Having been raised in an Italian home, “Did you eat?” was probably the most asked question I heard.
“Did you Eat?” “I just made… I have some left over… I could make your favorite…” “Eat! Eat! Mangia!”
Some people eat to live, while others, like me… we live to eat. For me and maybe for you, I enjoy thinking about food and planning meals, visiting my local Farmer’s Market and selecting the fresh veggies and fruit that are so vibrant in color. Cooking food and sharing it with those that I love is one of my favorite things to do. Food is an extension of Love. We are fortunate to live in the desert and have a year-round growing season of food. There are Farmer’s Markets throughout the Phoenix area with a great selection of local and organically grown food. Or, get your own hands in the dirt and start a garden.
Farmer’s Market info: www.ArizonaCommunityFarmersMarkets.com
Vegetable Planning Calendar for Maricopa County:https://extension.arizona.edu/pubs/az1005.pdf
MMJ Edible: a Food Product Infused with Cannabis Extract
In the days before the Medical Marijuana programs existed in states, the “pot brownie” was the most notorious edible. If you have your MMJ card, then you have seen the selection of edibles in the dispensaries today.
There are: tinctures, soda, mints, chocolate bars, gummy candy, hard candy, caramels, cookies, brownies, ice cream, lollipops, granola, infused olive or coconut oil, honey, chocolate covered blueberries and espresso beans, butter, coffee, cereal, maple syrup, hot sauce, peanut butter, pretzels, popcorn and lollipops. And even Cannabis infused marinara sauce. Holy cannoli! the pot brownie has some competition now.
You can purchase the good old- fashioned dried Cannabis flower and make your own edibles at home. Start off with making infused butter or olive oil. It is healing to take the time and make your own edible medicine. There are many recipes available on-line.
Eating Cannabis produces different effects on the body than smoking it. The main differences are:
Edibles can take a longer time to cause an effect in the body.
The cannabinoids (THC, CBD, etc) in the Cannabis enter the blood via the digestive tract and then go to the liver.
Once in the liver, the THC is converted to a stronger form (11-OH-THC) which can then enter the brain.
11-OH-THC is responsible for the stronger and longer-lasting drug effect.
In 2005, a research study performed at the University of Naples in Italy was published in the Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology. It was titled, Cannabinoids and the Digestive Tract. The research states:
In the digestive tract there is evidence for the presence of high levels of endocannabinoids (anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol) and enzymes involved in the synthesis and metabolism of endocannabinoids.
Anandamide is made within the body, and it produces similar effects as THC from Cannabis. Anandamide is released in our body to help us to feel calm, centered and balanced. Its name comes from the Sanskrit word meaning “joyful and blissful.” It helps to balance the body by regulating sleep, pain, the immune system, anxiety and depression. And wouldn’t you know it…anandamide is also naturally found in the cocoa bean. So, that’s why we feel good after eating dark chocolate and why we want it so badly when we are STRESSED out! Give me truffles and give me peace.
The research states that positively affecting the endogenous cannabinoid system in the digestive tract can help treat diseases such as: nausea and vomiting, gastric ulcers, diarrhea, inflammatory bowel disease (IBS), colon cancer and acid reflux or GERD.
Fast forward 14 years after the research, and now MMJ patients can treat their digestive tracts using edibles.
LOW and SLOW
It takes a little longer to feel the effect once the Cannabis is eaten. Begin with a small amount of the edible at a low dosage and wait for the effects. If the effect was not strong enough, then take more the following day. It can be unpleasant to over-medicate by eating, say, the whole Cannabis infused chocolate bar. Start off with a small square of chocolate first. Then wait. The intoxicating effect of an edible is stronger than smoking Cannabis. Eating an edible on an empty stomach may result in stronger intoxication, while eating an edible after a meal will slow down the entry of Cannabis into the bloodstream.
PUT it THERE
If the pain is in the gastrointestinal tract… THEN PUT THE CANNABIS THERE and drink it. Make a tea with the Cannabis flower or try THC syrups and drinks to get the Cannabis and its pain relieving and anti-inflammatory healing effect directly in touch with the membranes of the digestive tract. Patients with colon cancer, may also want to consider using Cannabis suppositories.
EDIBLES DON’T WORK FOR ME
Some people do not feel any effect when they eat an edible. I hear that often from patients. This may be because the person has too much stomach acid which destroys the Cannabis before it can get into the bloodstream. One way to off-set the stomach acid is to take an antacid first and then eat the edible. Over the counter TUMS or Rolaids can help or sipping a cup of warm water that has a pinch of baking soda in it can help as well.
KNOW what you’re EATING
Not all edibles are the same. Read the ingredients and know what you are eating. Some edibles have the concentrate sprayed onto them while others have it blended into them. There are healthy choices and not so healthy choices of edibles.
KEEP THEM HIDDEN
Since MMJ edibles look like regular food, remember to keep them away from children and pets.
Dr. Kimberly Landino has been practicing Naturopathic Medicine in Arizona since 2001. She certifies patients for their MMJ card at All Greens Clinic in Sun City, AZ. Click here for more from Kimberly Landino.