Marijuana in the Mix: The Effect of Pairing Foods With Cannabis

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If you use marijuana for recreational or medical purposes, you now have many exciting options. This is great news, especially if you don’t like to smoke. Although many people still prefer to inhale weed, there’s another way to get the effects and benefits of cannabis.

By now, you’ve probably heard of or even consumed edibles. These food products come pre-made and prepackaged. While there are several different types, the two most loved options are brownies and gummies. However, if you shop at a reputable store or dispensary, you’ll find a nice assortment of edibles.

Cooking With Cannabis

You can cook with marijuana. Depending on the type or blend, as well as the flavour, if any, you can add weed to salads and smoothies. You can also make homemade soups and stews or add cannabis to a chicken, beef, or pork dish. Honestly, there are endless possibilities.

Now that marijuana is legal in Canada and 33 of the U.S. states, an increasing number of people are using it for one reason or another. That’s prompted both large and small cannabis companies to come up with new ideas. After all, they want to make sure their customers have a nice variety, so they come back time and time again.

Since a lot of people cook with marijuana, some question whether that has an impact on how it works. For instance, does it change the flavour of the food? Even more importantly, do the effects diminish or disappear altogether? This topic comes up quite often. So, with the information provided, you’ll gain a better understanding of what happens when pairing cannabis with food.

Buying the Right Type of Cannabis

For starters, you want to purchase the right type of marijuana based on the outcome you want to achieve. For instance, weed with a high percentage of terpenes is what produces the euphoric effect that initially made it popular. However, a high percentage of cannabinoids is what yields medicinal benefits. That includes pain relief, reduced inflammation, and more.

So, when visiting a head shop or dispensary, explain to a knowledgeable employee what you’re buying marijuana for and how you plan to use it. Based on that information, the individual can recommend several possibilities.

The other thing to remember is that you always want to buy weed from a trusted source. In other words, go to a place that sells it legally. Also, even if you plan to cook with cannabis, you want to select the best quality available. Some people claim that marijuana makes food taste better, while others say they don’t notice a huge difference.

Regardless, when added to food, it will still provide an effect. Simply put, cooking with it doesn’t necessarily diminish its potency, although it can. For a fantastic recipe, the right type of marijuana and a product that’s superior quality is always the best way to go.

Many individuals who like to pair marijuana with food choose a strain with a terpene concentration between 3 and 5 percent. That’s the compound that produces a “high.” When cooking with cannabis for medical reasons, you’ll want an even higher concentration of cannabinoids.

Typically, the best route is to buy marijuana with a mixture of terpenes and cannabinoids. Also, remember that you can pair weed with food other than using it as an ingredient. For example, some people like to vape as they dine.

Buying the Right Type of Cannabis

A Little Bit of Science

Smoking or vaping cannabis causes a person’s blood sugar level to drop. As a result, they feel hungry. This is why after using pot, a lot of people develop the “munchies.” From a scientific standpoint, when blood sugar decreases, the body automatically signals that it needs more energy. So, the individual wants something to eat.

Here’s the interesting part. Most often, people who smoke or vape marijuana crave sweet foods. That’s the body’s attempt to increase the blood sugar level. Unfortunately, turning to sugary food does reduce the quality of the compounds in cannabis. That means the effect is not as strong as if a person turned to a non-sweet snack.

When cooking with marijuana, keep that in mind. If you want to add it to a dessert such as cake, pie, cookies, or brownies, it won’t have the same potency. Because of that, you can choose a cannabis product with a higher percentage of terpenes or cannabinoids to compensate.

In comparison, the effect of marijuana isn’t as drastic when adding it to main or side dishes. Again, this is where an experienced professional at a head shop or dispensary can provide a wealth of information and guidance.

Tips for Pairing Weed With Food

If you prefer to use marijuana in recipes as an ingredient, you’ll find these tips helpful.


When visiting a head shop or dispensary, you’ll see three primary types of marijuana strains. These are indica, sativa, and hybrid. 

  • Indica – This cannabis hails from the Hindu Kush Mountains in India. It produces a calming and relaxing effect on the mind and body.
  • Sativa – This marijuana strain is the opposite of indica, meaning it has more of an energizing effect.
  • Hybrid – In this case, cannabis is a combination of indica and sativa.

Usually, people don’t have any issue with any of the three strains. However, there is the potential of experiencing an adverse reaction. Common symptoms include dizziness, dry eyes, and dry mouth. This is why selecting the right strain and potency is so important.

Along with strains, you’ll find that marijuana falls within one of the following three categories. 

  • Isolate – An isolate product consists of extracted, decarboxylated, and distilled oil. When done, it’s 99 percent pure cannabinoid.
  • Broad-spectrum – As for the broad-spectrum option, this has a significant complement of phytochemicals but without THC. While it might help to produce a sense of relaxation, you won’t get high.
  • Full-spectrum – Due to the extraction process, this cannabis has the highest level of beneficial phytochemicals, which includes THC. 

