What to Look for When Shopping for Vegan Edibles

The cannabis industry has gotten a whole lot more popular in recent years. Finally, the prohibition era is over, and the masses have begun recognizing cannabis's ability to restore, relax, uplift, and heal!

Though cannabis is undoubtedly having its moment, it's not the only plant enjoying time in the spotlight. With movements like pescetarianism, vegetarianism, and veganism on the rise, more people are opting for a plant-based diet.

Which gives us an idea: why not combine all this plant-powered goodness into a single product? We'll be the first to admit that we can't claim this idea for ourselves. However, vegan cannabis edibles have been getting more popular since long before this article was written!

But we can help point you in the right direction. This guide will look at 8 essential qualities that any truly premium vegan edible will have. Ensure any edibles you're interested in check all 8 of these boxes before you buy.

What are vegan edibles?

How to make vegan edibles at home

What to look for in vegan edibles (an overview)

  • Is the brand health-conscious?
  • Are the brand's edibles actually vegan?
  • Is the brand backed by any culinary or cannabis experts?
  • Do the brand's products have transparent labeling?
  • Is the brand eco-friendly and sustainable?
  • Are the brand's products plant-based?
  • Are a variety of cannabinoid blends available?
  • Do the edibles actually taste good?
  • A brand that checks all the boxes means you're in for a real treat.

What are vegan edibles?

You can probably guess what vegan edibles are from their name. They're simply edible products that do contain cannabis and don't contain animal-derived ingredients! Instead, vegan cannabis edibles are entirely free of animal products, animal-derived compounds, and any ingredients that require the mistreatment of animals. Vegan cannabutter, for example, uses a plant-based butter alternative instead of cow's milk butter.

Like other cannabis edibles, vegan edibles are known and loved for the long-lasting, heavy euphoria they provide. However, it's a totally different vibe from what you may have experienced from smoking or vaping. Vegan edibles may take a few hours to kick in, but buckle up once they do because you'll be along for the ride. A single vegan edible's effects can last up to 6-8 hours. This type of cannabis consumption is great for those who want to chill out and relax without having to worry about re-dosing every few hours.

You may ask, why choose vegan edibles over 'regular' cannabis edibles? People typically choose to go vegan in hopes of:

  • Protecting animals
  • Helping the environment
  • Actively protesting animal cruelty
  • Attaining improved health and fitness
  • …or all of the above!

It only makes sense to combine veganism with cannabis use in many ways. Both practices are healthy, plant-based, and vegan ingredients benefit the environment (if done correctly, at least).

In recent years the demand for vegan cannabis products has skyrocketed as more and more people have caught on.

How to make vegan edibles at home

Making vegan edibles at home is relatively simple. You'll just need to find a recipe and make a few swaps to the traditional ingredients. For example, if a recipe calls for cow's milk butter, you can use a vegan butter alternative instead. The same goes for eggs. In most cases, you can swap out one egg for 1/4 cup of applesauce, mashed bananas, or ground flaxseed mixed with water.

However, if you want to experiment with a recipe, know that butter is the traditional base for cannabis infusions because it has a high smoke point and abundant fat content. Cannabis coconut oil is also becoming popular since it boasts many of the same benefits. Alternatively, you can use olive oil or avocado oil.

Also, note that this infusion process takes a few hours. Don't rush it!

You'll want to heat your coconut oil + cannabis mixture at 190-200 degrees Fahrenheit for roughly an hour. If you don't have access to a magic butter machine that puts this process on autopilot, periodically measure the temperature with a candy thermometer. The plant's THCa and CBDa will get decarboxylated ('decarbed') into their active forms during this time. [1]

This is a crucial step because it's what allows vegan edibles to actually get you high.

Make sure to determine the potency of your oil beforehand. A few calculations will show you how many milligrams of THC are in each tablespoon of your mixture. You should also try a small amount of cannabis oil before cooking with it to prepare for the effects!

Once you've made your canna coconut oil and gotten a general idea of its strength, you can start adding it into recipes. First, it's essential to understand how to dose your infused oil properly. After all, you don't want to eat a whole batch of brownies in one sitting (even if they are vegan). So start by substituting 1/4 cup of cannabutter or oil for every 1 cup of regular butter or oil in the recipe. You can increase or decrease the amount depending on your needs.

