Most of us from an early age have harbored intense feelings for chocolate. It’s sweet, smooth, and it creates a rewarding feeling – like you’ve done something good for yourself. We all know there is nothing more delightful than eating an entire king-sized Hershey bar, but did you know that chocolate has some interesting traits that make it a good pairing for cannabis?
Chocolate contains a very special compound called anandamide, derived from the Sanskrit word for “bliss.” Your brain naturally makes anandamide, as well. It acts on your endocannabinoid system, the system which influences all sorts of functions like sleep, stress, focus, mood, etc. Imagine your endocannabinoid system as a series of locks–certain things fit in those locks and create effects that can be felt throughout your body. The THC in cannabis is one of those things, and the effect makes you feel high. Anandamide has similar positive effects in your brain. This is why chocolate can be such an addictive food to eat; it’s working with your endocannabinoid system to make you feel relaxed and satisfied.
Chocolate also contains two additional compounds that stop the breakdown of anandamide in the stomach by preventing the production of specific enzymes that would normally destroy it. When cannabis and chocolate are consumed together, it is believed that these enzyme-blockers could protect THC and CBD on their journey through the gut. This means even more THC and CBD are about to make it to your liver and out into your bloodstream. What better reason is there than to try making your own pot brownies!
1/2 cup unsalted weed butter, melted and HOT – read about how to infuse here (this recipe focuses on coconut oil but you can easily replace this with butter)
1 tablespoon cooking oil, (olive oil or coconut oil are fine)
1 1/8 cup superfine sugar, (caster sugar or white granulated sugar)*
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup all-purpose (or plain) flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).
Lightly grease an 8-inch square baking pan with cooking oil spray. Line with parchment paper (or baking paper); set aside. Pro tip: cut the corners of your parchment paper at an angle so it can fold neatly around the corners instead of bunching up.
Combine hot melted infused butter (or coconut oil), oil and sugar together in a medium-sized bowl. Whisk well for about a minute. Add the eggs and vanilla; beat until lighter in colour (another minute).
Sift in flour, cocoa powder, and salt. Gently fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until JUST combined (do NOT over beat as doing so will affect the texture of your brownies- making them chewier and cake-like).
Pour batter into prepared pan, smoothing the top out evenly. (OPTIONAL: Top with chocolate chunks or chocolate chips.)
Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the center of the brownies in the pan no longer jiggles and is just set to the touch (the brownies will keep baking in the hot pan out of the oven for a few minutes). If testing with a toothpick, the toothpick should come out dirty for fudge-textured brownies.
Remove and cool to room temperature before slicing into 16 brownies.
Need a few more reasons to justify the treat?
If you’re even a tad bit nerdy like us, maybe you’re interested in knowing that chocolate has even more benefits! It’s like when Mother Nature created chocolate, she jammed it full of compounds that help us to feel amazing:
• It contains theobromine, an antioxidant that elevates the mood, promotes focus, and reduces inflammation.
• It contains serotonin, phenylethylamine, and dopamine. These compounds help us to feel happy, alert, and content.
• It’s nice and fatty! Fat helps protect cannabinoids while they are traveling through the digestive tract, as well!
• Chocolate and cannabis taste good together. It’s a flavor combination that was meant to be!
So, really, chocolate edibles have a lot going for them. Not only do they contain enzyme-blockers that are going to potentially help get you higher, but they also contain a whole gang of naturally-occurring super-compounds that make you feel good! The next time you find yourself struggling to pick out an edible, just go chocolate! You may find yourself a bit higher and a little more satisfied than usual!
The “edibles” category hosts various cannabis delivery methods. If you are looking for the therapeutic effects of THC and CBD in a convenient, discrete, and delicious, edibles are the way to go. And, more investors and manufacturers, and retailers are taking that path.
Research and anecdotal reports find that edible cannabis will reduce vomiting in patients undergoing chemo. It will allay nausea and appetite loss in HIV/AIDS victims. Anti-inflammatory properties will treat arthritis, chronic pain, neurological problems, and spasticity. And, some research shows cannabis destroying tumors in brain cancer patients.
Creative people have packaged edibles as cookies, brownies, candies, and lozenges. Creative cooks have worked cannabis into recipes that fill a growing number of cookbooks. Turned into a butter, it can infuse countless edible options.
Analysts identify 85 different cannabinoids that interact with the endocannabinoid system that functions throughout the human body. The cannabis plant secretes the fabled cannabinoids, THC and CBD. THC, of course, produces the psychoactive experience sought by many users. The CBD produces the body response in relaxation and medication. Edibles favor the CBD, but some balance it with a touch of THC to add to the experience.
Inhaling marijuana smoke leaches the cannabinoids through the lungs and into the bloodstream for a fairly immediate effect. Ingesting cannabis starts its influence in the gastrointestinal system where the liver processes it into a the stronger 11-hydroxi-THC. So, it may take longer for you to notice the effects, but they can be stronger.
- Eating cannabis is not so harsh on the lungs. Smokers risk inhaling other toxins that can damage lungs.
- Edibles better serve those people who cannot smoke because of existing illness or just don’t like smoking as a habit.
- While the THC high hits the brain, the edible high is more sedative and relaxing, a “body” high that eases pain and suffering with a laid-back chill.
- Edibles take longer to produce a reaction, but it will last longer (3 to 7 hours). I will also feel more intense, thus, reducing the need to dose frequently.
- Marijuana medical professionals recommend edibles for patients suffering from insomnia, Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome, or some problems with the liver or digestive tract.
- For those who want or need the benefit of marijuana throughout the day without messing with their workday or focus, edibles can be consumed as discretely as candy, protein bars, or hot or cold beverage.