Cooking with Cannabis

By WeedMain 7 months ago LifeStyles

Cooking with Cannabis

Culinary Cannabis – What is it?

Culinary Cannabis is exactly as it sounds – cannabis-infused foods. While edibles aren’t anything new, the recent legalization of cannabis in many states in the US has led to new and experimental ways of consuming cannabis. Culinary cannabis extends far past foods like brownies and gummy bears; there are cannabis beverages that are rising to become direct competition with recreational alcohol like beer and wine.

 Culinary cannabis is also being used in dishes like pasta to bring another dimension to your typical Thursday night dinner. In fact, according to the Institute of Food Technologists, the global market for culinary cannabis was valued at approximately $8.4 billion in 2017 and will grow more than 25% to reach approximately $25.7 billion by 2022.[1]

 Just a few years ago, the cannabis food industry was an underground taboo, and is now budding to become one of the highest-profiting industries across the globe. Since the legalization of cannabis across many states, several major food corporations have also begun exploring ways to become involved in what is sure to become a highly profitable production.

 According to the Institute of Food Technologists, approximately $1 billion was invested into cannabis-infused food and drink in 2017, across the United States and Canada. Majority of this spending was on candy and chocolate.[2] I guess you can say the industry can be expected to hit the jack pot!

 While edibles certainly aren’t a new invention, cannabis becoming more mainstream and accepted has led to an entirely new movement of cannabis-infused foods. Long gone are the days of making your own THC oil or butter, soon enough cannabis will be right next to alcohol on store shelves across the United States.

Cooking with Cannabis.

Cooking with Cannabis.

Chefs

 [1] Cannabis edibles shake up the food industry. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.ift.org/news-and-publications/blog/2019/march/cannabis-edibles-shake-up-the-food-industry

 [2] Cannabis edibles shake up the food industry. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.ift.org/news-and-publications/blog/2019/march/cannabis-edibles-shake-up-the-food-industry

Cannabis brownies baked in your kitchen with, let’s be honest, WAY too much THC, are in the past. Chefs are beginning to experiment with cannabis in their cooking, to offer more of a variety in their restaurants. Soon enough you won’t have to bring your own homemade cookies or rice squares to your next movie night, because you’ll be enjoying a delicious One-Pot Pasta at your neighbourhood Italian joint.

 If you live in West Hollywood, you might be interested in checking out the Original Cannabis Café! The café gives patrons the opportunity to try cannabis in a safe and controlled environment, so it’s ideal for newbies and seasoned bud-tenders alike. While they are currently closed due to COVID-19, they do have plans to reopen as soon as they can.

Chef Cooking

Chef Cooking

Chefs & Stigma

So, we all know that cannabis is highly stigmatized – it has been for years. Even though cannabis is slowly being legalized in many states, the legalization is still too new to have any direct effect on the stigma that is attached to cannabis. The question stands, what can we do to destigmatize cannabis? After all, it’s safe to use and comes with a number of – somewhat unofficial – medical benefits. All we have to do is incorporate cannabis in our daily lives. Does that mean everyone should head out to the store and buy a bong? No, of course not! But the idea of the stoner with no life goals, sitting in their parent’s basement, smoking from morning to evening, needs a bit of a refresh… to say the least.

 Unsurprisingly, cannabis is more highly stigmatized in countries that have stricter laws surrounding it’s usage. This is why cannabis is still so stigmatized across the United States today.[3] Unfortunately, legality and stigma go hand-in-hand, which is why the process of having cannabis legalized can be so long-winded.

 Chefs are doing a lot to battle the stigma surrounding cannabis by experimenting with and serving cannabis-infused foods in their restaurants. Stigma comes with association, so if we begin to associate cannabis with Michelin Star restaurants, it will slowly become more acceptable to enjoy cannabis when you need to relax

[3] Earlenbaugh, E. (2020, December 30). Study finds cannabis stigma is higher in countries with more punitive cannabis laws. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/emilyearlenbaugh/2021/12/30/study-finds-cannabis-stigma-is-higher-in-countries-with-more-punitive-cannabis-laws/?sh=7b44e6fb7830

similar to how sipping a glass of wine after work is accepted as the “standard” for unwinding after a hectic day.

