a single dose of cannabis edible) means that no one will be safe to drive home after an infused party. A safe cannabis party means making sure that everyone takes responsibility for finding a safe way home—plan accordingly.
Safe driving guidelines suggest that after consuming any amount of cannabis, you should not drive or operate dangerous machinery for up to 24 hours.
Important: Cannabis and Alcohol Don’t Mix
It’s tricky enough to manage your intoxication with the slow-onset and long-acting nature of edibles. When you add alcohol to the mix, your chances of overdosing or getting into a car accident can skyrocket. Whether you’re hosting a party for one or gathering your whole fam, stick to one intoxicant or the other. When you end the night with a happy buzz and the knowledge that all your people are safe, you’ll be glad you did.
With these tips and tidbits, you’re ready to choose your own edible adventure. As long as you remember to take it slow and plan your experience intentionally, you’ll be able to enjoy the benefits of cannabinoids with a longer duration and in more social settings thanks to this exciting new consumption format.
Koulivand PH, Khalegi Gadri M, Gorji A. Lavender and the Nervous System. Evidence-Based Complementary Alternative Medicine. 2013;2013:681304
Blanco MM, et al. Neurobehavioural effect of essential oil of Cymbopogon citratus in mice. Phytomedicine. 2009; 16(2-3):265-70.
 Zgair A, et al. Dietary fats and pharmaceutical lipid excipients increase systemic exposure to orally administered cannabis and cannabis-based medicines. American Journal of Translational Research. 2016:8(8):3448-3459.
MaCallum CA, Russo EB. Practical considerations in medical cannabis administration and dosing. European Journal of Internal Medicine. 2018:49:12-19.