The use culinary cannabis has been gaining popularity in recent years, not only in the spread of simple recipes such as biscuits or brownies, but also reaching its place in gourmet cuisine. Because of the distinctive flavours and aromas of its terpenes, and its psychoactive effects, cannabis gives rise to a wide range of unique recipes and sensory experiences.
The properties of cannabinoids such as cannabinoid THC and the CBD have aroused the interest of chefs and foodies alike. Cannabis is not only used as an ingredient for herbal teas or oils, but is also incorporated into savoury dishes and desserts, creating a fusion of flavours and surprising effects.
In some states and countries where cannabis has been legalised there are restaurants that offer diners a unique experience designed around cannabis. These menus are designed to provide a mildly uplifting effect through various dishes, rather than a heavy or overwhelming experience. The doses of THC are therefore usually low, so that it does not hinder the enjoyment of the meal or result in strong high effects that could be unpleasant.
Infusion is the method of diluting cannabis in a fat, such as butter, milk, creams or oils. The important thing about this method, especially in restaurants, is that the mixture and dosage is consistent throughout the process so that you know exactly how much THC and CBD is in the recipe, and that it is uniform across all dishes. Otherwise one diner might receive a portion of butter that had much more concentrated THC, and another table might be served a dish that has no THC at all.
It is possible to make flour from dried cannabis buds, which allows it to be used in the preparation of breads, biscuits, cakes or other baked goods. A peculiarity of cannabis flours is that they are naturally gluten-free. This makes them a suitable option for people with sensitivity or intolerance to such proteins. In addition, it can have a distinctive taste and characteristic aroma due to compounds present in the plant, which can influence the flavour profile of foods prepared with it.
Tinctures and extracts
Using solvents, you can extract the terpenes and cannabinoids from the plant, and then filter the mixture to completely remove the solvent, leaving you with a tincture containing the isolated cannabis elements. These tinctures can be used in drinks, such as cocktails, teas or coffees, and because they are liquid, they can be easily measured and the doses of THC and CBD can be adjusted very precisely. In addition, they can be added to a variety of drinks without significantly affecting their taste, making them a popular choice for those who want to enjoy a classic drink without affecting the original taste.
Some people choose to turn the dried buds into a powder, which can be sprinkled on food, added to dressings or used as a condiment. This adds a distinctive, earthy flavour to culinary preparations, and can enhance the flavour profile of sweet and savoury dishes. In addition, cannabis powder can have mild psychoactive effects when consumed in significant quantities.
As marijuana is not yet legal in most parts of the world, gourmet cannabis cooking experiences are not yet abundant. Even in places like our own Barcelona, which has associations and weed clubs where people can legally consume cannabis, there is still no regulation allowing the sale of cannabis in shops.
As the acceptance of cannabis expands, and its trade is regulated rather than prohibited, we are likely to see further development and innovation in cannabis cuisine. And one day we will have gourmet restaurants with cannabis recipes in Barcelona. In the meantime, at least here we will have to be content with baking our own biscuits at home.