The humble cannabis brownie started a revolution in medicine when a gutsy woman named “Brownie” Mary Jane Rathbun started delivering pot brownies to San Francisco AIDS wards in the 1990s. But in today’s wide marijuana marketplace, consumers are starting to look for healthier choices, and chefs are responding.
Cannabis-infused edibles, once limited to unwholesome, sugar-laden confections, have branched out to embrace infused cannabis superfoods. A new crop of prepared foods now comes packed with antioxidants, omega-3s and other components that can contribute to overall health.
According to Clint Werner, a San Francisco macrobiotic chef who is author of the best-selling “Marijuana Gateway to Health,” a proper diet stimulates and regulates the endocannabinoid system, a major network of nerve cell receptors in your body that interact with the compounds in cannabis.
He says those who need large doses of cannabis and get them by consuming edibles should limit their sugar and fat consumption. Fats and sugars can cause inflammation that will all but cancel out the effectiveness of the medicine.
“I find it dismaying that so many of the cannabis edibles available in medical dispensaries are loaded with sugar and other refined, empty caloric additives,” Werner said.
“Ingesting edibles that contain other anti-inflammatory and health-guarding ingredients such as turmeric or blueberries can likewise give cannabinoids a boost in lowering or resolving pro-disease pathologies,” he added.
We’ve gathered some of the best-made widely available and wholesome selections around. Each lets the rest of the edible work alongside its star ingredient, cannabis, in the most curative way possible.
Ellen Holland is a freelance writer based in Oakland.
Swerve Bars, $6-$20, www.swerveconfections.com:
Combining Ayurvedic herbs and ice-water-derived hash, these edibles represent the fusion of of a 3,000-year-old tradition with the new uses of cannabis. Developed in India, Ayurvedic medicine is one of the oldest medical systems in the world and promotes health through a balance of body, mind and spirit. These bars come in three selections with cannabis added for each bar’s intended effects — Buzz, Snooze and Snuggle — and include other ingredients such as maca, a supplement used to promote energy and endurance, and cacao, the raw, pure form of chocolate, which boasts a high level of antioxidants. Each bar has a base ingredient of coconut and tastes like a bowl of healthy cereal loaded with wholesome toppings.