Cannabis-infused honey, also referred to as cannahoney, is a tasty way to consume cannabis, whether for recreational or medicinal purposes. Infusing marijuana with honey allows you to reap the benefits proffered by the cannabis sativa plant without having to take a single hit off a joint. This article will guide you through the many benefits of cannabis-infused honey and will give you the step-by-step instructions for making your very own cannahoney at home.
Bird and the Bee founder Elizabeth Vernon learned to keep bees at a nearby community garden when a beekeeper visited and offered to take her on as an apprentice. After working with several beekeeping mentors and taking on multiple internships in upstate New York, Maine, Jamaica and the West Indies, it was apparent Elizabeth had found her purpose.
Today, Vernon is known as “Queen Bee” to everyone she meets and has been an apiarist for nearly 10 years. Also a certified massage therapist with a degree in Eastern Medicine, she’s living her dream by combining her two passions: healing and beekeeping.
Back home in Northern New Jersey, when Elizabeth isn’t breeding Ayam Cemanis, a beautiful rare chicken from Indonesia, she keeps busy infusing botanicals like cannabis into honey with her Magical Butter machine. Adding cannabis to honey creates a powerful and healthy natural remedy, since both are known to have healing antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Cannabis-infused honey can be used topically or ingested—depending on the desired effects.
Fascinated by the Queen Bee and the healing magic of cannabis-infused honey, High Times and Magical Butter sat down with Elizabeth Vernon to learn what the buzz is all about.
What Is Cannabis-Infused Honey?
As you can guess, it is honey that contains marijuana. What you may not be aware of is the relationship between bees and cannabis. A study by Colton O’Brien, published in Crossing Borders: Entomology in a Changing World in November 2018, wrote about how bees began visiting hemp fields in Colorado.
According to O’Brien, 23 species of bees living in the state were caught in traps set in hemp fields in a single month (August). He experimented because he noticed a constant buzzing sound as he walked through the fields. Hemp could be a ‘rescue’ crop for bees because it flowers between late July and early September, a period when other crops have finished their blooming periods.
Therefore, bees are in desperate need of nutritional sources and become stressed as they search for pollen. While hemp plants don’t produce nectar, they provide a significant amount of pollen.
O’Brien’s paper stated that hemp has a potentially strong ecological value.
According to Elizabeth Vernon, founder of Bird and the Bee, and also nicknamed ‘Queen Bee’, the best method of making cannabis honey is to create the marijuana tincture first before adding it to honey. While many herbs are easy to mix with honey, cannabis doesn’t have the necessary fats to bind with honey. As a result, Vernon advises the use of the MagicalButter machine if possible.
In theory, the combination of honey and marijuana should have an array of possible health benefits. Honey is primarily composed of carbohydrates and consists of compounds like vitamins, amino acids, organic acids, proteins, and minerals. Cannabinoids such as THC and CBD are linked with medical benefits such as a reduction in chronic pain, a decrease in seizures associated with epilepsy, and an improvement in conditions such as stress and anxiety.
Who Makes Better Canna-Honey: People or Bees?
Although we need bees to make honey naturally, our flying friends are unable to infuse honey with marijuana, at least not without human help! Weed produces pollen but has no evolutionary need to produce nectar, so it doesn’t. As a consequence, bees are unable to create marijuana-infused honey.
However, an eccentric French beekeeper, using the pseudonym ‘Nicolas Trainerbees,’ created a storm online when he posted a bizarre YouTube video in 2016. The video in question shows his bees enjoying cannabis flowers. Nicolas has a combined love of beekeeping and weed and has used his twin passions to incredible effect.
As unbelievable as it sounds, experts admit that it is theoretically possible for the bees to create canna-honey.
According to Nicolas, bees lack an endocannabinoid system, which means they won’t get high off the sweet supply. He said the bees harvest the weed resin from the cannabis and bring it back to their hive where it gets processed like regular nectar.
Skepticism was rife as online users were quick to cast aspersions on the beekeeper’s claim. For instance, one Facebook user pointed out that bees suck up nectar due to the high sugar content and won’t do the same with pollen. The resin glands on female marijuana plants don’t have sugar, which means it can’t be sucked up or digested by the bees.
As implausible as Nicolas’ claims are, they are not impossible according to Darryl Cox of the U.K. Bumblebee Conservation Trust. Cox pointed out that there is pollen in honey, so it is possible for bees to collect potentially intoxicating cannabis pollen. It is unclear whether this link between bees and marijuana is real. As a result, for now, humans are far better at creating THC-infused honey than bees.
In late 2018, an Israeli company called PhytoPharma announced its intention to release Pure Bee cannabis honey. The firm uncovered a method of enabling bees to naturally express CBD and THC in their honey; using a small number of cannabinoids. However, this honey isn’t a cannabis-infused item.
Instead, it is a natural product that combines honey with the apparent healing properties of weed. There are two types of Pure Bee honey. One contains 0.5mg of CBD per gram, while the other contains 0.7mg of THC per gram. You won’t get high from the honey, but it is believed to provide fibromyalgia patients with relief from pain.
Final Thoughts on Cannabis Honey
We need to value bees more than we do because it is the only insect that creates food edible for humans. Honey is believed to be the only known food source that contains all the water, enzymes, vitamins, and minerals to sustain life. The catastrophic damage to the environment caused by humans is rapidly diminishing the world’s supply of animal and plant life.
The decline of bees and other pollinators must be classified as a huge concern because of their importance on our food supply. It is estimated that around one-third of the food we eat depends on pollinators such as bees. The therapeutic benefits of the honey produced by these bees have been known for centuries, possibly millennia, and we can say the same for marijuana.