Chef Sebastian Carosi is on a mission to get you to eat your raw cannabis. Before becoming an award winning chef, however, Sebastian spent 5 years in Washington state prison on drug charges for possession and transportation of cannabis. Entering prison as a minor and coming out in his early twenties, he enrolled in the Western Culinary Institute In Portland Oregon and completed his stagiere (apprenticeship) in Sardinia, Italy under the care and tutelage of highly regarded Gallurese Chef Giovanna Cossu. After graduating with his Culinary Arts degree landed a job as personal chef for the Bush family. He is a champion of the Slowfood movement since its inception here in the US and is the founder of several sustainable food projects including: The New England Farm 2 Fork Project, The Esopus Spitzenberg Project (an antique apple CSA) and Flora Danica, (an eco-gastronomic roving rural supper club). Most recently he and his wife have spearheaded multiple events in Washington state including the Autoflower cup and Camp Rudaralis. Sebastian is a regular contributor at HIGH TIMES magazine and he joined me on Head Change #5 to talk about cooking with cannabis, psychedlic mushrooms and life after prison.
In this episode host Levi Strom interviews award winning Chef Sebastian Carosi, the short order cannabis revolutinary about cooking with cannabis, psilocybin magic mushrooms and more.
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Levi: Welcome to Head Change, the podcast that puts you in a better head space. I'm your host Levi Strom. Transcripts of today's episode are brought to you by a generous donation by Jeanne Nasarow of Bee Haven Hill Farms. Thank you Jeannie. Additional funding provided by Aram Stoney at Big Sur Cannabotanicals. On today's episode I speak with Chef Sebastian Carosi about cooking with cannabis.
Sebastian: My name is Chef Sebastian Carosi. I'm better known as the short order cannabis revolutionary. That short order cannabis revolutionary thing kind of falls under that, it gives me a moniker. I was a five diamond chef, I worked for the Bush family. I work for president Sarkozy of France, and at 17 I was a young cannabis consumer because of what I didn't know at the time, but it was for medicinal reasons other than wanting to get high. I had a tremendous bout of ADHD and at the time I had I didn't have PTSD. But five years later, I would have PTSD from getting out of prison at 24 going in at 18, 17 and 18. So I kind of had to make a decision. This is pre prison, now, we're thinking back again now, and I had to tell myself that reality was approaching really fast, so I was going to be a banker, a chef, or a mortician. This is me in my 11th grade year talking.
Levi: I was going to be a rock star basketball player, or I don't even know what the third option was, but it wasn't what I'm doing now. [laugh]
Sebastian: [laugh] Yep. So my father was a doctor, he dumped a cadaver out in front of me -- No, thank you. No bodies for me. I watched the monetary system in my lifetime. You know, I used to go to the store as a child and for $1 I Would, by handfuls of candy and I hate to use candy as an example. I'm just, you know, commodity wise, I'm just trying to give you the example. Now you go to the store and you can get one little piece of candy for that same dollar. So I've seen the dollar just, you know, do the dip and dive and it didn't seem that banking, my family owns a few banks in Italy and I thought that will might have been, you know, a choice for me, but just the dip and dive on the dollar was not fun for me. And then two years later when I was still doing the same research on the same feeling I found out how much blood was lost over a dollar -- I'm not going to do that. That's not for me. So I chose culinary and I chose culinary after that prison sentence that I got for cannabis crimes . . .
Levi: And you were, just in case I cut out that first part, you went to jail for seven years? For transporting flowers across state lines.
Sebastian: When I was 15, 16 and 17 I grew up in Kitsap County Washington right around puget sound, woo hoo, I played for Kitsap County, baseball, and there's a lot of growers up there. A lot of horticulture, a lot of agriculture, a lot of basement bandits, a lot of closet cultivators on the larger scale. Cannabis was five thousand dollars a pound at the time.
Levi: Right. Yeah, I remember those days.
