Choco canna bliss
The hash brownie, hilarious party favour and folk medicine of thousands, has attracted the attention of the white coats. On August 21, a trio of non-governmental pharmacologists at the
Neurosciences Institute of San Diego announced that chocolate prolongs and intensifies the
good feelings of THC, something cannabis consumers have known for decades.
The special effects resulting from the combination of marijuana and chocolate are due to the subtle interplay of
anandamide,, an organic chemical that by the grace of God is present in the natural human brain, and most curiously, within that of the humble
sea urchin as well.
Israeli biochemist Raphael Menchoulam first isolated the premier psychoactive
delta-9 THC in 1964. In 1989, US scientist William Devane tracked down the
anandamide receptor sites that interact with the THC metabolites that the brain persuades the hands to put into the body.
Anandamides appear to have an almost universal effect. Tiny amounts of purified anandamides were given to lucky laboratory animals, and a
euphoric high was induced. Anandamide has now been shown to be present in chocolate as well.
“In principle, one could have a synergy between the two, but the effect of the
hashish would still be overwhelming” says neurosciences researcher Daniele Pionet. Sounds like she had a bit too much
fun at the staff picnic, but not to worry.
“It occurred to us that many cannabis users experience chocolate
. We were intrigued by the correlation, particularly because chocolate is
rich in fats and anandamide is itself a fatty substance. We hypothesized that anandamides might be present in chocolate.”
The team analyzed dark chocolate from three different confectionary chocolate manufacturers from three different countries. They found that the levels of anandamides
varied greatly between samples, with the highest level being ten
greater than the lowest. The researchers declined to say which brand of chocolate melts in your mind to best effect, for fear that their discovery would lead to a run on the market.
The research team also discovered two additional cannabinoids that occur naturally in chocolate. In the lab, these new substances dramatically
slowed the breakdown of anandamides. This suggests that these
choco-cannabinoids don’t create a new high so much as they tend to prolong the old one. Hence, the
long smooth buzz after chowing down a good wack of homegrown baking.
Traditional Chinese medicine has known for centuries that certain “magic
such as cannabis and ginseng will amplify the physical effects of other plant drugs. Thus their herbal prescriptions are usually a
blend of herbs, unlike Western medicine which tends to use a single
in concentrated form.
And so we see that modern pharmacology is starting to take notice of the untapped potential of cannabis as a legitimate medicine, even if they are only tickling it with a ten foot pole and dipping it in chocolate to appease the
If you would like to contribute to the world fund of knowledge and want to try this at home, start with good cannabis and the best chocolate. Shop for chunks of dark bitter baking chocolate or the darkest and most
pungent cocoa powder you can find, avoiding cheap candy bars which are full of
wax filler and sugar.
In order of potency, the best chocolates are: Baker’s, Fry’s, Cadbury, Hershey, Nestle, Rowntree. They will all differ in anandamide intensity because cocoa is sourced from many different parts of the globe.