South Africa’s been on a high ever since 18 September 2018 when the personal use of marijuana was legalised. You’ve got the green light to light up in the comforts of your own home, but is cooking with cannabis overkill? We find out if infusing cannabis oil into your favourite foods will elevate your mealtimes.
Firstly, you should know exactly what cannabis is and what effects it might have on the human body. There is good reason why the domestic market for cannabis and related products will be around R27 billion by 2023!
So, what is Cannabis?
It’s the dried leaves, stems and seeds of the Cannabis sativa (hemp) plant. It’s been used for hundreds of years for medical treatment and recreational purposes (think Woodstock).
There are at least 120 substances found in cannabis. One of these is delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which can have a psychoactive – or mind-altering – effect on you. It can also stimulate appetite which is commonly referred to as “the munchies”. A condition where you empty your fridge and fail to fit into your skinny jeans the next day. 😉
When people consume cannabis for recreational purposes, they may experience the following effects:
- mood changes, leading to euphoria, feelings of energy, or a state of relaxation
- higher heart rate
- reduction in blood pressure
- impairment of concentration and memory
- nausea, even though some cannabinoids may help reduce nausea
- increase in appetite
- faster breathing
The above symptoms may hit you faster when smoked than when eaten in, let’s say, a batch of brownies or your favourite meal. If you want to add some spice to your meals (and life), you can – just be cautious and know your bud, as too much cannabis could give you “the munchies” or worse, make you feel sick as a dog. The suggested consumption limit is 5 milligrams. That’s about a teaspoon of cannabis.
If you consume a teaspoon of cannabis daily, you can expect to experience the following health benefits:
- Pain relief
- Reduced acne
- Improved heart health
- Better sleep
- Relief from cancer symptoms
- Decreased anxiety
How to cook with cannabis:
If you cook with cannabis, you can expect some mind-altering goodness. However, if you cook with CBD oil, you won’t experience any of the psychoactive effects. There is no mental fog or haziness caused by CBD – none whatsoever as it doesn’t contain THC.
If you’re thinking about swopping your healthy coconut oil with some CBD oil, be aware that warming the oil can increase its effectiveness, but also kill some of its active components. If you add too much heat to the oil, it won’t give you any of the above health benefits. Don’t pour the oil directly into a sizzling pan. Heat it to a maximum of 85-degrees. That’s the temperature of your caffeine fix.
It’s suggested to add cannabis oil to recipes that contain fat or other oil-based ingredients like butter and cheese. Depending on the recipe, you might want to adjust the sweetening and flavouring/spice measurements to counter the inherent bitterness of the cannabis oil.
The most important thing to remember when cooking with cannabis is to go slow and not to overdo it. Your lasagne dish for 4 shouldn’t contain 3 tablespoons of CBD oil. That’s overkill! One teaspoon mixed well with the other ingredients or a tablespoon of cannabutter will do the trick.
Cooking with cannabis can be beneficial for your health if you do it the right way and limit your dosage. If you don’t want any of the psychoactive effects of cannabis, stick to CBD oil for cooking as it’s still high on health benefits. You can make cooking with cannabis a recipe for success!
Here’s a cannabis butternut soup recipe for the winter nights: