Since some 30 or so states have legalized recreational or medicinal marijuana, a growing number of canna-curious people are gobbling up new edibles to improve their health—not to get high.
These new cannabis consumers are a stark contrast to a stereotypical Taco-Bell-eating, Rick-and-Morty-watching stoner. They’re more likely to be foodies who don’t smoke, vape, or eat brownies or gummies (too much added sugar!), and many are in their 50s. These canna-connoisseurs want micro-doses of medicinal marijuana infused into great-tasting, all-natural, wholesome foods and beverages to improve sleep, bolster immunity, alleviate pain, mitigate migraines, and much more.
Some new cannabis consumers say it has helped them drink less; others find it to be a natural alternative to pharmaceutical medications to treat pain or insomnia. And contrary to popular belief, cannabis may actually help you lose weight, because it can reduce stress-related eating and drinking.
Even though legal medicinal cannabis has only been around for a few years, the Specialty Foods Association says cannabis edibles are one of the top food trends of 2018. You can now find all-natural teas, extra virgin olive oils, nuts, energy bars, coffee, crackers, honey, and alcohol-free wines made with cannabis. There are even several artisanal, cannabis-infused dog and cat treats for your four-legged companions.
Studies show that there are more than 100 different cannabinoids and related bioactive compounds in the Cannabis sativa plant. Most of the new marijuana- or hemp-infused edibles contain one or both primary cannabinoids that have been shown to provide a wide variety of health benefits: cannabidiol (CBD) and tetra-hydrocannabinol (THC). THC is the compound that gives you a high or buzz; CBD-only products are non-psychoactive and legally available in all 50 states. (Note: There are some situations in which it’s not so straightforward, so be sure to check your local laws.)