Cuisine The link between cannabis and cuisine is quite possibly as old as cuisine and cannabis themselves! From April 20th, the temporary exhibition ‘Cannabis Cuisine’ at the Hash Marijuana & Hemp Museum in Barcelona sets the table for a dinner full of hemp, invites you to devour the history of cannabis edibles and orders you a delicious dessert of recipes!
To celebrate April 20th 2017, the date celebrated throughout the cannabis-consuming community as being linked to the “magic cannabis number” 420, there are many events taking place all around the world. From picnics to marches, small gatherings to street parades, with a little searching it is possible to find something that suits your mood and location.
If you are lucky enough to be in Barcelona for the 20th of April this year, you can attend the grand opening of a new free exhibition on the ground floor of the Spanish wing of the Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum. Titled ‘Cannabis Cuisine’, it explores the relationship between the sensual enjoyment of food and the psychedelic enjoyment of cannabis.
How did cooking with cannabis begin?
It is likely that the psychoactive effects were discovered at around the same time as cooking with fire. Decarboxylation is necessary to convert the THCA into THC, a process that begins when the buds are dried and cured. This would have most likely been practiced by our ancestors in order to preserve the seeds, and as they were doing everything by hand, it is very probable that significant amounts of plant matter would have remained on the seeds – enough to cause a high when they were eaten, especially if they had been toasted or baked first. Herodotus wrote about the Scythians throwing hempseed onto hot stones as a form of incense, and this may also have contributed to early peoples discovering the mind-expanding properties of this ritual.
Coming soon – Sensi Food!
Just as millennia ago, the nutritional qualities of hempseed are just as magical as the consciousness-expanding attributes of cannabinoids! The seeds contain vitamin E, iron, all the essential amino acids and a balance of omega 3, 6 and 9 that is optimal for human health. If anything deserves to be called a “superfood”, it is definitely hempseed. The seeds may be eaten whole or shelled, raw or toasted, plain or flavoured. Seeds can also be pressed for oil, and ground into flour and protein powder.
With this in mind, Sensi Seeds will soon be launching Sensi Food – a new range of hempseed-based culinary products to enable you to get the most from this brilliant source of nutrition. To begin with, the line will consist of cold-pressed hempseed oil in 250ml and 500ml bottles; shelled hempseed; and hemp protein powder that can be mixed into smoothies, cereals and protein-rich shakes. All of these products are made from certified organic hempseed grown in Europe, and contain no additives. Vegans and others wishing to embrace a plant-based diet will be especially excited about these new members of the Sensi Seeds family, as hempseed is arguably the best non-animal source of protein.
Cannabis cuisine in China
The villagers of Bama Yao, a town in the pastoral province of Guangxi in China, already know it is very easy to incorporate hemp into any meal – and they know the value of doing so! Life expectancy in Bama Yao is well over 100 years for its inhabitants. Scientists believe their secret to longevity is in their diet, which includes lots of hempseed. And Bama Yao is by no means the only place in Asia that takes advantage of the plentiful seeds. China has been known both inside and outside its borders as ‘the land of hemp and mulberry’ for hundreds, if not thousands of years, and toasted hemp seeds have been a common snack food there for about the same amount of time. Neighbouring Nepal relies on hempseed oil from local sources for cooking; Tibet uses the seeds as a staple ingredient in a traditional tea called ‘ma’ley’. There is even a Chinese creation myth that has hempseed appearing as a literal gift from the gods, one of the ‘Five Sacred Grains’.
Contemporary cannabis cuisine
With the increasing spread of legislation enabling both medicinal and recreational cannabis use, and the decreasing popularity of smoking as a consumption method, there is currently an interest in cannabis edibles unlike anything previously seen. Cannabis dinner parties are experiencing a surge in popularity, and there are even cooking shows and books dedicated to psychedelic cuisine. The collaboration of Snoop Dogg and Martha Stewart, something that would have been dismissed as a literal pipedream only a decade ago, now seems (almost) normal.
There are plenty of anecdotal reports of a diet rich in hempseed helping the symptoms of arthritis, skin complaints such as psoriasis, and even high blood pressure. On the scientific side, there is research to back this up too. Interestingly, new research is pointing to a link between eating disorders and a deficiency in the endocannabinoid system. So cannabis and hemp working together are a powerful combination when it comes to having a healthy body and a healthy diet!
The exhibition at the Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum in Barcelona will not only demonstrate the long history of cannabis cookery, but also provide visitors with cannabis recipes to take home with them and try out for themselves. Don’t miss this unique and fascinating look at the past, present and future of cannabis cuisine!
Opening: Thursday, 20th April 2017 (Weed Day), at 8.00 p.m.
Organisation: Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum Amsterdam/Barcelona
Address: Palau Mornau’s ground floor. Carrer Ample 35, Barcelona
Dates: 20th April 2017 – 30th September 2017
Exibit hours: 10.00 a.m. – 10.00 p.m.
Entrance: free admission to the temporary exhibition; please check our entrance prices to visit the permanent exhibition.