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From chef dinners to doughnuts: Edibles are popular, but look before you leap

For many newcomers to the 420 lifestyle — now that it’s legal — cannabis means edibles. From candies and teas to wine and chef-led cannabis dinners, the high-curious are making a beeline to weed-eats.

You can actually see the trend at dispensaries. Where pre-legalization was mostly about high-potency flowers and flowers aimed at medical users, edible products — especially in micro-dosed levels from weensy 5 or 10mg amounts — are taking over shelf space. Couples nervously walk into dispensaries and head directly for the edibles with giggles and curiosity as budtenders walk through a dizzying array of products.

Garden Society gelees are infused with a microdose of cannabis.

Garden Society gelees are infused with a microdose of cannabis.

Cannabis-infused wine and beer are real things, and chefs in legal states are hosting quiet cannabis dinners (it’s technically illegal) using infused olive oils, canna-butters, cannabis leaves and concentrates.

It’s a lot to take in. But is it actually a good idea? It totally depends…

1. Do you like the flavor of cannabis?

For all the talk of cannabis pairings and “terpene” pairings, the food is going to taste like marijuana. I’ve yet to eat a single product infused with cannabis that doesn’t taste like, um, cannabis. Some are more masked, some are downright disgusting. If you haven’t tried it, the flavor is pretty much what it smells like: Grassy, funky and skunky, no matter what kind of sugary coating or special sauce you slather it in.

An Instagram post from @opulentchef, Michael Magallanes

2. Does the chef or edible maker actually know what they’re doing?

Most edibles sold in dispensaries, thankfully, are highly regulated. You can’t buy more than 100mg unless you’re a medical patient (and hopefully more adapted to cannabis). The pitfall of lesser-quality edibles is poor disbursement, meaning one bite may have no THC, and another may send you to the moon.

When it comes to cannabis meals, most cannabis-savvy chefs stick to using high CBD or non-decarboxylized (a fancy word for non-psychoactive) cannabis like fan leaves or ice hash. Tastes like weed, but won’t get you high. It’s also popular to pair joints with courses — a sweet orange Tangie with shortcake and whipped cream, Blue Dream with a blueberry salad. Real cannabis chefs take a very light hand with infusing anything with too much THC. Bad cannabis chefs will leave you on the floor drooling.

3. Where is the cannabis being sourced?

Edibles are often made with “trim”, or the leftover plant material after the flowers are trimmed for sale. If the trim is full of pesticides or other nasty stuff, you’re eating that. Ick.

4. Are you willing to endure a six-hour bad trip?

Eating cannabis is very different than smoking it. Very. You probably won’t feel anything after ingesting for 20 to 45 minutes — it’s easy to keep ingesting thinking you’re “not feeling anything”. If things go awry there’s very little you can do other than hold on tight.

A dinner menu with cannabis pairings from cannabis chef Michael Magallanes

5. How much are you actually ingesting?

Most commercially sold edibles are required to state how many milligrams are in each serving. Time of day, how much you’ve eaten, your state before ingesting can all have an impact on how you respond. If you don’t know, go slow and don’t be a hero. It’s not about the high, but the journey.

Learn more about cannabis chefs:

SF Cannaisseur Series

Opulent Chef

Experience At A Cannabis Dinner

420 Foodie Club

Top 10 Cannabis Chefs

Edibles Magazine

Local Edibles:

Solful

Mercy Wellness

SPARC

OrganiCann