Maybe your first introduction to edible weed was gummy treats from a dispensary in Massachusetts. Or, you had a college roommate who would cook up batches of pot brownies. Either way, neither of these are examples of a new way of consuming cannabis. In fact, cannabis edibles have been around for centuries and are enjoyed in places all over the world.
It Started with a Bhang!
One of the earliest references to cannabis consumables goes back to 10th century India. There, people made a drink called bhang from the buds and leaves of cannabis. The herb was ground in a mortar and pestle, then mixed with ghee, milk, sweetener, and spices. Some recipes called for boiling the herbs first, others used them raw.
Cannabis was also ground up and mixed into balls with sugar, water, and fat to make treats called bhang goli. Neither these nor the drink were considered a narcotic. Rather, they were considered medicinal and used as both a sleeping aid and a stimulant to the appetite.
Marijuana Cookery Comes to Europe
By the late 1400s, cannabis had made its way into recipes in Europe, as well. A fifteenth-century Italian cookbook called On Honorable Pleasure and Health contains a recipe for a cannabis-based drink. Here, instructions called for buds to be crushed, then added to oil in an iron pot and heated. The bud would infuse the oil, which was then consumed.
This is closer to modern oil extractions in that it uses heat. Modern cannabis culinary tricks call for heating marijuana as part of or before extraction in order to decarb it and make the cannabinoids more bioavailable. The author of the recipe was doubtless aware of this. They cautioned the reader to “carefully treat food and divide for the stomach and head,” and to “remember everything in excess may be harmful or criminal.”
I Love You Alice B. Toklas
Famed feminist Gertrude Stein spent much of her life with Alice B. Toklas, who was renowned for her cannabis brownies. Friends who were regular recipients of her intoxicating treats included Ernest Hemingway, William S. Burroughs, and Pablo Picasso.
Her recipe, entitled Haschich Fudge, contained no hash at all, and was not properly a brownie. Instead, it contained pulverized cannabis flower, a teaspoon of peppercorns, a whole nutmeg, four sticks of cinnamon, shelled nuts, dried figs, and dates. These were ground together. Add a cup of sugar dissolved in butter, then mix the whole thing together. Divide into balls about the size of a walnut. According to the recipe, this should be consumed with care. Toklas noted that two pieces were quite sufficient.
Marijuana Edibles Today
With the dawn of legalized marijuana and professional dispensaries, cannabis has found its way into all sorts of treats. Cannabis bakeries stock cookies, fig bars, cakes, and granola bars. Other best online weed dispensary put cannabis extracts in everything from sodas to lollipops to lozenges. There are even marijuana cooking classes and restaurants.
Some of the most innovative uses of cannabis in cooking are in savory preparations. Most of these do not require special recipes. Once cannabis has been extracted into oil, the resulting fat can be used just as you’d use it regularly. For instance, if you have a curry recipe that calls for half a cup of ghee, you can use cannabis-infused clarified butter in its place. Cannabis can also be added to coconut oil or olive oil, then used in any dish that calls for them.
There are also a number of cookbooks that have been published over the past few years. Cannabis Cupcakes includes 35 different cupcake recipes, each with dosing instructions so you can ensure that you are making a treat of the intensity that you desire. The well-reviewed Official High Times Cannabis Cookbook contains over 50 recipes that range from appetizers to entrees to cocktails.
As more and more people experiment with the benefits of cannabis, we’ll see it used in more and more dishes. The choices are down to the cook’s imagination, as well as the tolerance of their guests. Those who are interested in adding cannabis to their cookery should chat up their favorite budtender to get a few ideas about the best strains for the foods they are thinking about cooking.