Cooking with cannabis

Cooking with cannabis

With the opening of a restaurant serving food with ‘special seasonings’ it seems cannabis is having a moment in the kitchen spotlight

The chocolate brownie is perhaps the best-known home of cannabis in cooking

The chocolate brownie: arguably the most famous recipe involving cannabis

The pretty town of Ashland in southern Oregon puffed its way into the news this week, when a restaurant opened there specialising in a particular kind ofbaking. The legal position of the cannabis cuisine which the restaurant serves is rather sketchy. Oregon, like 15 other states and Washington DC, permits marijuana use for medical purposes. (Similar legislation is pending in a dozen further states.) Local cops say that the totally unhippyish-sounding Earth Dragon Edibles is breaking the law, but news reports say the restaurant opened “without a hitch”. Apparently sober customers – or “patients”, as they must be known – all seemed keen. One of them, an ex-law enforcement official with a lovely white beard and a tie-dye T-shirt, said: “I’ve seen the bad sides and the good sides [to marijuana], and for 30 years I’ve been disabled and it saved my life so far.” Which is heartening.

I should have predicted what a gargantuan quantity of lore and expertise surrounds cooking with marijuana. My own involvement is limited to a rainily predictable afternoon as a student, resulting in a tray of mulchy, green-flecked brownies. They tasted as if a rodent had died on a compost heap, but nonetheless exposed a previously unseen hilarity in Richard and Judy’s You Say We Pay. (Adam Buxton recognised almost the same thing a couple of years later.)

Inevitably, it turns out we did it all wrong. The psychoactive components of cannabis are best released in warm fat or alcohol: connoisseurs apparently make a kind of butter using the leaves and stems of the plant, or steep them in rum or brandy to produce a liqueur bearing the neat if tautological name of crème de gras.

Cooking with weed has a long and not ignoble tradition. Mixed with ground almonds, milk and sugar into a drink happily called bhang, it’s used in religious rites across much of northern India. Chinese cannabis recipes go back to the 7th century BC, and Bartolomeo Platina included a recipe for “a health drink of cannabis nectar” in the world’s first printed cookbook, De Honesta Voluptate Et Valetudine (“On Honourable Pleasure and Health”), published in 1475.

The brownie is arguably the most famous recipe for weed thanks to Alice B Toklas, who published a 1954 cookbook full of anecdotes about the famous people she had known, particularly Gertrude Stein. (Stein in fact wrote Toklas’s 1933 “autobiography”, which in itself sounds like a fairly stoned thing to do.) The Alice B Toklas Cook Book included a recipe for “Haschisch Fudge”: readers were assured this was “the food of Paradise … it might provide an entertaining refreshment for a Ladies’ Bridge Club or a chapter meeting of theDAR“. Indeed it might.

In 1972, the Nixon government outlawed marijuana as a Schedule I Controlled Substance, Congress declaring that the plant had “no accepted medical use”. Legislative opinion has changed convincingly since then, with the plant shown to offer confirmed or probable benefits in the treatment of a range of ailments including nausea, insomnia, alcoholism, glaucoma and multiple sclerosis. Asthe Netherlands moves to restrict cannabis use in its famous cafés to Dutch nationals, and
as a Green councillor calls for the drug to be served in licensed premises across Brighton, it seems weed is having a moment in the kitchen spotlight. Expect a rise in Pink Floyd downloads.


Marijuana Inhalation Associated With Spontaneous Tumor Regression, Study Says

Marijuana Inhalation Associated With Spontaneous Tumor Regression, Study Says

Thursday, 24 March 2011

NORML Weekly Press ReleaseVancouver, British Columbia: Cannabis inhalation is associated with spontaneous brain tumor regression in two subjects, according to a pair of case reports to be published in Child’s Nervous System, the official journal of the International Society for Pediatric Neurosurgery.

Investigators at the British Columbia Children’s Hospital in Vancouver documented the mitigation of residual tumors in two adolescent subjects who regularly inhaled cannabis. Authors determined that both subjects experienced a “clear regression” of their residual brain tumors over a three-year-period.

“Neither patient received any conventional adjuvant treatment” during this time period, investigators wrote. “The tumors regressed over the same period of time that cannabis was consumed via inhalation, raising the possibility that cannabis played a role in tumor regression.”

Researchers concluded, “Further research may be appropriate to elucidate the increasingly recognized effect of cannabis/cannabinoids on gliomas (brain cancers).”

A 2006 pilot study published in the British Journal of Cancer previously reported that the intratumoral administration of the cannabinoid THC was associated with reduced tumor cell proliferation in two of nine human subjects with brain cancer.

Separate preclinical studies assessing the anti-cancer activity of cannabinoids and endocannabinoids indicate that the substances can inhibit the proliferation of various types of cancerous cells, including breast carcinomaprostate carcinoma, and lung cancer.

For more information, please contact Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, Full text of the study, “Spontaneous regression of septum pellucidium/forniceal pilocytic astrocytomas – possible role of cannabis inhalation,” will appear in the journal Child’s Nervous System.


Discover a common yard weed that’s proven to kill cancer cells

Discover a common yard weed that’s proven to kill cancer cells

Thursday, May 03, 2012 by: Paul Fassa

(NaturalNews) Most natural health advocates know that dandelion is a good liver tonic. But now research is showing that it’s also a cancer fighter. This research discovery occurred at Windsor University in Windsor, Canada.

