An Appetite for Health

Following a Passion for Cooking with Cannabis

A lot happened in Jazmine Moore’s life in 2006, some of it good, some of it decidedly not. That’s the year Moore – AKA “Chef Jazz”-  graduated from culinary school. It was also the year she was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease and her weight dropped to 84 pounds because she was unable to eat. She was suffering from a disease that modern medicine could not remedy. So she started looking for alternatives. 

“I was on several different steroids for my Crohn’s disease. Nothing was working,” explains Moore. “I wasn’t eating, I was dangerously thin, and I was still suffering. I knew a little about medical cannabis, but this was when I really began researching everything I could about cannabis as medicine.” 

Using her training as a chef, Moore changed her diet, focused more on nutrition, and began integrating cannabis into her cooking to help control the debilitating symptoms of her disease. Two years later, she was free of the ineffective medications and her Crohn’s disease was finally under control. 

It was during these years of cooking, learning, and research that Moore realized how she could bridge the gap between nutrition and cannabis for people with chronic conditions. In 2015, she began combining her culinary expertise with her knowledge of the medicinal properties of cannabis. Food became her creative palette. What started as Jazz the Caterer morphed into her current business,  – Green Panther Chef, based in Washington, D.C. Today, Moore takes her fine culinary skills right to the people who need it, offering cooking with cannabis classes, one-on-one in-home consultations, and education for a more intimate and personal cooking experience, in addition to catering services.

How Chef Jazz Cooks with Cannabis

To infuse her foods with cannabis, Moore uses a process known as decarboxylation, or decarbing, slowly heating cannabis to convert THCa to THC. Moore says this process releases the full potential of the plant.

“My process for decarbing depends on what I’m cooking,” she says. “For example, when I decarb for olive oil I set the oven temperature to 220 degrees, cover the cannabis tightly, and cook for 30 to 45 minutes. To preserve more terpenes, depending on the outcome wanted, I drop the temperature a bit and let it cook for an hour. The process you chose depends on the outcomes you want to achieve.” 

The decarbing process allows cannabinoids to be infused into foods, which helps enable the body to accept the properties of the plant. Raw cannabis allows for a greater infusion of terpenes, the aromatic compounds found in the oils of the cannabis plant. Typically, terpenes and cannabinoids work in harmony together, enhancing the medicinal properties of cannabis. 

Moore teaches people the decarb process as well as how to use the raw plant for its THCa properties, which has anti-inflammatory benefits. 

Either way, Moore prefers to use the entire flower in her recipes. “I believe in the full spectrum. When you have all compounds of the plant, it has the best benefits. I do believe it is the perfect plant as it is.” 

What Are the Benefits of Edibles?

The benefits of edibles are many, especially when you add the nutritional component to the experience. Moore says cannabis leaves are quite high in vitamins and antioxidants. Through food and because of the way the body metabolizes the edibles, people receive higher amounts of cannabinoids in edibles compared to smoking cannabis. Because the body must metabolize the cannabis, it can take between 90 minutes to three hours for it to take effect. The effects, however, do last longer when ingested and offer a better way to measure doses than smoking or vaping. 

“When you have the whole spectrum of cannabinabinoids in your system, it’s actually better for whatever outcome you’re trying to achieve for your specific condition,” adds Moore.

The food Moore cooks does not taste like cannabis. “We’re all about using fresh herbs like lemon and black pepper not to mask, but to elevate the certain flavors of the cannabis. We’re using herbs to make the food more aromatic.”

Moore adds that her work is her passion. “When you couple what I do with being able to help people, it’s really exciting,” she says. “Wellness doesn’t happen in a vacuum. I’m all about education and spreading knowledge about the relationship between a mindful lifestyle and cannabis and nutrition.”

CannabizMD launched “CBMD Cooking with Cannabis” on October 24, 2018. CBMD hosted Chef Jazz at a Baltimore commercial cooking facility where she showcased the simplicity of cooking with cannabis and demonstrated easy recipes which focused on proper dosing for the best outcomes with fresh ingredients. With full compliance of Maryland’s cannabis regulations, none of the cannabis infused was sampled or ingested that evening.