SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- No one bats an eye if you pour yourself a glass of wine with dinner. The benefits are well known. Wine can refresh your palate and help digestion, even if too much can get you tipsy.
But mention adding cannabis to a meal and you will get a lot of puzzled looks. People assume taking cannabis will get them high and keep them from enjoying their meal. Jamie Evans hopes to change that perception one gourmet meal at a time. Evans founded an occasional gourmet series called Thursday Infused.
"A lot of people come to Thursday Infused after they have had that edible experience where maybe they've eaten 100 milligrams of THC and they are scared to try it again," said Evans, as she made last minute preparations for one of the dinners at a house in San Francisco's Mission District.
THC is the psychoactive component of cannabis. Consuming too much can sent your mind spinning. Evans stresses a low-dose approach to the dinners. The entire meal does not exceed five milligrams of THC.
The menu on this night is being prepared by Chef Coreen Carroll. The first course is a quail egg fricassee poached in beet juice. It contains five milligrams of THC. The most diners will get tonight. The second course is a polenta cake in a tomato and strawberry jam. It is infused with CBD and THCA, both non-psychoactive components of cannabis that can reduce inflammation and anxiety.
"There are so many ways to include cannabis in food. You can bake it in. You can top it off," said Carroll, who also works to break down the stigma of cannabis with her Cannaisseur Series. "Cannabis enhances the flavor. It enhances the euphoria."
Cannabis also stimulates the appetite and affects the taste buds to make food seem more palatable. Evans takes special care to make sure the guests enjoy the meals. Before the event, she reaches out to each guest about to determine if they are comfortable with five milligrams or if they prefer a lesser dose.
"The thing about edibles is that it hits people at different times because your metabolism is so different," said Evans. "Someone might eat it and they feel something within 30 minutes. And then someone else may eat the same five milligrams and they will feel something two hours later."
Evans cautions diners against doubling up on THC if they don't feel anything right away. "Go slow. Start slow," she stresses.
Thursday Infused is much about education as it is about a new dining experience. Representatives from several brands are on hand to showcase their products. There are gourmet cookies by Lizzy Tish that are infused with ten milligrams of THC, teas by Kikoko that contain four milligrams of THC per cup, and colorful marshmallows by Mellows with five milligrams of THC per serving.
"In the olden days you didn't even know what you were getting because it wasn't tested or marked," said Elise McRoberts, chief of communication for California Wellness, a cannabis delivery service. "Low dose is a movement that really the consumers and the market brought to the industry."
McRoberts says California Wellness sells more CBD non-psychoactive products and lower dose edibles that ever before.
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