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Bringing Pot To The Potluck: Inside A Weed Infused Thanksgiving Dinner

Take a second to envision your ideal thanksgiving dinner. For me, it’s a table surrounded by my closest friends and family. The tabletop is packed with every potato dish imaginable, stuffing, cranberry sauce and drinks. The kitchen echoes with laughter and the rhythmic clanking of dishes. In the center of the table, a large carved turkey sits, steaming, oozing the luscious, seasoned juices the night’s appointed chef prepared for us to enjoy. And the two most important things, a few homemade pumpkin pies — and my bong.

While most of us who partake in cannabis might not be able to bring our favorite party favor to a family thanksgiving, I had a chance to experience the next best thing at Blüm’s 1st Annual Blüm THCsgiving POTluck.

I was stoked for the festivities to begin, long before dinner started. I got word that some heavy weights from the Orange County food scene would be catering our potluck. Heritage Barbecue, was an awesome surprise, due to the buzz they’ve created around the OC brewery scene. For some context, Heritage has been a pop-up barbecue spot, drawing tremendous early morning crowds at breweries from Fullerton to Huntington Beach and beyond. And just based on my general curiosity surrounding the non-dairy ice cream trend, I heard Hug Life Anti-Dairy Ice Cream was on dessert duty, so my interest was definitely piqued.

blum thcsgiving

It’s been a few years since California voters decided recreational cannabis should be a God-given right to anyone over the age of 21, and everyone seems to be enjoying themselves. That was the vibe Blüm delivered at a private residence tucked in the Laguna Beach foothills on a foggy November evening, as strangers and new friends gathered to celebrate one of the longest unspoken practices in the history of Thanksgiving — getting high before dinner.

With the help of a few High Style THC-infused beers, a sip or two of some Kikoko Teas tasty cannabis-infused sangria, a variety of Henry’s Original pre-rolled joints and a unique Thanksgiving turkey-shaped glass pipe, I was ready to give thanks with everyone I came in contact with. Most of all, I was ready to eat! Still, nothing could have prepared me for the Turkey Day miracle I experienced at the dinner table.

Four words: Heritage. Barbecue. Smoked. Turkey. That’s the only thing I can think about since that night. This was masterful turkey, the best turkey I’ve ever eaten. It was the best turkey you’ve ever eaten. In fact, that turkey inspired me so much, my dad and I are going to smoke a turkey on Thanksgiving. I’m going to smoke other things too, but smoking a turkey for the first time ever will be a great father/son bonding experience. Even if it’s not Heritage standards.

I spoke with Danny Castillo, owner and pit master of Heritage, about what made his turkey so damn delicious. The magic happens after a five-day brine, which consists of salt, sugar, rosemary, thyme, garlic, sage and lemons. After, he uses a mixture of paprika, salt and pepper as a dry rub to coat the outside of the bird. The rest is pretty straightforward with temperature and just watching it to achieve the desired color you’re after. Thanks for the tips, Danny. If we’re lucky maybe Danny will add his artisan smoked turkey to Heritage’s menu when their first brick and mortar opens in San Juan Capistrano in 2020.

So, there I was, glassy-eyed, stuffed to the brim with a combination of the best smoked turkey ever, Social’s delicious brussels sprouts, countless dinner rolls and High Style — when the dessert tray rolled out. My eyes grew bigger with every available item, colorful Rice Krispies treats, cookies, cakes, brownies, the list went on.

If you know me, dessert isn’t always a walk in the park — when it comes to my dairy allergy. Hug Life hit the spot, but my craving for munchies was still peaking, after two cups of Reese’s Peaces I still wanted more.

When it comes to sweets, it’s pretty easy to pick what I want to eat — but not always the best choice considering my dairy allergy. Yet, I was surprised to see a THC-infused, dairy-free treat screaming my name. Kiva Camino Gummy topped No Bake Cheesecake Bites — made with dairy-free cream cheese, graham crackers and reduced Kiva Camino Gummies. I probably a dozen, at least.

As the night came to an end, I began to reflect on the evening, my body & mind vibrating with highness, my mouth stuck in a blissfully permanent grin. As we hopped in our Uber, I couldn’t wait to share this experience with my friends. Then it hit me, a few years ago, something like this might have been impossible to talk about, yet it felt so natural.

While it might take a few years before I can clear space for my bong at Thanksgiving dinner table, it was a pleasure to attend Blüm’s 1st Annual THCsgiving Dinner to enjoy some quality time with like-minded folks celebrating life as they see fit. Hopefully, my experience can illustrate that just a simple evening with friends can be accomplished anytime, with some good food, and some open minds. I think that’s enough to be thankful for all year.

So, same time next year?

