While the legalized marijuana market continues to gain momentum in both the medical and recreational sector of the industry, it seems that an increasing number of patients and stoners in legal states are turning to edibles as their preferred method for consumption.

Edible marijuana products has become a burgeoning industry where the concept of the pot brownie, which was once just a stoner novelty produced illegally in home kitchens across America, has elevated to a new level of delectable, gourmet heights with an onslaught of delicious treats from every spectrum of the human palate. 

This is happening because a lot of marijuana users, especially those who consume the herb for medicinal purposes, are not comfortable with the idea, or are incapable of smoking their medicine. For others, catching a buzz by eating pot products is a way to escape the stigmas and various stoner stereotypes that have surrounded lovers of the leaf for decades.

The popularity of marijuana edibles has also peaked the interest of the culinary community and now, cannabis cooking classes are popping up all over the country, teaching students methods for turning up the heat on weed cuisine at home. In Denver, one successful class has been instructing potential cannabis chefs how to prepare a variety of marijuana-infused menu items -- from chocolate covered bacon to Swedish meatballs. "By the end of the class, everybody's pretty stoned," founder J.J. Walker recently told The Associated Press.

Industry professionals, who previously sustained themselves with the medical marijuana community, say there is a fortune to be made selling cannabis-infused products to the recreational market. "People are turning the corner and making lots of money in the rec department, and we expect to almost double the business in a year," said Chad Tribble, with Denver’s Mountain High Suckers, a company that made its mark selling lollipops to medical marijuana patients.

Unfortunately, with the increase in popularity of marijuana edibles comes controversy and dispute over product safety. Recently, THC-infused products were used as a scapegoat in the death of spring breaker in Colorado, and there have been reports of pot edibles creating an influx of children being treated in emergency rooms. These events, of course, have caused state legislators to pass regulations in regards to the packaging of edible marijuana products as well as impose purchase limits on some of these items -- urging cannabis consumers to eat smaller portions of their pot-infused goodies.

Some companies, like Champlain Valley Dispensary in Burlington, Vermont, are using this philosophy to create a variety of marijuana edibles containing manageable amounts of THC to help consumers control their buzz. "We've always come from the perspective of like, who eats a quarter of a cookie?" said CVD general manager, Bridget Conry. "We're trying to make our things portion-specific, because you know you want to eat the whole cookie."

(Photo from fuckinstoners.com)

Mike Adams writes for stoners and smut enthusiasts in High Times, Playboy’s The Smoking Jacket and Hustler Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter @adamssoup and on Facebook/mikeadams73.