Did you know you can eat weed? As more states legalize marijuana for medical or recreational use, consumers are emerging as curious cannabis explorers – looking to achieve the best high in ways the illegal market often could not meet.
While typical users may have smoked a joint or hit a bong in the past, legalization in both medical and recreational cannabis markets has provided a creative outlet for both producers and consumers, filled with edibles and other unique infused products.
No longer do we have to inhale marijuana to experience its effects; you can eat weed, drink it, or even apply it to your skin with a full effect spectrum.
Breaking Down the Weed Edible
Typically, the suggestion of a weed edible brings up ideas of brownies or cookies and other sweet treats, but it doesn’t take a dietitian to see those are foods not well suited for eating regularly. Luckily, advancements in the human understanding of marijuana and investment in emerging cannabis extraction technology have transformed how you can eat weed.
Combined with the perception of marijuana’s harm falling in the US, more people are willing to try the plant, vitalizing the edibles industry from the tried-and-true cannabutter to Co2 oil capsules, for example. As patients and consumers adjust to the realities of legalization, the only thing limiting consumption is imagination.
In hopes to inspire some excellent cannabis creations you can consume in your own life, here are five of the best ways you can eat weed.
As a tincture
Tinctures have been used to deliver medicine for hundreds of years. Tinctures can be easily added to almost any food or drink and can be made to pack some potency.
Typically, tinctures are made by extracting the active compounds, known as cannabinoids, from the marijuana plant with alcohol. A tincture can be mixed with a syrup or flavor and it can be placed under the tongue or added directly to foods. Splash some into your coffee, tea, juice or mix it in with pancake syrup. Even add it to soups or salads. It’s up to you!
As a herb
You can eat weed without extracting it into a tincture or otherwise processing it by putting the fresh bud through a process of ‘decarboxylation’. Decarbing, as it’s known, transforms the non-psychoactive THC-A into the psychoactive THC, allowing the chemical better access through the blood brain barrier. The process is simple:
- Estimate how much weed you will be using.
- Grind it up.
- Place into an oven safe container and cover
- Place container into over at 275 degrees Fahrenheit (107.2 degrees Celsius) for 20 minutes
- Enjoy your psychoactive herb!
If you plan on using the herb directly on salads or as a pizza garnish, it may require you continue decarbing the weed for an additional 10 minutes (total of 30 minutes). You can also eat the weed by cooking it with a baked dish, such as lasagna, or as a seasoning with stir fry or mashed potatoes – no additional decarb time required!
Extracted into butter
Cannabinoids are fantastic little chemicals able to interact with the endocannabinoid system in the body. The endocannabinoid system functions within the brain as well as the nervous and immune systems.
Oddly, however, unlike most other drugs – including caffeine – cannabinoids are lipid soluble. Lipid solubility has to do with how much of a chemical binds to fat cells. It’s the reason weed use can take as much as 30-days to be out of your system and why home extraction techniques for edibles often involve a fatty product like butter.
Butter is an ultra fatty substance made from cream and milk which has nearly endless uses. It can be spread on toast, melted over noodles, used in recipes, and much more. You can eat weed butter with pan-fried lamb or roasted asparagus, or whatever you may otherwise enjoy.
Click here for a comprehensive look at how to make cannabutter.
Extracted into oil
For the same reason you can eat weed extracted into butter (aka high-fat content), you can also extract marijuana into an oil. Olive oil, sesame oil, vegetable oil, and coconut oil are among the most commonly used for cannabis-infused oil. Coconut oil, due to the high amounts of saturated fats, is an excellent vehicle to transport cannabinoids into your body.
You can easily extract decarbed weed into an oil by placing an amount of decarbed weed (determined by you) into a crock pot set just around 225 degrees Fahrenheit for four to six hours. Once extracted into the oil, you can make salad dressings and sauces easily or use it to pan fry your favorites.
As a distillate
Cannabis distillate is the purest extraction form cannabis science has been able to isolate, often reaching over 90% potency (with some testing at 99%).
The process of creating cannabis distillate requires several extractions to occur before being separated by weight and melting point. Since the process requires the extraction to go through a stage of heating, much like the process of decarboxylation, the final cannabis distillate is active. THC distillate is a sort of thick, sappy goo. It is scentless, with a distinct yet mild flavor. It can be applied to the gums of the mouth, added to foods, shakes, and ice cream, or even blended into your favorite smoothies.
As the marijuana industry continues to gain traction across the US and research about CBD and other plant compounds further highlight potential health and medical benefits, knowing the various ways you can eat weed leaves the experience purely to your consumption imagination.
By Joey Wells