 

Created in partnership with Blüm

  • This content was created in partnership with Blüm.
  • These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
  • These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
  • The statements in this article are for informational and educational purposes only. This does not constitute an advertisement or offer to sell any marijuana or other cannabis-derived products. It is intended for persons over the age of 21.
  • Although Marijuana is recreationally legal in California and Nevada, you must be at least 21 years of age to buy, possess or consume cannabis products of any kind. It is illegal to sell or advertise cannabis-derived products to anyone under the age of 21 or in locations where persons under 21 are expected to be found.
  • Do not over consume any drug or controlled substance, even if it is legal to do so.
  • Always use good judgment when consuming marijuana, and do so responsibly.
  • Marijuana can impair your judgment and the ability to operate kitchen appliances and engage in sports or other physical activities.
  • Consuming marijuana in food can lead to intoxication; users should be careful to not engage in risky behavior, dangerous or complicated activities if under the intoxicating effects of marijuana.
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#foodbeast Culture Features Hit-Or-Miss Restaurants What's New

Eating The Stigma: Is The Cannabis Cafe The Next American Culinary Trend?

Lowell Farms: A Cannabis Cafe, has become America’s first brick and mortar cannabis cafe, recently opening its doors in West Hollywood, California (yes, before Colorado) and it reeks of exclusivity — but rightfully so. 

It goes without saying, but most will agree that cannabis and cuisine have an unspoken bond. Yet, it’s taken more than 100 years for America to legally bring them together. So, it’s easy to understand why potheads all over the world are collectively losing their shit that this place ACTUALLY exists.

Cannabis Cafe

However, since California voters passed Prop. 64, the Regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA) in 2016, the state has seemed eager to become a candidate to test this cafe-in-a-dispensary business model. Well, it’s here, but you’ll need to make a reservation if you’d like to get inside. 

For the thousands of guests already lucky enough to be shown into the wood decor filled dining area of Lowell Farms: A Cannabis Cafe, the cannabis smoke-filled interior is casual and inviting, buzzing with the scents of freshly brewed espresso, wafting clouds of cannabis, and food.

Set behind the bustling dining area, guests can opt to sit in a wide, open-air patio, shaded with small trees and shrubs, which maintains the same good-to-be-here feels you would expect to find inside one of Amsterdam’s culturally iconic coffee shops — except it’s all under a big blue California sky. 

 

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AMERICA’S FIRST CANNABIS CAFE 🌱☕️ // The doors to our nation’s first brick & mortar cannabis cafe have opened in West Hollywood, California. Here’s what I discovered while on assignment for @foodbeast during the @lowellfarms: A Cannabis Cafe’s opening week. • • Pro tip: Go for the food, stay for the high. • • 1️⃣ VEGAN BAHN MI Built on a nice firm, but chewy baguette like any typical bahn mi, but the protein is replaced with cauliflower! Much more ‘meaty’ than I anticipated! The addition of pickled onions & sliced jalapeños give it a nice crunch and a slight kick.🥵 • • 2️⃣ TAMARIND STICKY WINGS 🍗👀 Brushed with a very sweet, almost sour tamarind sauce & hit with sesame seeds. Pair this with something herbaceous strain like gelato for a nice sweet & sour vibe! 🤪🤯 • • 3️⃣ DOUBLE SMASH BURGER 🍔 Smash parties are a serious trend right now, and it’s clear Lowell Farm noticed. Also note, there’s two smash patties in that guy. Served with red onions, cheese, pickles & a house dressing. 🧀🥒 • • 4️⃣ DOUBLE FRIED CHICKEN SANDWICH Two fried chicken patties, a house slaw, sliced tomatoes & pickles. • • 5️⃣ ROASTED MARSHMALLOW BROWNIE SUNDAE 👀🍨 Some torched ‘mallows sit atop a few scoops of @mcconnellsicecreams ice cream and a nice brownie base! A pair of brûléed banana slices also make an appearance! 🔥🍌 • • 6️⃣ HAND-ROLLED FUSILLI NOOLE JOINT // A few months ago, @710labs & @710labsflower announced a new line of hand rolled pre-rolled joints, that contain a gluten-free fusilli noodle at the end. Known as a crutch, the uncooked noodle serves as a mouth piece, which provides optimum airflow and acts as a levy that keeps debris from exiting. By far the best pre-roll I’ve ever smoked. • • 7️⃣ CANNABIS & COFFEE Possibly two of my favorite things have merged into one surreal experience. What a time to be alive. If there’s anything we can learn from this experience — it’s that it works. Hopefully, this model can provide a glimpse into a future that’s already trending toward more cannabis-forward dining experiences where guests can control their own adventure.

