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Cooking, Lifestyle

Putting a Potent Spin on Traditional Pesto Using CBD

Bethan Rose

by Bethan Rose

May 31, 2022 08:00 am ET Estimated Read Time: 5 Minutes
Putting a Potent Spin on Traditional Pesto Using CBD

Did you know that pesto is the second most popular pasta sauce on the planet? Amid the rise of legal cannabis, pesto is getting a potent twist. 

Pesto—a blend of aromatic herbs, salt, oil, pine nuts, and cheese—is crammed with essential antioxidants that will bolster your health and could even prevent the onset of serious diseases. It was the Genoese of Liguria that introduced this condiment to Ancient Rome at some point in the Middle Ages. To this day, the staple of Italian cuisine is still enjoyed by millions of people around the world.

Add cannabis to the mix and pesto becomes a nutrient-packed powerhouse for flavoring dishes!

Why Add Cannabis to Pesto?

Firstly, don’t be fooled into thinking that you have to get “stoned” or “high” to enjoy cannabis-infused pesto, or any other cannabis-infused recipe for that matter. It is entirely possible to cook with cannabis and not experience the plant’s psychoactive effects. 

Cannabis’ primary compound THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is only abundant when THCA (tetrahydrocannabinolic acid) is exposed to heat via the process of something known as “decarboxylation.” Since pesto does not require any heat to prepare, it’s possible to create a cannabis-infused pesto dish you can enjoy without experiencing intense psychoactive effects. 

When left in their raw state, the cannabis plant’s leaves are non-psychotropic, meaning that you can add weed to your dishes and not plummet into a couch-locking state. Instead, it is entirely possible to combine raw cannabis and hemp products into your diet purely to enjoy the following health benefits:

Why You Should Get Your Medical Marijuana Card

Veriheal has satisfied millions of patients nationwide by giving them access to these benefits

  • Larger purchase limits
  • Peace of mind
  • Enhanced legal protection
  • Access to higher potency strains
  • Save up to 25% on cannabis purchases
  • Skip the line at the dispensary
  • Calcium 
  • Folate
  • Fiber 
  • Iron
  • Vitamin C 
  • Vitamin K 

Studies have also spotlighted cannabis’ potential to relieve nausea, stomach cramps/menstrual cramps, and promote relaxation. The only thing to keep in mind is that edibles can take longer to release their effects than smoking cannabis. This is because edibles must be digested before the plant’s active cannabinoids can interact with the body. 

Be aware that effects of edibles and cannabis infused products tend to set in anywhere between 60 and 120 minutes post-consumption, depending on the individual. Depending on wether you are using CBD-infused oil or another kind of cannabis oil, plan accordingly to ensure safe consumption. If you’re a pesto fan interested in trying out an unconventional way to get the benefits of cannabis in your diet, then check out this simple cannabis-infused pesto recipe below. 

Cannabis-Infused Pesto Recipe: Ingredients

  • 2 cups chopped fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 4 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Your chosen dosage of cannabis oil (CBD or THC-infused)
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 ripe tomato
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

Cannabis-Infused Pesto: Step-by-step Instructions

  1. Blend all of the ingredients, except the olive oil and the cannabis oil, until they are thoroughly combined. 
  2. Pulse the ingredients in a blender until you have a finely chopped concoction.
  3. Now is the time to drizzle some olive oil into the mix. Continue pureeing until everything is ready and reaches a smooth consistency. Add a splash of water or diluted olive oil if the mixture is too thick.
  4. Next comes the cannabis oil. Remember that the potency/cannabinoid composition of your oil, whether it is homemade or store-bought, is entirely your choice. Start with just a few drops (depending on your tolerance level and the thickness of your olive oil pesto mixture.)
  5. Go ahead and give the sauce a taste. Does it need a sprinkle of salt or pepper? Perhaps it could do with a dash of garlic or basil? It’s your call, so take this opportunity to refine the flavor according to your taste buds.
  6. Store your homemade canna-pesto in the refrigerator or use straight away. If storing, be sure to cover the cannabis-infused pesto with some tin foil or conceal inside a sealed container.

Serving Suggestions 

The best thing about pesto is that it can be served in a variety of ways, such as with pasta salads, rice, mashed potato, risotto, fish, roasted vegetables or meat. Plus, this cannabis-infused pesto is delicious when served hot or cold. 

If you’re not a fan of basil or garlic, then try parsley, spinach or cilantro. There’s also the option to replace pine nuts with almonds, pecans, or walnuts. Spice lovers can bulk up the flavor of their cannabis-infused pesto with some jalapeño. For those with dairy intolerances or who aren’t fans of cheese, nutritional yeast works well as a substitute.

As a general rule for consuming any edibles for the first time, it is advised to start with a small serving to test how the infused product effects you and go from there.

Don’t forget to inform your dinner guests about the cannabis content of your infused pesto. Since everyone’s biochemistry differs, the effects of cannabis will vary depending on the person. It is possible for cannabis to have a synergistic effect on people who consume other types of medication, which is why it is essential to tell your guests that the pesto contains traces of cannabis!

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