If you think medical marijuana (cannabis) is only for smoking, you’d be wrong. While many people do smoke it, others prefer to use a vaporizer. It can also used in making tinctures, oils and butter for cooking. And we’re not only talking about baking brownies.

We have a delicious looking recipe for Lobster Primavera with Spring Peas and Marscapone from the Wellness Connection of Maine. They also told us a little about themselves and how medical marijuana is benefitting people with a variety of health conditions.

The Wellness Connection of Maine was established in 2011 and operates four of Maine’s state-licensed medical cannabis dispensaries in Bath, Brewer, Gardiner and Portland. Their mission “… is to provide qualified patients with the highest quality Maine-grown medical cannabis (marijuana) at a reasonable cost to them, to support members’ full-spectrum wellness, and to foster education about medical cannabis throughout the state.”

Is it legal for me to use marijuana?

In Maine, qualified patients can legally use cannabis (marijuana) as medicine under a doctor’s supervision. Cannabis remains illegal under federal law.

What are the qualifying conditions?

Maine residents with at least one of the following debilitating medical conditions may ask their doctor for a recommendation for medical use of cannabis:
–      Cancer
–      Glaucoma
–      Positive status for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
–      Hepatitis C
–      ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis)
–      Crohn’s disease
–      Agitation of Alzheimer’s disease
–      Nail-patella syndrome
–      Intractable pain, or a chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or its treatment that produces cachexia, severe nausea, seizures (such as those characteristic of epilepsy) or severe and persistent muscle spasms (such as those characteristic of multiple sclerosis)
–      Chronic pain that has not responded to traditional treatments for 6 months or more.
–      PTSD

What can medical marijuana do for me?

Cannabis is a natural alternative to opioid painkillers. It can improve digestive motility, calm muscle spasms, stimulate appetite, lift depression, and more —s afely and non-synthetically. Unlike other drugs (even aspirin), there is no lethal dose of cannabis.

How do I get a certification for medical marijuana?

In Maine, any M.D., D.O. or C.N.P. (as of August 1st, 2014)  can recommend cannabis for qualifying patients. Once your doctor has provided a certification, you can designate a dispensary to provide your medicine by completing a simple form at the dispensary site.

How do I cook with cannabis?

The use of cannabis, aka marijuana, for cancer and other medicinal uses and benefits has been growing rapidly and many cancer patients find it provides them with significant relief from such symptoms as pain, nausea, loss of appetite, and irregular and insufficient sleep.

Incorporating medical marijuana into your diet with a wide range of recipe options, whether on a regular or occasional basis, can be the preferred way to obtain its benefits, versus smoking the dried flowers of the plant, or using a vaporizer (which allows you to inhale only the therapeutic cannabinoids and avoid the smoke and its taste and smell; another method is to use the tincture or oils, for example in teas).

Why incorporate cannabis into cooking? 

When cooking with cannabis, it is very important to use fat (oil, butter, milk) because THC is fat soluble and not water soluble. What this means is you must cook the cannabis with a fat, like butter or oil, and when cooked and heated, this will release the THC from the cannabis and into the butter or oil.

Tips for cooking with cannabis

It takes some trial and error, repeating recipes, getting them to the perfect balance of flavors and feeling, until confidence and repeatability set in. It’s best to develop a recipe to where you love it before infusing it. Once you love the flavor of the recipe, you can start to experiment with infusion. Remember when ingesting cannabis—especially if you’re new to this method of enjoying the herb—that it’s easy to overdo it. So, follow the time-tested maxim: Start low, and go slow.

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Lobster Primavera with Spring Peas and Marscapone

This recipe uses cannabis infused olive oil which can be replaced with regular olive oil if you don’t want to add any cannabis.

INGREDIENTS

  • 5 (1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pound) live lobsters or 2 pounds of cooked lobster meat
  • 1 pound of cavatelli pasta
  • 2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons Cannabis Infused Olive Oil (recipe below)
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup fish stock/broth
  • 8 ounces fresh or frozen peas*
  • 8 ounces gently sauteed asparagus
  • 1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons fresh chives, chopped
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Parmesan cheese for garnish
  • 1/2 cup Mascarpone (8 ounces of full-fat cream cheese blended with 1/4 cup of heavy cream and 2 tablespoons of full-fat sour cream make a decent replacement for mascarpone. Tip: don’t try to blend the ingredients when the cream cheese is stone cold!)
  • 1 Tablespoon Kosher salt

*If using fresh peas, simmer, uncovered, in salted water until just tender, 1 to 2 minutes. Drain, then immediately plunge peas into ice water to stop cooking. Drain again and pat dry. If using Frozen peas, do not thaw before using.

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Bring large pot of salted water to a boil.
  2. Add cavatelli and boil until cavatelli float to surface, about 8 minutes.
  3. Drain, then immediately plunge cavatelli into ice water to stop cooking.
  4. Transfer to large bowl, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and 1 tablespoon of cannabis infused olive oil, toss to coat.
  5. In heavy large saute pan, over moderate heat, heat remaining 2 tablespoons of cannabis infused olive oil until hot.
  6. Add shallots and garlic. Then saute until translucent for about 1 minute.
  7. Add fish stock, peas, parsley, thyme, chives, pasta, mascarpone, and lobster.
  8. Stir to combine, then simmer until the lobster is heated through, about 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. DO NOT OVER COOK!
  9. Sprinkle with salt and parmesan cheese and serve immediately.

Note: this recipe can be cut in half.

Cannabis Infused Olive Oil

What you’ll need:

  • 6 cups extra virgin olive oil ½ to 1 ounce dried and cured cannabis flowers, ground (double amount if trimmings are used)
  • Other dried herbs to taste (e.g., rosemary)
  • Saucepan or double boiler
  • Large spoon
  • Cheesecloth
  • Glass bowl
  • Funnel
  • Glass bottle with cork stopper

How to make:

  1. Place olive oil and herbs in saucepan or double boiler over low heat. Double boiler: 6 to 8 hours Saucepan: 3 hours, stirring frequently.
  2. Remove from heat, strain through cheesecloth into bowl, and allow to cool.
  3. Use funnel to pour oil into glass bottle.
  4. Infused oil should be stored in the refrigerator
  5. Remove from refrigerator 20 minutes before use

Check out this short video on how to make the recipe. For more information about medical marijuana and a few more recipes, visit the Wellness Connection website.