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How it works

Once seated, your experience begins. Guests are greeted by two different servers — one is a cannabis sommelier, or flower host, who can walk and talk you through the entire purchasing process, all done table side. Your food order is placed with another server, both arrive seamlessly. 

Here’s where the crux of Lowell Farm’s cafe model functions like a well-oiled machine. For anyone new to cannabis who has awkwardly waited in line at a dispensary — hat brim dipped low, eyes pointed downward, counting the seconds for the next available bud tender to help you — Lowell Cafe addresses it by working to become the antithesis of those interactions.

Cannabis Cafe

Be prepared for a truly surreal experience, with an expansive cannabis menu featuring packaged cannabis flower, pre-rolled joints, hashish, and even rentable smoking devices — Lowell Farms thought of everything to make every cannabis connoisseur’s dream a reality, without pushing the average user out of their comfort zone.  

While you can abstain from purchasing cannabis on location, guests can BYOC (bring your own cannabis) for a “tokage” fee of $20. Guests can also bring in their own smoking devices. 

Cannabis Cafe

While the cannabis is obviously a central focus of Lowell’s newest concept, don’t forget about the food — none of which contains cannabis. Sporting a modest cafe-style menu, Lowell features a mix of finger foods like Sticky Tamarind Wings, and shareable items like Animal Style corn dogs. From a personal standpoint, the Vegan Bahn Mi was a sleeper hit, which uses sliced cauliflower as the protein.  

Cannabis Cafe

For years, American culture shunned public cannabis use, thanks primarily to a government-driven, tax-payer funded war on drugs. While many cannabis users looked past the judging eyes of naysayers in public — Lowell Farms is allowing the underground to flourish in public view, and it doesn’t look like there’s an end in sight. 

What we learned

If there’s one thing that Lowell Farms has established, it is being able to create a functional model that goes against drug war propaganda, and establishes proof that the public has been willing to explore cannabis-focused brick & mortar concepts — despite decades of anti-cannabis rhetoric.

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Hit-Or-Miss Tastemade/Snapchat

10 Foods That Might Go Extinct During Our Lifetime

It’s time to face the facts, everything we consume isn’t going to last forever. In fact, every living and non-living organism on earth is finite — meaning, nothing is going to last forever. Pair that with climate change and other shifts in environmental patterns, science tells us that some of the fruits, vegetables and meat we consume will become extinct within our lifetime. 

While it’s an unsettling topic, it’s important to be aware of these issues, in order to prepare ourselves for the future — and be aware of how we affect the environment around us.

Honey

Photo: Jennifer C on flickr, CC 2.0.

Due in part to climate change and what biologists refer to as colony collapse disorder, honey bee populations are suffering significant losses. Between 2015 – 2016, 5,000 honey bee keepers in the United States reportedly lost 44 percent of their colonies, according to Vice Motherboard. Scientists say honey bee populations are being decimated by pathogens, pesticides and climate change. As the the world’s bee population continues to decline, so will honey production. 

 

Chocolate

Photo: Maribel Lu on flickr, CC by ND 2.0

If you haven’t started stockpiling chocolate yet, it might be a good idea to start. Currently, climate change is threatening West African regions where the cacao plant grows naturally. In 2017, researchers estimated it could take less than 40 years for cacao to go extinct. To combat this catastrophe, the Mars Company and researchers from the Innovative Genomics Institute at UC Berkeley in California are working to develop a cacao plant that would be able to grow in changing environments. 

 

Avocado

Photo: slgkgc on flickr, CC BY 2.0

Let’s face it, avocados have quite a ubiquitous presence in our diets. However, it takes a lot of water to produce it. Considering the majority of the nation’s avocados are grown in California, a state plagued by a severely long drought, avocado production might slow down significantly if dry conditions persist. Though conditions have gotten better within the past year, the threat of another critical drought is still a concern.

 

Coffee

Photo: Olle Svensson on flickr, CC BY 2.0

If you wake up to a nice, warm cup of coffee every morning, then you might want to sit down, because the coffee industry is facing hard times. In 2016, a study from the Climate Institute suggested that if climates shift more than two degrees Celsius, rainfall patterns could change so drastically that more than half of the world’s coffee production regions would be environmentally unsuitable for coffee to grow.  

 

Seafood

Photo: Michela Simoncini on flickr, CC BY 2.0

In 2006, CBS News reported that an environmental study lead by an international team of ecologists and economists predicted that the world’s oceans would be void of fish by 2048. Due to decades of overfishing, water pollution and climate change, this is just one of the unintended consequences that could affect a global population of food sources.   

 

Salmon

Photo: Naotake Murayama on flickr, CC BY 2.0

In 2017, researchers the University of California, Davis released a grim report regarding the future of West Coast salmon populations. California is home to more than 30 different species of salmon — more than 20 are in danger of becoming extinct within the next century due to habitat degradation, warming water conditions, and overfishing.    