Sebastian: So I got in with a few good guys and they were able to supply me with the cannabis and I was able to make some sales because I was a young kid and I was into foraging so I was all over the woods. I ran into like-minded people. I would go to festivals and rough ride the green tortoise bus line if I could, you know, and it's just like this whole canna culture that I was surrounded in because my family, and I started transporting it because I met a lady in the Victoria BC ferry terminal, a 400-pound black lady, that's slung hash she sat there and she slung hash all day. She'd measure it off, snip you a piece, measure it off, snip you a piece. And finally I was like, "how much to get your whole role?" She was like "damn son." So, I ended up going up there, trading her all the time. Pretty much on a weekly basis and the Coast Guard had noticed that there was a small boat coming in and out of day ba bay crossing the sound and the straits of Juan Fuca you know, this is like going from Gibraltar over . . .
Levi: [laughs] He's not just transporting oysters.
Sebastian: [laughs] Funny thing is we gotta get back to that. So unfortunately the Coast Guard caught me and called me in. The FEDS did not want to pick it up because I was so young the State picked it up. I got five years. I did five on seven. I got a 7 year beat. I started at Mcneil Island, Clallam Bay Walla Walla, Shelton. I lost my custody in the penitentiary because I was approached by you know, people that were not my race or telling me what I had to do. Forcing me into racist situations that I wasn't a part of. I didn't grow up that way, you know?
Levi: The Prison system, I've never gone to jail, but I have friends who have and it gets pretty balkanized pretty quickly and everyone kind of retreats into their camp for survival. It's unfortunate. It's like a microcosm of high school at its worst or something. You know, I can't even imagine man and for such a young man to go to jail over weed. I don't care what amount of weed it is. It's fucking weed! That's the crime. So I'm so sorry that that happened.
Sebastian: I appreciate that. So the funny thing is that when you say it back as when you said it back to me, it brought me back to that time and it was like, I had half of my head shaved, and the other half was this long. I looked like Tony Hawk. I was a skater, you know, I'm walking on the grey line with people that have like done crimes that I don't even talk about.
Levi: Right. You don't belong there. These two things, you know, one of these things does not belong here. The guy selling weed does not belong with the rapist, murderers. You know, it doesn't. It doesn't make any sense.
Sebastian: To this day it still doesn't make any sense to me. So I was caught. I did my time. I entered the Washington State penal system. I went all over the penal system. I had strong beliefs when I went in there. My family didn't come here until 1948. We're from Abruzzo Italy. And my skin is white, and they automatically assume that you don't have any other ethnic makeup. If your skin is light and unfortunately, I had to let them know that I couldn't be a racist because first of all it's not in me. Second of all, I come from a country that's made up of more people than America is made up of. So I couldn't say you know I can be racist towards these guys. It was really weird because like you said it pigeonhole people into a situation. My best friend in the penitentiary was a black kid I played baseball with, you know, last name Stoudemire and me and him hung all the time and it was never going to change. They weren't going to change that to me, and it's just like the government didn't change in me my cannabis beliefs once I got out. That remained the same, I felt like an outlaw. When I got out of prison, I actually went to culinary school in Portland. Oregon -- Western Culinary Institute, it became Oregon Culinary Institute. A year out of school I went to work for the Bush family in Kennebunkport Maine.
Levi: Hmm. How did you get that job?
Sebastian: I just applied for it and I didn't lie you know when they asked have you been convicted of a crime? Yeah, I've been convicted of a crime and here's my crime and here's my paperwork. I'm not scared to show it.
Levi: It's cool they hired you. I mean that kind of makes me like the Bush family a little bit more.
Sebastian: I never was into politics. I never had a political conversation with them. I'm still not in politics nowadays. Unfortunately, they've stripped my rights for those.
Levi: Smart. You're probably better off honestly.
Sebastian: So it leaves me with conversations with people like Barbara Bush about lobsters.
Levi: Right, right, right. Perfect.
Sebastian: And cigars. And they all knew that I would go to the entrance of the property, behind the secret service entrance shed and smoke weed. I've got pictures of me doing it everyday. And they never tried to defer me. They never called my boss, they never reported me. They never did anything and as a matter of fact, they, and I'm not boosting them up by any means, they recommended me to their neighbor in his 45 million dollar estate. The neighbor was President Sarkozy of France at the time. So I would do three days at Sarkozy's and three days at the Bush's cooking lobsters from Maine.
