Infuse Your Meal with ‘Liquid Gold’
Because harvest-to-table started as a Northern California phenomenon, the region continues to serve up a rich bounty of olive oil producers, including Long Meadow Ranch, Round Pond, Trattore Farms, Lucero, O Organics, McEvoy Ranch, and Terra Savia. Olive oil is often called liquid gold because it is a product that brightens and accentuates the quality and flavors of a meal, but the original “liquid gold” descriptor was from the Iliad poet Homer. The healing qualities of olive oil are also well-established, and the ancient Greek physician Hippocrates was the first to famously describe olive oil as “the great healer,” which is apropos for today’s eaters and users alike.
Using canna-oil, or oil that is infused with cannabis, has become a trendy and compelling way to medicate. It’s also a great example of a product that can potentially deliver flavor and function when used in cooking or baking or when to drizzled over a prepared food as a “finishing oil.” Oils can be made with CBD, THC, or both. Note that CBD is often better suited for medical users because it causes no psychoactive reactions.
As with all marijuana products, take things slow when sampling because the products vary in dosage and affect users differently.
Anthony Franciosi, founder of Honest Marijuana Company, has sage advice: “In terms of delivery, smoking and ingesting can be thought of, respectively, as the bullet train and the bike of the cannabis consumption world.
“Smoking marijuana can deliver the THC to your system and take you from normal to high in a matter of minutes or even seconds (like a bullet train). Ingesting marijuana, on the other hand, can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 3 or more hours to get you where you want to go (like a bike).
“Aditionally, when compared to smoking marijuana, ingesting your weed results in a much more intense high. To add to the appeal of ingesting, the effects of this delivery method can last from 4 to 6 hours (compared to the 2 to 3 hours for smoking).
“Because of the slow onset time and the potency of ingesting bud, it’s important not to get impatient and eat more in an attempt to speed the process.”
Grass Valley Orchards has a 250 ml (8.5 ounces) bottle of organic extra virgin olive oil to “enhance just about anything,” which is as good a starting point as any. This producer ensures lab testing and 762 mg THC per bottle. There’s also a more petite 1-ounce bottle that rocks six doses for a total of 90 mg per bottle. Fans of the Sam’s Sundae at the ever-popular Bi-Rite Creamery near Dolores Park may want to up their at-home ice cream game by using the oil to top ice cream, and don’t forget sea salt to please your inner gourmand. The Grass Valley product has a pleasing mild finish to better accentuate the dairy notes.
MaGooch Gravity Lock olive oil is one of the strongest and most potent oils on the market, with 1300 mg in 1.5 fluid ounces. Possibly forgo the olive oil and bread dipping bowl when first working with this choice, which works well with carbs from breads, pasta, and grilled cheese sandwiches as well as with sautéed shisito peppers or squash. You can also try judiciously pouring over tacos or other protein-packed dish, a good option for those upcoming Indian Summer fog-belt grilling parties.
Not So Virgin Olive Oil from the Venice Cookie Company works well for sipping, if that’s your preferred method — just start with one quarter of a teaspoon for the best experience, and be sure to drink water afterward. Nighttime uses of the savory variety work well for this one: Think salad, soup, pasta, or perhaps a light sprinkle over chicken or fish. If you use the oil for actual cooking (as opposed to drizzling it on as a finishing oil), keep in mind that heat will diminish the potency, and olive oil has a distinctive flavor that is not neutral like other cooking oils. The Not So Virgin oil is made using “whole plant extracts from sustainable sun-grown cannabis and test every batch to ensure consistent potency and patient safety” and has a potency of 400 mg THC and 25 mg CBD per bottle.