No, your kid won’t die if he or she accidentally downs a cannabis-infused gummy, but let’s agree that ‘not hastening your child’s death’ is setting the parenting bar pretty low. There are real risks if your kid gets into your edibles, inviting adverse effects for them and legal consequences for you.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have edibles–edibles are great! But if you plan to make or eat them in the home you share with children, these best practices will help you have your infused cake and eat it, too.
Lock ’em up
If you only follow one suggestion on this list, let it be this: store your edibles in a locked, child-proof container.
Lockable, cannabis-specific cases like those by Stashlogix are widely available online and in cannabis stores, and can store small batches of non-perishable edibles. For fridge or freezer-safe storage with more capacity, you’ll want to broaden your search. Google terms such as “fridge safe medicine lock box”, “fridge safe box locker” or “locked lunchbox” to generate a variety of options in a range of prices.
Choose Your Infusions
Unlike joints or dabs, sweets have fairly universal appeal for children, and whipping up a batch of cupcakes or brownies is guaranteed to pique their interest. Instead, consider sticking to basics like infused oils and cannabutter.
Versatile and relatively easy to create, base infusions can be crafted in small batches and easily incorporated into foods that adults love, but most little ones don’t. Think anchovy and caper pesto with infused olive oil, or bulletproof coffee with cannabutter.
Easy Dose It
If you’re crafting edibles for a crowd, it’s generally best practice to infuse garnishes rather than entire dishes; we all process cannabis differently, and putting the weed into sauces and toppings makes it easier for the lucky recipients of your work to customize their experience. Set on sweets? Simply whip up a non-infused batch of cupcakes or brownies and two batches of icing–one infused, one not. Then follow the steps below to ensure you never forget which batch is which.
According to Toronto-based cannabis chef Ronnie Fishman, a properly made cannabutter should display no more than a hint green. A vibrant, verdant hue comes from chlorophyll, not cannabinoids; she says it indicates you squeezed too hard when you were straining the plant matter out of your infusion. So you don’t want your cannabutter to be too naturally green, but you may want to consider adding artificial colour as a visual reminder of its special ingredient. Then, tell your kids that they must never, ever eat the green eggs and ham, the green butter, or the green icing.
Label, Label, Label
Adding food colouring to your homemade edibles is optional, labelling their contents is not. Regardless of whether you’ve got kids in the house, labelling prevents you and anyone else who might open your fridge or cupboard from confusing regular foods with infused ones.
When in doubt, overdo it. Tracking interesting culinary details, like times, temperatures, strain names, and ingredient ratios will help you become a better cannabis cook. Adding those details directly onto containers of edibles means that literate people who come upon them will know what they’re in for if they sneak a treat. For extra safety with little ones, consider creating your own edibles symbol and training your kids to recognize that anything that bears it is off-limits for them.
Talk About It
Locking and labelling are essential, but the most effective prevention strategies mitigate for human error. If you feel the conversation is age-appropriate, you can gain extra assurance by showing your kids your infused foods. Let them know that if they ever see this cookie, or that label, that it’s not for them. Remind them that your infused edibles are grownup treats that can make kids and pets very sick, and that if they ever find them out of their locked container, they’re to alert you immediately.
Play by the Rules
One more thing: CBD is a regulated phytocannabinoid under the Cannabis Act, regardless of whether it’s derived from cannabis or hemp. No matter what you know about the non-intoxicating benefits of CBD, unless your kid has a cannabis prescription, feeding them a CBD-infused edible is the legal equivalent of passing them a lit bong.