Article written by
Tina MagrabiSenior Content Writer
Content reviewed by
Dr. Lewis JasseyMedical Director - Pediatric Medicine
Table of contents
The best strains (cultivars) for edibles are flavorful and, to reduce the likelihood of a negative experience, tend to contain low to moderate levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Cooking cannabis brings out the plant’s natural aromas and tastes, so it’s crucial to use pleasing strains.
However, some may opt to use stronger varieties of flavorful cannabis (e.g., Strawberry Cough, Blueberry) in relatively equal ratios to the fat they use to maximize potency, which can reduce the number of edibles you need to eat to have an effect. Many also like to use various ingredients to mask the taste of cannabis, whereas these cultivars may impart pleasing smells and flavors due to their unique terpene and flavonoid profiles.
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How Cannabis Affects Edibles
The chemical compounds in cannabis come to life in edibles through flavors and scents. These chemical compounds include:
High levels of CBD in edibles may lead to a more relaxing and enjoyable experience for some cannabis consumers, especially beginners. On the other hand, high levels of THC in edibles have been linked to negative side effects and are not recommended for novices.
Best Ways to Use Cannabis for Edibles
You can whip up just about any cannabis edible treat in your kitchen or purchase edibles from a licensed dispensary. If you are new to cannabis, purchasing your edibles from a reputable dispensary is a good idea rather than trying to make them at home. Edibles sold at dispensaries have specific ingredients and precise CBD/THC levels accurately measured. Dosing edibles at home can be challenging and often precedes a “bad trip” with unwanted mental and physical side effects.
Popular marijuana edibles include the classic pot brownie, cookies, gummies, and hard candy. You can also infuse cannabis into recipes, such as salad dressing, smoothies, soups, and stews. Liquid sublingual tinctures are frequently used as edible infusions, making them a versatile consumption method.
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Best Strains for Edibles
The right strains to use for edibles share two main criteria: They are fragrant and flavorful, and they have relatively low levels of THC and comparatively higher levels of CBD.
Here are Leafwell’s picks for the seven best cannabis strains to use for edibles:
Aliens on Moonshine
The botanical child of Sour Alien and White Moonshine, this CBD-dense strain pops with flavor. Some users describe Aliens on Moonshine as tropical and tasting of mango and pineapple, while others say this indica-dominant hybrid simply tastes sweet and pairs well with baked goods. Dominant terpenes in Aliens on Moonshine include myrcene, pinene, and limonene.
Perhaps the best-known CBD-dominant strain, Charlotte’s Web contains virtually no THC and doesn’t usually have psychoactive effects. The strain is popular among people with stress, anxiety, and panic disorders. Common terpenes in Charlotte’s Web include humulene, beta-caryophyllene, and alpha-bisabolol.
Some people turn to this high-CBD strain to ease anxiety. Combining ACDC and Harle-Tsu, Ringo’s Gift boasts a CBD:THC ratio of as much as 20:1. The flavor profile of Ringo’s Gift is neutral, sometimes described as earthy and fresh, meaning that you could blend this strain into just about any recipe without overpowering other ingredients. Ringo’s Gift terpene profile includes myrcene, pinene, beta-caryophyllene, and limonene.
Clocking in at close to 20% CBD and less than 1% THC, Cherry Wine is an excellent strain for people who are inexperienced with edibles. Some users claim the strain smells like a combination of fine wine and artisan cheese and leaves them feeling relaxed. Cherry Wine’s terpene profile includes linalool, beta-caryophyllene, myrcene, and pinene.
A mix of Hindu Kush and Purple Afghani, this indica-dominant (75%) strain is noted for its calming effects despite intense levels of THC (22%). Notes of lemon and other citrus flavors are found in Purple Queen, making the strain a good option for savory recipes. Purple Queen contains plenty of beta-caryophyllene, myrcene, and linalool.
For experienced cannabis users only, Sour Diesel packs a powerful punch of THC (around 20%). This THC-heavy strain produces a strong psychoactive high, but the effects are euphoric. Sour Diesel’s terpene profile often includes limonene, beta-caryophyllene, and pinene.
For taste alone, Chocolate Haze is one of the best strains for edibles. Users beware: it’s high in THC (20%). If you’re comfortable with that THC concentration, Chocolate Haze is a great strain for sweet treats like hot cocoa. Chocolate Haze’s terpene profile includes terpinolene, myrcene, and beta-caryophyllene.
Try different strains for edibles to pinpoint the best one for you. Start with a low ratio of THC to CBD and increase THC levels as your tolerance increases.
Consume homemade and store-bought cannabis edibles legally with a medical marijuana card. Reach out to Leafwell’s dedicated team of physicians and start the easy application process online.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Does indica or sativa matter in edibles?
Indica-dominant hybrids often make good choices for edibles. While some people enjoy consuming THC-rich sativa strain edibles, cannabis novices should start with CBD-rich varieties, sativa or indica. Not all indicas are CBD-rich, so look for those that contain at least a 1:1 ratio of CBD:THC or even 2:1, 3:1, and higher. Eating cannabis strains with high levels of CBD facilitates a more relaxing experience and helps prevent the anxiety-producing highs sometimes associated with THC. However, some may require the strong effects THC provides.
Do strains matter in edibles?
Some strains may work better than others for edibles. Not every cannabis strain has a pleasant flavor or aroma, and many strains, like Cheese and Death Star, are described as “skunky” and not the best option for whipping up a batch of baked goods. In addition, high-CBD strains tend to be better for making edibles than high-THC strains.