Levi: Wow. Yeah I have a feeling the Bush's were probably cooler about weed than the Reagan's would have been, you know, I don't think Nancy Reagan would have been saying, yes, but you never know people you know. The thing about cannabis is everyone loves it. I studied sociology and sociologists do these anonymous surveys, right? And that's when people actually answered things, honestly, when they know that no one can pin them to their answers. And people that identify as conservative smoke just as much weed as everybody else and not everyone smokes and loves weed, but most people honestly do and at least when they're asked about it, you know, if they're not daily smokers, they're totally fine with it. People aren't stupid. They know that this plant is basically probably one of the most harmless herbs on earth. And what would you rather have somebody doing? Would you rather have your kids smoking weed or doing crack or meth or heroin.
Levi: All the parents are going to say I'd rather have them smoking weed you know. So it's just common sense stuff, but it gets lost in policy and politics and luckily we're not here to talk about politics. We're here to talk about food which is cool because I want you to continue your story about the Bush's. I don't want to get two side railed, but I just think it's just what a twist in your life. You come out of prison. You get thrown in prison as an underaged, a juvenile into federal prison?
Sebastian: No state prison. The FEDS wouldn't pick it up.
Levi: Okay that's right, but adult state prison as a kid, okay? So that's gnarly. That's crazy, you know? And yeah, no, absolutely. One of my best friend's growing up is still in the system unfortunately, and once you get locked into it, it's really hard to get out so good on you for getting out and it sounds like you got out and you immediately applied yourself to something. You went and you studied in Portland at The Western Culinary Institute, got your culinary arts degree, immediately went out and found this job with the Bush's which probably the time, I don't know what they were paying, but it was probably like a dream job, right? I mean . . .
Sebastian: It was a dream job and it was actually I, you know, I was working for a caterer out of Kennebunkport Maine and the company was called kitchen chicks and I just got hired on as a cook and I was one of only a few that spoke English because the entire crew was Jamaican that they would come in for the season and I obviously got along with the Jamaicans really well. [laughs]
Levi: Right. [laughs]
Sebastian: So it would be [00:11:39] the Jamaicans and I pretty much on every job and we got picked for the Bush's and Sarkozy's almost every time by the Bush's and Sarkozy's. It was really fun for us because you know, they're getting a kick out of it. They're like I can't believe we're cooking lobsters for the Bush's and I'm like I can't believe we're cooking lobsters for the Bush's.
Levi: That's wild man.
Sebastian: Yeah, and so for me, you know, when you say cook back then my [00:12:08] cooking with cannabinoids was very limited, people were still stuck on the infusing butter and doing things with that. We move past the brownies, but we'd still in this whole block of an era of time, have only used cannabinoids in sugar-based vehicles and that for me sucks. I'm a type 1 type 2 diabetic. I was just diagnosed less than two years ago. Thanks Grandma, by the way. So, the discouragement in me, Levi, to see when I walk into a dispensary, a pot shop, whatever you want to call it, store, whatever in this day and age, and you can. And in the cannabis shop, [00:12:57] cannabis flower has less shelf space than the gummies and sugar. It is so disappointing because it tells me that we missed the mark when we legalized and recreationalized under the auspices of medicine and medicinal uses, that doesn't mean sugar. Sugar is not a cancer combat as a matter of fact, it's exactly the opposite. So when we have these dispensaries that don't even try. First of all, I would go back to the dispensary operator and the dispensary workers that have no education whatsoever. They cannot name 7 terps, they don't know. And it's really sad because you have the older sector going in and saying, I want to leave these pharmaceutical drugs, these psychotropic drugs, I want to leave these alone. What is it in cannabis that's going to help me? I've heard it can help me. Whether it be CBD. CBG CBN, the entire alphabet soup of the components that we found in the cannabinoid in the cannabis plant. They can't even really direct people in a proper manner. Unless behind the scenes, they've got the yearn to want to be not the budtender with the buds hanging around their neck, and the hats and the, you know, talking to the kids. But being able to hit every person that comes into that dispensary when the older lady comes in and is like I need to get off of this Prozac. [00:14:30] Oh you need this fire right here. You need GMO cookies and it's like that lady doesn't know what a damn GMO Cookie is. She also doesn't know what fire is.
Levi: [laughs] Right, you're gonna scare her. Don't scare grandma. [laughs]
Sebastian: We're completely missing the mark when it comes to, and that's why I think that we have States, like, and I'm sorry, I'm gonna peg Idaho. But Idaho that are like hell no, we aren't letting this in right now, we're going to wait and watch the cookie crumble you know. And I'm an activist in Idaho. I'm at [00:15:03] Boise Hempfest every year, I help promote it. I helped put it on.