 Of course, this doesn’t mean that edibles can legally be sold across the country, so don’t expect to see a Cannabis Culinary Arts Establishment around every corner just yet. If cannabis is legal in your area but you can’t seem to find any restaurants around, a number of professional and highly-skilled chefs have YouTube channels where you can experiment with more than just baked goods. Grab your best buds and get cooking!

THC or CBD?

Did you know that cannabis has over 100 different chemical compounds? [4] Only two of these compounds – CBD and THC – are found in chemicals. CBD is known and used mainly for its calming characteristics and pain management, while THC is the psychoactive that people refer to when they talk about cannabis.

Both THC and CBD are found in edibles, though some contain more of one than the other. When you’re purchasing pre-made edibles, check the packaging for the dosage, and know your needs.  

Checking the ratio of THC and CBD in your edibles is key to a positive experience, too high of a THC dosage for a beginner will often lead to negative side effects like vomiting and paranoia, while too low of a THC dosage for someone who’s been using cannabis for years will lead to feeling less than satisfied with the edibles.

Cannabis Leaves

Cannabis Leaves

Is Potency Affected Over Time?

Whether you’re consuming regular food, or food with a little extra… kick, you will have to abide by expiry dates and best before dates. But how are you supposed to know when your edibles are no longer potent, and you won’t get the desired affect? It’s actually simple – a food product with cannabis in it will have about the same shelf life as it regularly would without cannabis.

For instance, foods that you have to refrigerate will last about the same amount of time with cannabis in them. Similarly, desserts with cannabis will last about as long as you regularly expect them to.

[5] Cannabis edibles shake up the food industry. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.ift.org/news-and-publications/blog/2019/march/cannabis-edibles-shake-up-the-food-industry

Okay, it’s time for the important stuff. Interestingly enough, edibles do not lose their potency over time.  Does this mean that they’re safe to eat after months of being stored away? Probably not. As desperate as you might be to kick up your feet with some edibles and relax after a stressful day of work, you’re better off making an extra stop on your way home. Digging up old edibles from the back of your fridge may result in typical food poisoning. Our advice? Enjoy those edibles in a timely manner!  

Dosage

It’s no secret that your homemade edibles are basically a free-for-all, but is there a dosage that you should be abiding by when making your own baked goods? The short answer is “yes”! With edibles, it’s easy to overconsume cannabis, which can cause some pretty unpleasant side effects, and ruin the night for everyone.

 Ultimately, just like with anything else, dosage depends on the individual. Similar to alcohol, people have different tolerance levels. Just because your friend can eat a full homemade brownie and not feel a thing, does not mean that you’ll be able to consume the same amount.

 So, where should a beginner start? Anywhere from 1-2.5mg of THC will be safe for the beginner. As someone new to cannabis, you’ll feel mild symptoms without being overwhelmed by the psychoactive effects of THC. Of course, people who are well-aware of their THC limitations might also be interested in micro dosing with a low dose of 1-2.5mg.

Strawberry's and Chocolate

Strawberry's and Chocolate

Is Cannabis in Food Regulated?

Edible cannabis regulation varies by state. In most places, there are a number of roadblocks limiting the regulation of edibles. One of the main challenges, however, is figuring out how to determine the correct dosage of CBD and THC to include in food products.

Ultimately, regulation depends on your State. Keep yourself informed on the legality of purchasing and selling edibles.

Benefits of Consuming Regulated Edibles

While it may be slightly more expensive, consuming edibles that have been tested for THC dosage is a safer way to enjoy your night. Consuming too much THC can lead to some nasty side-effects, and while we’re no doctors, we’re pretty sure that this isn’t something you want to experience.

Consuming regulated edibles is a great way to experiment with THC. Smoking isn’t for everyone and can be a pretty big turn-off when you’re a newbie. However, there is a bit of a risk for people new to cannabis because unlike smoking, edibles can take anywhere from thirty minutes to a few hours to begin working, which means it can be easy to take too much.

