High cuisine

Some pro tips for newbies on edible medical cannabis

You’ve got your ’script and you’re ready to rush out and order a grocery bag full of quasi-high-end edibles. It’s a great time for medical cannabis patients: New and established companies have flooded the market with candies and cookies and popcorn and pretzels and lemonades and hot chocolate mixes, and it’s a buyer’s market to boot. But for anyone lacking edibles experience beyond that unmarked brownie consumed decades ago at a college party, it’s also a potential minefield of confusion and misuse. That’s why we put together this list of wrist-slapping suggestions for edible rookies.

DO practice micro-dosing. Start small and slowly increase the dosage until you find your level.

DO treat edibles like food. A moldy Rice Krispies treat is a moldy Rice Krispies treat, whether made with weed butter or not.

DON’T get a food that you can’t resist. If you inhale peanuts like an elephant, maybe don’t buy medicinal peanuts.

DO favor cannabis beverages over cannabis edibles if you have digestive issues.

DON’T be in a hurry. Stay patient and give the cannabis time to do its work before you go back for seconds.

DO sample more than just candy and cookies. The future of edibles is savory rather than sweet. The closer we get to full legalization, the higher the scrutiny on an industry that will need to prove it’s not marketing to children.

DON’T leave your edibles where pets and children can get them. Note that many edibles are packaged in a manner similar to their nonmedicinal, store-brand doppelgangers.

DO be self-aware, and know your body, including any food-related allergies. The medicine affects different people in different ways; it’s not the same high as smoking marijuana.

DO trust the brands that you like. It’s great to be adventurous, but if you find a brand that works for you, try its other products rather than label-hopping.

DO read the labels in full, and don’t trust anything that isn’t properly labeled.

DON’T take edibles on an empty stomach. Treat them the same way you would treat a painkiller.

DO make your own. The best way to be sure of what you’re putting in your body is to cook and bake your own edibles. One of the most straightforward recipes is for “cannabutter,” which is a foundational ingredient for everything from pot brownies to jazzing up a baked potato. Using a double boiler or a bowl on top of a pot, fill the bottom with 1-2 inches water. On top, place four sticks butter. Melt slowly. Remove stems and seeds, and measure out 1 to 2 ounces of marijuana (depending on desired strength) and run through food processor or coffee grinder until very fine. Once butter has melted, add marijuana. Simmer on low about 45 minutes, stirring every five minutes. Remove from heat, let sit for 15 minutes, then strain the butter using cheesecloth into a bowl. Once cheesecloth is cool enough, squeeze out remaining butter. Cover and refrigerate until solid. Freeze for up to a month.

DO know your THC limit. Depending on your tolerance, a single dose should be somewhere between 10 and 25 mg of THC. Remember: Smoking tolerance doesn’t equal edible tolerance.

DO set up a safe space for yourself. Prepare your environment for “couch-lock” and enjoy.