happy thanksgiving

A fat turkey with crispy skin, football on the big screen, and grandpa snoring in the La-Z-Boy recliner...

What comes to your mind when you think of Thanksgiving with family?

Ideally, Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday full of incredible food, dynamic family engagement, and gracious attitudes as people reflect on the year they’ve had and give thanks for what they’ve got.

Just because it’s a fun and festive holiday, doesn’t mean it’s not stressful. Every holiday has room for improvement.

Here’s how cannabis improves Thanksgiving in some ways you might or might not have thought about.

#1) Cannabis Improves Thanksgiving Preparation Time

Typically, only one family is hosting the Thanksgiving dinner, and that means it’s all on that family.

In a family that has only one person who can cook well, they may find themselves stressed and overworked in preparation for the feast.

Thankfully, cannabis can help relieve that stress.

A 2014 study published in the Hawai’i Journal of Medicine & Public Health questioned people about their perceived benefits when using cannabis.

The data showed that half of the people who responded indicated that cannabis helps with stress-relief.

For those prepping a massive holiday meal, it’s possible that stress will be a factor. It’s easy to forget ourselves when we’re taking care of others, and that can interfere with stress levels as tension and pressure mount.

Consuming the right amount of cannabis at the right place and time can provide a much-needed energy shift and restore balance where needed. And when we're stressed, it usually means we're not taking enough care of ourselves.

To illustrate this dynamic between cannabis, stress relief, and self-maintenance, we can turn to some fairly recent scientific findings.

In a study performed on mice earlier in 2018, researchers discovered consistent cannabis use among mice leads them to perform self-care (like grooming and bathing) earlier than mice who were not consuming cannabis.

Published in Frontiers of Pharmacology, the researchers also discovered that the cannabis-using mice continued their self-care beyond the length of time than mice who did not consume cannabis.

What about humans?

For someone who is roasting a turkey, baking pies, and preparing the finger foods, a little self-care to break up the work can go a long way to reducing their stress levels and leading to a more pleasant Thanksgiving.

That's right: You enjoying your holiday!

And of course, one important caveat here is that too much cannabis or even the wrong kind of cannabis at the wrong place or time could swing the balance too far in the other direction, impeding your ability to prep such a huge meal, engage with others, or bringing on unwanted fatigue and sedation.

Many times with cannabis less is more.

#2) Cannabis Creates a Healthy Family Atmosphere

happy family

Gathering for Thanksgiving can be a stressful time for many people.

Social anxiety may run high before arrival, intruding questions from relatives may aggravate the anxiety, and sometimes we just can’t stop arguing with our cousins over who the better football team is today. Political arguments can also get pretty intense.

Enter cannabis.

Scientists have observed how cannabis can impact our anxiety levels and emotional responses. 

What kind of impact? This depends on dose and context.

Even if you're a seasoned consumer, lighter doses could go a long way when gathered with friends or family. Small doses are also important if you're new to cannabis so as to avoid any unwanted side effects (like paranoia or increased anxiety).

Basically, cannabis is a biphasic drug, which means a smaller dose will affect you one way while a larger dose will affect you in the opposite way.

Too much could throw a lot of people into a panic while a small amount can help you relax and bring positive energy and gratitude to you and the people around you.

When the family can relax, be in the moment, and enjoy each other’s company without being overwhelmed by the chaos of family gatherings, Thanksgiving becomes a more enjoyable, more meaningful holiday.

Invite people at your Thanksgiving celebration to have a puff or two from your favorite vaporizer and see what happens.

#3) A Chance to Spread Cannabis Nutrition

With cannabis, we have a nutritional component as well.

Hemp seeds, for example, are a major superfood packed with essential fatty acids, high-quality protein, vitamins, and minerals.

Perhaps one of the most important benefits to your family’s health when consuming hemp seeds is their high levels of arginine, which lowers risk of cardiovascular disease.

Essentially, you can add hemp seeds to almost any dish and use the ingredient as a conversation starter to turn friends and family on to this amazing nutritional protein source (that doesn't get you high).

#4) Cannabis Brings Deeper Consideration into Giving Thanks

give thanks

When you’re sitting around the table with your family, and it’s time to say what you’re thankful for, it can be difficult to find the right words.

