November “Weed to the Wise: New Innovations”



Welcome to the November edition of the curated G4G PLAYBOOK! This month we will take a look at three new innovations: Sous-vide weed, radio frequency (RF) treatment of yeast and mold, and one company’s solutions to the incredibly complex issues in regulatory compliance. We will also provide some links on the international history of cannabis and reflect on the purpose of connecting grandchildren to nature. Have a very Happy Thanksgiving! Wishing you an interesting Thanksgiving table conversation!

A FEW NOTES on the HISTORY of CANNABIS

• Where Did the Cannabis Plant Originate?
“…researchers separated Cannabis and Humulus pollen from 155 studies and mapped them to regions across Asia, to clarify where and when Cannabis emerged. They discovered that the earliest Cannabis fossil pollen placed the genus in northwestern China, and dated to about 19.6 million years ago.” Article on Live Science.

• Cannabis Industry in Israel
Cannabis was illegal in Israel in the 1920s, then associated with Arab immigrants in the 1940s and hippies in the 1950s. In 1963, Professor Rafael Mechoulam’s team isolated the structure and chemistry of plant-derived cannabidiol (CBD), which led to Israel becoming one of the most advanced sources of cannabis research in the world. Article on Yahoo.

• France Forgets its Own Golden Age of Medical Marijuana
Starting in the late 1830s, doctors and pharmacists sold hashish-infused edibles, lozenges, tinctures, and even “medicinal cigarettes” for asthma. Hashish was even sold as a homeopathic wonder drug for treating mental illness and ultimately for cholera. When it failed to cure anyone during the cholera epidemic of the late 1800s, cannabis fell into disrepute. Just this last summer, medical trials using cannabis were approved by the French government. These had been illegal since 1953. Article on The Conversation.

• Cannabis in Chinese Medicine: Frontiers in Pharmacology
Fiber-rich biotypes of cannabis (hemp) were extensively used in ancient China for clothing and the production of paper, rope, and fishing nets. The seeds of cannabis have also been continuously used in Chinese medicine for at least 1,800 years. There is little evidence that cannabis was either abused or prohibited in China prior to the first documented seizures of imported cannabis products in Xinjiang in 1936. [This is a very technical research paper.] Article from the National Institute of Health.

THREE INNOVATIONS with WEED: NEW CONVERSATIONS

• Sous-vide cooking with weed
Every once in a while I run across a truly innovative idea that reminds me that it takes a younger generation from a different cultural background to see ‘differently’ what is in front of us. While some of us struggle to rise above the fear and guilt of the reefer propaganda, others see beauty, health, and the honoring of their ancestors. Check out Monica Lo’s ‘Sous Weed’ website.  As she says, “Sous Weed® is dedicated to using cannabis as a superfood ingredient as opposed to merely a psychoactive additive. Cannabis is a versatile, nutrient-dense vegetable to be treated as a culinary challenge like any other.” Monica combines modern cooking techniques with her Taiwanese-American heritage. Her skill as a food photographer is evident and the beauty and creativity of her site just illuminates the many flavorful ways of including microdoses of cannabis in a daily diet. This can be particularly helpful if you are using cannabinoids medically over a longer period of time. Thank you, Monica, for leading and showing another way!

NOTE: Sous-vide is a French cooking method. You place the food in vacuum pouches and cook it in water, at low temperatures, for a prolonged period of time. This evenly cooks the food and retains the moisture and nutrients.

• Using Radio Frequency (RF) Technology to improve Cannabis Quality 
Food currently treated with RF technology includes nuts like almonds, cashews, and hazelnuts, as well as sesame and chia seeds. This technology dates back to the 1940s and is used to eliminate contaminants such as yeast and mold. “RF is a short and efficient process which allows for a gentle and brief treatment. Typically, the processing time for a batch of 20 pounds of cannabis is about 15 minutes. With cannabis being a sensitive plant, this fully organic process results in virtually no loss of potency, and helps preserve the plant’s natural appearance, taste and aroma. [This provides a] chemical-free radiofrequency treatment process that reduces total yeast and mold count in cannabis while retaining potency and terpenes. Ziel’s APEX technology is currently being used by Los Sueños Farms, the largest outdoor cannabis farm in the country, and The Green Solution, a vertically integrated retailer, cultivator and processor of cannabis flower with 14 locations in Colorado.” Article on New Cannabis Ventures.

• Botanical Compliance
And lastly, sometimes innovation comes in very traditional industries that have BIG visions. The company Botanical Compliance, LLC works with members of the cannabis industry and government, “reducing regulatory and operational risks all-the-while increasing profits.” They write: “Our expertise was built over the last 21 years by providing compliance consulting and technology to those regulated by the US Securities and Exchange Commission. This experience, combined with successful careers in agriculture, the food and beverage and real estate industries, in retail operations and IT, enable us to provide affordable and customized solution and improvements in operations.” While I was at the Cannabis Business in Latin America conference this past June in Chile, I realized just how much compliance was an issue in this industry. At this point, legal regulations are oftentimes very different by country and in the U.S. by state, and this is complicated by the fact that multiple sub-industries also have their own sets of laws (e.g., hemp, CBD, medical marijuana, and recreational marijuana, not to mention organic regulations, etc.). Kudos to the visionaries in this new business!

AN ACT of HOPE: CAMPING with GRANDKIDS

Amid the climate crisis, a parent commits an act of hope. By Rebecca Heisman.
“Nothing else in my life is quite as effective as a walk in the woods for calming the clamor of my anxieties or quieting the never-ending To-Do list in my brain…I want my [grand]son to see that part of me, and I hope that a sense of kinship with the natural world might enrich his life as it has mine…but I’m afraid that by teaching him to love streams full of salmon and woods fun of songbirds, I’m betraying him, dooming him to a bitter, grieving adulthood when the streams are empty and the woods are silent….Taking our son camping has become my stubborn way of hanging onto hope that a beautiful future is still possible…How can I help my son build a strong relationship with something that is changing before his eyes? How can I tell him to build his sense of self on something that won’t be there for him in the same way in 5 years, 10, or 50? But change and loss are part of [grand]parenthood too. My son is changing every day, and all I can do is try to take good care of him, advocate for him, love him and teach him how to hope.” Article on High Country News.

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