The cannabis food and drink category are exploding:
The cannabis food and drink category are exploding. Demand for edibles, as well as experiences like infused dinners, has skyrocketed as more and more people look for unique and avant-garde ways to incorporate the plant into their lifestyles.
Christina Wong is one of the leading voices for the infused foods space. The founder and CEO of Fruit + Flower Co., a popular blog and creative media company, Christina creates fun and engaging content at the intersection of cannabis and cuisine. Her edibles expertise extends beyond her own company, with works being published in High Times, Emerald Magazine, Ember, and many others.
Christina shares her unique insights on edibles brands, dos and don’ts for cannabis cooking, and advice for future cannabis chefs in this Cannabis Community College Q&A.
How did you get into the cannabis space?
I was burned out from my corporate job in food and restaurants and looking for something different. I loved the entrepreneurial energy in the space and was fortunate enough to transfer my skills in public relations and communications to land a job at a leading California cannabis wellness brand.
As I learned about the plant, I noticed the way the farmers and growers talked about cannabis was similar to how we understand and talk about food. So, I created my own path by combining food and cannabis to create Fruit + Flower Co., where I show people how to appreciate their cannabis in the same way they care about their food.
What are the relationships between cannabis and food that people may not realize?
Both cannabis and food are grown the same way. They can be from small farms that are outdoor, sun-grown, organic, regeneratively grown in living soil that’s hand-harvested; or grown in perfectly optimized artificial growing conditions with the assistance of machines for efficiency and scale.
There’s a huge scale between fast food and a fine dining restaurant, or between the type of eggs we choose from the grocery store. Choosing cannabis is the same as choosing the food we eat. We’re not all purists, that’s unrealistic. But we can make informed choices to fit our needs. If you can choose and afford better, that’s also better for the environment, so why not?
What are your dos and don’ts for cannabis baking?
- Do drop your baking temperature to 340 degrees F to prevent THC and terpene burnoff during baking.
- Don’t be intimidated by all the math and science words. Sounds scarier than it is.
- Do buy a gram scale to weigh and measure flower for infusing. It’s the only way to calculate accurate dosing.
- Don’t use too much weed and make your edibles too potent. Less than one gram goes a long way.
- Do be a responsible baked baker and don’t give edibles to people without disclosing potency.
What can edibles brands do to stand out in an increasingly crowded marketplace?
Be more creative to create edible products that people would use in their daily life. Make it easy for people to incorporate cannabis edibles and beverages into their daily routines in a healthy way. Gummies and chocolates are great, but the market is oversaturated.
Use better quality ingredients whenever possible. Appreciate and celebrate the flavor of cannabis rather than trying to hide it.
What advice do you have for newcomers to the space?
Don’t be shy and too afraid to lean in. Say hello, introduce yourself, and ask questions. Stoners LOVE answering your questions about weed. When we’re high we’re also extremely patient and more than happy to share knowledge.
Being new to the space can feel intimidating when you feel like a noob and aren’t in the know. When you put yourself out there and find your tribe, there’s no better feeling! I’ve walked away from interactions feeling awkward and dumb, but those conversations have turned into my closest friendships who cheer me on and keep me going.