Now that cannabis is legal in many states across the country, there are a few companies stepping up to the plate with healthier edible options, but for the most part the industry is saturated with gummies, cookies, fudge, lollipops, chocolate, and anything else that’s loaded with sugars and/or sweetener. This is not ideal for those who intend to control their weight. Things are improving, though, and there are many in the cannabis community who are very concerned about general health & wellness.
Although it may be hard to find healthy edibles at your local dispensary, it is 100% possible to make them at home. The recipes included in this article will help you learn how to incorporate cannabis into your healthy lifestyle.
Remember, in most states, you’ll need a medical marijuana card to purchase ready-made edibles or the marijuana to make your own. Leafwell can help you get certified today!
Make Canna Oil or Butter
Before you get started, it is a good idea for you to check out our thorough instructions on how to make cannabis infused oil or butter and that you learn how to dose edibles properly. Keep in mind that a key component of making healthy marijuana infused food is making less potent canna oil, so that you can incorporate it into the foods that you are already eating and not have to worry about over-consumption. Think about being able to eat an entire serving of granola for breakfast rather than eating half a brownie.
With Medical Cannabis, Start Low, Go Slow
Always remember to use caution when consuming edibles, as It is easy to take too much and have a very unpleasant experience. It is a good idea to start at a low dose and work your way up. It takes time for the active compounds in cannabis (THC, CBD, etc.) to take effect when they are being absorbed through your digestive tract, so it is important that you wait at least two hours before taking more. It is also worth remembering that, when THC passes through the liver, it becomes more potent.
Now that we have that out of the way, let’s take a look at some of the ways cannabis can be infused into healthy food options.
Marijuana-Infused Salad Dressing
This certainly has to be one of the healthiest options to start including canna oil in your diet. You can easily whip up this recipe and enjoy it with any mixed salad. You will need:
- 3/4 cup cannabis infused olive oil or avocado oil
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp oregano
- Salt and pepper to taste
Simply combine ingredients in a bowl and whisk together before serving over your favorite salad. It’s a good idea to measure how much you are using, so that you can keep track of the effects and dose. Dressing can be kept refrigerated for up to two weeks.
Wake and Bake Granola
If you like to consume first thing in the morning, fuel up on this healthy and nutritious granola that will get your day started right. It also makes a great afternoon snack to keep you going. Ingredients include:
- 4 cups old-fashioned oats
- 1 cup nuts of choice – almonds, pecans, walnuts, and cashews are all great options
- Optional: add a spoonful of hemp seeds for an extra omega-3 and nutrition boost.
- ½ cup pepitas
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ cup infused, melted coconut oil
- ½ cup honey
- ½ cup dried fruit
Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit and preparing a large pan lined with parchment paper.
In a large bowl combine oats, nuts, pepitas, salt, and cinnamon; mix well. Add in vanilla extract, infused oil, and honey. Mix until completely combined.
Pour mixture onto a lined baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool completely before mixing in dried fruit. Enjoy!
How to Make Cannabis Oil & Cannabutter
Before you can start cooking with cannabis, you’ll need to learn how to make (or where to buy) cannabis oil or cannabutter.
The easiest option (and the most accurate for dosing) is to use ready made oil or butter that has been tested for potency per serving. Unfortunately, these can be exceptionally hard to find even among the many Boulder and Denver recreational dispensaries.
That means you’ll need to make your own cannabis oil or cannabutter.
Tip: Some kief cooks prefer to use marijuana flower directly in their recipes. While that method can work if the recipe also includes butter or oil to extract the cannabinoids and terpenoids, it introduces additional variables that can reduce the strength of your finished product (or spread out the cannabinoids less evenly).
Cannabis Oil [Recipe]
Before you can make cannabis oil you’ll need a few ingredients… namely cannabis and cooking oil.
You’ll need 1 cup of cooking oil for every 1 cup of marijuana flower. Depending on the density of the bud you’re using, 1 cup of ground-up flower is about 1-2 ounces.
Alternately (and my favorite), you can use CO2 cannabis oil in place of flower. You can replace 1 ounce of flower with 2-6 grams of cannabis oil.
Not only does this remove a few steps (grinding and straining the plant material), but it also removes chlorophyll from your finished product.
Of course, you can scale this recipe down if you only have a few grams of bud or if you want a milder finished product.
Step 1: Grind the cannabis (but not to a fine powder)
Step 2: Combine 1 cup of your chosen cooking oil for every 1 cup of cannabis flower (or 2-6 grams of THC/CBD hash oil).
Step 3: Place the cooking oil and cannabis mixture in a slow cooker on low heat—no higher than 240-245 degrees—for about 6-8 hours (stirring occasionally). This activates the THC in the flower without burning it—a process called decarboxylation.
If you don’t have a slow cooker or double broiler, you can use a saucepan—the oil will be ready in just 3 hours, but you’ll need to stir frequently to avoid scorching.
It’s also worth noting that many DIY cannachefs prefer to let their cannabis oil simmer longer to extract more cannabinoids.
Step 4: Strain the oil through a cheesecloth-lined strainer into a heat-resistant container to filter out remaining plant matter. You won’t need to strain if you used THC or CBD oil in place of flower.
Storing the Oil: You can store cannabis cooking oil for more than two months (and longer in the fridge).
Cannabis Butter [Recipe]
Making cannabis butter is just as easy as making your own cannabis oil. Well, it has a few more steps. But they’re all easy ones! And knowing how to make your own cannabutter opens up a LOT of delicious recipes.
To start, you’ll need about 4 sticks of butter for every ounce of weed (adjust to taste), a cheesecloth, and a strainer.
As a somewhat lazy chef, I prefer to use about 4 grams of CO2 cannabis oil in place of one ounce of flower. It eliminates several time-consuming steps, including decarbing and straining. It also removes chlorophyll and finely ground plant material from your finished product (without needing a strainer or cheesecloth) for a more flavorful cannabutter.
Step 1: Decarb your weed. If you’re using CO2 cannabis oil instead of flower, you can skip to Step 2.
– Preheat your oven to 240 degrees.
– Place the cannabis plant material on a baking sheet in a single layer.
– Heat the cannabis for 40 minutes—rotate a few times for even heating.
When you’re done, the weed should be dry enough to crumble.
Step 2: Melt the butter in about 1 1/2 – 2 inches of boiling water. This will keep the marijuana (when it’s added in the next step) off the floor of the pan and help avoid burning.
Step 3: When the butter melts completely, add the marijuana flower or oil. Turn down the heat to a very low simmer to avoid burning the bud. Let the marijuana butter cook for about 3-4 hours until the top of the mix turns thick and glossy.
Step 4: Place a layer or two of cheesecloth over the top of the container and secure it in place with a piece of string, tape, or a rubber band. Now strain the marijuana butter into a large storage container. When you’re done, grab the cheesecloth by the corners and give it a gentle squeeze to get any remaining butter.
You won’t need to do this if you’re using kush oil instead of flower.
Step 5: Place the strained butter in the fridge for about an hour to let it cool. As the butter cools, the cannabis-infused portion will rise to the top and form a solid layer.
Step 6: Scrape off the solid layer of butter with a knife then flip the butter to scrape off any remaining water.
Storing the Butter: Your cannabis butter should last as long as any other butter. Just pop a lid on the container and toss it in the fridge.