Edibles: DIY vs Company-Based

By: Matthew Lopez

With new permissions allowing the use of cannabis in California, there will be many new users who’ll choose to consume cannabis via edible based infusions. Whether they choose to work with edible companies who are developing and providing a myriad of products to enjoy or opting for more homemade cannabis preparations, it is always important to remember some of the simple advantages and disadvantages to the use of these various products. In this article, we’ll go over just a few of the differences and comparisons to provide more detailed knowledge that can hopefully help edible users enjoy a more pleasant and consistent experience. Let’s begin with the home variety.

For starters, homemade edibles can be prepared in a relatively simple fashion. By infusing the cannabis into a ready-to-use ingredient such as olive oil, butter, or any other usable product, one can integrate these (along with the cannabinoids) into a nearly limitless variety of dishes, confections, and consumables to suit the needs and palette of almost any user. This can be extremely advantageous for those who require a vegetarian, vegan, low-glycemic, gluten free, or any other necessary consumer option. Although manufactured edibles are available from a variety of professional companies who are happy to accommodate the needs of these individuals – for consumers – these products can often be difficult to source at local collectives and dispensaries, a true inconvenience for patients with specific dietary needs. Another advantage is the relatively low cost of producing simple homemade confections versus the cost of regularly purchasing edibles from reputable companies, which can easily add up over time.  

On the downside, homemade cannabis edibles that are prepared without the use of proper measurement techniques, known cannabinoid ratios, and, or, the necessary equipment to find that information, are also prepared with no definitive knowledge as to what the total cannabinoid dosage will be in the final product. This can easily result in heavily infused products that can compromise what would be considered a controlled dosage, leading to cases of the classic cannabis ‘overindulgence’ (wink, wink).

For those who wish to produce homemade cannabis edibles, remember it is always important to work with quality sourced cannabis that is free of any undesired contaminants such as mold or excessive or unwanted pesticides, these can be especially unpleasant (even harmful) for patients with sensitive or compromised immune systems. Also if possible, try to obtain an accurate cannabinoid test profile which can be extremely helpful in producing a more consistent and accurately dosed edible.

Individuals who prefer to consume products that are made through edible manufacturers can enjoy a variety of benefits from these various creations. For one thing, many professional companies adhere to strict quality control standards requiring their products to be made within a Servsafe sanitary environment. Additional standards are often implemented to ensure a balanced and consistent cannabinoid content, and third party testing provides additional quality assurance from batch to batch. Another advantage is the sheer variety of different products available to consumers; long gone are the days of cookies, cereal treats, and brownies as the only edible options available within many dispensaries.

On the downside, there are some companies who have essentially chosen to ‘cut corners’ due to the current lack of mandatory regulations in California. This has led to edible products being distributed without important nutritional information such as listed ingredients, fruit and nut allergen advisories, recommended dosage, refrigeration requirements, expiration dates, and even mislabeled / unlabeled cannabinoid content. Although these problems are abundant amongst California dispensaries, there is still an extensive variety of quality, consistent companies who meticulously strive to provide a wide range of quality assured products. When working with edibles that are provided by a collective or dispensary, remember that it is always important to ensure that the edibles come from a reputable company that puts the same love and care as any other craft food product.

When consuming cannabis edibles, be it from a professional or homemade provider, it is always important to be aware of the effects of edible portions before diving too far in. Begin with smaller portions and progress only after a better understanding is obtained. Remember to avoid driving or operating heavy machinery when consuming cannabis edibles, and always remember to have a safe, happy, and tasty edible experience.