What Can We Learn About Cannabis Through Food
We break bread to bring people together. A timeless tradition to unite over food, sharing our stories, listening to others, laughing, crying, problem-solving, rejoicing and whatever else that may come through us into that space.
For generations, people have stepped outside to share a joint in the cover of a dark parking lot for safety. Circling up before dinner to enjoy a flower that gets them into a gratifying place while sharing some laughs. But now, as we don’t have to use the mask of darkness to partake in cannabis, how can we learn about the plant through food, as we break bread together?
For almost a decade, I’ve been serving people cannabis through the art of pairings I conceived at the dawn of 2014. Cannabis pairings are done by pairing terpene profiles of cannabis with flavor profiles of food to harmonize and enhance the taste, performed through smoking and not infusions (AKA edibles). This is a craft that you can take in many directions, just as an artist with a blank canvas.
Terpenes are the most important compound of cannabis, responsible for determining the mood you’ll be in or the energetics you’ll have, from simply feeling calm or energized to more advanced states of flowing into your creative genius or working through trauma via introspection. Terpenes steer the high, if you will.
Terpenes produce the aromas of cannabis and all plants for that matter. When you smell lavender, you actually smell the terpene compound linalool, a very easy smell to pick up on and identify for most. With a trained nose, you can pick up on the smell of linalool in certain strains of cannabis and use that information to determine where your mind or energy may go while high.
Through food, you can use a dining platform as a landscape to explore terpenes and other finer aspects of cannabis to become a more attuned consumer — one who has learned to use cannabis beyond pain management, sleep aid and the principle of pleasure (although these dinners can be extremely pleasurable).
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Some consumers are focused on quality and others, the effect; for a true connoisseur, both are essential. But what will best serve society is an understanding of the possibilities for cannabis to enhance and amplify areas of life and not dull or take away from them. Understanding this is why I push back on the term cannabis sommeliers because our work goes beyond the culinary pleasing of most wine sommeliers.
Through a vehicle of a Cannabis Pairing Dinner, you can explore enhanced senses through beautiful music that is playing, the artistic plating of food, exquisite tastes, smoky aromas blended with ingredients that are being mixed in a kitchen and a feeling of how your body is in the moment. An orgasm of the senses invokes unabashed studies of satisfaction.
With the proper server (I prefer a CashoM) of cannabis, you can learn how the terpenes will make you feel, finding ways to work with them to enhance your experience and not take away from them. If you master this, your intelligence on incorporating cannabis into your lifestyle can bring a richness into whatever it is your body, mind and soul are focused on.
And what would life be without community? We can learn to love more through the heart-opening activation cannabis provides. Even disagreements at the dinner table become easier to hold space for as cannabis allows space for all views while we hold space for discussion to find clarity.
Through breaking bread, we come together to learn and explore with each other. By sharing smoke, we can unite the spirit and carry on a timeless tradition from many indigenous cultures that unite our spirits to feel the oneness that imbues us all through love.