For example:

  • For super strong and lifted edibles, use 100% of the cannabis oil t
  • For a more mild experience, use 50% of the cannabis oil
  • For a very subtle effect, use 25% or less of the cannabis oil

From there, the sky's your limit. Feel free to infuse your cannabis oil into any and all of your favorite vegan baked goods! There are a few fun and sweet recipes you can try:

  • Vegan weed brownies
  • Vegan edible gummies
  • Vegan cannabutter cookies
  • Vegan chocolate chip cookies

You can make whatever type of edible you'd like, even soy-free! Whatever your final product, you're sure to enjoy the fantastic flavors of vegan cannabis infused edibles.

However, as fun as it may be to make edibles at home, there's one tastier and more time-efficient option: purchase the highest quality vegan edibles online. As long as you know what to look for, this option can save you time, money, and potential hassles. Details coming up next.

What to look for in vegan edibles (an overview)

Not all of the vegan edibles you'll see on today's market are premium. Some of them might not be premium — or vegan — at all. Some manufacturers may even put artificial ingredients in their products. Considering that these ingredients' effects are practically opposite CBD and THC's, that just doesn't make any sense.

In addition to distancing yourself from edibles containing artificial colors, flavors, and fillers, we'd encourage you to ask yourself a few questions about any product before buying it. Such as:

  • Is the brand health-conscious?
  • Are the brand's edibles actually vegan?
  • Do the brand's products have transparent labeling?
  • Is the product eco-friendly and sustainable?
  • Are the brand's products plant-based?
  • Do the edibles actually taste good?
  • Is the product quality consistent?
  • Is the brand backed by any culinary or cannabis experts?

The answers to these questions will help you identify which companies are selling authentic, high quality edibles — and which aren't. Fortunately for you, we've already done the heavy lifting. We know what to look for in a quality product, and we're happy to share that!

Don't worry if this seems like a lot of information to take in all at once. We'll be going through the details one by one below.

Is the brand health-conscious?

The first question to ask yourself about any brand that sells vegan edibles is the simplest one: is the brand genuinely health-conscious…or just acting health-conscious to get your money?

Whether good or bad, a brand's intentions will trickle into everything they do. Will they cut corners regarding product sourcing, lab testing, or labeling transparency? Will they make wildly unfounded marketing claims or stay with the facts? Will they make 'vegan' products that aren't actually, well, vegan? (More on that in the next section.) You get the idea.

Are the brand's edibles actually vegan?

The qualifications vegan edibles must meet are stricter than you might think. For a product to be considered vegan, every ingredient must come from a plant. This might not seem like such a big deal at first, but it actually rules out some ingredients commonly found in edibles — including some that you might not expect.

For example, many brands use beeswax as a binding agent in their products. While this ingredient is technically plant-based, it's not something that vegans are willing to consume. Ultimately, vegan edibles must contain absolutely no animal products. That means no:

  • Fish
  • Poultry
  • Animal byproducts
  • Eggs or egg byproducts
  • Milk or milk byproducts
  • Honey or honey byproducts
  • Insects or insects-derived pigments
  • Animal-derived GMOs or genetic sequences
  • Sweeteners that have been made with bone char
  • Liquids that have been filtered/clarified with animal products

Animal testing is also strictly prohibited.

It can't be used to:

  • Test any ingredients used in the making of the edible.
  • Test the finished product by any group, including producers, suppliers, manufacturers, or third parties.

Last but not least, vegan products need to be verified. Look for a vegan-friendly certification on the packaging of the products you're browsing for. Any truly vegan edible will carry this seal of approval. [2] Not every store or distributor will have this certification, but it's always worth asking about.

Do the brand's products have transparent labeling?

A product's label provides the clearest glimpse into the quality you can get.

Be sure to closely inspect the label on any vegan edible before you buy. Is the label accurate and specific? Is it backed by any third-party lab tests/COAs? Does it specify the amount of each active ingredient present, or does it hide behind imprecise "proprietary blends"? It sure better make clear how much THC, CBD, CBN, etc. are present!

