The Guide to Bees, Cannabis, Hemp, CBD, and Cannahoney
Let’s talk about cannabis or CBD and honey. What exactly is “cannahoney”? Does it get you high? Basically, cannahoney or CBD honey refers to honey infused with cannabis or CBD. Interestingly enough, you or your local brand names can make a much better quality cannahoney mixture than the bees would be able to.
At some point, most people want to know if Honey bees get high from pollinating cannabis? No, they don’t. No types of bees have neuroreceptors to help them realize a psychoactive cannabis experience. Why is this? In an article from Mcpartland, J, DiMarzo, V, De Petrocellis, L, Mercer, A, Glass, M in 2001, it was suggested that the cannabinoid (CB) receptor in bees was lost in all insects over the course of evolutions. (Reference article: “Cannabinoid receptors are absent in insects”)
Fine then, Honey bees can’t get high. But, are they attracted to the cannabis smell like many of us are? They answer is simply no. Why? Cannabis plants do not produce smells that attract bees. And obviously cannabis is not colorful and filled with a flower’s nectar, like other flower food sources are. (Generally, bees love flower nectar!)
Quick Fun Fact: Did you know that almost all bees you will ever see are female? Worker bees, such as those featured in “Bee Movie”, should actually have been depicted as females.
How much cannabis or CBD flower is needed? For a typical batch of cannahoney, you will be using about 5 pounds (80 ounces) of honey. Per 5 pounds of honey use between 1-3 ounces of cannabis. If you desire a more potent recipe you’ll need to concentrate the amount of cannabis (or CBD) in the honey. In my opinion, you might not want to follow any THC recipe that is above your normal dosing schedule, unless you are intending to extend the amounts of time you wish to feel the effects. Do not operate machinery while using THC honey products.
Many people ask things like, “Is it complicated to make cannahoney or CBD honey?” No, it is quite shockingly simple. Tip though, if you are on a budget, you may want to get with other people you know and each pay for a portion of the ingredients to split the ingredients bill. This will let them take some cannahoney home for themselves. At the dispensary or through your provider, your buying more flower than a daily patient might, will (for example) basically net you a "bulk discount". There are many places you may be able to purchase from, so look for those that believe in using natural farming methods to reduce your exposure to pesticides.
(A dosing schedule that I cannot endorse but that is popular online can be found here.) An important note, cannahoney is very fragrant. If you do not have the legal right to make this product in your home then please be aware that the cannahoney frangrance is going to inform others around you that you are with the plants.
Cannahoney Recipe Insights: Moving on, a normal cannahoney recipe takes 6-24 hours to finish depending on how concentrated you want the dosing to be. The recipe makes 80-100 servings and you will need: a crock pot to prepare and cook the honey and cannabis or hemp/CBD mixture, the cannabis and honey. You will also want to find a glass jar to hold the cannabis and honey mixture.
The easiest cannahoney recipe details: First, add the ground-up flowers. Some people do this in a blender. Then, pour in honey enough to cover the flowers. Close the crock pot lid and cook at a very low temperature 4-5 hours (about 220 degrees F). Don’t forget to stir a few times per hour. Once time is up, then turn off the crock pot but leave the lid on. Let the mixture cool for up to 24-hours. When you’re ready, take the honey mixture and pour it into any cheesecloth or very small screen strainer (colander). Gently but firmly, squeeze all the honey you can from inside the cheesecloth (for example). Once you’ve done this, you’ve probably made a mess. That’s normal. Before you clean-up though, be sure to spoon (small ladle recommended) the honey into a glass jar (or jars if you are sharing!) for storage.
You don’t have to follow this recipe and there are many creative variations you can try. Many agree though that homemade edibles made with cannahoney are more economic. Why are store-bought edibles so expensive? My two cents is that: convenience and (mostly) greed are why. This is because much of the honey used is not the best quality but we pay premium prices with few other options that are actually affordable. It is a hard balance to strike: keeping bees safe and keeping honey prices low.
What are the benefits that exist from ingesting CBD infused honey without THC? Unlike cannahoney, CBD honey does not intoxicate you and does not appear on drug screenings. High-quality CBD honey provides these benefits: helps to combat depression, reduces inflammation, lessens (alleviates) anxieties, reduces paranoia, is counteractive to THC’s psychoactive presence, assists to slow down neurodegenerative disorders and it reduces (at minimum!) seizures. CBD honey provides benefits of edibles with your ability to select the exact extract potency you need and want. (Same goes for cannahoney.)
3 Points to Consider: Cannahoney & Agricultural Beekeeping General Knowledge
1. Why is honey special? Bees are the only insect that create a food we as humans eat, and that food’s name is honey. Did you know that bees create honey which is the only food source that contains all of the vitamins, minerals, water, and enzymes that sustains their species' own lives?
2. How do you know which honey to buy? Buy local from a beekeeper that knows the proper overwintering nutrition information for their honey bee colonies. Look at farmer’s markets. Ask around and do an online search for non-profit organizations involved in trying to protect bees and who sells honey that is pesticide-free. Go ahead and ask them to see their purity tests.
3. What distance should hemp and cannabis farms be located from each other to avoid cross-pollination from bees? 10 miles has been suggested. There are no true benefits for beekeepers and especially not farmers when bees pollinate hemp/cannabis. (Bees are not the most efficient pollinators of hemp or cannabis. That honor goes to the wind.) Another reason and chemical usage between beekeepers and their farming neighbors closer than 10-miles apart is not recommended because most farming chems and landscaping home chems will kill beneficial insects like Honey bees but also all the native solitary bees.
To close, Honey bees are the most popular bees and there are one dozen species of Honey bees worldwide. In the way of Honey bees, the most popular Honey bee here in North America is sometimes called the European (or “Western”) Honey bee.
But did you know that there are over 24,000 other types of non-Honey bees that are still bees? Most bees you will ever meet are native solitary bees (local bees). They are often called native solitary bees. Do an online search because they are fascinating and powerful but peaceful. No matter where you are, the next time you see the bees or smell cannabis or hemp products, think of me and some of the reasons why cannahoney and bees are special. Thank you for reading. Be sure to check out the Cannabis.net Shop by clicking on the link below.
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Blog Author Bio: Alisha Bee is an advocate for local food supply systems that adopt regenerative agricultural principles. She writes to entertain and inform, and is a professional bees activist volunteer. Alisha is an author with a new eBook, PROJECTIVITY: Create a Much BETTER Next Time. Her roots are in Arizona where she hopes to inspire change in the local food and pollination systems there. Read more about the non-profit benefit company that Alisha founded called WindBeesEarth.com
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