Eating weed has been a well-known secret past time in American culture since at least the 1960's. Growing up, it would be difficult not to absorb the clear connotation that "space cakes,' or "special" brownies would get you high.
But technology and food science have come along way since the sixties, and the explosion of "foodie" interest has coincided with a flood of states legalizing marijuana, pushing edible pot to the forefront of culinary science.
Chances are, if you have been into any marijuana dispensary in the last four years, you have seen the colorful and self-indulgent display case full of edible pot. Like the forgotten dessert-carts of old, where a captive audience of diners would be subjected to a parade of cakes and pastries.
What Kind of Edibles Are Out There?
In the wider world of cannabis cuisine, you can pretty much expect to find a dank recipe from every food style and flavor profile, but in any commercial marijuana dispensary, the edibles are going to be dose-standardized and individually packaged to minimize consuming too much THC.
The edibles at dispensaries are also more likely to be sweet, chocolatey, and otherwise indulgent treats meant to tempt you into ingestion.
But don't misconstrue that to mean there isn't an insane selection of weed edibles to choose from. Here are some examples of what you could walk into a dispensary and buy today:
- Drinks: Sodas, Colas, Root Beers, Teas, Cold-Pressed Coffees, Lemonades, Juices, Punches, Ciders, Energy Drinks.
- Alcoholic Drinks: Beers (IPAs, Lagers, Pilsners, Ales, Stouts), Hard Ciders, Absinthe, Rum, Vodka, Wine.
- Candies: Chocolates, Caramel, Gummies, Chews, Hard Candy, Sours, Lozenges, Mints, Gum.
- Baked Goods: Cookies, Brownies, Cakes, Muffins, Fudge, Cheesecake, Pastries, Cereal Bars.
- Dried Fruits/Fruit Leathers: Mango, Kiwi, Pineapple, Cranberry, Goji Berry, Apple, Cherry, Grape, Raspberry, etc.
- Syrups/Spreads/Sauces: Maple, Agave, Mango, Blueberry, Cherry, Apple-butter, Hazelnut spread, Peanut-butter, Fruit Jams, Honey, Barbeque sauce, Hot sauce, Salad Dressing, etc.
- Tinctures: THC, CBD, Sleep, Calm, Relief, Focus, Flavored, Unflavored, Glycerin or Alcohol based. (Can be taken orally, added to food or diluted in beverage)
- Oral Sprays: Mango, Strawberry, Watermelon, Peppermint, etc. (Sprayed under tongue, THC is quickly absorbed sublingually)
- Pills: Tablets or Capsules filled with ingestible oils, rosin, or other marijuana distillates.
- THC Inhalers: Standardized micro-dosing, Variety of flavors, uses cannabis distillates.
- Dissolvable Powder: Processed to be water-soluble, this powder can be added to food or drink.
What Makes Pot Edible?
While humans are omnivores, and you can physically chew up and swallow any old nug you please, you most likely will not feel any psychoactive effects from the weed you just ate. This is because the psychoactive component of cannabis, THC, must be properly decarboxylated first.
The decarboxylation process heats up THCA in the cannabis and transforms it into the user-friendlier version THC.
Once the weed is decarboxylated, the THC can be infused into a number of edible formats, but the most common base mediums are:
- Oil (coconut, olive, etc.)
- Vegetable Glycerin
THC infused butter, also known as cannabutter, is wildly popular amongst weedy foodies because of its versatility. Cannabutter can be used as an ingredient for alfredo sauce just as easy as it can be used to top a stack of steaming flapjacks.
Cakes, pies, pastries, sauces, rues, emulsions, vinaigrettes, guacamole; you name it, it can be jazzed up with cannabutter.
Large batches of THC infused butter can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for a few weeks or the freezer for longer.
THC infused oils share a lot of versatile overlap with cannabutter. You can use your THC infused olive oil in an aioli or hand churn cannabis infused coconut oil into delicious ice cream, the sky is the limit.
Properly stored THC infused oil is shelf stable for months, giving you the option to use it sparingly or as a last-minute substitute.
Vegetable glycerin is most often used as an inert binding agent in marijuana tinctures.
Glycerin-based THC tinctures are supremely versatile and can be a needed substitute for smoking, vaping, or harsh alcohol-based tinctures.
A cannabis tincture applied orally is one of the fastest delivery systems for THC to enter your body. Tinctures also allow users to control dosing more similarly to smoking or vaping.