Levi: That sounds like a party man. I want to go this year, I'm serious.
Sebastian: This year, believe It or not Levi, we have taken on a whole other sector and I'm going to jump to another totally different topic because we're on this, but we have a company called [00:15:27] Camp Ruderalis. And there's conversations about cannabis every damn second of the day and indica makes it into the conversation and sativa makes it into the conversation and then hybrid makes it into the conversation, but the word ruderalis never ever makes it into the conversation. And the funniest part about this all is one of the first cannabis plants that was ever discovered on its own, no males around flowering off the side of the Himalayan Mountains by a woman, was wild cannabis, AKA ruderalis. It's what we call auto flower cannabis now.
Sebastian: Every strain of cannabis that everybody likes to this day, is now being bred with ruderalis and auto flower. Why? It's simple: a hundred day crop now takes 56 days. That's two crops. They used to say auto flower has no potency, throw that right out the window because when you mix and auto naturally, you cross-pollinated it with something like White Widow or something you can get the 27%. It's scientifically been proven. So they can't tell me that anymore either.
Levi: It's amazing what you can do with plant breeding, because I always hear that everyone's like, oh, you'll never be able to get above 30 percent THC and now we're like, I'm pretty sure we're at 40. You know? You'll never be able to get CBD above 10%. I remember people telling me this, "it's impossible", [laughs] okay, sure. Give it a couple of years so you know, I hear what you're saying. And as a grower, I always shunned ruderalis because it was weaker, but I'm sure by now and I haven't grown commercially in a long time and I'm sure by now they've got it all dialed. And for people that have no idea what we're talking about, ruderalis is considered the third type of cannabis. You've got generally speaking your indicas from the Hindu Pakistan region. You got your sativas from places like southeast Asia and Latin America. Then you have ruderalis from China and Russia, the super cold dark area. So cannabis flowers on a lighting schedule, but because these plants grew for hundreds of thousands of millions of years in an area where it would be dark for 24 hours a day or light for 24 hours a day. It became independent of the light cycle. It just has its own internal clock, which for a grower is a huge advantage because now you can get like you said plants to harvest quicker, they're going to start flowering quicker. So you don't have to do the light dep thing and it's really cool. It's, you know, I'm I've been out of cultivation hardcore, but I know that has probably gone crazy with breeding ruderalis into everything. So you probably know more than I do at this point.
Sebastian: Don't get me wrong. I have one plant in my house. It's a familiar dude, I cannot . . .
Levi: You just focus on cooking. That's all right. Everyone can't do everything. [laughs]
Sebastian: My whole position and soapbox in this cannabis industry is trying to get people to use cannabis for what it is. It is a raw agricultural crop that grows in the field with many many medicinal values to it. And unfortunately, the medicinal values dissipate into dollar signs for all these people. I've never seen so many farmers in suits, living in high rises, driving on top of Google's. Right, it's a challenge for me because my background for food is always searching that farmer, the farmer, not the lab, you know, and when we start talking about other things, you know, our conversations quickly change when it becomes plant-based. [00:19:04] When we start talking about psilocybin and psilocybin therapy, I have a huge proponecy to tell people these are lab-grown and cultivated, that's great. But I've been working with decriminalization of California right now because we've already got Oregon going and we've already got Washington going. and I want people to know that just like a source of wild things as we talk about ruderalis when you talk about psilocybin, you talk about something that was grown in a plastic cooler in somebody's basement generally. I don't want that. I live in the Pacific Northwest, I have a 27 mile stretch of beach that in 1976 Paul Stamets just happened to stumble on these little little brown mushroom caps in the dune grass. They were called psilocybe azurescens, not cionscnes, but azurescens, they happen to be the most psilocybin dense mushroom on the planet. And there all over the place, they're free.