 

Bananas

Photo: Mike Bozart on flickr, CC BY 2.0

Bananas are already a pretty sensitive fruit. However, there’s a fungal condition, known as Panama Disease, that has decimated nearly all of the banana plantations in Central and South America in the 1950s. The disease attacks the roots of banana trees and suffocates the fruit. very little is known about the disease. Today, a new type of “Panama” fungus still affects banana plantations across the globe and could cause severe devastation agriculturally and economically.  

 

Strawberries

Photo: kahvikisu on flickr, CC BY 2.0

Increasingly warmer climates are changing the way crops are cultivated across the globe. For example, strawberries, a fruit that relies on cooler weather for the most ideal harvest conditions, are being affected. When crops are exposed to warmer climates, the flowering process is shortened, giving farmers less of a robust yield. 

 

Maple Syrup

Photo: Ian Mackenzie on flickr, CC BY 2.0

You might want to spare every last drop of syrup you have. Warmer conditions are creating a shorter sapping season — for example, the sapping or “tapping” season is primarily between February and April, when the temperature is above freezing during the day, and below freezing at night. Due to the shortening for the sapping season, trees are unable to produce the volume of sugary sap needed for syrup production. If temperatures keep rising, the maple syrup industry could eventually dry up.

 

Peanuts

Photo: Andrew Malone on flickr, CC BY 2.0

While peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are one of the most popular snacks in America, drought and climate change is hampering the production of peanuts. Peanuts are grown in very specific conditions, any change in weather will disturb the plant’s natural growth cycle. Considering the changing climates across the globe, climate experts estimate that peanuts could potentially become extinct by 2030. Peanuts require massive amounts of water to grow, but as more areas suffer from decades of drought and no rainfall, peanut production will fall and eventually dry up. 

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Alcohol Drinks Health Hit-Or-Miss Restaurants Toasty

Cheers To Cannabis: A List Of CBD-Infused Drinks You Need To Try

As California celebrates its 6-month legalized cannabis anniversary, a new industry of THC and CBD-infused drinks, along with an abundance of other cannabis-infused products are finding their way into mainstream society.

CBD-Infused drinks

Aside from getting high, canna-connoisseurs have discovered that CBD — the acronym for a non-psychoactive molecule found in cannabis, cannabidiol — has a special place in the health and wellness scene, and could potentially be on the forefront of being recognized as a legitimate medicine.

Thanks to anti-inflammatory and anti-anxiety properties, CBD-infused drinks can provide a relaxing, subliminal buzz, and are also becoming the go-to alternatives for cannabis users looking to experiment, without dealing with the mind-altering effects that come with THC.

Although legal gray areas exist pretty much everywhere cannabis does, if you are of age or someone you know that is older than 21, has been curious about trying a CBD-infused drink, but want to avoid any awkwardness or confusion at a marijuana collective — here are some you can buy right now, without setting foot in a dispensary.

Kickback Cold Brew Coffee

A few bottles of Kickback Cold brew Coffee ended up at the FOODBEAST offices a few months back. Made with CBD and hemp oil, this cold brew is a tasty way to take off the edge. Some cold brew mixtures can be an easy way to jump-start your mornings or afternoon routine, but most likely end in a jittery crash. Adding CBD to this tasty mixture helped ease after-coffee anxiety and prevented a harsh crash.

Check out the Matcha-cha flavor, made with almond milk and monk fruit for an earthy, yet sweet aftertaste.

Where to buy: Use the store locator feature on Kickback’s website to find some near you.

‘Sour T-iesel’ Cocktail

Thanks to these CBD-infused drinks, like the, “Stony Negroni” and “Rolled Fashion,” this plant-based Mexican restaurant in Los Angeles is becoming a landmark for Instagram worthy cocktails.

Gracias Madre, located on the ever-hip Melrose Avenue in West Hollywood, also serves up the “Sour T-iesel,” a drink named after the Sour Diesel cannabis strain. Crowned with a green cannabis leaf shape outlined in matcha powder, this mixture of  tequila blanco, lime, agave, mint, aquafaba, and cannabinoids will cost you about $20.

Where to buy: Gracias Madre, 8905 Melrose Ave., WeHo; (323) 978-2170

Vybes Mind + Body Function

A few FOODBEAST staffers came up with a CBD-infused drink recipe that became an impromptu mixer at a networking event for Om Nom Organics in Downtown Los Angeles.

The bottled CBD-infused drink was Vybes Mind + Body Function, a smooth, organic tea-like beverage made with 15mg of hemp CBD. The Blueberry Mint flavor was refreshing with vodka and soda water.

