Homemade cannabis edibles have literally been around for hundreds, if not thousands of years. In India, for example, cannabis-infused ghee has been around since 1,000 B.C.E, and possibly earlier. In China, archaeologists have dug up enough evidence showing that the Chinese people have been infusing cannabis oil and seeds with food for more than 10,000 years now.
Today, people seem to have revived this ancient culture- they are no longer smoking weed, they are actually eating it! And with good reason too!
To begin with, when compared to the usual cannabis-consumption methods like smoking and vaping, eating weed is not as harsh to the lungs and heart.
Cannabis Leaves are Nutritious!
And that’s not all, cannabis leaves are a rich source of vitamins, fiber, and minerals, and some people actually want to take advantage of this. Some of these nutrients include:
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin K
Now, the good thing about eating weed is that it is actually possible to enjoy the nutrients mentioned above without getting high or stoned. Yes, if your only interest in homemade cannabis edibles is purely medicinal, the hemp plant leaves will definitely provide you with the same nutrients as the marijuana plant.
In case you are wondering what the hemp plant is and how it differs from marijuana, here’s a brief explanation:
The hemp plant is a type of cannabis that contains less than 0.3% of TCH, the main compound or chemical present in the marijuana plant that gets one high or stoned. On the other hand, marijuana is yet another type of cannabis that contains more than 0.3% THC.
With only 0.3% THC, the hemp plant can’t get one high. Because of this, it is commonly used for medicinal purposes, and it has been legalized even in some states and countries where recreational weed is illegal.
The marijuana plant contains more than 0.3% THC as we have already seen, and this is enough to get you high or stoned depending on how much you actually consume. For this reason, it is commonly used for recreational purposes and it is illegal in some states and countries.
Back to our main topic – the benefits of homemade cannabis edibles.
The Benefits of Homemade Cannabis Edibles
Homemade cannabis edibles are a great option for anyone who can’t access prepackaged edibles for one reason or another. If, for example, you are in Canada, you may not be able to buy pre-packaged cannabis-infused foods or edibles as they are not legally available for sale yet (as of September 2019). You can, however, make your own edibles at home since weed is legally available in the country.
Perhaps these products are legally available online and in stores where you live and you’re wondering – why make my own edibles when I can easily buy them whenever I wish?
Sure, processed or prepackaged edibles can be a fast and convenient alternative to homemade edibles, but the truth is that they are not always the healthiest choices. Making your own cannabis-infused foods and drinks is usually a better option since you get to choose exactly what goes into your edibles.
Let’s look at this and other benefits of homemade cannabis edibles in detail:
The Benefits of Homemade Cannabis Edibles – Controlling Sodium
While sodium occurs naturally in foods like milk, beets, celery, and others, it is most often added during manufacturing/production. Common sources of added sodium in processed foods include salt and baking soda.
The surprising thing about most processed foods is that they don’t taste salty, yet their sodium levels are so high. The recommended daily sodium intake for a healthy person is less than 2,300 mg. The elderly and persons who suffer from chronic illnesses, such as high blood pressure, kidney disease, diabetes, and heart disease should keep it relatively low, ideally less than 1,500 mg per day.
Studies have shown that most of the sodium in our diets (over 70%) today comes from restaurants and prepackaged/processed foods, especially soups, pizza, pasta, sandwiches, cheese, meat, snacks, and others.
If you are wondering why these foods must contain so much sodium, it’s because sodium plays key roles in their production. To begin with, it adds flavor. Secondly, it gives them a firmer texture. Thirdly, it gives them an attractive color, and lastly, it acts as a preservative.
Making your own edibles at home gives you control over how much sodium or salt goes into your edibles. You can always add a little salt at the table if needed, but you cannot remove or minimize salt that is already present/ pre-added.
Controlling Added Sugars
Added sugar, just like excess sodium, is not good for your health. Unfortunately, many processed cannabis-infused foods and drinks on the market today contain a lot of it. Sugary drinks, sweets, candies, cookies, and cakes, are just a few examples of edibles that are likely to contain high levels of sugars and fructose corn syrup. As a result, they put consumers at risk for high cholesterol, diabetes, tooth decay, obesity, and heart disease among others.
Just like with sodium, processed food manufacturers find it hard to do away with added sugar for various reasons. To begin with, sugar helps them achieve just the “right” consistency, taste, and texture they want their products to have.
Sugar is also a “must-have” ingredient in some prepackaged foods that are made through fermentation. These products include yogurt, vinegar, beer, soy sauce, sour cream, cheese, sauerkraut, and sourdough bread.
According to nutrition experts, men should not consume more than 40 grams of sugar per day. For women, the recommended amount is not more than 25 grams per day.
Based on these recommendations, cannabis edibles consumers should try to limit their daily sugar intake to 3 grams or less per edible. By making your edibles, you can easily achieve that or even completely eliminate sugar from your edibles.
In place of sugar, you could use dry fruit. You could also substitute with pureed fresh fruits or freshly squeezed juice. Peaches, pineapples, papayas, strawberries, and watermelon are just a few fruits you could use.