Sebastian: As a chef I always tried to get people back to the source of the cleanest, wildest, non-conforming through a human grow. Non manipulated source of medicine that we can do. When I became a diabetic, Levi, they gave me this drug called metformin, a little pill. It was actually a horse pill. It was about an inch long and I was like, this is cool, but it's going to be hard getting down, what's in it. And the doctor couldn't tell me. And I was like, you can't tell me what's in the pill you just gave me that you prescribed me? You're still practicing buddy? And he's like, okay cool so we're going to look it up. So we looked it up and it was held together with sucrose molecules. Now I'm a diabetic here and sucrose is a form of sugar. I said, why are you giving me sucrose daily with metformin to control my sugar levels internally and he couldn't answer the question. So I said, okay cool, I'm going to take this. It took three weeks. I threw up the meal every day at 3:30 in the morning, my body was rejecting the metformin. So when it comes to that, I got the idea that they're doing the same thing with a lot of cannabinoids. [00:21:15] I got a product from a friend the other day, I appreciate it too.
Levi: [cuckles] Right on.
Sebastian: No. 01 hits, anybody that's looking for no flavor, no nothing, medicine. One, and I'm going to tell you this and I'll go over there on my shelf, I have 600 bottles. I work for 35 Washington i-502 and OLCC companies as a freelancer. I have developed, hmm, 70 of these things. I'm not saying this because this is your show, but the cassia and orange one is the best fucking thing I've put in my mouth in a long damn time.
Levi: Nice man, thank you. That's our newest product, so I appreciate the feedback.
Sebastian: I'm just going to tell you in all honesty, when I look for products, those are the things we look for. I got to High Times judges kits sitting over here right now for 6 b, + 4 B, it's pretty cool for me, even though I'm a judge for this, but I developed three of the products in the boxes that I'm judging. So, when I see things like this, and I see people going to first of all, and I'm not this, just because this is your show. I'm not doing this at all. Label, brand, bottle, color conformity, eye appeal, this was like, this is like, getting one of the best bags of weeds I've gotten in a long damn time.
Levi: I'm trying to rep the farmer's market vibe, you know, it's like, that's what this is to me. Cannabis is food and I think you should be able to, I wish and I hope someday we get rid of all the dispensaries and that's like, it'll be something we'll be talking about in 20 years going remember we had those weird like liquor store like kind of cannabis dispensaries, that was so weird, right? Now you just go to the grocery store and get it. Or you go to your Farmers Market where it's 18 and over whatever you got to do, you show your ID, there's a security guard and then you walk in and you get to go talk to me who's making my little tinctures and I can show you exactly how I make it. The flower that I use, you can go talk to the farmer and you can tell you the amendments he's using and show you and you can really have a connection to the farmer to the source ingredient. And and since we're kind of there I want to ask this question because I think the slow food movement is so important and I'm trying to do that too with Awakened and like you know, the solventless and like single strain and really like slowing down this fast track to like isolates and distillates and roll it off the assembly line gummies and and sugar pops and all that and then that's fine, like I think that's cool that there's, I don't shame any products, I want it all, but . . .
Sebastian: [00:23:52] There's always going to be a Walmart.
Levi: There's always going to be a Walmart and some people want that and that's totally fine. But we don't want to get rid of all the craft, artisan producers because right now that's kind of what's happening. And I mean, I can get down on it sometimes, because California is California, I don't know how it is in Washington, but in California, they've really over-regulated the space and made it really tough on the small producer. And I imagine it's the same up there, but on [00:24:21] the slow food movement, so how do you see slow food and cannabis aligning? Like how do we remove the stigma of stoners and fast food? And kind of like you're talking about sugar and sweets, like how do we return this back to the plant and back to, like, the holistic approach. Like, how do you actually convince consumers to do that? Who wants expediency and convenience? They want free two-day shipping with Amazon and they want everything right now. Like how do we as artists and craft producers, like combat that like how do we carve out our space in this industry? I'm genuinely asking because I don't know.
Sebastian: So, I have done it the simplest way I knew how. I stuck to who and what I am and I didn't deviate. My food and my philosophy is based around the slow food philosophies. If there's a producer in my area and by my area, I mean in my region that produces something, I'm not going to go and step outside of my region to find it in, bring it in. First of all, for two or three reasons: economics, economics and my heart. My heart leads the decision on my purchases all the time. I made that mandatory as a chef from the beginning. Why? Because my grandma. Why? Because I grew up on a farm. Why? Because I was the one at the farmers market selling all those vegetables, 15 and 20 years ago. The most important factor for me, Levi in that situation is going to be not the [00:25:49] the heart part. And the heart part is, is that if there's a farmer down the street, that I know, maybe I only know him a little bit but I do know who he is. And I do know that he's making XYZ products at his farm. I'm going to buy that product from him because if his daughter needs dance shoes or his daughter needs food in her mouth or their animals need husbandry or their farm needs a new fence post. When I drive by that farm, I help support that farm. I did everything I could for my neighbor. Nobody does shit for their neighbors anymore. When you move into a new neighborhood, when's the last time your neighbor made you a batch of cookies? Never! Do you remember what America used to be like because I do.