With everyone listening (and possibly judging) your words, finding something to talk about that you can truly be grateful for isn’t that easy.

You’re outside of yourself; you feel the pressure of other people’s eyes. This isn’t the best way to be truly introspective and thoughtful.

Thankfully, cannabis helps us with bringing deeper consideration into what we are thankful for in our lives when we use it with intention.

Every time you use cannabis you should be crystal clear on WHY you're using it.

According to Mandee Lee, host of the cannabis show Try This, setting clear intentions – like exuding gratitude – is integral to utilize cannabis properly.

In the Try This episode ‘How to Use Cannabis with Intention,’ she says that by setting an intention of expressing profound gratitude, making an active effort to do so, and then trusting cannabis to help you will guide you towards your goal.

In this case, that goal or cannabis intent would be to connect with your family in a meaningful way, maybe learning something together, and be truly reflective about what you're thankful for and why.

The sincere, positive, curious expression of your heart with family is probably the best way to improve Thanksgiving by using cannabis.

#5) Make Thanksgiving Delicious with Cannabis

Some very tasty cannabis recipes follow, which are easier to make than you might think.

And if you want to sharpen your cannabis cooking skills, you can watch these cannabis cooking tutorials.

The recipes all involve kief, that potent powder collected at the bottom of your cannabis grinder.

Bacon-wrapped Shrimp with Cannabis Goat Cheese

bacon wrapped shrimp

Ingredients

  • 10 strips of bacon
  • 20 uncooked, peeled shrimp
  • 20 basil leaves
  • 1/3 cup barbecue sauce
  • 1/2 cup goat cheese
  • 1 gram of decarboxylated kief
  • 20 toothpicks

Instructions

  1. Cut each bacon strip in half, across the shorter width, set aside.
  2. Combine goat cheese and decarboxylated kief.
  3. Apply a dollop of goat cheese to a basil leaf.
  4. Wrap the basil leaf around a shrimp.
  5. Wrap a half-strip of bacon around the basil and shrimp.
  6. Secure the wrap with a toothpick.
  7. Place the bacon-wrapped shrimp in a foil-lined baking pan.
  8. Repeat steps 3-7 until all ingredients are used.
  9. Bake the bacon-wrapped shrimp at 375 degrees for 15 minutes.
  10. Remove and brush the food with the barbecue sauce.
  11. Continue baking for 3 minutes.
  12. Remove and enjoy.

Magnificent Mashed Potatoes

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds of potatoes
  • 4 teaspoons of cannabis-infused butter
  • 2 ounces of vanilla soy milk
  • 2 grams of decarboxylated kief
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. In a large pot, boil water over high heat.
  2. Wash, peel, and chop potatoes into 2-inch chunks.
  3. Add potatoes to the boiling water.
  4. Boil for about 15 minutes.
  5. Drain the water out of the pot of potatoes.
  6. Mix potatoes, butter, milk, and kief using an electric mixer.
  7. Whip the potatoes until it is absent of lumps. 
  8. Add salt and pepper to season.
  9. Serve hot.

Cannabis Cobb Salad

cannabis cobb salad

Ingredients

For the salad:

  • 6 slices of chopped bacon
  • 3 eggs
  • 8 cups of chopped romaine lettuce
  • 1 pear, diced
  • 1 apple, diced
  • 1/2 cup of hemp seeds
  • 1/2 cup of crumbled goat cheese
  • 1/2 cup of dried cranberries

For the dressing:

  • 1/3 cup of milk
  • 1/2 cup of mayonnaise
  • 3 Tablespoons of sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon poppy seeds
  • 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 gram of decarboxylated kief or hash

Instructions

  1. Whisk all dressing ingredients together, set aside.
  2. Cook bacon over medium-high heat until brown, set aside.
  3. Boil eggs for 10-minutes, cool, peel, and dice. Set aside.
  4. Place romaine lettuce in a large bowl, decorate with bacon, eggs, pear, apple, cranberries, goat cheese, and hemp seeds.
  5. Serve with kief-infused dressing.

Making your own cannabis edibles is easier than you might think

This step-by-step video tutorial will help you get started immediately. Make your own cannabis-infused foods and drinks with the ingredients and potency levels you desire

Cooking with cannabis