Not everyone who uses cannabis enjoys the process of inhaling thick, tar-filled smoke into their lungs. While there has never been a medical link established between cannabis smoke and lung cancer or emphysema—as there has been with tobacco smoke—it can cause bronchitis and other breathing difficulties in some people. Luckily, there is an array of alternative methods for ingesting cannabis.
This week we’ll be looking at how to cook with cannabis, and in my next column, we’ll discuss vaporizers that make the psychoactive components of cannabis airborne and inhalable, without burning the plant matter and creating smoke.
The price of cannabis edibles at the local medical marijuana dispensaries may seem a bit high for some people, ranging between $5-$10 for a single cookie or brownie, and this could be a problem for low-income patients who rely on these edibles as an essential medication.
However, cooking with cannabis yourself is easy and much cheaper. I’ll provide two simple recipes here, one for making an all-purpose butter that can be added to any other recipe—for those who enjoy creative gourmet cooking—and another for quickly making an effective, high-orbit cannabis cookie in under 30 minutes.
All-Purpose Cannabis Butter
*1 cube of butter or margarine.
*1 or 2 cups of finely crushed cannabis leaf, or 1/4 to 1/2 of an ounce of finely crushed cannabis buds.
*Melt the cube of butter in a skillet.
*Slowly mix the cannabis leaf into the melted butter, at the very lowest possible “simmering” setting on your stove. Be extremely careful not to burn the plant matter!
*Add a small amount of water to keep the mixture from sticking, but no more than a few tablespoons.
*Cover the skillet, but be sure to repeatedly stir the mixture, and continuously check it, to make sure that it doesn’t burn.
*Cook for at least 40 minutes. The longer you cook it, the stronger it becomes, for up to about 12 hours.
*After cooking, then let it cool. This butter is highly psychoactive and can be added to any recipe that you like.
Magic Peanut Butter Treats
*1 big scoop of peanut butter
*1 ounce of finely crushed cannabis leaf, or 1/4 to 1/2 of an ounce of finely crushed cannabis buds.
*A dozen stoned wheat crackers
*Raisins or chocolate chips (optional)
Preheat oven to 290 degrees. Mix the ground cannabis leaf thoroughly with the peanut butter, until it is thick and green, and spread this paste evenly onto the crackers. Lay out the crackers on a cookie sheet, and place this into the oven for 20-30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool. Add raisins or chocolate chips on the top, if you like, and enjoy.
This peanut butter treat recipe is the fastest method that I know of for making strong, relatively palatable cannabis treats. It is highly recommended that one start with only around a quarter of a peanut butter treat at first, and then wait for at least three hours before judging its strength and deciding whether to eat more. Eat no more than a half of a treat to start, unless you want to risk not being able to get out bed for a whole day.
Be careful and eat cannabis conservatively. Never attempt to drive after eating a cannabis edible. Eating cannabis can be much more powerful than smoking it, and it lasts much longer.
For some people, it can even seem like a psychedelic experience that’s comparable with magic mushrooms or LSD. Before ingesting anything with potential psychedelic properties, always be sure that you’re in a safe and comfortable place, with people that you trust and enjoy, where you’ll be able to spend the night if you need to.
In all of human history no one has ever died from a cannabis overdose; however, be warned, as eating too much cannabis can be an extremely unpleasant experience.
To find out more about cooking with cannabis, see the recipes on the Wo/Men’s Alliance for Medical Marijuana Web site (WAMM): wamm.org/recipes/index.php