Using hemp and cannabis as an ingredient in dishes can be intimidating. You may not know where to start, what you need to start, or what you can get out of infused recipes. If you’re a vegan consumer, the list of fears can be even more daunting. For example, why is it so hard to find vegan edibles in dispensaries? Does everything need to have cannabutter in it? How much knowledge does crafting vegan cannabis cuisine need?
As a cannabis and plant-based PR firm, we’re here to help make your experience in the kitchen as enjoyable as possible. Follow these tips to get started. You’ll be whipping up vegan cannabis brownies in no time!
1. Choose Your Adventure
If you’re new to cooking with hemp and cannabis, it’s important to think about what you hope to gain from the activity. Are you hoping to cut down your trips to the dispensaries and become your own edible supplier? Are you looking for a customized high that you have complete control of? Are you looking for a new ingredient to inspire you in the kitchen? Or seeking to take advantage of a variety of health benefits?
Whatever the reason might be, it’s a good idea to flesh out your curiosities and create a game plan that will help you achieve your end goal.
2. Understanding Infusion
While you don’t need a library of knowledge to get into baking, it does help to learn some basics. An infusion, in this case, is any product that contains hemp or cannabis as an active ingredient. Hemp infusions have a calming effect and can reduce pain and anxiety. Cannabis infusions have an intoxicating effect, and provide an alternative to smoking or vaporizing.
There is a myriad of ways to create infusions. Buy ingredients such as “hemp milk” and “cannabutter” or make them from scratch. Hemp milk is plant-based and made from only two ingredients, hemp seeds, and water. Decarboxylated cannabis and butter create cannabutter. Decarboxylation activates THC in cannabis, and it can be done by baking your cannabis in the oven before you add it to your butter, or better yet with a specialized product like Ardent Cannabis’ Nova Decarboxylator. Make the cannabutter vegan by using your favorite plant-based butter.
If you want to make things even easier on yourself, purchase cannabis or hemp oil and add it to whatever you make, like any cooking/baking oil!
3. Think About Dosage
The effects of infused products are potent and long-lasting. This is because the active ingredient (THC or CBD) is digested rather than inhaled. The “dosage” of a product refers to how much of the active ingredient it contains. While it can be tempting to “wing it” when dosing a dish, a lack of planning could result in a product that is either way too potent or has no effect at all. We measure THC and CBD doses in milligrams. The dosage tells us how many milligrams of active ingredients are in a product.
A common dosage is 10 milligrams of active ingredient per serving. However, if you are looking to microdose you could begin with as little as 2.5 milligrams of active ingredient per serving. Whatever effect you are going for, the best advice is to start low and work your way up. You can always consume more of your dish, but there is not much you can do about a dose that is too high.
It is also a good move to consider what you’re going to do after consuming your infused dish. Looking to have a little fun while working from home this summer? Try out a microdose! Want to hang out and listen to music? Go for something a little more intense!
Remember to measure out your active ingredient, and always be aware of how much you’re consuming.
4. Get Creative
Cooking with hemp or cannabis can be so much more than just brownies! A recipe doesn’t have to be hemp or cannabis-specific to be infused: You can add THC and CBD to any of your favorite recipes, including beverages. You can even try making a whole meal out of it like our very own writer, Kelly, did with her Hemp Lentil Soup. Simply use plant-based butter to make it vegan.
Whatever your taste in food is, chances are you can add hemp or cannabis to it to make it even better. So hop on over to the kitchen, and whether the result is a culinary masterpiece or a learning opportunity, remember to take the basics with you and have fun with your high cuisine!