Where to buy: Visit the Om Nom Organics website to find a location near you.

CBD-Infused Caramel Latte

While California is the newest state to adopt full-on cannabis legalization, states like New York are still testing out state-run medical cannabis programs. However, you don’t need a New York State-issued medical cannabis recommendation to stop by Brooklyn’s Caffeine Underground, a popular coffee shop and event space.

The Caffeine Underground specializes in made-to-order CBD-infused coffee drinks

Where to buy: Caffeine Underground, 447 Central Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11221

CatBirD IPA

Known as Catbird IPA (CatBirD, get it?), this special CBD-infused brew was created by Transplants Brewing from Palmdale, Calif., and incorporates a unique “hop-hash,” a blend of different types of hops that are harvested from the pelletizing process. In short, “hop-hash” contains a wide variety of hops, which contributes to a very intense hoppy experience.

At 7.2 ABV, this IPA will provide a strong buzz while keeping you nice and mellow. Check out Transplants Brewing’s website for more info on tasting hours.

Where to buy: Transplants Brewing, 40242 La Quinta Ln Unit 101, Palmdale, CA 93551

CBD Coffee Beans

Out of the countless number of mail order coffee subscriptions, it’s safe to say that Green Roads Coffee is the only distributor that will send you some CBD-soaked beans. While CBD cold brew coffee is abundant in bottled form, this might be the right choice for those of you that appreciate the ritualistic process of making your own cup of coffee by hand.

Quick, grab the grinder — and the French press.

Where to buy: www.greenroadsworld.com.

CBD Lemonade

CBD lemonade 🍋🌿 @erewhonmarket

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If Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods had a child, it would be Erewhon Organic Grocer & Cafe. With a handful of locations in California, Erewhon specializes in raw, vegan, and organic produce.

Their mission is to provide customers with “functional foods, adaptogens, herbs, CBD, and superfoods,” according to its webite. In addition, Erewhon has a variety of CBD-infused cold-pressed juices and smoothies.

Where to buy: Visit www.erewhon.com to find a location near you.

Prank Bar

Sporting rolling door panels, high ceilings, and a spacious upstairs bar, Prank Bar in Los Angeles is known as Los Angeles first ever ‘walk-up bar.’ It’s also the first bar in Los Angeles to serve terpene cocktails. Terpenes are the essential oils of the cannabis plant, which carry the plant’s aromatic and flavor compounds.

With that said, terpenes are non-psychoactive, and have different physiological effects. For example, pinene, a pine-scented terpene found in popular strains like OG Kush and Blue Dream, can act as a bronchodilator — which can help with respiratory system issues.

Where to buy: Prank Bar, 1100 S Hope St, Los Angeles, CA 90015

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Hit-Or-Miss Humor Video

We Spoke To The Now Viral Dancing ‘Pizza Girl’ About Her Internet-Breaking Performance

It’s often said that pizza can make everything better. With that said, it seems a video of a burlesque dancer performing her routine whilst nibbling on a slice of pizza, is probably enough visual evidence needed to establish that pizza does make everything better. We spoke to the now viral pizza girl to find out what happened.

viral pizza girl

The viral pizza girl, known as Lilly Blue Moon, is an artist, model and dancer at Jumbo’s Clown Room in Downtown Los Angeles.  The video, which now has more than 3 million views on Twitter, shows Moon, casually take the stage with a slice of pizza in hand, as money rains down on her and the crowd cheers — while the tune of Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” plays in the background.

FOODBEAST spoke to Ms. Blue Moon via Instagram direct message. She explained that eating pizza on stage isn’t a part of her normal performance, but considering the reaction from her now viral video, it might be.

“If there’s anything I’d want to be known for its eating pizza half naked and getting money thrown at me for it.” — Lilly Blue Moon

Whatever the case may be, the internet seemed quite envious of Moon and her moves.

Twitter user @sharizardsenpai seemed super into it.

It looks like Twitter user @Goddess__gemma supports this video.

Having worked at Jumbo’s for nearly a year, Moon said she has a reputation of being a pizza lover, which has earned her the nickname, “Pizza Girl,” since she continuously brings in pizza for before her shifts. So, considering her nickname, Moon decided to add a slice to her dance routine, and got more attention than she expected.

“I’ve done it a few times the other bikini bars I worked at,” Moon told FOODBEAST. “Never in front of a large crowd and never did I expect a response I got from it! I do always get pizza before work and my coworkers and boss call me ‘The Pizza Girl’. I just thought it would be funny.”

Moon added that her slice of the night was from Garage Pizza in LA, which is only about a mile from Jumbo’s. Could viral pizza girl start a new food trend for gentlemen’s clubs? Possibly, considering strip clubs are basically the reason Atlanta is addicted to lemon pepper chicken wings.

