As the US legal cannabis market continues to mature, it brings with it a rise in marijuana edible consumption. This market trend comes in conjunction with an overall increase in the sophistication of cannabis business models, as these companies develop branded edibles products aimed at mainstream Americans. Point being, the days of homemade “magic brownies” are coming to an end—cannabis edible products are entering the marketplace in new, fashionable ways.
The mainstream acceptance of edibles goods is evident in places like Denver, CO, a city which features large billboards warning that “edibles last six hours.” This consumer safety warning—geared towards motorists—that is proudly displayed in the heart of a major American metropolis sheds some insight into the current popularity of edibles.
While branding efforts and state education programs are helpful in creating consumer awareness with cannabis edibles, the industry as a whole lacks a standardized testing and labeling system for all marijuana products. As a result, it is extremely difficult for edibles consumers to trust what exactly these products contain—this notion includes levels of psychoactive compounds such as THC.
Marijuana dispensary consumers across the nation, whether medical or recreational, are offered a smorgasbord of options of branded edibles products in a variety of forms: brownies, cookies, candies (gummies, chocolates, hard candies), flavored drinks, and even popcorn. Looking at the aforementioned list presents another insight into cannabis edibles production and branding—the industry is almost entirely comprised of junk food products. This notion poses another concern related to cannabis edibles: are there any options on the market for cannabis-infused health foods?
One of the primary reasons that individuals opt to consume cannabis in the form of edibles, as opposed to smoking it, is that edibles are believed to pose less health risks. The irony in this consumption practice is explicit, as these health conscious consumers are generally only offered edibles products high in both sugars and fats. Therefore, those consumers looking to avoid smoking cannabis and adhere to healthy dietary restrictions are often times forced to make their own marijuana-infused health foods.
The lifestyle website “Fit Day” offers some healthy alternatives for marijuana edibles consumers looking to maintain a hearty diet—these choices are all based on recipes which cannabis users can make themselves. To illustrate, the people at Fit Day recommend that health conscious edibles consumers create dishes featuring marijuana-infused oils. These infusions, whether homemade or store-bought, can be made from olive, coconut, or avocado oils. Utilizing this method, edible consumers have far more control over their diets—they can simply add, or substitute, the cannabis-infused oils to their favorite healthy meals and snacks.
Fit Day offers up some great cannabis and health food recipes on their website, including: “ganja granola bars, raw vegan energy canni-balls, strawberry ba-cannabis smoothies, and ‘baked’ kale chips”. While there is no doubt that these meal suggestions are helpful in creating a healthy edibles diet, one really doesn’t have to look any further than a health cook book for ideas.
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As the cannabis industry continues its mainstream progressions, one can only assume that it will start producing niche markets and products for the health conscious edibles consumer. In the meantime, people can take control over their diets by putting in the extra leg-work by making their own healthy marijuana-infused meals.