Smoking cannabis is just the tip of the iceberg — once your cannabis has been harvested, you can process it from consumption in many different ways, including infusing it into food and drink.
It may seem that cannabis infusions are just the latest trend, but in actuality, cannabis has been used in food and drink for thousands of years — the earliest recording in history is from 1000 BCE on the Indian subcontinent. While their infusion of choice was bhang lassi (a yogurt-based drink that is still consumed during holidays in India), you can infuse essentially anything you ingest with cannabis.
The enduring popularity of cannabis infusions makes sense. Many people prefer edibles to inhaling cannabis by smoking or vaping. While some may be motivated by certain health concerns that may be present with inhalation, many are attracted to edibles simply because they offer a different effect.
When cannabis is eaten, it passes through the stomach and is metabolized in the liver, where it is converted to 11-hydroxy-THC. This is different than the chemical produced by heating cannabis, called delta-9 THC. By being processed through the liver, the psychoactive effects of cannabis can be far greater. Not only that, its effects can last much longer. You can learn more about the difference between inhaling and ingesting cannabis in our previous article.
If you’re interested in trying a cannabis-infused treat but aren’t sure where to start, here are some of the most popular options.
Cannabis-Infused Baked Goods
There’s a good chance that your first exposure to edible cannabis was through a baked good. “Pot brownies” are saturated in the media, dating back to the 1960s counterculture. However, the world of cannabis-infused baked goods has exploded as medical and recreational cannabis has become legal in a majority of the country. There are now dispensaries that offer everything from chocolate chip cookies to macaroons to baklava, and many individuals are taking infusing their favorite baked goods into their own hands.
If you have a sweet tooth, you may want to take advantage of how easy it is to add cannabis to your baked goods. It begins by processing cannabis into a cannabutter or cannabis-infused oil. Then simply use cannabutter as a substitute for regular butter in your favorite treat. Proceed with caution, however — it can be difficult for novice cannabis infusers to gauge how potent their own creation will be, so follow the Golden Rule of edibles: “Go Low, Start Slow.”
After baked goods, cannabis-infused candies, including gummies, are likely the top edibles sold at dispensaries. These are discreet, potent, and feature your favorite fruit flavors. On top of that, they offer an interesting advantage: you can receive your dose two ways. When you eat cannabis gummies, your liver metabolizes it in the same manner as described above, but you can also start by sucking on it and absorbing the cannabinoids directly into the bloodstream through the mucous membranes under your tongue. This means that you may feel the effects of these candies quicker than other cannabis confections.
That being said, store-bought candies are generally full of additives and artificial ingredients that more health-conscious consumers may want to avoid. Fortunately, making cannabis-infused gummies at home is a lot easier than you may think. Try this recipe from ColoradoPotGuide.com, or contact us to learn more about our process.
Everyone loves chocolate, so it’s only natural that so many choose to pair this confection with cannabis. There is no end to the different forms your cannabis-infused chocolate can take. From candy bars to truffles to hot chocolate, you have a cornucopia of cannabis chocolate options before you.
Much like gummies, the ingredients list of dispensary-bought chocolates can turn off many cannabis enthusiasts. If you’re interested in making your own cannabis chocolate at home, you have many options. We recommend trying this tasty chocolate truffle recipe from Leafly.
Cannabis-Infused Coffee or Tea
If you love coffee and cannabis, it’s likely occurred to you to bring the two together. This is certainly true for many people, as cannabis coffee shops have become all the rage in many legal states. The way these two substances affect each other hasn’t been heavily researched yet, but plenty of anecdotal evidence suggests that a cup of canna coffee may enhance the THC high or elevate mental clarity. Regardless, if you’re interested in trying this combination, it’s rather simple — add cannabis-infused oil or butter in the style of bulletproof coffee. You can also create this same effect with your favorite flavor of tea.
If you have never combined caffeine and cannabis, it’s best to be cautious. Start with a small cup and if feel any negative effects, a different cannabis infusion may be more in line with your needs.
Interested in learning more about the home grow process and how to make your own edibles? As a cannabis cultivation service in Massachusetts, we are happy to use our wealth of knowledge to further expand the cannabis-growing community. Feel free to peruse our Learn page for more information, or reach out to us with specific questions.