Whether a chronic medical condition limits the types of food you can eat or you’re just trying to be more mindful of your diet, options for cannabis products for those with dietary restrictions are plentiful these days. Here’s some that might be of interest as you navigate how best to treat your condition(s) with your diet in mind.
Sugar Free Edibles
November is Diabetes Awareness Month and it’s a great time to explore diabetic dietary restrictions. Diabetics need to be mindful of their sugar intake and, as you may have already experienced, your local dispensary’s selection can be quite limited if edibles are how you prefer to medicate. Luckily, processors are recognizing the need and are formulating new cannabis products for those who can’t have sugar, as well as those with dietary restrictions. Especially as the holiday season approaches, warding off the sugar cravings can be top of mind for diabetics.
Chew n Chill (BeneLeaves)
Offering a variety of flavors, Chew & Chill gummies are not only sugar-free, but gluten-free, vegan, and keto-friendly. Learn more about Chew and Chill and a type 1 diabetic’s review of this product here. Founder of Chew & Chill Michael Krause says: “I’m hoping patients get to reap the benefits of the first and only gummy of its kind. If this gummy makes them feel better and not have to feel guilty about eating candy, then this is a win for the entire community and is the whole initiative behind Chew & Chill.” Chew & Chill is available in dispensaries in Sour Blue Razzberry, Mango Tango, and Sour Apple flavors.
Peppermint Cannarocks (FarmaceuticalRX)
Now that Pumpkin Spice Latte season is coming to an end, FarmaceuticalRX invites Ohio patients to get into the holiday season with their new Peppermint Cannarocks. These are a low dose, sugar free candy option. According to Brian Aufdenberg, Director of Marketing & Brands at FarmaceuticalRX, “These are great for diabetics or people who are unsure of where to start dosing with medicated edibles. Each piece of candy is approximately 5.5 mg of THC allowing you to start small and increase as needed. As far as taste, they will remind you of your favorite white and red mints you get at restaurants.”
Vegans who use cannabis as medicine have more options than they used to. While most cannabis gummies you’ll find contain off-limits gelatin (collagen is extracted from animal bones, pigskins, and cattle hide), gummies formulated with vegan gelatin substitutes such as agar agar can be a great way for vegan gummy-lovers to take their daily dose. Some patients have found that hemp-derived CBD vegan gummies and tinctures can be an effective way to supplement the medical marijuana that they purchase from a dispensary.
One popular edibles brand, Kiva Confections, offers a mix of vegan and non-vegan options. Unfortunately, their chocolate bars are not vegan. Even their dark chocolate bar contains milk. But their Petra mints are vegan, and available in 7 flavors, including CBN and CBD blends. And the espresso bean Terra Bites are vegan, but the other flavors use milk chocolate.
Tinctures, Infusion Powders, NanoEmulsified Products
Tinctures are a useful way for patients to avoid the unwanted added sugar and ingredients that come in edibles. Another benefit to tinctures over edibles is they activate sublingually rather than being passed through your liver. People with liver absorption and/or digestive problems might try a tincture instead to see if it’s more effective than an edible.
Outside of tinctures, nanotechnology has paved the way for cannabis infused waters, teas, and powders that you can mix into a food or beverage. Nanoemulsions drop the onset time for THC to be felt to about 10 minutes. The nano-sized droplets penetrate the mouth, throat, and stomach instead of needing to be processed through the liver to become active the way edibles do.
Vaporizing cannabis can be a useful method for some users who don’t want the added calories or certain ingredients that come in popular edibles products. Like nanoemulsions, vaporizing can also be a faster and more predictable way to dose, as edibles can sometimes take up to 2 hours to take effect. Edibles can also be quite tasty, making some users want to consume more than a normal dose. Many vaporizers come with metered dosing today, and patients say they find it more consistent to dose than with other methods.
The Ghrelin Effect
Scientific studies have shown that cannabis consumption influences appetite by triggering the release of a hunger hormone called ghrelin. Ghrelin is usually released by the stomach when it is empty, signaling to the brain that it’s time to eat. A study on rats showed that a cannabis dose causes the release of a surge of ghrelin that’s greater than normal. This didn’t happen when the rats were given a drug to prevent the ghrelin surge, suggesting that the cannabis had triggered it.
If you have a condition that limits what types of foods you can eat, the “munchies” that cannabis produces can tempt you to eat foods that you know are off-limits. If you’ve experienced this, you may consider switching to a type of cannabis with a different cannabinoid profile. Strains high in THCV are considered to have less of an appetite-stimulating effect.
Ask Your Budtender
If you need more guidance on which cannabis products you can take with you diet, don’t hesitate to ask your budtender. Your dispensary can also assist you in reaching out to the product’s maker if you’d like more information on nutrition facts, ingredients, processing or cultivation.
Time to renew your medical marijuana card or considering whether to get one? Make an appointment with Duber Medical today.
Author: Gabrielle Dion Visca
Gabrielle has been writing and editing professionally for the medical and wellness industries for more than 20 years. She’s held positions with The Journal of Pediatrics, Livestrong, The Cincinnati Enquirer, and Patient Pop. She currently writes articles about medical marijuana for Duber Medical, and is the founder of the Ohio cannabis journalism non-profit, Medicate OH, c/o In(form)ed/Community Shares of Mid Ohio 1699 W Mound St Columbus, OH 43223