Whether you just made your first banana bread during quarantine or you’re a cupcake pro, there’s no doubt that baking is becoming a worldwide phenomenon. So why not toss some cannabis into something sweet the next time you grab your apron?
Making your own THC-infused edibles at home is delicious, incredibly easy to do, offers a more nuanced high than store-bought edibles, and deepens your relationship with the plant. And if you’re new to making edibles, you might find yourself wondering what are the best cannabis strains for baking? And the short answer is—all of them. That’s right, there is no wrong strain to bake with.
That said, baking with cannabis has more to do with the terpenes in each individual strain rather than the strain itself. So before we can share some of our favorite strains to bake with, we have to talk about terpenes.
When it comes to cooking with cannabis, think of it more like an herb that seasons your food. Each variety of bud has its own set of terpenes that give its signature flavor and aroma that can help enhance your dish or complement the flavors. Let’s take a quick glance at some of the most common terpenes, their flavor profile, and the potential effects of each.
With this terpene, the name says it all. Pinene naturally occurs in herbs like basil and rosemary, snd has a refreshing aroma similar to that of a pine forest or pine needles. This terpene may be able to help reduce anxiety and ease minor aches and pains.
Citrusy and bright, this fragrance-boosting molecule is commonly found in lemon and orange peels. Typically associated with sativa strains, limonene is said to elevate your mood and provide a burst of energy.
The most common terpene in modern commercialized cannabis, myrcene is marked by its warm and spicy aroma. Besides cannabis, you can also find myrcene in lemongrass, mango, and thyme. Many look to this terpene to provide calming or sedating effects.
This peppery little molecule (also found in black pepper, cloves, and cinnamon) is unique in that it is only known terpene to also act as a cannabinoid. Some studies have shown that it can interact with our endocannabinoid system to provide anti-inflammatory effects. It may also be able to treat anxiety and depression according to both anecdotal and scientific evidence.
Ever smelled lavender essential oils to promote relaxation? Well, then you’re already familiar with linalool. Known for its floral yet herbaceous flower, linalool also naturally occurs in birch bark and, of course, lavender. Used for centuries in herbal medicine, linalool is known to promote a sense of calm and serenity.
Best Cannabis Strains for Baking
While it is true that there is no incorrect strain to bake with, there are certain strains that pair well with particular flavors in popular baked goods. Here, we’ll break down a few of our faves based on their terpene profile.
Brimming with citrusy limonene and floral linalool, this strain is ideal for baking anything with springtime flavors. Whether it’s blueberry pound cake or lemon meringue pie, Do-si-dos will blend right in with the rest of the fruity and fresh flavors. Plus, its relaxing yet euphoric effects will leave you feeling like you’re on cloud nine.
With the flavor of grapes, blueberry muffins, and tart fruit juice, it’s hard not to love Purple Punch in your favorite desserts. It adds a sweetness and a slight herbal kick to brownies, cookies, cakes, and anything in between. Perfect for a bedtime snack, this strain delivers ultra-relaxing effects that allow you to drift off to sleep in no time.
GSC (aka Girl Scout Cookies)
Named after our nation’s most beloved cookies, it’s no surprise that it pairs well with your own baked creations. Rich in caryophyllene, this cultivar is known for its powerful, dessert-ready aroma & flavor profile featuring notes of mint, sweet cherry, and citrus. Use GSC in your next batch of cannabutter and you’ll feel a wave of euphoria and full-body relaxation in just a few bites.
Sour Diesel might not sound like the most delicious strain in the world but it has a time and a place in the kitchen. Instead of trying to mask the pungent taste and aroma, you want to work with it to get those delightful energetic effects from the plant.
For example, you could try making s’mores brownies that could benefit from some bitterness to mimic a freshly charred marshmallow. You could also whip up some sour gummies or a tart lemon pie that would embrace the flavors of this sativa-leaning strain. Either way, you’re in for an incredibly upbeat treat.
Pink Kush gets its name from the tiny pink hairs that dot each bud, almost signaling its candy-like flavor. High in myrcene, the sweet vanilla flavor with a hint of sour candy pairs perfectly with dark chocolate and mocha-flavored desserts. Just beware that this strain usually packs a potent punch of relaxation and tranquility.
When all is said and done, baking is supposed to be fun. While we love to chef it up with these five strains, the possibilities are endless. Once you get comfortable with terpenes and the different flavors of your favorite desserts, there is no wrong way to make at-home edibles. Try these strains at home and let us know what you think!