Before getting started with this reading, I want you to take a second and think about things that you pair together for a happy experience. You may have said things like peanut butter and jelly, wine and cheese, etc. Well, many people today are finding the new pair that stimulates the endorphins in your brain, cannabis and food, are becoming very popular to pair together! But the real challenge that many cannabis enthusiasts are facing is being able to match the perfect dish or beverage with the perfect cannabis counterpart.
The Basics of Cannabis Food Pairing
No matter what you match your cannabis with, the right pairing starts with an understanding of cannabis terpenes. Terpenes, explained in our last post of Terp Talk, are naturally occurring essential oils that give individual strains their unique aromas and flavors. Myrcene gives Mango Kush, an Indica dominant strain, its bold mango taste. Pinene gives a more woodsy flavor profile to strains like the classic Jack Herer, a Sativa dominant strain. Limonene gives Super Lemon Haze, another Sativa dominant strain its citrus aroma and taste. Let’s say, for example, you are preparing a salmon recipe and you forgot to get lemons from the store. You go searching through your cannabis collection in the cabinet and stumble across a strain high in Limonene like Super Lemon Haze. By adding this strain to your dish, you will be able to highlight the unique lemon flavors that your taste buds desire. With comparable terpene flavors, you also have to take into account counter acting and contrasting flavors. If you make a dish too intense with one terpene profile, you can add in a different contrasting terpene flavor to balance the taste.
When you’re deciding on what to cook or where to eat out tonight, remember there are a lot of delicious options that can enhance your high to the next level. For example, Mangoes contain terpenes that contribute to the strong aroma of the plant. Myrcene is thought to speed up the on-set and extend the duration of a high by aiding cannabinoids through the Blood Brain Barrier more quickly and efficiently. When mangoes are consumed an hour before a smoke session, Myrcene enters into the bloodstream where it binds with various cannabinoid receptors. These bonds “prime” the receptors, thus helping them respond more efficiently to cannabinoids later on. Broccoli contains high levels of the terpene Beta–caryophyllene, which binds to CB2 receptors in the body much like other cannabinoids. It can work synergistically with cannabinoids by helping to reduce pain, inflammation and depression. Though consuming broccoli alone won’t make you feel high, eating a little right before a mellow Indica evening could help lull you into the comfortable high you deserve.
Just as a fine wine enhances a meal, the right foods can enhance your cannabis experience. A thick, juicy london broil tastes great on its own, but add a Chilean Syrah to the meal, and your taste buds sing. The same holds true for cannabis; add the right terpene(s), and you can further customize and enjoy your cannabis experience beyond simply Sativa vs Indica.