Another sure sign of a brand's transparency can be seen by looking at its reviews. Positive reviews from real customers are one of the most accurate quality indicators. If you can't find any reviews on the company's website or elsewhere online, on the other hand, that's definitely not a good sign.

Is the brand eco-friendly and sustainable?

This metric is closely related to the first one. A brand that truly cares about your health will probably also care about the environment. So how can you know whether or not brand XYZ really cares? By looking for signs such as eco-friendly packaging, locally-sourced ingredients, and plant-a-tree-type initiatives.

Are a variety of cannabinoid blends available?

Cannabinoids aren't a one-size-fits-all type of thing. THC might be hugely beneficial for one person, for example, while being way too strong for the next. Different cannabinoids and cannabinoid blends will also be ideal for different people depending on their goals: [3]

  • Want to really focus and get things done during the workday? Consider microdosing a balanced blend of CBD and THC.
  • Want to sleep better? Try something a little heavier in CBN for a good night's sleep.
  • Or maybe you're going for pure upliftment. Feel free to focus on THC.

The best brands will make an effort to carry something for everybody.

Do the edibles actually taste good?

A common misconception in the canna world is that vegan edibles simply can't taste as good as 'the real thing.' But that couldn't be further from the truth.

Most people probably can't identify vegan vs. non-vegan edibles based on their taste alone. However, vegan edibles can be just as delicious (if not even more delicious!) than their non-vegan counterparts. And you can enjoy them guilt-free.

Is the brand backed by any culinary or cannabis experts?

This metric is the icing on the proverbial [vegan] cake.

Good brands will have good ingredients, good cannabinoid blends, and a good mission…but truly great brands will go one step further by earning the support of pertinent experts. In this case, support from both chefs and medical professionals is highly relevant.

A brand that checks all the boxes

Pantry vegan edibles check all these boxes — and provide a lot of taste-bud bliss in the process. Founded to offer cannabis enthusiasts all-natural, smoke-free upliftment, this Californian brand delivers some of the industry's most potent and delicious cannabis edibles. You can enjoy each bite (or drizzle) with zero guilt or adverse health consequences.

In addition to setting new standards in purity, potency, and taste, Pantry also manages to be backed by experts. Its edibles are crafted with the help of seasoned chef Mike Magliano and overseen by the medical expertise of Dr. Debra Kimless. The brand's products are further set apart by their uniquely original cannabis + adaptogenic formulations. These formulations combine the best aspects of timeless wellness and modern science, featuring ingredients like valerian root, ashwagandha, Lion's Mane mushrooms, and more. You can check out a bundle from the entire collection here.

Some of our favorite daytime Pantry edibles are the jellies, like GuavaStrawberry Lime or Peach. These are made with 100% natural fruit puree (just like jelly), formulated by a chef and infused with 5mg of THC in each bite.

If you're looking for a balanced blend, the Keto Bites are a 1:1 ratio of CBD: THC made with raw cacao. Each bite is infused with 5mg CBD and 5mg THC.

A more full list of exciting ingredients includes:

  • Lion's Mane mushroom — An adaptogenic shroom that may improve physical and mental fitness.
  • Turmeric — A spice blend with potent antioxidant properties that helps other compounds work better.
  • Ashwagandha — A medicinal root that may reduce stress and foster relaxation.
  • L-theanine — A super relaxing amino acid from green tea
  • Nite Bites — These contain a small amount of melatonin, a vital sleep hormone that may also be anti-aging.
  • Ginger — A spice that reduces harmful bacteria counts and improves metabolism.
  • Butterfly pea powder — This is a powderized flower that's impressively high in antioxidants

Many are vegan, low-sugar, dairy-free, gluten-free, non GMO, and some are also available in allergy-free versions.

Vegan edibles: summing things up

Vegan edibles are one of the cannabis industry's most exciting types of products. They present the best of both worlds in pretty much every way possible. Just be sure to select a premium product from a brand that actually embodies all things eco-friendly.

At Flower Market Delivery, we've made finding such products simple. Many of them are 100% vegan, and all of them are capable of creating 100% natural upliftment.

Citations

  1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28861498/
  2. https://vegan.org/certification/#:~:text=In%20order%20for%20a%20product,be%20processed%20with%20any%20animal
  3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28349316/