Additives, or food additives if you like, are substances added to processed foods to enhance and preserve their flavor, prolong shelf life, and generally make the products appear more flattering to shoppers. Some additives, like vinegar and salt, have been used for centuries to preserve meats, but many more additives, both artificial and natural, have continued to be introduced with the passage of time.
Because many additives in use today have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA, U.S), they are considered generally safe. In spite of that, many people have continued to experience serious reactions to these substances.
Some of the most commonly reported reactions include stomach pain, nausea, diarrhea, hives, rashes, itching, and swelling. Many additives have even been linked to respiratory problems like sinusitis, rhinitis, and asthma.
Some of the food additives you are likely to find in processed cannabis edibles include:
- Artificial sweeteners – to enhance the taste.
- Antioxidants – to prevent edibles from oxidizing.
- Anti-caking agents – to prevent them from getting lumpy.
- Emulsifiers – to prevent fats from clotting.
- Colors – to make them more appealing.
- Food acids – to maintain the “right” level of acid.
- Humectants – to keep them moist.
- Flavors – to add and maintain flavor.
- Thickeners – to enhance consistency and texture.
- Vegetable gums – also used to enhance consistency and texture.
By making your own edibles at home, you are in total control of all ingredients. This means no additives are likely to go into your edibles unless you specifically want to use them for your own reasons.
The Benefits of Homemade Cannabis Edibles – Eliminating Food Allergies
A food allergy can be described as an immune system reaction towards a particular food or ingredient. Even the tiniest amount of an allergy-causing ingredient can cause the victim to experience an allergy. For some people, food allergies can even trigger a life-threatening condition called anaphylaxis.
Food allergies are sometimes confused with food intolerance. Food intolerance, though quite bothersome, presents less serious symptoms and does not involve the immune system.
This problem (food allergies) affects an estimated 3% of adults and 6-10% of children. Children, however, tend to outgrow their food allergies with time.
How does a food allergy materialize? It all starts with the victim ingesting the food he/she is allergic to. With time, usually within minutes to an hour or two, antibodies sense the food and send a message to the immune system. The immune system responds by releasing a few chemicals, among them a compound called histamine. As soon as these chemicals hit the bloodstream, they trigger a broad range of symptoms that may include any or more of the following:
Symptoms of a food allergy:
- Tingling in the mouth
- Swelling of the tongue, lips, throat, face, and other body parts
- Nasal congestion
- Trouble breathing
- Abdominal pains
In adults, the most commonly reported food allergies are caused by particular proteins that are found in the following foods:
- Tree nuts, including pecans and walnuts
- Shellfish, including crab, lobster, and shrimp
If you suffer from any type of food allergy, the surest way to avoid it is to prepare your food personally or with the help of someone who understands your triggers. And the same applies when it comes to cannabis edibles – the only way to control what goes into your edibles is to make them personally or have them made under your own instructions.
Making Dosing Easy
Cannabis, whether for medicinal needs or recreational purposes, comes with dosage recommendations. The ideal CBD dosage per edible for a beginner is 2 -2.5 mg. The same case applies to THC.
Of course, people are different and what works for one person may not necessarily work for the other. For example, some people need more than 5 mg to treat acute pain; others need less than 2.5 mg.
The same applies to those who are looking to get stoned – some users need more to get high while others need less.
Because of this, making your own edibles comes highly recommended because it can be a bit difficult to estimate how much THC or CBD you are getting from a prepackaged edible. And this is especially true when your source cannot be trusted.
True, there are some reputable companies out there who can be trusted with their dosage measurements, but even so, their products may be too weak or too strong for your individual needs. When an edible is too weak for your needs, it obviously won’t be of any help. And when it’s too strong, it can affect you negatively.
Thankfully, by making your own edibles, you are free to customize the dosage to your own liking. If, for example, the CBD dosage that calms you down is 2 mg, you can customize your recipe to ensure each edible you make contains approximately 2 mg of CBD. The same case applies if your needs are purely recreational.
Privacy and Discretion
Cannabis edibles offer a great deal of privacy and discretion for users who would rather keep their love or need for marijuana to themselves. For these people, all they need to do whenever they are out in public is to pop a cannabis-infused candy or gum in their mouth and they are done. And the good thing about these edibles is that they hardly smell anything out of the ordinary, and they come in all types, shapes, and sizes.
The Benefits of Homemade Cannabis Edibles – Eliminating Lung Irritation
As you are probably aware of, smoke, whether it is coming from weed or tobacco, irritates the lungs. And that’s not all, it damages the airways and the air sacs in the lungs. This leaves the user at risk for developing various types of lung-related diseases, including chronic bronchitis and emphysema.
Since edibles eliminate the need for smoking or vaping weed, they are a great marijuana consumption method for users who don’t wish to put themselves at risk for lung diseases.
What we have just looked at are just a few benefits of making your own edibles at home. Of course, homemade edibles offer many more benefits which we will discuss in subsequent articles. If you know of a benefit we may have missed in this article, feel free to share it in the comments section below. Thanks for reading!