“Welcome to Psychedelicatessen, a weekly column exploring the world of cannabis cuisine, including recipes from the great chefs and ganjapreneurs who fuel our appetite for adventure.”
The hardest part about a New Year’s resolution is sticking with it, after all, habits don’t change without sustaining a new routine for at least a month. If you’re seeking to pick up some healthy habits for 2015, integrating cannabis and hemp into your diet is a great start! Recipes like the Sativa Shiva Chew couldn’t be simpler to make, and creating your own healthy medicated treats will help you maintain your discipline.
Last week, we discussed how superfoods provide a nutritional boost that creates energy, focus and vitality. Cannabis and hemp are superfoods in their own right, with cannabis delivering phytocannabinoids like THC and CBD, while hemp provides a perfectly balanced ratio of amino acids omega-3 and omega-6, essential for brain function.
Using foods as medicine to treat or prevent disease isn’t a new idea, but one that’s sadly been overlooked by the Western medical system in our modern times. While some edibles-makers focus on providing vegan, gluten-free or Paleo items, only Siddhi Tonics integrates the ancient Indian system of Ayurveda with cannabis medicine. Madhu, the 44 year-old founder of Siddhi Tonics, spent considerable time traveling in India before launching his Seattle-based medical marijuana business in 2013. “I have faith in holistic natural medicine,” Madhu affirms, “based on what science is finding now, I feel cannabis can heal on many levels.”
The traditional Hindu practice of Ayurvedic medicine blends diet, herbs and yogic breathing as a way to keep the human body in balance. As we now know, the endocannabinoid system present in each person strives to maintain homeostasis, or internal stability. Supplementing your system with the phytocannabinoids found in marijuana can help if your internal system is unbalanced or stressed, something Indian sages must have discovered through trial and error over many years of experimentation. There’s a general acceptance of cannabis in India, where people have used it spiritually and medically for many thousands of years. According to the sacred Hindu texts called The Vedas, gunjah was “a source of happiness” associated with the Lord Shiva.
“There’s 49 specific Ayurvedic formulations for seizures,” Madhu says, explaining why someone using cannabis to help control epilepsy would be wise to add other superfoods and herbs to their diet as well. “Rather than make a distinction between medical versus recreational use, our approach involves integrating whole plants into your lifestyle to promote wellness.”
Siddhi Tonics currently offers three distinct product lines, Herbal Bhang Chai drink mixes, cannabis elixir sprays and topical treatments, all of them blended with tonic herbs that “help to potentiate, amplify and harmonize the effects of cannabis.” Their products can be found in 20 Washington State access points, as well as 10 Oregon dispensaries.
These Sativa Shiva Chews are inspired by a traditional recipe called “til ke laddu,” which uses sesame to warm and energize the body. Usually it’s shared during the wintertime kite flying festival known as “Makara Sankranti,” a time of peace, abundance, joy, and enlightenment.
Sativa Shiva Chews
1 cup raw tahini
1/4 cup honey
1 tbsp cannabis-infused coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup hemp seeds, plus one tbsp for rolling
3 tbsp dates, pitted and finely chopped (about 3 – 4 Medjool dates
1 tbsp spirulina powder
1 tbsp maca powder
Pinch of salt
3/4 cup sliced almonds
3 tbsp cacao nibs, plus one tbsp for rolling
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1 tbsp sesame seeds
Combine the tahini, honey, cannabis-infused coconut oil and vanilla extract in the bowl of a food processor and process until combined. Add the hemp seeds, dates, spirulina, maca and salt and process until the mixture is smooth. Add the sliced almonds, cacao nibs, and pumpkin seeds and pulse the mixture three or four times until evenly blended. If mixture is too dry, add more tahini or coconut oil, if mixture is too wet, add more hemp seeds, superfood powders, dates and almonds.
Use a tablespoon to scoop the mixture, then roll between your hands to form a cohesive ball. Spread the remaining tablespoons of hemp seeds, cacao nibs and sesame seeds evenly on a plate and roll each ball in the mixture to coat.
Makes 12 balls. Enjoy!