Newbie Tips

When you’re planning on trying your first edible, here are some things to consider:

1.     Try edibles with an equal ratio of THC and CBD.

2.     Start with 1-2mg of THC.

3.     If you’re purchasing edibles, make sure they are regulated and well-labeled.

4.     Even if you haven’t felt the desired effects within 1-2 hours, do not consume more edibles. They can really sneak up on you!

 When making edibles, it’s important to know your cannabis and what you’re putting in your body. Using a higher THC dosage means that you’ll experience those psychoactive effects. If you’re looking for something more calming, or to help you manage pain, you’ll want a higher dosage of CBD.

 You can use a combination of THC and CBD – but it’s important to be aware of what each cannabinoid causes. If you’re trying an edible, or even cannabis, for the first time, make sure you’re around people who you can trust to help you out if your high expectations weren’t met.

Making your own Edibles

Even with the growing popularity of cannabis-infused food, some people still like to do it the old-fashioned way by baking their own edibles at home.  With the popularity of edibles rising as cannabis becomes legalized across a number of states, you’ll be able to find some new recipes to try out online – it’s time to take a break from those overdone brownies and cook a high-quality meal for yourself with… a special ingredient to give your meal that extra touch. We do not think we need to say this, but please do not feed cannabis-infused food to anyone without first receiving their consent.

Chocolate and Berry's

Chocolate and Berry's

Conclusion

Culinary cannabis is on the rise, and something that we can certainly expect to see more of in the coming years. As cannabis is legalized in different states, and even different countries, we will begin to see a high number of edibles being offered in stores and restaurants.

Culinary cannabis might also be the answer to ending the stigma surrounding cannabis usage across the United States. While most of us are all too familiar with the stereotypical user, it’s time to acknowledge that cannabis can and does exist in different spaces. Associating cannabis with high-quality dining will, ultimately, help in destigmatizing the psychoactive.

People who are new to the world of cannabis should use discretion when trying edibles for the first time. Edibles do not always come into effect right away, sometimes it can take up to a couple of hours before feeling the desired effects, so it’s easy to overconsume cannabis in this state. For your own safety, make sure you check the THC content prior to using, and do not eat more if you don’t feel the effects right away. Keeping these tips in mind will help you have a more enjoyable culinary cannabis experience.

The interest in the cannabis industry is undeniably growing like a weed, so we can expect the future to see cannabis being treated similarly to alcohol.

Pot on Stove Cooking.

Pot on Stove Cooking.

Resources

https://www.sciencedirect.com/sdfe/pdf/download/eid/1-s2.0-S2214799318301929/first-page-pdf

https://www.ift.org/news-and-publications/blog/2019/march/cannabis-edibles-shake-up-the-food-industry

https://www.foodandwine.com/news/guide-culinary-cannabis

https://www.evergreenorganix.com/cannabis-blog/2019/5/21/old-cannabis-edibles-do-they-go-bad-or-lose-potency

 

 Photo Sources (in order that they appear)

Lisa Fotios from Pexels

Sebastian Coman Photography from Pexels

Michael Fischer from Pexels

Lisa Fotios from Pexels

Ella Olsson from Pexels

Cottonbro from Pexels


[1] Cannabis edibles shake up the food industry. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.ift.org/news-and-publications/blog/2019/march/cannabis-edibles-shake-up-the-food-industry

 

[2] Cannabis edibles shake up the food industry. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.ift.org/news-and-publications/blog/2019/march/cannabis-edibles-shake-up-the-food-industry

 

[3] Earlenbaugh, E. (2020, December 30). Study finds cannabis stigma is higher in countries with more punitive cannabis laws. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/emilyearlenbaugh/2021/12/30/study-finds-cannabis-stigma-is-higher-in-countries-with-more-punitive-cannabis-laws/?sh=7b44e6fb7830

 

[4] Cannabis edibles shake up the food industry. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.ift.org/news-and-publications/blog/2019/march/cannabis-edibles-shake-up-the-food-industry

 



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