The Evolution of Cannabis and Finding New Life in Fine Dining

American society is changing. Old stereotypes and stigmas are challenged seemingly every day, forcing mindsets to evolve. While some argue the changes or challenges are radical and baseless, others point to years, even decades or more, of systemic abuse and ruined lives.

Cannabis is a part of that conversation and societal evolution. For years, individuals — often impoverished, minorities — viewed as hardened criminals, received lengthy prison sentences for minor possession charges.

Now, there is a shift in perspective. As of January 2022, 18 states have legalized the recreational use of cannabis, and 13 have decriminalized its use. While cannabis remains illegal in four states — South Carolina, Kansas, Idaho, and Wyoming — most of the U.S. is making rapid changes to cannabis policy.

With the perspective shift comes new and creative ways of using the plant. While the last several years experienced a revolution in CBD oils and medicinal use, with the passage of recreational laws, food, and wine sommeliers are getting creative, starting the next revolution of CBD and cannabis pairings.

Cannabis Can Improve Meal Quality

While some may scoff at the idea of pairing cannabis or CBD with meals, the connection between marijuana and food is well-known, if mostly mocked as junk food cravings. Despite popular beliefs, cannabis enhances flavors and increases appetite, a characteristic that helped catapult medicinal legalization.

There is no denying the popularity of marijuana among high school and college students popularized the munchy junkie. Still, world-class chefs and sommeliers see the potential in CBD and cannabis pairings, including pairing CBD-dominant joints with passion fruit glazed shrimp skewers to enhance the tropical, fruity flavors.

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Cannabis Possesses Similar Characteristics to Wine

Pairing wine, cannabis, and food create an aromatic and flavor experience. However, because of the chemical compositions of each component, a dinner party becomes a sensory experience, too.

One of the main contributing elements to the flavor profile and aroma of wine and cannabis is the cultivation site. The soil, nutrients, water contribution, location, etc., all play a role in the product.

Because of the similar characteristics, wine and cannabis pair well together. Lighter strains of cannabis or CBD pair well with white wines, while bolder strains suit red wines.

The strain also dictates which food to pair. Indica is best with heavy fares like comfort foods and steak. Sativa is best with lighter options like vegetables and fish.

Negative Stigmas of Cannabis Are Fading

While there are still holdouts, the political atmosphere around marijuana is shifting. With the perspective shift, many popular and high-end establishments will alter their stances and embrace the change, attempting to get ahead of the lucrative movement.

At some point in the near future, cannabis and CBD will no longer have a negative stigma attached. The substance will be as commonplace as a beer on a hot afternoon or a glass of wine at a reception.

Weed, marijuana, cannabis, CBD is a part of society and culture worldwide, and the further legalization of it proves that most U.S. citizens are ready to embrace it. Alone, the legality of cannabis elevates it, but incorporating it into the upper echelons of the fine dining experience and capitalistic visions cements it as American.

How do you feel about legalization and cannabis pairings as the new wine pairing? Does it make sense? Comment below.