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Cannabis and food have a long and familiar relationship; we’re all familiar with the colloquial term ‘the munchies’ whether we are medical marijuana users or not. Anyone who’s ever passed through the doors of a California dispensary or perused the adds in some of our local publications knows of the array of edible cannabis products available, and the variety of strains. But often these edibles take the form of sugary desserts, fat heavy, and often less than healthy. Nick Ocampo is trying to change this. Nick is crafting a different sort of edible arrangement: a fully thought out cannabis-centric dinner for patients.

“Anything that has a fat in it can be attached to cannabis,” Ocampo said. “A lot of times, the way we do it now, using oils that we kind of put on like art; and they don’t have to necessarily be infused. So like I’ll be cooking with this oil, but you don’t necessarily even need to cook with it. This is like an oil we can use as a design, almost artistically.”

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Ocampo said he has been finding coconut oil useful, a somewhat healthier alternative to many traditional cooking oils. He also believes it enhances the psychedelic effects of THC, the active ingredient in cannabis responsible for the delightful high, and many of the beneficial medicinal effects, familiar to so many.

“I think it enhances the high; it actually makes it more potent,” Ocampo said. “Coconut oil has a really great flavor. It depends on the cannabis, but I’d say like an OG Kush type it is gonna pair really well with almost like a pine flavor or like a savory flavor. Then a lot of the cannabis strains that have like fruit turpines will pair really well with like a dessert or something.”

Jordan Venema, 34, a Sacramento resident who sampled Nug Run and Ocampo’s medicated cooking found the meal and the whole set up broke stereotypes in his mind; he found the medicated meal to be a singularly unique experience. Going in as a journalist, he had himself psychologically removed before engaging with the meal, but admits despite trying to have no expectations and not being a regular cannabis user, he had some stereotypes about what the meal would be like.

“There was kind of an allure I guess,” Venema said. “The writer in me wanted to kind of idealize what the experience would be like; like it was kind of a rebellious thing. Contrary to that it was very tame. I didn’t feel, this wasn’t a dinner for a bunch of burn outs.”

Aside from the attitude, and the presentation, Venema was impressed with Nug Run’s entire set up and the knowledge that Ocampo and his colleagues demonstrated about their product. Between clouds of THC and hash vapor, paired with chef style cuisine, Venema found himself pleasantly surprised by cannabis as cuisine.

“I was hesitant to believe that cannabis could be used as a cuisine,” Venema explained. “I was suspicious, thinking this is probably just an excuse for people to get high. I am not an avid smoker, I’ve never bought marijuana, I don’t know the lingo. I will vote to legalize it in November but I’m not somebody who would rush out there. I was a little suspicious. I was impressed by the way they handled it. The way they talked about the experience was downright scientific. It wasn’t the kind of lingo that you expect to meet the stereotype, as a bunch of potheads.”

The meal itself consisted primarily of breakfast style foods, even a hash-brown hash, infused hash oil and vaporized marijuana complimented the meal to make a medicated culinary experience like no other.

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One of Ocampo’s favorite techniques for medical cooking is to use hash oil as a garnish, sparingly, it can be dosed precisely to a patient’s needs.

“You can ink it out and make little designs,” Ocampo explained. “I’ve made little cannabis flowers for people and they literally just dip their potatoes in it with ketchup or something; or like hollandaise or something like that. So this is very accurate, and then you don’t have to worry about dosage amounts. Sometimes I’ll put it underneath the egg, in between things or inside the hash, or like make a little design. A little dollop is quite a perfect amount for most people.”

More information on Nick Ocampo and Nug Run is available at mynugrun.com.

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