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Guide to Pairing Food with Medical Cannabis

  • Food and cannabis can be combined to achieve a wide variety of health and wellness goals.
  • Edibles are one of the simplest ways to experience the healing properties of marijuana without having to smoke. Plus, edibles make dosing simple and consistent.
  • Cannabis can also be paired with specific foods to help patients achieve nutritional goals.

Are edibles legal in Louisiana (TeleLeaf’s home state)? If you have a recommendation for medical marijuana, the answer is yes.

However, edibles aren’t your only option if you’re looking to combine cannabis with food products. In today’s cannabis market—which offers countless distinct products—it’s never been easier to pair your favorite medical marijuana products with food.

Ready to refine your cannabis menu? Let’s dive into cannabis culinary considerations to help you parse your options.

Cannabis Edibles: A Straightforward Food Option

Whether you’re using cannabis for anxiety or another health condition, edibles are one of the simplest ways to dose precisely and discreetly. Let’s touch on two options for patients looking to take the edible route.

Pre-Made Edibles

Once you get a provider’s recommendation for medical marijuana, you can visit a dispensary (or, if you’re in Louisiana, a pharmacy) to browse products—including edibles.

Three of the most popular edible products on today’s market are:

medical marijuana edible candies

  • Candies – Gummies, chews, and other candies are widely popular among cannabis patients. They’re precisely dosed and easy to cut into small pieces if you’re still fine-tuning your treatment approach.
  • Baked goods – While pot brownies are a long-time fixture in cannabis culture, manufacturers have honed in on processing and dosing to offer a variety of cannabis-infused baked goods. Like candies, these are precisely dosed and easy to portion.
  • Beverages – Your dispensary may also offer cannabis-infused beverages, from soothing teas to energy drinks.

As we’ve mentioned, precision is one of the main benefits of dispensary-grade edibles. Gone are the days of blindly popping a black market weed brownie and hoping for the best (or preparing to fend off the green-out). Today’s dispensary products are lab-tested and labeled; patients always know what they’re getting, and they can be confident that dispensary-grade products are safe.

Homemade Edibles

Speaking of black market brownies, you might be familiar with homemade edibles—after all, the cannabis community has been finding creative ways to infuse their favorite foods with marijuana for generations.

Luckily, with today’s dispensary products, there’s a better way to make edibles at home.

You can even refine your dosage by:

  • Using pre-made oils – Purchasing liquid extractions directly from the dispensary instead of making them yourself can help you precisely add cannabinoid isolates to your favorite recipes.
  • Measuring your ingredients carefully – Read your product labels closely to get a feel for how much product you should add to your edible batch.
  • Portioning precisely – If you’re making cookies from cannabis-infused dough, count how many cookies you’ve made with your batch. Then, divide your total cannabis oil volume by the number of cookies to calculate the dose for each individual cookie. For instance, if you added 100 mg of THC to your entire bowl of dough and your recipe made 10 cookies, each cookie likely contains about 10 mg of THC.

Reaching Nutritional Goals with Cannabis

Any conversation about food and cannabis would be incomplete without mentioning overall nutrition. Contrary to popular belief (and contrary to common media portrayals of “the munchies”), patients can use medical marijuana to achieve their dietary goals. Let’s touch on a few common benchmarks for cannabis patients.

Weight Gain or Calorie Maintenance

You might be looking to gain weight or maintain a healthy calorie intake if you’re:

Luckily, medical cannabis is one of the best tools in your arsenal for gaining weight or maintaining a healthy weight. Since some strains of cannabis can stimulate your appetite (i.e., give you “the munchies”), you can choose your product and time your dosing precisely to help you achieve your macronutrient goals.

Weight Loss

While you might not associate cannabis use with weight loss (because of prolific portrayals of the munchies), many patients use cannabis to meet nutritional goals on their weight loss journeys, too.

What does that look like?

  • Cannabis as a complement to pharmaceuticals – If you have type 2 diabetes, you may be trying to lose weight with prescription formulas like GLP-1 agonists—drugs like Ozempic, Wegovy, and Mounjaro. While these drugs can help you lose weight, side effects like nausea can lead to malnutrition. Cannabis can actually relieve nausea, helping you get the nutrients you need without sacrificing your weight loss plan.
  • Stimulating nutritious snacking – Some strains of cannabis can induce the munchies. But what if you used the munchies to your advantage as a motivator for healthy eating? Keeping tasty, nutritious snacks in the house (like frozen blueberries, crisp salads, fruit popsicles, and pre-cut veggies) will give you something hearty to munch on when your appetite is stimulated.

