For some, marijuana is a medical necessity, a treatment for neurological disease, mental disorder, pain and a whole host of other illnesses. For others, using marijuana is a fun recreational experience that allows one to relax and feel pleasure for a period of time. Regardless of why one chooses to partake in the good green herb, shouldn’t the event be enjoyable and complementary of other aspects of life — like eating and drinking?
Like a fine wine, a fancy cheese or a quality piece of chocolate, different weed strains are better in different circumstances. For those interested in elevating their marijuana experiences, read on to learn the best way to pair bud with other edibles.
Studies show that alcohol is alcohol; while taking a shot of tequila and drinking a bottle of wine might feel different, the truth is you are the same style of drunk no matter what. The same isn’t true of marijuana because different strains offer different chemotypes, which truly do affect the body in different ways. Thus, whenever you are integrating marijuana into an experience, you need to decide what kind of effect you hope to achieve — specifically, whether you want to feel energized and active or you want to feel relaxed and sedate.
Typically, you want to choose sativa-style strains when you hope to become invigorated after partaking in the good green, and indica-style strains are for a calm, laid-back vibe. These designations aren’t entirely scientifically accurate — “sativa” and “indica” are used to describe the shape of the cannabis bush, which historically was thought to influence how the high felt, but research shows that bush and leaf shape have little correlation with the strain’s physical and psychoactive effects. In the future, dispensaries will likely use chemotypes, which are more precise about a strain’s consequences, but until then, you can use “indica” and “sativa” for general guidelines.
Next, it doesn’t matter whether you are pairing your grass with food, beverage or anything else — you need to understand flavor profiles. There are four primary flavor categories for weed: sweet, sour, spicy and bitter, and each category can be broken down into several smaller taste profiles. For instance, the “sweet” category includes both fruity and flowery tastes, which can be further divided into unique fruits or flowers, whereas the “bitter” category is divided into subgroups such as nutty, vegetal and mineral. It might be worthwhile to print out a marijuana flavor wheel to learn more about the complex tastes of weed.
Each strain will have a dominant flavor or two as well as some more subtle hints that can impact the overall taste experience. Unfortunately, the name of a strain isn’t always indicative of how it will taste. For example, the cherry pie strain sounds like it should be sticky-sweet, like cherry pie, but actually cherry pie is an equal mix of sweet and sour with a healthy dash of vegetal pine. It is always wise to sample a strain and become familiar with it before trying to pair it perfectly with any food or drink.
Finally, how you use the marijuana will greatly affect your experience. There are a number of ways to enjoy the effects of THC and CBD without tasting much or any of the cannabis plant: THC or CBD oil drops applied sublingually, vape pens that use THC or CBD juice, topical CBD and THC creams and lotions, THC and CBD capsules, etc. It might seem as though flavorless marijuana options are less exciting to pair with food or drink — but, in fact, all marijuana products super-charge taste buds, meaning your meals will always taste different when you are high.
Still, inhalations tend to be more fun to pair with food and drink because their flavor can be enjoyable and impact the experience of eating and drinking different foods. It’s important to note that smoke can be more harsh than other methods of using marijuana, which means you should have plenty of refreshing liquids on hand to slake thirst.
Generally, you want to complement the flavors of your marijuana strain with the flavors of your food or drink. Thus, if you are serving a mushroom pasta and a sweet, acidic wine, you might want to offer a relatively spicy strain of weed. Then again, if your meal is on the bitter side — perhaps a kale salad — a sweet strain would be nice. The intensity of flavors in your food and drink should match the intensity of flavor of your marijuana, to ensure that no element of your experience is too overpowering.
Soon, some strains of marijuana could be as revered and beloved as some bottles of expensive and rare wine. The sooner you learn how to properly incorporate weed into a high-class dining experience, the sooner you can better enjoy the full flavor profile of marijuana and its effects on taste.