Industry Spotlight: reTreat Edibles with Chef MacNeil
Cannabis infused edibles can come in many different forms and are split into three basic categories. The most common type of edibles are digested through the stomach; this is called gastrointestinal uptake. The most absorbable method would be oral uptake, which is absorbed through your saliva. The last delivery method is a hybrid and uses both the stomach and saliva.
In Canada, edibles are considered to be self-regulated at this time. Bill C-45 has been amended to include the regulation of these products, but will not be in effect until 2019. Until standardized serving sizes and potency levels have been established it is up to the consumer to make their own infused products.
If you are looking for a heightened culinary experience which includes Non-GMO, gluten free, dairy free and vegan-friendly options reTreat Edibles is for you. They take the science of pairing the flavours and aromas of individual Cannabis strains with sweet treats to another level. reTreat Edibles is operated out of Calgary, Alberta and features Red Seal Chef John MacNeil.
Spiritleaf recently interviewed Chef MacNeil, here are his responses:
- How did you first get into the Cannabis industry? (What was your role there?)
My first role in the Cannabis industry is Executive Chef of reTreat, a Cannabis edibles company located in Calgary, Alberta.
I always enjoyed cooking with Cannabis and when I was approached to join the team at reTreat I was ecstatic! I love people, food and the science behind the Cannabis plant. This is a dream role.
- What is the best thing about your job?
The best thing about my job is creating new recipes, and sharing the love of good food. I spent one and half years working in Switzerland in the pastry section and have many years in fine restaurant kitchens. To be able to share my creations and maybe make someone’s day better is really amazing.
- What is your favourite method of consumption?
My favourite method of consumption is eating properly prepared Cannabis infused oil or butter, either savoury or sweet. I make a chicken liver parfait using infused butter-it makes a great appetizer. My favourite sweet is the rosemary sea salt chocolate chip cookie using infused coconut oil.
- What made you a Cannabis advocate?
I became an advocate of Cannabis as its important to show that Cannabis edibles can be safe, consistent, and reliable.
There are many positive medical attributes for people who struggle with anxiety, PTSD, chronic pain and seizures. The plant is truly magical.
- How did you learn Cannabis Conversion? Who taught you?
I am self-taught. When I first started out there was much trial and error, much like when first learning how to prepare and cook food.
I began to study the different parts of the Cannabis plant, which had the best taste, which had the best percentages of THCA and how to gently cook the flowers to the make the THCA into body ready THC. There is a special level of care that goes into each decarboxylation to ensure you can reach maximum extraction. I use math as a starting point to find out the infusion strength, and confirm this by measuring the finished infused oil using a spectrometer, which measures the cannabinoids bonded to the oil.
- What advice can you give about consuming edibles?
The best advice I can give to anyone consuming edibles is starting with the ‘low and go slow’ approach. I suggest a starting dose of 5mg and to wait for 1.5hr, as the body takes longer to process edibles because it converts the THC to 11-hydroxy-THC. See how you feel and then you can add microdoses (2.5mg) to your original 5mg dose. It is important for people to enjoy Cannabis in smaller doses rather than one large dose in a single sitting.
- What are your future plans, once edibles have been regulated for sale in Canada?
Our future plans are to have a whole pipeline of ready to consume edibles made by us at reTreat. Using high-quality ingredients, and having amazing tasting edibles for everyone, including gluten-free, dairy-free, sweet, savoury and vegan-friendly options, all while not compromising flavour profiles.
It is easy to see the passion and expertise Chef John and reTreat Edibles bring to their products. These unique and tasty Cannabis creations are a great addition to the marketplace. Using fresh, high-quality ingredient are the building blocks of the reTreat kitchen. Make your own Cannabis edibles with three signature products including brownies, peanut butter squares and gourmet chocolate chip squares by blending with your preferred Cannabis oil. Always consume and store your homemade edibles responsibly and Bon Appétit!
Photo Credit to Chris Murphy
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