A Windsor University biochemist, Siyaram Pandey, reluctantly took up dandelion research from a Windsor oncologist’s suggestion. Dr. Caroline Hamm noticed a few cancer patients who had been drinking dandelion tea seemed to be getting better.

Siyaram Pandey was initially skeptical. “She said it could be coincidental but it couldn’t hurt to see if there is anything to it.” So Pandey plunged into the research by working on leukemia blood samples with their own dandelion root extract. He and Dr. Hamm were amazed to find the leukemia cells were forced into apoptosis, or cell suicide.

More amazing to them was the fact that non-cancerous cells were left alone. In other words, the dandelion root extract targeted only the cancer cells, which is not true with chemotherapy pharmaceuticals that kill everything in their paths.

They experimented with other types of cancer cells in vitro (lab cultures) and found the same results. Their initial grant of $60,000 has recently been boosted with another $157,000 grant, bringing their total funding to $217,000.

Don’t expect much from the medical monopoly

The research team has applied for Canadian authorization to proceed with phase one clinical trials. However, there is a high probability that this research will quietly vanish unless Big Pharma can figure a way to synthetically reproduce dandelion’s active cancer fighting ingredients.

This sort of disinterest has already occurred recently in Canada (, so don’t expect oncologists to be pushing dandelion teas for cancer. Natural cures cannot be patented. No patent equals no big money for Big Pharma, which equals no interest.

Beyond no interest there can be outright suppression, as there was with Canadian Nurse Rene Caisse’s Essiac herbal tea that cured cancer patients and Laetrile in the USA. Thankfully, there is always knowledge and there will always be dandelions.

Perhaps one of the cancer patients Dr. Hamm noticed was John DiCarlo. He had been admitted to the hospital for aggressive leukemia treatments. All of the treatments failed and he was sent home to die. Someone recommended he try dandelion tea, and within a few months his leukemia was history. He was 72 years old when the cancer clinic pronounced him leukemia free.

Adding dandelion root powder to other natural cancer cures

Another dramatic story involved a USA Midwest farmer who cured his unremittingly painful prostate cancer with homemade dandelion root powder. He wrote up the instructions in a local newspaper, and the newspaper article was copied onto an internet news website complete with typos and all (

The farmer, George Cairns, warns that creating the powder from dandelion roots has to be done exactly according to his instructions. A half teaspoon of the powder in water or juice daily, no sodas or hot beverages, will be sufficient to take care of cancer after a few months.

As you may have noticed, there are contradictions between the two anecdotal cures. One used tea and the other said no hot beverages. That happens occasionally in the world of natural cures.

That’s why it’s important to employ two or three do-it-yourself natural approaches for dealing with cancer. Avoiding sugar, processed foods, and meat is recommended as well. The cancer diet platform is organic vegetarian with juicing.

The freshness and quality of any herbal remedy is vitally important. Inexpensive and accessible dandelion root tea or powder can be added to any natural cancer protocols for more healing potential.

Sources for this article include:

About the author:
Paul Fassa is dedicated to warning others about the current corruption of food and medicine and guiding others toward a direction for better health with no restrictions on health freedom. You can visit his blog at



A Public Forum on Drug Prohibition

Co-presented by The Sydney Morning Herald and Futureye

Image for Drug Policy event

In January 2012, Australia21 gathered experts from a wide variety of disciplines together to consider an Australian perspective on the 2011 Global Commission on Drug Policy report, which concluded that the “War on Drugs” had failed. Among many recommendations, the Australia21 roundtable called for the media to lead an evidence-based discussion with the people of Australia about our national policy on illicit drug use, in order to reopen the debate on prohibition.

The Sydney Morning Herald, in conjunction with Sydney Ideas, is responding to this call by hosting a public forum that considers the very complex question, should the government decriminalise drugs? The panel will include representatives from the Australia21 roundtable as well other key experts and commentators to deliver a wide spectrum of perspectives on the issue of drug prohibition.

We’ll consider what events and ideas shaped these perspectives; how these perspectives have changed over time and what the current approaches to this issue mean for Australia in the future.

Hosted by the Herald’s Editor-in-Chief and Publisher, Peter Fray, and the Managing Director of Futureye,Katherine Teh-White, the forum panel will include:

David Marr

David Marr, Senior Writer at The Sydney Morning Herald and author of 2011 bookPanic

Professor Kate Conigrave

Professor Kate Conigrave, Addiction Medicine Specialist and Professor, Sydney Medical School, University of Sydney

Dr Alex Wodak

Dr Alex Wodak, AM President Australian Drug Law Reform Foundation, Former President International Harm Reduction Association and Board Member of Australia21

Gary Christian

Gary Christian, Secretary and Research Director of Drug Free Australia

Vivienne Moxham-Hall

Vivienne Moxham-Hall, Arts and Science Graduate, Student Union Director, University of Sydney and Honorary Advisor to Australia21

Tony Trimingham

Tony Trimingham, Chief Executive Officer, Family Drug Support and father of Damien Trimingham, victim of a heroin overdose in 1997

Marijuana Has Never Done HARM Ever

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