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#foodbeast Features Hit-Or-Miss Opinion Video

‘Free Juice Day’ Is The Stealing Food Movement That Has People On The Fence

Would you steal food in order to feed the less fortunate? Depending on where you live, it might be illegal to feed the homeless, however, one graffiti artist has sparked a new philanthropic movement that is catching a lot of attention on Instagram called “Free Juice Day.”

Known simply as, “GUNS,” the artist has become a veritable modern day Robin Hood, and uses his Instagram story feature to give a firsthand perspective of his exploits into casual daytime street tagging, t-shirt making, and performing acts of humanity.

Today, Instagram has become a peephole into the lives of more than 800 million people. Whether it be to try out the app’s latest face filters, air out grievances, rant on your latest peeves, to even posting the latest food porn in your latest meal. For graffiti artists, it’s a platform to show off their craft — regardless of the legality.

Photo/Chris Abouabdo, Foodbeast

If you consider the classic tale of Robin Hood, the heroic renegade who stole from the rich to give to the poor — risking his own freedom for the well-being of others, “Free Juice Day” has similar shades of altruistic traits.

Using only the phrase “Free Juice Day,” GUNS records himself stealing bottles of juice from establishments like Starbucks, and gifting it to the less fortunate individuals he finds on the streets.

This kleptomania is usually a daily occurrence for his 75,000+ Instagram followers.

When posting a news video about it, “Free Juice Day” caused a stir on our YouTube Channel, sparking one-side responses reiterating how wrong stealing was and that GUNS should find a day job in order to contribute to the less fortunate. Perhaps, the general public wants GUNS to adopt a less rigid approach to his kind-hearted acts.

Martin Schoeller presumably could serve as an example for GUNS. Schoeller (@MartinScholler), works with the Greater West Hollywood Food Coalition, and posts the images on his Instagram page, which usually consist of “clients of the Greater West Hollywood Food Coalition.” Schoeller spends time interviewing the homeless individuals, photographs and includes their stories of life on the streets within the caption.

In a recent Instagram post, Schoeller explained he created this project with the intention of giving those using the coalition’s services, “a face and a voice,” according to the post. It’s on the other side of the spectrum than the “Free Juice Day” movement, yet what Schoeller does still raises awareness and draws attention to the plight of the homeless.

Albiet illegal, in some respect, “Free Juice Day” spotlights common societal issues that seldom become the focus of Instagram content. Images of homelessness and poverty are reoccurring norms within GUNS’ digital storytelling. For graffiti writers, obscure regions of public space become the ideal environments to produce art, yet, these dark fringes of society enable drug addiction, homelessness and untreated mental illnesses to thrive.

For most of us, it’s easier to ignore these unfortunate occurrences when it is out of sight. Still, Free Juice Day might actually be forcing people to see the real picture. GUNS is stealing. He’s also giving. Regardless of the consequences or legal morality, he’s doing it.

Free Juice Day

Not much is known about GUNS beyond graffiti art and his Free Juice Day movement, however, despite the unidentified artist’s significant Instagram following.

While Starbucks locations seem to be the main target of Free Juice Day, GUNS’ digital escapades also showcase the spray-happy artist stealing pet food and other supplies, which he hand delivers to the less fortunate and their pets.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When you think of Robin Hood, what do you envision? If he were alive today (or ever) do you think he would steal from spots like Starbucks? Would Robin Hood even be down with Free Juice Day in the first place? Would Robin Hood paint graffiti as a means to beautify his surroundings?

In the true sense of an outlaw, why wouldn’t he?

I asked my Facebook network how they felt about stealing to feed the less fortunate, and though the well-intentioned act expectedly received some merit, there were some mixed responses.

Free Juice Day

Foodbeast staff writer Costa Spyrou said he could see why someone would be willing to risk their freedom for others.

Free Juice Day

Foodbeast’s Co-Founder Elie Ayrouth said he might not have the juevos,  and stated he’s basically against stealing in general, which makes sense.

Free Juice Day

James Delgado replied that he wouldn’t risk his freedom.

Free Juice Day

While it’s safe to say that Starbucks won’t go out of business due to “Free Juice Day,” it’s obviously going to piss some people off, although it’s unclear if  GUNS even cares. It’s also unclear if there’s an endgame to Free Juice Day — or why it’s even a thing.

For graffiti purists, stealing is part of game. Some will argue that graffiti can only be considered graffiti if it is performed illegally. Meaning, everything from supplies and location are taken without permission — all times.

In that respect, GUNS is truly a purist. It became clear that in order to understand “Free Juice Day,” I needed to let go of any conventional set of rules or moral compass, which is a difficult concept to grasp — but it’s through that unconventional mindset that makes Free Juice Day possible.

