Cannabis-infused treats are no longer limited to your pan of pot brownies made from a box mix. Nope, edibles are all grown up, and they have good taste. Even Ruhlman is weighing in on how to cook with cannabis.
In 2014 legal marijuana sales in the US came in at an estimated $2.6 billion. That number is estimated to reach $8.2 billion by 2018. A big part of that number will be due to edibles. In Colorado (the first of four states to legalize the recreational use of marijuana), edibles are a major part of the cannabis market, accounting for 50% or more of sales at some retail shops.
The quality and variety of edibles available on the market has grown by leaps and bounds. At the Emerald Cup hosted last month in Santa Rosa, we saw everything from cannabis infused cotton candy to medicated creme brulee. When we walked the expo hall at the Marijuana Business Conference, there were times when we could easily have been at the Fancy Food Show, checking out booths of artisanal sodas and fair trade chocolate. Times have changed, edibles are more sophisticated than ever before, and with the growing focus on lab testing, products that are rising to the top are those that can deliver accurate and consistent dosing.
It’s not surprising that cannabis patients in the Bay Area have their choice of delicious ways to medicate. We are a food-loving, food-obsessed tribe, who care about what we eat and how it tastes, and from the looks of it, edibles producers have taken note. So, if you are looking to medicate with the delicious in mind, look no further:
KIVA Confections, Chocolate Bars
(180 mg per bar, 45 mg per square)
The first thing we noticed about KIVA’s chocolate bars was how darn pretty they are! Their aesthetic is spot on — polished and contemporary, one of these chocolate bars would be right at home on the shelf at Whole Foods. Judge this book by its cover, because the chocolate inside that trendy kraft packaging tastes as good as it looks. Added bonus, each chocolate bar is segmented into four squares to make dosing easier. The chocolate comes in a variety of flavors like Vanilla Chai Milk Chocolate or Tangerine Dark Chocolate.
We’re also big fans of KIVA’s Terra Bites, chocolate covered espresso beans. Each bean is approximately 5 mg of THC, so this is a particularly great option for beginners looking for a low dose product.
Auntie Dolores, Glazed Pecans
(100 mg per pouch, 3-5 mg per pecan)
Auntie Dolores is all about “The Every Day Edible” because sometimes, you don’t necessarily want a rich, decadent calorie bomb. Sometimes you want something snack-y and savory. Or maybe you’re looking for a gluten-free or vegan option. This is where Auntie Dolores shines with products like savory pretzels, spiced nuts, and crackers. We particularly adore their Glazed Pecans. Lightly sweetened with coconut sugar and kicked up with a touch of white balsamic vinegar, chipotle powder, and cayenne, these glazed nuts are totally addictive. Eat them on their own, or go the extra healthy mile and throw them on a salad.
Madame Munchie, Macarons
(100 mg per box, 20 mg per macaron)
Medicated. Macarons. Yes, this exists! In true Cali-locavore form, these gorgeous hand-crafted macarons are made from local and organic ingredients. See what I did there? I just used about four foodie buzz words to describe a cannabis company. Madame Munchie’s Artisanal Cannabis Macarons come in foodie-approved flavors like Citrus à l’amande, made with almond butter and topped with orange zest, and Grilled PB&J, complete with darling grill marks and all.
They are almost too beautiful to eat, but trust us, you’ll be glad you did. If only all medicine came in the form of macarons.
Beezle’s Creamery, Ice Cream Push Pops
(50 mg per pop)
Cannabis-infused ice cream, could there be anything more delightful? The push pop container is a brilliant method of dispensing Beezle’s Creamery's dreamy organic ice cream. The line features fun flavors like Buttered + Toasted, a peanut butter cream with Cinnamon Toast Crunch, and vegan options like Gone Bananers, a banana “ice cream” with nut and seed butter.
SweetLeaf, CBD Extract Oils & Tinctures
We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the burgeoning interest in high CBD products as more studies are showing the great potential of this non-psychoactive cannabinoid in treating numerous ailments. SweetLeaf offers oils and tinctures in three CBD-to-THC ratios (20:1, 3:1, and 1:1) each targeting certain conditions. SweetLeaf patients are successfully using these extracts for everything from neurological disorders like epilepsy (20:1) to auto-immune diseases like Multiple Sclerosis (3:1) to pain relief (1:1). You can add the oils or tinctures to the tasty beverage or food of your choice, or you can enjoy one of SweetLeaf’s CBD-rich edibles. Sriracha Kale Chips, anyone?
As cannabis consumption becomes less taboo and as more research is done on the medicinal benefits of the plant, there’s no doubt that this is an industry just itching to stretch its legs. Especially when it comes to edibles, education and titration are key to an enjoyable and safe experience.
Start Low, Go Slow...and enjoy the ride.