Adhering to a Restrictive Diet

Just like patients looking to lose weight can combine the power of the munchies with healthy snacks to meet their goals, patients adhering to restrictive diets can take a similar approach.

If you’ve recently been diagnosed with a severe food allergy (like Celiac disease or lactose intolerance) or you’re trying to identify food sensitivities via an elimination diet (like Whole30), you may be:

  • Feeling unenthusiastic about eating – Changing your lifestyle to accommodate food sensitivity isn’t easy—especially if you have to cut back on former favorite foods.
  • Missing out on critical nutrients – In the face of elimination diets and modified eating patterns, you might not have a clear approach to meeting your nutritional needs yet.

Medical cannabis can help you combat both: By using the munchies to your advantage, you can stimulate your appetite, and you might even find yourself embracing foods you weren’t previously excited to add to your diet.

Considerations for Culinary Approaches

What else should medical cannabis patients know about food and marijuana? Let’s touch on two key considerations: dose timing and unconventional culinary applications.

Timing is Key

Whether you’re trying to overcome a nutritional challenge or manage a mental health condition, timing your medical cannabis dose correctly is paramount.

And, when you’re using edibles as your primary administration method, timing can be complicated:

  • Edibles take time to kick in – Unlike smoking and vaping (which offer fast onset of effects), ingesting medical cannabis produces slow results. So, you might have to wait up to an hour for your edible to “kick in.”
  • Timelines vary widely between products – Since different edible products contain unique cannabinoid formulas, time to onset can vary from product to product. If you recently switched to a new gummy brand, you might not feel the effects as quickly as you did when using your last brand—or they might kick in sooner.
  • Every patient is different – It’s difficult to say how quickly your edible product of choice will kick in; everyone responds differently to cannabis. The best approach to refining your timing is experimentation.

Unconventional Edibles

Since cannabis isolate extracts (like THC and CBD oils) are available in today’s dispensaries, you’re not limited to premade edible products. While we’ve touched on making your own baked goods with cannabis extracts, don’t forget about another popular option: adding cannabis to savory dishes.

While you may have to whip out the calculator or experiment to refine your dosing, you can add cannabis oils to just about anything to reap their healing effects. Enjoying some popcorn before bed? Combine your cannabis oil with melted butter to enhance your salty snack. Making a salad for lunch before your midday nap? Add cannabis oil to your vinaigrette recipe.

Cannabis oil offers myriad creative opportunities for today’s culinary innovators. Don’t be afraid to create new recipes that will supplement your healing journey.

TeleLeaf Connects Patients with Cannabis Care

Cannabis and culinary applications have a long history—and today’s patients have more opportunities than ever before to use cannabis foods to meet their wellness goals. But the ideas above are just the tip of the iceberg.

If you’re looking to learn more about the role medical cannabis could play in your life, schedule an appointment with a cannabis healthcare provider at TeleLeaf. Our clinicians are experts on the medical applications of cannabis, and they can help you gain access to dispensaries and pharmacies in your area with a medical marijuana card.

Ready to take the first step on your healing journey? Start the medical card process now.


Sources: 

Flower Power Botanicals. What Are Marijuana Edibles and Their Types? Everything You Need to Know.
https://flowerpowerbotanicals.com/what-are-marijuana-edibles-and-their-types/

The Cannabis Reader. Cannabis-Infused Energy Drinks: A New Buzz in the Beverage Industry.
https://thecannabisreader.com/en/blog/cannabis-infused-energy-drinks-a-new-buzz-in-the-beverage-industry-131.htm

Cleveland Clinic. GLP-1 Agonists.
https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/treatments/13901-glp-1-agonists

University of New Mexico. Cannabis offers immediate relief from symptoms of nausea, but product use matters.
https://news.unm.edu/news/cannabis-offers-mmediate-relief-from-symptoms-of-nausea-but-product-use-matters

Celiac Disease Foundation. What Is Celiac Disease?
https://celiac.org/about-celiac-disease/what-is-celiac-disease/

Cleveland Clinic. Should You Try the Whole30 Diet?
https://health.clevelandclinic.org/whole30-diet

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