Article by Robin Griggs Lawrence, Lift News
I’ve answered a lot of questions since the release of my book, The Cannabis Kitchen Cookbook, in 2015. Family members, friends, reporters, acquaintances and strangers want to know why I cook with cannabis and, sometimes, how they can, too. A surprising number of people don’t even realize that they can cook with the herb.
People who knew me as a volleyball mom and natural living advocate ask why I would write a book promoting use of a substance that’s illegal in most of the world (but not in my home state, Colorado). People ask how my social life has changed since I began speaking and publishing about cannabis.
When you go public, you get a lot of questions about your private life. I answer as best I can.
It’s good for you
I tell them I eat cannabis leaves and flowers because the plant is a nutritional powerhouse. Officially classified as a vegetable, it’s packed with vitamins, essential fatty acids, zinc, magnesium and antioxidants. It’s as good for you as kale—and the cannabis you cook with should be grown or chosen with as much care as any other vegetable.
I like to juice cannabis fan leaves, and I believe that’s the best way to take in all of the plant’s nutritional and medicinal benefits. It’s hard to find enough leaves year-round, though, so I make a lot of infusions and tinctures to cook with, which pull beneficial terpenes and cannabinoids out of the plant material.
Making infusions from ground cannabis is simple. THC-A and CBD, the most well-known cannabinoids in the cannabis plant, are fat-soluble, and heat turns THC-A into the psychoactive THC while activating CBD. Gently heating the ground cannabis with a fat (such as butter, oil or cream) for several hours pulls out all the goodies and gives you a great base to use in any type of recipe. Combining cannabis with alcohol to create a tincture creates the same effect. These tinctures make a great base for cocktails—but for one, just one.