Let us give thanks. With full legalization in four states as well as Washington DC, plus 23 states with some form of medical cannabis law, the legal weed industry is advancing at a rapid pace. And nothing better illustrates that innovation than medicated food. Chefs are evolving far beyond the natty brownie into forms recently thought unimaginable: from Grammy winning-singer Melissa Etheridge's cannabis-infused wine to disposable little cups of pot-infused tea, honey, and chocolate-covered gourmet blueberries. Even better, a new generation of "cannabidiol"-rich edibles provide anxiety or pain relief during those long holiday visits, but without the giggly psychoactivity of THC.
(For safety's sake, we remind adults one dose of THC is 10 milligrams, according to Colorado state standards. Folks with a high tolerance for THC will sometimes take more, and those with a lower tolerance should take less. Edible cannabis products can take up to two hours to kick in. Impatient eaters must refrain from taking a double or triple-dose while waiting for the first. Side effects can include dizziness, drowsiness, and nausea, so go slow. Secure unused edibles just as you would any medication.)
Silver CBD Veda Chews
Your Donald Trump-loving in-laws will seem downright quaint on Thanksgiving after you suck on some chocolate taffy infused with anxiety-relieving cannabidiol (CBD). These chews are individually packaged with a lab-tested 15 milligrams of CBD and 5 milligrams of THC per chew.
Here's a game-changer: Colorado's Dixie Elixirs has expanded into California under the "Altai" brand, and the company is selling Soothers — elegant hard candies that come in 10-milligram or 25-milligram THC doses. Suck on one Cherry Vanilla, Bergamot Tea, Lemon-Honey, or Watermelon Soother, hide the rest of the case, and wait 90 minutes. Can treat pain, tension, and irritability.
Jane's Brew Tea K-Cup
Medical cannabis edibles have reached a new level of evolution with the new line of K-Cups by Jane's Brew. Each special, plastic sealed cup is compatible with a Keurig automated coffee or tea-making machine and contains loosely chopped, fair-trade tea coated in 80 milligrams of THC from a CO2 extract. Manages insomnia and body pain.
For folks loath to smoke or associate in any way with cannabis, Happy Seed Edibles Infused Honey goes great with exotic cheeses and wine, or just straight out of the jar by the spoonful. The Santa Cruz Green Mountain Honey comes in indica, sativa, and CBD. It contains 125 milligrams of THC and 45 milligrams of CBD per ounce, so a teaspoon should do you fine. Treats sleep and appetite disorders and provides pain relief with the indica infusion. Also comes in individually dosed honey stocks with 25 milligrams of THC each.
Infused Olive Oil
It's easier than ever to add cannabis to a main dish using infused olive oil. San Francisco's Green Cross dispensary is one of several clubs that offers fundamental cooking ingredients, like cannabis-infused butter or olive oil. That way, you don't have to spend hours making and testing out your own infusion before you cook.
Cooking with Cannabis
One of 2015's most classy cookbook titles — Mastering the Art of Cooking with Cannabis — comes from chefs Laurie Wolf and Melissa Parks, as well as the team at HERB. The books includes ten entree recipes, such as turkey meatballs, seared sirloin with savory bread pudding, and roasted cod on arugula puree. Yum.
No Label Wine Tincture
Last spotted at Greenway Compassionate Relief Inc. in Santa Cruz, the No Label Wine Tincture is like a fine rosé, spiked with the terpenes of Sour Diesel. Plus, it's delicious. Each bottle comes with Melissa Etheridge's autograph. The tincture combines biodynamically grown grenache grapes and organic Santa Cruz Bubba and Sour Diesel. It's light and crisp, without any nasty chlorophyll or phytol flavors. Be careful, though, it's heady. One dose is just one to three ounces.
Chocolate Brownie Bite
"Women are nearly twice as likely to receive a diagnosis of depression or anxiety disorder than men are," noted Dr. Julie Holland in The New York Times. Juliana Carella, founder of Auntie Dolores, recommends trying a little Brownie Bite first. She's debuted a 50-milligram CBD brownie that tastes great, and can treat pain, inflammation, and anxiety in patients who don't want the euphoria of THC. It's a low-glycemic, vegan, lab-tested mother's little helper.
Kiva Terra Blueberries
Sweet, tart, micro-dosed for functional effects, each tin of Kiva Terra Blueberries comes with four US-grown blueberries dusted in cocoa powder, coated in white chocolate, then dusted with raspberry and blueberry powder and finished with a coating of Kiva milk chocolate, lab-tested to 5 milligrams of THC per berry. Perfection.