Feed Your Head: A Pot-Infused Edibles Primer

BY ED MURRIETA
PHOTOS BY KURT HEGRE

“Edibles” refers to a category of medical marijuana products and ingredients that are eaten for therapeutic benefit. Cannabinods in marijuana provide their greatest benefits when they enter your body’s blood stream and are processed through your liver.

The effects of eating marijuana are different from the effects of smoking marijuana. Depending on the potency of the source material — the marijuana itself that’s infused into foods like oil, butter, honey, chocolate and milk — the effects of edibles can range from mild euphoria to narcotic nap time, generally more of a “body high” than a “head high.” Edibles made with hashish, a concentrated form of marijuana, can be more potent and their effects may be longer-lasting and may come in waves.

Some people who eat marijuana-infused foods report “not feeling anything.” There can be a couple of explanations for this: Some strains of marijuana have properties that soothe a person’s body without “messing with their head.” Also, some people metabolize food faster — before the cannabinods can kick in.

If you medicate with edibles, it’s recommended that you start slowly. Don’t eat the whole candy bar or drink the whole soda. Try a fourth of the serving size, wait an hour and gauge the effects. Consume more of the edible as necessary.

Some edibiles are marketed by dosage, others by the milligram content, by volume, of cannabis. There are currently no industry standards.

Unfortunately as well, most edibles are shy on label information. While most list ingredients, many fail disclose the strain of cannabis in the edibles or to distinguish between use of marijuana or hashish in a product. Read labels and ask questions of dispensary staff.

Here’s a selection of edibles photographed recently at one dispensary, All About Wellness in Midtown Sacramento.

FATS AND SWEETNERS

 

 

CANNABIS OIL

 

CANNABIS BUTTER

 

 

 

CANNABIS HONEY

 

CHOCOLATE AND CANDY

 

 

CANNABIS CHOCOLATE

 

 

 

CANNABIS LOLLIPOP

 

 

 

CANNABIS CANDY

 

POTENT POTABLES

 

 

CANNABIS TINCTURE

 

 

 

CANNABIS SODA AND JUICE

 

 

 

CANNABIS TEA

 

SWEET TREATS

 

 

CANNABIS CARAMEL CORN

 

 

 

CANNABIS ICE CREAM

 

 

 

CANNABIS PRETZEL STICK

 

CANNABIS OIL

Marijuana is slowly infused into olive oil at a low temperature for a prolonged period, bonding cananbinoids in the marijuana with lipids in the fat. (Crock Pots are popular and reliable for this task). Some edibles makers package their oil in gel capsules that can be be swallowed like vitamins and other supplements. Cannabis-infused oil is also available in bottles. Use cannabis olive oil as you would traditional olive oil in any cooking application, paying attention, of course, to dosage information on the bottles. Put a teaspoon or two in your salad dressing. Cook an omelet in cannabis oil. Cannabis-infused olive oil can even be used as a topical rubbing oil on your body.

 

CANNABIS BUTTER

Another Crock Pot creation — marijuana, butter, a little water set on low heat for a long time — cannabis-infused butter is the backbone of brownies, cookies, krispy treats and it even serves as the thickener in the barbecue sauces and hot sauces sold at some dispensaries. You can cook and bake with cannabis butter, spread cannabis butter on a bagel, fry an egg in cannabis butter, and pretty much do anything with cannabis butter that you can do with plain ol’ butter.

 

CANNABIS SWEETNERS

Like edibles makers do with butter and oil, they infuse marijuana into natural sweeteners like honey and agave nectar. The result is sweetly floral in the way that the wildflowers and herbs accent non-medicated honey and agave nectar. As with their non-medicated counterparts, cannabis-infused agave nectar has a lower glycemic index than honey, which makes it a more healthful alternative for diabetics. Also on the market, but untested in Pot Appetit’s cannabis kitchen, are sugar cubes formed from granulated white sugar that’s been treated with cannabis-infused glycerin.

 

CANNABIS TEA

Tea is nothing but plant leaf, whether it’s High Tea with proper ladies or cannabis-infused tea sold at medical marijuana dispensaries. Inside cannabis-infused tea bags you’ll find blends of marijuana leaf, marijuana flower and a range of flavors you’ll recognize from traditional tea-bag teas. Available clearly marked in indica and sativa strains. Think of indica tea as sleepy-time tea. Sativa tea can be an uplifting morning cuppa. Either strain should be steeped with little some dairy milk or soy milk so the therapeutic cannabinoids in the tea can be extracted to their fullest potency potential.

CANNABIS TINCTURE

The cannabinoids from marijuana that are infused into fats like oil and butter are extracted with alcohol to make tincture. Let the alcohol evaporate and you have a non-alcoholic cannabis tincture. Some tinctures are extracted with vegetable glycerin. Available in various flavors, from coconut to watermelon. Sub-lingual consumption of cannabis is one of the fastest and most effective ways of medicating with marijuana. Try a few drops under your tongue. Put a few drops in coffee or tea. Some tintures are packaged in atomizer bottles so you use them ad throat sprays or even topical sprays.

 

CANNABIS SODA POP, FRUIT JUICES 

Soda pop and fruit juice drinks may be made with cannabis infused into vegetable glycerin, others are made with hashish oil, a concentrated and highly potent form of marijuana, but many products don’t disclose ingredients. Soda flavors range from cola to ginger ale to wacky fruit flavors. Non-carbonated fruit juice blends or “tonics” are also availalbe. There’s also a granulated drink mix product on the market; just add water. Most of these drinks are sold with the recommendation to drink a third or half of a bottle per dose.

CANNABIS CHOCOLATE

Chocolate is popular edible medium for carrying cannabinoids through the body’s bloodstream. Not only does it taste good — it’s chocolate! — but the cocoa butter in the chocolate plays the same processing role that fats like oil or butter do. Marketed by various manufactures in milk and dark chocolate varieties. One popular brand, Bhang (pictured), infuses its chocolate with marijuana flowers. To cover the floral taste that some people find unpleasant, Bhang flavors some of its bars with things like salty pretzels and spicy chile. Another chocolate bar, the locally made SensiBar, infuses its chocolate with hashish crystals that are virtually indistinguishable in the bar’s flavor.

CANNABIS LOLLIPOPS

How may licks does it take to get to the center of your medicine? Pop a lollipop in your mouth and find out. Some hard candies on sticks are made with cannabis-infused vegetable glycerin, others with hashish. Flavors include all the usual candy suspects.

CANNABIS LOZENGES

Like lollipops, small lozenges are made for slow-release sucking, releasing medicine sublingually. Some hard lozenges are made with cannabis-infused vegetable glycerin, others with hashish. Soft, chewable gummies (pictured) most often include hashish.

CANNABIS CARAMEL CORN

Cannabis-infused caramel — made with cannabis butter, generally, but cannabis-infused honey or cannabis-infused agave nectar may also be used — coats the popcorn.

CANNABIS ICE CREAM

Cannabis is infused into milk (dairy milk or soy milk, depending) and the marijuana milk is used to make the custard base that’s spun into ice cream. Flavors include mint-chocolate chip and rocky road.

CANNABIS PRETZEL STICK

There are many hippie-looking treats on dispesaries’ shelves, including this pretzel stick coated with chocolate and crumbled cannabis-infused hard candy.

 

This article published in the Sacramento Bee’s special section on medical cannabis.¬†

Subscribe / Share

Article by Ed

Authors bio is coming up shortly.

Leave a Reply