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This question came from a friend of mine who started consuming cannabis a couple years ago, after the birth of her kids.

QUESTION: I vape sometimes, but I usually prefer to take cannabis edibles. It doesn’t smell, the kids aren’t exposed to any smoke or vapor, and I just feel better about it. But most of the edibles I can get are sugary and unhealthy, and I really don’t want to eat them very often. How else can I get the edible experience without eating junk?

I agree –woman can not live on gummies alone.  Sometimes, you just don’t want to eat the extra processed ingredients, but you still want to get the benefits of eating cannabis.  Here are some of the ways I eat my weed without chowing down a pre-made edible.

1. Eat some plain old oil. Oils can be swallowed directly, which allows your liver to process them just like an edible.  It’s not very fancy, but it’ll do the trick!

Cannabis oil can be eaten straight or used in a cold application

2. Incorporate cannabis oil into your non-heated cooking. When you’re cooking with cannabis oil, using too much heat can degrade the cannabinoids present in the oil, making them less effective.  That’s why it’s a good idea to use the oil in a cold application, like salad dressing or chutney, or added to a sauce that’s already been cooked and is cooling down, like a lemon-dill-butter sauce.  Using the cannabis oil in something that can be added to the food when you’re ready to eat it means that those who want more THC can add more sauce, and those who want less THC can use a smaller amount.  Be sure to WELL label anything containing THC or CBD!

3. Save your vaporized bud and eat it.  After you use a vaporizer to consume your cannabis, you can save the brown bud that you’ve vaporized, and consume it.  Because the heat of vaporization degrades THC into CBN, this Already Vaped Bud (or AVB) is full of it.  (CBN, like THC and CBD, is a cannabinoid that is found in cannabis.)  CBN generally has very relaxing and tiring effects and eating AVB can help you capture them.  You can eat the AVB straight (it’s crunchy and kind of nutty), put it in capsules, or sprinkle in on yogurt.  I often take a few capsules full of AVB when I’m travelling, as they help me get to sleep quickly in a new place.

AVB is full of CBN, and puts me right to sleep!

4. Juice the raw cannabis plant. As you’re growing cannabis plants in your yard this summer and fall, you can juice the larger leaves anytime you trim your plants, and the plant stalks once they’ve been harvested.  The live cannabis plant is full of the cannabinoid THC-A, which is THC in its acid form, or the form it takes before it becomes the intoxicating THC we’re all familiar with.  Research into THC-A is just beginning, but studies have started to reveal that THC-A may be anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective, and help treat nausea and appetite loss.  This also gives you a reason to get that juicer out of the back of your pantry, where it’s lived since you bought it.

Cannabis juice is non-intoxicating & a great addition to smoothies

5. Make yourself a tincture. Cannabis tinctures have been used for hundreds of years to treat all kinds of things, and you can make one yourself!  You’ll need grain alcohol that is at least 180-proof, or 90% alcohol.  Grind the cannabis up and place it in a tightly sealed jar along with the liquid.  Let it sit and soak for about six weeks, giving it a shake each day or so to keep it mixed.  When you’re done with the soaking, strain the plant matter out with a cheesecloth and place the remaining tincture into a dark bottle with a dropper top.  To use it, put half a dropperful of alcohol into your mouth, just under your tongue.  Hold it there for a couple seconds before swallowing it & then rinse your mouth to get rid of the taste of the alcohol.  Start with one-half dropper to determine potency, and then increase your dose from there. This method works with any medicinal plant you want to create a tincture with.

Tinctures are useful not only for cannabis, but for other botanical substances too