After months of watching GUNS stories, it became clear that normal rules didn’t apply.

Working on this story, I had sparse interactions with GUNS through Instagram direct messages. While he allowed me to tell this story, not much else transpired.  My day consisted of taking screen recordings of his Insta Stories, sending him messages and hoping for a reply. I became eager to see new material, up late at night with my cellphone glowing, rewatching his Instagram story dozens of times before they disappeared. It became like tracking wild game.

While people are upset that stealing is a primary characteristic of Free Juice Day, helping or giving to others shouldn’t be judged by a monetary amount.

Whatever the world thinks of the Free Juice Day movement, hopefully this story will make people more inclined to give a helping hand to the drug addicted, homeless and poverty-stricken masses that survive on the streets — and not crucify the artist for his contributions, regardless of morality.

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Hit-Or-Miss

How ‘Microdosing’ Moms Are Using Weed-Infused Edibles To Replace Medication

Legalized cannabis has spawned a new market of culinary trends from cannabis-infused toffee, cannabis-terpene infused cocktail bars, to multi-course cannabis infused pop-up dinners.

Recently emerging through the haze of California’s freshly legalized cannabis market, a trend called “microdosing,” is helping people substitute prescription anti-anxiety and antidepressant medication with cannabis-infused edibles.

And it’s actually working.

 Yet, the cannabis microdosing trend has captured the attention of an unlikely group, one that could be stereotyped as the antithesis of the habitual cannabis user.

If you’ve ever smoked pot, eaten cannabis-infused food or at least know someone who has, you can probably guess Mom wasn’t the first person to hear the trip report. Generally, Mom is the last person anyone would want to interact with after ingesting cannabis.

Unless, however, you’re a Mom who eats cannabis.  

Interestingly enough, microdosing moms are becoming the new torch bearers of a pro-cannabis movement — using cannabis as a strategy to combat addiction and abuse of prescription medication like Xanax, Percocet and Prozac. Considering America’s ongoing opioid epidemic, this might be the perfect time for the nation to investigate alternatives for pain management.

microdosing moms

This trend might be confusing to some, but today’s cannabis edibles aren’t the typical pot brownies you ate as a teenager. These are scientifically measured micro doses, which come in the form of tiny mints, or small chocolate-based espresso bites that contain between 2.5mg – 5mg of THC or CBD. 

For context, THC, is the acronym for tetrahydrocannabinol, a psychoactive molecule that produces cannabis’ euphoric effects. THC gets you high. CBD, on the other hand, is the acronym for cannabidiol, a non psychoactive molecule, that is known to have anti-anxiety and anti-inflammatory properties. CBD does not get you high.

THC and CBD are cannabinoids, groups of compounds found within the molecular structure of cannabis. There are literally hundreds of different cannabis strains, some are rich in THC, while others contain more CBD. There are more than 100 cannabinoids in cannabis, but THC and CBD are currently the two most common and most researched cannabinoids.  

While the concept of moms getting high might be hard to swallow —  these microdosing moms aren’t your typical stoners, puffing on a pipe six times a day.

To learn more about this new edible trend, FOODBEAST spoke to a few microdosing moms willing to share their stories.

microdosing moms

Ozzie Ozkay-Villa, a mother of two, said she began experimenting with microdosing about a year ago, after discovering some Petra Mints created by Kiva Confections. She dealt with depression and anxiety as a teenager, and was prescribed antidepressants. 

“I was put on Prozac for a year. It actually made my depression and my symptoms worse,” she explained. “I think when you put teenagers on the those heavy pharmaceuticals often times it’s not helpful. I experienced some really dark episodes and that just turned me off.”  

Although she was hesitant to take cannabis-infused edibles, Ozkay-Villa said she ate a THC-infused Kiva peppermint , and was delighted when she experienced heightened, “clarity and focus.”

“It’s such a small dose, it’s only 2.5 milligrams. I did not feel high at all,” she explained to FOODBEAST. “I hear so often nowadays of women taking Xanax daily to get through the day, and that’s just not an option for me.”

A few years ago, microdosing become a popular trend among Tech industry entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley. Some began experimenting with minimal amounts of LSD (acid), and went about their normal work day. In fact, in small doses, highly psychoactive chemicals improved workplace productivity by enhancing problem solving skills, and improving communication.

Could cannabis provide similar beneficial effect at low doses? However, there’s a lack of research opportunities, due to its Schedule 1 categorization. Approval for marijuana research involves licensing from the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the Drug Enforcement Agency.

microdosing moms

With the help of edible cannabis products in the form of decadent chocolate balls, chewable mints and chips, companies like Kiva Confections and Yummi Karma are creating discreet, gourmet cannabis-infused treats that are helping moms, and others manage pain — without them having to break open a bottle of pills.

