Cannabis and Jewish culture have intersected many times, especially in the last few years. Much of the research on medical marijuana is happening in Israel, where medical marijuana laws allow for a growing cannabis industry.
But the connection between cannabis and the Jewish faith doesn’t only exist in the homeland. There are kosher certifications for medical marijuana in New York and one Oregon couple even wrote a marijuana-friendly Haggadah to be used during their cannabis Seder.
There’s no definitive answer on whether cannabis is kosher for Passover. Some argue cannabis can be seen as the “bitter herb” included on Seder plates, while other Jewish communities insist that the plant is part of a group of non-kosher grains and legumes.
In 2013, Orthodox rabbi Efraim Zalmanovich ruled that marijuana is indeed kosher for Passover if used for medical purposes. The plant, however, isn’t considered kosher if consumed recreationally.
That said, there really is no consensus on whether cannabis is kosher for Passover. For those considering a cannabis-infused Passover Seder, it may be worthwhile to discuss it with your rabbi and/or community. If you do decide cannabis is a kosher addition to your Passover celebration, here’s a medicated take on charoset, the paste made from fruit and nuts that’s traditionally eaten at the Passover Seder.
6 red apples, cored and chopped
2 cups walnuts
1 1/2 tsp honey
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/3 cup kosher sweet red wine
1–2 mL cannabis tincture (Note: You can use a high-CBD tincture if you want to avoid psychoactive effects.)
Matzo for serving
1.\tPeel and core the apples, then chop them into quarters. Place the apple chunks into a food processor and pulse until they’re coarsely chopped. Then move the apples from the food processor to a large mixing bowl. Add the walnuts to the food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Once finished, remove the walnuts and add to the mixing bowl with the apples.
2.\tIf you want to offer infused and non-infused charoset options, now’s the time to divide the apple base into two. Be sure to label the bowl that will be infused so you don’t get them confused.
3.\tAdd the sugar, honey, cinnamon and salt. Mix well until all ingredients are combined and then stir in the kosher red wine. Add 1–2 mL of cannabis tincture to the half that you want infused with cannabis.
4.\tLet the charoset mixtures chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before serving with matzo.
As always, make sure all of your guests know which foods are infused. While the dose included in this recipe is relatively low, the serving dish should be marked clearly so folks can decide for themselves whether to opt into a cannabis-infused Seder celebration.
Photo credit: Robert Couse-Baker
If you’re new to cannabis and want to learn more, take a look at our Cannabis 101 post. HelloMD can help you get your medical marijuana recommendation; it's easy, private and 100% online.