Cannabis Flavour

Cannabis Flavour

Because of the increasing demand for more options, professionals in the marijuana industry have developed a huge assortment of flavours. Examples include mango, chocolate mint, orange, blackberry, and much more. At the same time, even unflavoured cannabis has a distinct taste.

Whether you buy marijuana in its natural form or choose a flavoured product, make sure you get something that’ll work with whatever you plan to cook. If you want to make brownies, something like mint chocolate is ideal or a sour-flavoured product. However, if you plan to add marijuana to a soup recipe, that particular flavour would prove disastrous.

Say you decided to make baked chicken that contained marijuana. For that type of dish, you might consider a medium natural flavour or an orange-flavoured product. Especially for an Asian dish, cannabis would enhance the recipe’s overall taste.

You can do the same thing with vaping. If this is how you want to pair marijuana with food, a sour oil works great with sweet foods. On the other hand, try a fruitier flavoured cannabis oil when making citrus or fruit-based dishes.

Many people who vape to complement food rather than cook with it say that not only does marijuana enhance the food’s flavour but also its texture. For whatever reason, they find chewing their food a more pleasurable experience.

If you plan to have friends over for a night of watching a game on TV, you could set out a cheese and cracker platter. For this, vaping works well. For any of the soft cheeses, floral cannabis is a perfect pairing.

Remember, the sky’s the limit when pairing marijuana with food. The following are just a few things to try.

  • Fresh Spinach Salad With Strawberries – You can make this light and healthy lunch even better by pairing it with a berry-flavoured hybrid.
  • Chocolate Chip Cookies – Everyone loves these cookies, especially right out of the oven. If you add cannabis to a sweet recipe, remember two things. First, you could choose a sweet-flavoured marijuana product, but, often, sour is better. Second, pairing cannabis with something sweet will diminish the effect to some degree regardless if you’re making the cookies to achieve a euphoric effect or as a health benefit.
  • Hawaiian Pizza – While not everyone’s a fan of Hawaiian pizza, if this is something you like, buy pineapple-flavoured marijuana.

Here are a few additional recommendations:

  • Fish, Fruit, and Greens – For these three food items, you’ll never go wrong choosing one of the many citrusy strains.
  • Fish and Meat Curing – To prepare a fabulous meal, try curing either fish or meat with a menthol strain.
  • Yogurt – No matter the flavour of yogurt that you like the best, blueberry or black raspberry-flavoured marijuana takes your yogurt to another level of enjoyment.
  • Tomato Soup – Once the weather starts to turn colder, there’s nothing better than a hot bowl of tomato soup. As for pairing it with marijuana, the cookies and cream flavour is fantastic. You’re probably shaking your head in disbelief, but this is actually an amazing combination. Hey, don’t knock it until you try it.

Cannabis Taste

Know What to Expect

Whether you want to cook with marijuana or vape oil to go along with a meal, make sure you know the effect of the product before you buy it. 

The last thing you want is to use the wrong strain only for all your guests to fall asleep in the middle of an important sporting event on television. Sure, they might feel relaxed when they wake up, but they probably won’t come to your house for another get-together.

Trial and Error

Seldom does anyone get marijuana pairing with food right the first time, whether using it in recipes or vaping oil. So, anticipate going through a period of trial and error. Now, if you spend a lot of time in the kitchen, you likely have a good sense of the flavours that work.

Follow the advice of the individual at the head shop or dispensary where you purchased cannabis and rely on your cooking experience. When making grilled salmon, go with zesty lemon-flavoured marijuana. That combined with the herbs and spices you already use and you’ll end up creating a masterpiece.

The other thing to factor in is the smell of cannabis. Some products are mild, while others have an incredibly strong odour. Although some of the smell might dissipate during the cooking process, that’s not a guarantee. 

Pairing Marijuana With Beverages

Along with using marijuana as an ingredient in many dishes and vaping it to complement a meal, you can also pair it with beverages. As stated, many people enjoy putting cannabis in smoothies. However, weed typically pairs the best with drinks that contain alcohol.

In this case, you need to be even more selective when buying marijuana. After all, the alcohol produces an effect just as with cannabis. As a good rule of thumb, when sipping on a strong or high alcohol content beverage, reduce the potency of the weed. On the other hand, when drinking a mild alcoholic beverage, you could go up in potency.

For most people, alcoholic beverages make them feel sleepy. So, if you enjoy a cocktail before bed to help your mind and body relax, pair it with an indica strain. That way, you’ll have an amazing night’s sleep.

Pairing Marijuana With Beverages

What It All Adds Up To

When using cannabis for cooking, always choose a quality product that complements the dish. Turn to a reputable source where you can get professional assistance if needed. Also, don’t feel nervous about experimenting. If you prefer to vape concentrated oil to go with food, you’ll quickly find the flavour, aroma, and effect that you want.

As a final note, remember to pay attention to the strain of the marijuana, so choose the right one based on the effect you want to achieve. For more great ideas of food pairing with weed, you can search online. Not only will you find even more useful information but also a slew of incredible recipes.

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