Absolutely! And not only can they be used for cooking, but they can enhance the flavour and aroma of your dishes, taking them to the next level.
OK, so before we get into the art of cooking with cannabis terpenes, let me first tell you about natural terpenes found in other products we love to cook with. When you cut into a fresh lemon and you get that burst of citrus that makes you feel like summer is here, that is caused by a natural terpene!
Herbs, fruits, and vegetables that we all know and love to cook with because of their intense aromas, like rosemary, basil and citrus are all packed with natural terpenes. Terpenes, in nature, are responsible for the smells and flavours just as they are in cannabis plants.
Cannabis Terpenes You Can Pair with Your Dishes
Natural terpenes found in cannabis act just like those found in other herbs and vegetables. They are responsible for the intense flavours and aromas we all love!
So, when you think about cooking with cannabis terpenes, you should first think about what flavour you want to use and then you can find a strain of cannabis that has that specific profile.
For instance…if you are looking for something with a bright citrusy aroma and flavour that you can add to your favourite pastry or summertime cocktail or drink, you should go with a citrus cannabis terpene such as limonene. Or, if you are looking for something more subtle, chill, and relaxed, maybe you want to consider linalool, a cannabis terpene known for its lavender like aroma and relaxing effect.
Tips for Cooking with Cannabis Terpenes
If you are ready to cook with cannabis terpenes, here are a few tips we’ve discovered along the way…
- When you are cooking with cannabis terpenes, it is important to think low and slow. High temperatures can damage cannabis terpenes.
- When you are cooking with cannabis terpenes, consider using them in dishes that contain ingredients with the same strain of terpenes.
- It is best to use terpenes and cannabinoids as part of a whole plant extraction or infusion when cooking because they have unique effects when used as a whole.
- For the best medicinal values of cannabis, it is best to use whole plant-based ingredients when cooking as opposed to isolated terpenes.
- Store your cannabis in a cool dark place to preserve the terpenes.
Types of Cannabis Terpenes and How to Cook with Them
Here is a closer look at some of the most common cannabis terpenes and what they pair well with in the kitchen…
- Linalool: this terpene has a super strong aroma and is mostly associated with lavender. It is known for its anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. Linalool pairs well with lemon-based dishes and desserts…as you are cooking with linalool, think lavender!
- Limonene: this terpene has a strong citrus aroma and flavour and is mostly associated with lemons and oranges. Limonene pairs best with citrus-based desserts and dishes as well as with chicken dishes. This terpene is known to have energizing, uplifting and anti-anxiety properties.
- Pinene: this terpene is responsible for that distinct pine smell. It can also be found in rosemary, basil, and parsley. It is best when paired with other robust herbs and used in meat dishes like steak, pot roast or chicken.
- Myrcene: this terpene has an earthy scent and goes great with curry or salsa. It is mildly sedative and is one of the more relaxing, calming cannabis terpenes.
- Caryophyllene: this terpene has an earthy, pungent flavour profile and should only be paired with dishes that already have super powerful flavour profiles as it can take over. This terpene can be found naturally in other powerful spices such as cloves and black pepper.