“I did not feel high at all.”  — Ozzie Ozkay-Villa, Microdosing mom

Dayna Stevens, a 33-year-old mother of three, has been prescribed medication to treat her depression, anxiety and insomnia. 

Stevens also experienced postpartum depression after the birth of her third daughter, three years ago. She first learned about using cannabis to treat depression during a group therapy session at Kaiser Permanente.

She was prescribed Zoloft after reporting the postpartum depression to her doctor, but became frustrated and unsatisfied with the pharmaceutical treatment. However, after learning about treating her symptoms with cannabis, Stevens admitted she no longer takes her prescription.

“[The medication] was so ineffective, I haven’t taken them in almost three years now.” she said.  

“I was using edibles, eating the smallest piece of a Kiva Chocolate bar to go to sleep at night, and I didn’t realize I was microdosing,” Stevens explained. 

For decades, cannabis was something you had to hide from mom. It’s ironic, that now this trend could make mom the new face of cannabis, and helping it become recognized as a medicine for the first time in history.

For Venessa Benic treatment with cannabis is a part of her everyday life. The 33-year-old mother is a full-time caregiver for her 4-year-old daughter, who suffers from an undiagnosed neurological disease. 

As you can imagine, Benic’s operates in a high-stress environment. Eventually, she developed insomnia and anxiety, one prescribed Xanax to help manage her stress. 

“I always used Xanax to treat that [insomnia and anxiety], or sleeping medications like over the counter stuff like Unisom. Every night, I was taking something — always. That went on for four or five years,” she said. “Honestly, it wasn’t even working, I need to increase it see effects.”

Benic, who said she smokes cannabis occasionally, received some Kiva samples at a dispensary and eventually decided to replace her Xanax with some THC-infused chocolate covered blueberry bites.

“I started last April, and it’s almost been a year since I’ve taken anything but [edible] cannabis to help me sleep at night.”   

Comparatively, cannabis may seem like a male dominated industry, yet it’s clear women are becoming the new face of cannabis in 2018.

Kiva Confections, Yummy Karma, Marigold Sweets, and Whoopie & Maya are all big names within the canna-food industry and all share something in common — they’re all owned by women.

 While cannabis is still federally illegal and classified by the Drug Enforcement Administration as a Schedule 1 substance, with, “no medical value with a high potential for abuse,” the microdosing moms movement could perhaps become a catalyst in reshaping the public’s perception and direct more attention to the concept of cannabis as a modern medicine.

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Hit-Or-Miss

East Coast Delivery Service “Gifts” Free Pot On Juice Orders

It’s impossible to quantify love. However, it seems a cold-pressed juice delivery company has found a way to add “love” to juice orders, and people are actually paying for it.

In fact, for (at least) $55, customers can receive a bottle of juice, and are “gifted” some “love” —  which is actually a code for free pot.

juice delivery free pot

For most people, a juice delivery service giving out free pot might seem like an illegal activity. But, companies like Washington D.C.-based HighSpeed Delivery, are actually operating within legal parameters.

As states like Massachusetts continue to roll out recreational pot laws, delivery services across the East Coast are capitalizing on sales, by covertly operating in a gray-area established by Initiative 71.

In 2014, Initiative 71, also known as, “Legalization of Possession of Minimal Amounts of Marijuana for Personal Use Act of 2014″ was approved by more than 60 percent of  voters. Initiative 71 went into full effect in 2015, and essentially gave citizens the right to grow, posses, and gift small amounts (up to two-ounces) of marijuana — without facing the threat of penalty.

HighSpeed Delivery operates in Washington D.C and Boston, is a self-described, “cultural hub” that sells art, music and bottles of juice. Some of the flavors include “Petworth Punch” and “Strawberry Lemonade,” which are listed on the homepage for $11.

However, customers are given the option to add, “love” or “lots of love,” at check out. With the “love” option added, prices on juice increase from $11 to between $55, and “lots of love” will increases to $150.

Although, there is no mention of cannabis or marijuana on HighSpeed’s website, it seems word of mouth has fueled “juice” sales on the East Coast.

Still, some worry that this loophole might be a creative way to skirt operational guidelines — and taxes — for those operating recreational cannabis businesses in Washington D.C. and Massachusetts.

It remains unclear if businesses like High Speed Delivery are actually breaking any laws — as there are no regulations on gifting pot, or even making infused food. Secondly, until selling juice becomes illegal, the High Speed Deliveries of the world will continue to supply their parched clientele.

One thing is certain, the East Coast is thirsty for a recreational cannabis industry, and this tasty loophole illustrates how far companies will to fill the well.