Although many people associate marijuana with smoking, not everyone wants — or is able to — smoke. For those people, edibles are an option.
Marijuana edibles aren’t simply a baked treat with some weed tossed in the batter, though. Although the idea of “weed brownies” may be common in movies (and they are actually quite popular) adding marijuana to food is as much a science as baking itself. Adding the right amount of the right weed strain is key to achieving the results you want. In fact, because ingesting marijuana this way creates a much stronger, longer-lasting high than smoking, getting it right is especially important.
So where do you begin? The first step is selecting the right strain for your edible treat.
Indica vs. Sativa
One of the first steps to choosing the perfect marijuana strain for your edibles is to understand the difference between indica and sativa. In general, indica strains are known for their sedative and relaxing effects, while sativa is associated with euphoria and energy. That said, the lines between the different types have been blurred thanks to crossbreeding, and other aspects of the marijuana, including the terpenes, flavonoids, and cannabinoids also influence its effects on the user. Toss in the differences between different users and their own endocannabinoid systems, and the specific effects of any given strain can vary considerably.
That said, your preferences for indica or sativa, and the general characteristics of all the different types of weed strains, are a good place to start when selecting the right option for your edibles. For most people, the effects of any strain in an edible will be similar, if more intense, than the effects of smoking. If you have a preference for a specific strain for smoking, you’ll likely enjoy the effects of an edible made with the same strain.
Effective Cooking with Cannabis
It’s worth noting that cooking with cannabis, and having good results, is as much about the method of cooking as the strain you use. Although when you purchase edibles at a local dispensary, the dosage possible in each “serving” is limited by law, and the experience is likely to be consistent with every gummy, cookie, or brownie you consume, cooking at home is different.
For starters, you don’t have the same limitations on dosage when baking at home, and you can control the potency. That said, it can be challenging to ensure an even dosage throughout the batch of edibles. This means that a brownie from one corner of a pan can be more or less potent than one from the other side. For that reason, it’s typically recommended, especially for beginning cooks, to use cannabis oil or butter made from your selected strain to ensure that the THC is mixed as evenly as possible throughout the batch, ensuring a consistent experience. Keep in mind that the strain you select can also affect the flavor of the finished product, so choosing the right one is important.
The Best Strains to Use
Although any weed strain can be used in edibles, some work better than others in creating specific responses.
If you prefer indica, and you’re looking for an edible for relaxation or to help you sleep, some of the best options include Skywalker, Bubba Kush, and Sherbet Queen. Skywalker in particular is a very potent indica strain that’s well-known for promoting sleep and eliminating anxiety and worry. It has a strong smell when smoked, but adds a sweet, fruity taste to edibles. Bubba Kush is also known for its sedative effects, thanks to its high concentration of essential oils. This makes it a good choice for cannabutters.
Sherbet Queen is another indica strain that induces relaxation, but it’s slightly less potent than the others. It’s known for creating a relaxing high that still allows you to be productive. That said, if you want more energy from your edibles, a sativa hybrid strain is a good bet. Popular opinions include Trainwreck, a lemon-and-spice flavored strain that helps relieve pain while creating a happy high, and White Widow. White Widow is one of the most common and well-known strains, creating a pine-scented aroma when smoked. It adds a very distinct pine-tinged or earthy taste to edibles, and is very powerful. A word of caution about White Widow: When the edibles are strong, they can make you very sleepy.
If you prefer a straight sativa experience, some good options are Tangie, Lemon Haze, and Sour Diesel, both of which add a slight citrusy flavor to edibles along with a euphoric and refreshing high.
As with any cannabi product, it may take some experimentation to find the perfect strain for your edibles and determine which ones you prefer. Start off slowly and increase potency and dosage as you go, and eventually you’ll hit on the perfect combination for your needs.