Eating cannabis has been done for ages, in all kinds of ways and for many different reasons. Wanted for its psychoactive effects, its medical aspects, its nutritional aspects, or a combination of the three.

“Are you getting high from eating raw cannabis?” Ehm. No. It doesn’t work like that. Eating fresh cannabis can bring you all kinds of benefits but getting high is not one of them. If you want to achieve that there is some work to be done first.
“But there is THC in cannabis, and you get high from THC!” No there isn’t. There is THCa in cannabis. Its acid equivalent, which doesn’t bond to our receptors and is therefore not psychoactive!

If you want it to be, you must heat the molecule. For that reason, people burn or vaporize cannabis, however if you choose to consume it by swallowing, you can -here comes the word- decarboxylate it. Don’t worry. It is in fact nothing more than exposing cannabis to a temperature of approximately 110 degrees Celcius (225o F) for one hour. During this time the THCa- molecule loses an atom from the carbon chain so that it changes into our beloved THC. (The same goes for CBD and some other cannabinoids.)

Anyone can do this. You just dry and grind the weed, then you put it in the oven and cover it with foil so that valuables won’t disappear. Leave it there for the time needed and let it cool before you take it out. The possibilities after that are numerous. A nice solution is to put it into a peppermill to medicate-, season-, spice up- and enlighten any dish or drink you like.

Then there is cannabis oil and cannabis butter. More and more people enjoy producing their own oil and butter. My advice is to leave the production of oil to the specialists. The wrong balances here can produce disappointing and sometimes devastating effects. Cannabis butter can be made at home but read about it first! Also here, some roads may lead to victory, others to misery. And they differ a lot! Some people melt and stir the butter for less than an hour, while others simmer and shake the lot for at least eight hours at a stretch. Some use water, some don’t. It all comes down to gradually adding decarboxylated cannabis to melted butter on a very low fire for some time. With this butter you can produce all kinds of sweet goodies like brownies, chocolate bars, lollypops, chewing gum, etc., but besides that cannabis butter is also used in serious soups or sauces and in for instance chicken and pastry dishes. Many recipes can be found on the internet.

More and more chefs worldwide present themselves with smiles and beautiful dishes enriched with cannabis. Last year the mini sushi chain ‘Hapa Sushi’ introduced a special cannabis-food pairing menu to celebrate legalization of recreative marihuana in Colorado. And in California, “The Herbal Chef” Chris Sayegh promotes several cannabis-based dishes on CNN and if you live in LA you can invite him to come to your home to cook for you. In this way he hopes to contribute to the legalization of cannabis in his state.
We mustn’t forget the sommeliers that specialize in wines that go along well with cannabis orientated dishes, taking the advantage of the terpenes that the two have in common. Wines? In California there is Rebel Coast Winary. A Vineyard that produces cannabis infused Sauvignon Blanc. There is no alcohol in it, but every bottle contains 16 milligrams of THC.

Nowadays cannabis seeds are known as superfoods and the living fresh plant itself is used as raw food in many ways. Although consuming the non-heated material doesn’tmake you high, it doesn’t mean that it has no advantages. From a nutritional point of view cannabis is extremely healthy. It is a leafy green vegetable, full of proteins, fibers, antioxidants, fatty acids, iron and with many vitamins and minerals. It delivers extremely nutritious smoothies and it gives a unique scent to dressings and pesto’s. And if you don’t heat the food, the benefits of THCa and CBDa stay intact. Scientists may think that THC and CBD have more therapeutic potential, but also in their sour non-decarboxylated state these molecules have proven to be great cannabinoids for treating ills like spasms, inflammation and for pain regulation. And do you remember the earlier mentioned terpenes? Many more of them are being preserved if you don’t burn them. Besides their flavor and scent, even in their raw shape they are said to have a relaxing effect on your entire system.

The more you get to know about this intriguing plant the more questions arise and the more impressed you are about its variety of possibilities.

Zilt