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Whether you do, don't or occasionally consider smoking pot, one thing that has become a serious trend is cooking with the drug, as more and more people are discovering innovative ways to use cannabis to get their high.
Fortunately, things have progressed beyond those weed brownies that we all secretly ate in college.
That's why we wanted to get the sticky icky details from experts in the cannabis industry about what we need to know when mixing weed with food, so we interviewed Elise McDonough, Edibles Editor for High Times, Shauntel Ludwig, Director of Sales and Marketing for Da Vinci Vaporizers, and Anthony Franciosi, Founder of Honest Marijuana to give us the definitive guide to cooking with weed.
What's The Golden Rule When Cooking With Cannabis?
McDonough: "The Golden Rule when cooking with cannabis at home is always "Go Low and Slow." Simmer your cannabis into butter or oil at a low temperature for a long time to achieve an effective infusion that will activate the maximum amount of THC in your weed.
Franciosi: "As important as preciseness is to the cooking/measuring process, it's especially important to hit the right ratio of cannabis to butter/oil when cooking."
Briefly Describe The Process Of Using Weed For Cooking?
Ludwig: "Cannabis has to be cooked and combined with an oil or butter to extract the psychoactive effects. In order to create the butter or oil one can utilize the whole flower, or for those that are being thrifty, they can use ABV or already been vaped cannabis. A crockpot on low heat works great to create these butters."
McDonough: "The psychoactive THC in cannabis will migrate to the fat in butter or oils when simmered together at low temperatures. Toasting your cannabis in an oven at 240 degrees Fahrenheit for 40 minutes before simmering in melted butter or oil for 20 to 30 minutes allows for effective THC activation. Then you would strain the cannabis plant matter out of the infusion and use the butter or oil in recipes."
OK, Give Us A Basic Recipe We Can Try At Home As A Beginner
Franciosi: "I've always enjoyed Herb's 'Special Brownies'."
Ludwig: "I've always enjoyed the Joy of Cooking's pancake recipe—it's simple and delicious."
What Effects Should People Be Aware Or Concerned Of?
Ludwig: "The effects of consuming edibles are much different than smoking, more of a full body experience. One of the most important things to remember is that effects take a while to kick in, and you cannot un-eat what you ate."
McDonough: "Cannabis takes at least two hours to be processed by your digestive system, so it's important to start with a very small amount and wait for two hour to fully feel the effects before ingesting more cannabis...Every individual reacts to edible cannabis differently depending on fitness level, diet, and metabolism, so do not base your dose on the amount a friend can tolerate."
Franciosi: "The high that comes from consuming edibles can be stronger, yet subtler, than the high you get from smoking cannabis, so people should be as precise as possible when cooking."
We've Gotten Drunk On Weed-Infused Wine Before And It REALLY Messed Us Up. Any Ideas Why It Felt So Trippy?
Ludwig: "There haven't been many, if any, major studies done on the psychoactive impact of cannabis-infused wine, but I find it unlikely that the effect produced by consuming cannabis-infused wine would be wildly different from consuming cannabis and wine in the same sitting."
McDonough: "Consuming cannabis and alcohol together tends to magnify the effects of each substance, so I only recommend that practice for experienced users. Trying cannabis foods for the first time while already intoxicated on alcohol is a rookie mistake that leads to the spins and intense nausea, so I advise people to stick to one substance at a time."
Along That Same Topic, Are There Some Foods/Drink That Absorb Weed Better Than Others?
Ludwig: "Coconut oil binds better to cannabinoids and tends to be stronger than butter."
McDonough: "Any food or drink that has a high fat content will absorb THC effectively...As far as the flavor of cannabis, I find it works much better in savory applications compared to culturally traditional desserts like brownies. Cannabis-infused fondue or queso dip is a great way to ingest THC that actually tastes amazing!"
What's Your Favorite Thing To Mix Cannabis Into While Cooking?
McDonough: "I personally love cannabis-infused pestos, chimichurri sauces and savory dips. Cannabis-infused condiments such as ketchup, BBQ sauce and dulce de leche sauces make it easy to add cannabis to whatever you might be cooking already, as well as adding flexible options for friends who do not want to imbibe."
Ludwig: "I made an amazing fettucine alfredo with cannabis! That's got to be my favorite."
Franciosi: "Most people that enjoy cannabis-infused foods have graduated from the brownie stage, but I haven't! Brownies are still my favorite form of edibles."
So, whether you're a beginner or someone whose been cooking with cannabis for awhile and just want some new advice, take these tips to the kitchen with you and get to it—and take your cuisine to a whole new level.