By Nicole Riggs
“I got into fresh-infused foods when a friend of mine sent a recipe for making bhang tea with fresh ganja,” recalls Sunshine Cereceda, a well-known small-farm cannabis cultivator in Humboldt County. “Well, shoot!” I thought, “I have fresh ganja in my backyard, I’m going to make it.”
She ground up the spices and cannabis with a mortar and pestle and shared the tea with her neighbor, who is not much of a cannabis consumer. They noticed it didn’t get them high, but they liked the effect, which was balancing. They felt relaxed and yet strong at the same time.
We’re learning that consuming raw cannabis can be effective in stimulating the endocannabinoid system, which keeps our body in balance. Known as a superfood, cannabis is packed with terpenes, cannabinoid acids, flavonoids, antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins. Because it’s not heated, fresh cannabis is packed with THCA, the most abundant non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in cannabis. It has soothing properties and helps with the functions of the nervous system.*
For home growers, making their own products is an exciting way to explore the flavors and benefits of this superfood. When you grow your cannabis, you can make sure that no chemical pesticides are used, and that the flowers and leaves of the plant are organic.
“I went on to infuse other things, like coconut oil, nut milk, butter,” explains Sunshine. Honey is an excellent base to infuse with fresh cannabis from the garden because it captures the unique flavor of the cultivar that’s been growing and it doesn’t need to be refrigerated, unlike other cannabis infusions. A citrus-flavored cultivar like Sunboldt’s Wanderlust strain infuses well in a light honey like clover or sage.
Michael Magallanes is the chef behind the Opulent Chef, a boutique catering company that also curates cannabis-infused or cannabis-paired dining experiences. He has used honey infused with Sunboldt Loopy Fruit strain multiple times. “One thing I like to do is to make a ginger-lime-honey spritzer to serve to guests as they arrive at the party,” he explains. “They get to talk about it, they’re blown away by the fact that they get to enjoy the flavor but they’re not getting high.”
Sunshine and the Opulent Chef have the same vision: “We hope there’ll be many small home growers with a couple of plants in their yard who can explore the consumption of raw cannabis.” Cannabis is a culinary experience to enjoy infused in food and paired with wine.
How to Infuse Your Honey with Raw Cannabis
You will need:
- A jar of honey. The honey should be soft. If it’s too thick, let it sit in a warmer space until it’s thinner.
- Wooden spoon
- Metal coffee filter (or other filter that will allow honey to drip through)
In your garden, pick the bud when it’s really ripe. Take off those leaves that have little or no resin and cut down the buds (if there’s a little stem left, that’s okay). Put the buds in the honey. Cap the jar and let the honey sit at room temperature for 4–6 weeks. (It is shelf stable.) Stir once a day with a wooden spoon.
After 4–6 weeks, strain the honey (a metal coffee filter is useful) into a jar and cap it. When you’re ready to experience the honey, open the jar, taste the honey, and enjoy the sense of well-being.
This post by Nicole Riggs is sponsored by Sunboldt Grown. Nicole is Marketing Director for Sunboldt Grown and the founder of Manifesto Synergies, a consulting firm for brand strategies in the Humboldt cannabis industry. Sunboldt’s founder, Sunshine Cereceda, is long known for growing good herb.She has lived in Humboldt for 18 years. Please visit Sunboldt Grown to learn more.
*Source information: “Non-psychotropic plant cannabinoids: new therapeutic opportunities from an ancient herb” by Izzo, Borrelli, Capasso, Di Marzo and Mechoulam in Trends in Pharmacological Sciences.