Now that cannabis has been legalized in over half the states in the U.S., experimenting with edibles and finding new delicious treats to disguise the flavor of cannabis is at an all-time high. That means we have more options than just brownies now more than ever – and we even come packed with some tips to make the most out of your experience.
To make your experience the positive, best experience it can be, here are a series of tips before we get into the foods that pair well with edibles. These will help you make your experience with edibles overall go off without a hitch.
Decide your intentions ahead of time
Are you preparing edibles for medicinal use as a treatment, or are you trying to have a fun time? If you intend to use the edibles as a medicine, keep in mind the dosage amount when you consume them. You don’t want waves of paranoia when you just meant to relieve some of your chronic pain. No one wants to have a bad trip, especially when it comes to cannabis. On the other hand, if your intentions are to feel high, test out potencies beforehand so that you know what your limits are.
Patience is key
It’s okay to have a low tolerance. Remember that edibles can take a couple of hours to kick in sometimes, so don’t take more than you need to because you think you’re not feeling it yet. As frustrating as it can be, the best thing to do is to be patient and try to move on to another task where you can forget you’ve eaten the edibles – that’s the easiest way for them to kick in when you least expect it. The golden rule of edibles? Start low and go slow.
Get familiar with microdoses
A microdose is the lowest dosage of cannabis you need before feeling its desired effects. For example, if you have oil drops, also known as cannabis tincture, you can drip that onto gummies, into your preferred beverage, or into other foods to get a precise dose. You get more control performing microdoses like this and can explore which foods pair well with edibles for your personal taste buds.
Understand the beauty of terpenes
When cannabis is smoked, the cannabinoid receptors in the brain respond to the THC and CBD cannabinoids from the plant. Whenever cannabis is consumed as an edible, though, the hundreds of therapeutic compounds that make up the beautifully complex plant are all working interactively to provide a magnified, expanded experience and a greater medicinal impact.
This synergy of working together is also known as the “entourage effect,” which is simply the idea that the whole cannabis plant is greater than the sum of its parts. So, for example, there are terpenes in the foods you’re eating with the cannabis that interact with the terpenes in the plant, which can further enhance your high.
Foods that pair well with edibles
There are two categories for types of foods that pair well with edibles:
- Foods that can best disguise the taste of cannabis.
- Foods that complement the taste of cannabis.
- Foods that enhance your high on edibles.
Other than true cannabis connoisseurs, most edible users lean towards foods that can better disguise the taste of cannabis more than complement it, which is why we’ll mostly focus on that type of edible. We’ll also follow up with the foods that can enhance your high on edibles, though, as those can work as the perfect munchies to stretch your high even longer. There are many sub-categories when it comes to foods that can disguise the taste, which we’ll dive into first.
Keep in mind that if you’re cooking with homemade cannabutter or oil, you will have that herbal taste of cannabis because it is full-spectrum (it has all the cannabinoids, terpenes, and other plant compounds). However, you can buy isolate oil that won’t have that earthy taste.
Foods that best disguise the taste of cannabis
Chocolates and caramels
On the opposite end of the spectrum, over on the sweet side, chocolate’s complexity and bitterness can balance out the overwhelming flavor from certain cannabis concentrates. Chocolate blends well with cannabis, but adding texture like chopped nuts, fruits, chocolate chips, and more can add complexity to the edible and further disguise the flavor. Yes, this is exactly the reason brownies are the classic go-to edible!
Likewise, creamy caramels and even rosemary caramels can do an excellent job of hiding the cannabis flavor in the pool of other flavors. In addition, caramel sauce can be made with canna-butter, providing an excellent route for edibles for people who may not have the most expert candy-making skills.
Spicy dishes like curries
Dishes with spice, from ginger to curry, work well to cancel out the earthy flavor from cannabis. This opens a world of options, from ginger molasses cookies to herbal tomato soup and everything in between. These also often have higher fat content, which helps your high (more on that later), and complementary terpenes to masks and enhance the flavor!
Foods that best complement the taste of cannabis
Fatty foods like cheese, mayo and butter
Potatoes, mac and cheese, cheesy dips, aioli, and other fatty or oily foods are perfect vessels for a cannabis experience. You can replace the oil or butter in the dishes with canna-butter/canna-oil. Fatty foods can increase the high from edibles, as well as help to hide that earthy flavor. If you want to go the extra mile, add some additional herbs and seasonings to further disguise the taste of cannabis. As cannabis is an herb with an earthy flavor, combining it with other earthy herbs like thyme and rosemary can accent it perfectly.
Herb-heavy dishes with basil, lavender, lemon or pepper!
Because cannabis contains the same compounds that make different herbs smell the way they do (limonene = lemons, linalool = lavender, ocimene = basil), this is something you can use to your advantage when pairing food with cannabis. Try to identify the major terpene of the cannabis you have – usually found on a label, or use your nose – and pair the food together. For example, a cannabutter made from a strain like Sour Diesel with lots of lemon notes will pair great with greek lemon potatoes! An extract made from a linalool heavy strain like Do-Si-Dos might pair great in a caramel sauce for lavender ice cream. Get creative and pair your herbs and seasonings with your strains!
Foods that enhance the high of edibles (How you make edibles stronger)
As mentioned, there are foods that pair well with cannabis because they enhance your high on edibles. While you can turn many of these foods into edibles themselves, they also work as the perfect munchies to keep the high going even longer. This is thanks to their natural terpene content. Here are the usual suspects:
There is a high level of myrcene terpenes found in mangoes, which works with the THC cannabinoid to enhance the psychoactive effect of the plant. The cannabinoid receptors in the brain bind with THC and the myrcene terpenes to make your high last longer as well as hit faster and stronger. You can achieve the best experience if you consume an edible and then consume a mango thirty minutes to an hour after eating the edible.
Green and black tea
Like mangoes, the compounds in black and green tea bind with the receptors in the brain that are already responding to THC, stimulating relaxation and feelings of peace. Drinking green or black tea before ingesting your edibles is a good way to increase the potency and duration of your high. You can also look at infused teas if you want to get your THC in at the same time!
While it may not enhance the high, consuming broccoli in tune with edibles can work in tandem with the cannabinoid receptors in the brain to reduce physical pain and inflammation.
There are new edible recipes every day, more wild and easy to disguise the flavors you don’t want to taste like the last. As more states legalize the plant, we’re left with the knowledge of how to have a positive, safe experience on edibles and how to make sure you’re never going over your limit. Using these tips and tricks, you have the information to make the most potent, best edibles possible for you and how to make the most out of your experience.