cannabis marinade for tender steak

The secret ingredient to a tender steak? A cannabis marinade

No one enjoys sinking their teeth into a tough steak. And although you might associate cannabis-infused recipes with just getting high, a Sri Lanka study has found that the plant can also be used to help soften your sirloin.

How to use a marijuana marinade?

A study at the University of Peradeniya in Sri Lanka shows that a cannabis marinade might significantly make your beef tender, giving a sheer value of 5.1 which is even lesser than the sheer value of tenderloin steak (known to be the most tender steak) at about 5.7. (1)

The cannabis marinade used in the research was a filtered solution of 1 gram of cannabis boiled in 200 ml of water. It was applied externally and injected into two different samples of beef, each about 1.5 inches thick and cut from the Longissimum Dorsi muscle, which is usually used for steak. (2) The beef was then left for about 4 hours at 4*C. (1)

How does it work?

The solubility of collagen was observed after marinating the steaks in cannabis marinade (1) and collagen contributes to meat toughness. (4) Although it was not investigated, reachers believe that the presence of natural enzymes in cannabis could account for solubility, thereby increasing beef tenderness. (5)

Prolonged marination of beef in cannabis marinade under frozen conditions didn’t cause any oxidation in the meat (1) owing to the many antioxidant benefits of cannabis (4), thus keeping the meat fit for consumption. Other effective marinades such as curd and vinegar caused fat oxidation and also gave a dark brown colour to the beef. (5)

A possible advantage to the Canadian beef industry

The cannabis marinade could save the Canadian beef industry from some losses.

It has been estimated that the inconsistencies associated with beef tenderness potentially cost the Canadian beef industry $21 million annually. Tenderness is consistently identified as the most important trait affecting beef quality and consumer satisfaction. About half of the weight of the carcass is generally under-utilized and sold either as roasts or ground beef at about half the price of cuts from the middle meats, due to their toughness. (3)

Although conventional technologies such as ageing improve beef quality (10), the cost of holding carcass for an extended chill temperature can be very high. (1) More research on the use of cannabis marinade in meat processing could bring new business opportunities for cannabis farmers. (5)

On a side note – If you like cooking with cannabis, you can cook your cannabis marinated tender steak in cannabutter. Find out how to make cannabutter here.

Let us know how that goes in the comments and follow us @cannalifenet for more cannabis-infused recipes.


1. K.H.R., Wijayawardana, et al. “Effect of Different Marinades on the Tenderness of Beef .” Effect of Different Marinades on the Tenderness of Beef, vol. 13, 2001, pp. 61–68. 

2. J. Kenji López-Alt. “Four Expensive Steak Cuts to Know.”, Serious Eats, 23 Mar. 2011,

3. Shand, Dr. Phyllis, et al. “Meeting the Demand for High-Quality, Tender Beef – Beef Cattle Research Council.” Meeting the Demand for High-Quality, Tender Beef – Beef Cattle Research Council, 5 Mar.2020,

4. Dr. Joseph Rosado. “Antioxidant Benefits of Marijuana.” Marijuana Doctors, 28 June 2019,