Levi: Right? Yeah, you're right, rural life and now it's like the media has us all divided, right? It's like townies, gownies. Republicans, Democrats all this nonsense and yeah, restoring community through food is probably the best way to do that because you cannot hate somebody that's preparing food for you, you know, you can't, it's absolutely impossible. And then the disconnect in the cities, and we need the city's on board because we need these farms to fork movements. When you live in Los Angeles, it's really easy to get disconnected from the farmer down the street. You've never even seen a farm. Most people in LA have never even seen a plant growing, you know, but they still know even if we're not in nature and we're surrounded by asphalt, we still like they're still a part of us that longs for it if somebody can go to a restaurant, that's farm-to-table and feel good about the food they're eating, or buy some weed or a product that they feel like they actually know where it's coming from, and they're making a impactful consumer decision, that's what I think like on the marketing side, like, people like you and I and people are trying to do, we have to be really good at the marketing. We have to get our message out there and compete with McDonald's. [cuckles]
Sebastian: Yeah. And my thing as a chef is check this out. I used to tell everybody, everybody back in the day used to brag like hell that they were farm to fork. Well, guess what? McDonald's gets their fucking tomatoes from a farm, and their lettuce too, the're farm to fork.
Levi: Right. Yeah.
Sebastian: So, for me, I kept it really simple. I followed my protocol on my guidelines from what my grandma told me from what my grandma did. [00:28:09] I'm a short order cannabis revolutionary. So I was opening four and five diamond facilities. I was running some of America's at the time, Relais Chateaux restaurants where there's only 40 of them in America, but what you would find from me is in that dish, and I got questioned a lot. [00:28:28] Tuna noodle casserole made with ahi tuna.
Sebastian: You know, what would you see for lunch? You might see [00:28:35] a sloppy joe sandwich made with Buffalo from one of Ted Turner's ranches. Why? Because that's what American's can associate with. [00:28:43] Americans can't associate with tweezer food. Tweezer food equals elitism in food, which means the price is going to go up. But here's the thing, a rich person didn't forage for the truffles, a peasant like my family members did, so who really knows how to enjoy those truffles?
Sebastian: You know what I'm saying? Not the person that's going to put it on their social media account with the pinky up, going hey pinkies up it's truffle season, No, first of all that's not me. You should be able to tell that from the profile I put out there but there's a lot of things people. They think just because you write for High Times that you're a multi-millionaire and oh my God you're this or that. So I'm going to get back to the point you made. Food has broken people down into socio-economic lines and demographics and has been pissing me off forever. Because today if I don't have enough money to eat a nine dollar hot dog, guess what I'm going to eat a 29 Cent hotdogs and when I have enough money to eat a nine dollar hot dog, I'm gonna need a nine dollar hot dog, but if you judge me for eating hot dogs and you pigeonhole me into a socio-economic group because I eat ramen, hot dogs, frank and beans or anything that you consider poor food, I consider the food that made my family survive through any hard times. So, if yours was steak, that's cool with me. [00:30:14] But there's gonna be a time that you're not going to be able to get that steak and the knowledge that I've hidden in my mind about where and how to go get food during tough times, I can walk out and survive, I don't need a refrigerator, I don't need anything like that. So when you with your pinky up, not you particularly Levi, but then with their pinky up in the elitist attitude [laughs] with food and with products, approaches people like me when I was at the farmers market, I had truffles chanterelles. I was the chef that had a farmers market stand and an organic farm 32-acre organic farm. But underneath the table, I sold cannabis, pesto, cannabis, hummus salad dressings. So on a good day, on a Saturday here in the Pacific Northwest, let's say I would be at the Salmon Creek Farmers Market. I'd do about $1,300 and vegetables on the top of the table. My cooler with the [00:31:07] Cannabis hummus, pesto and salad dressings, we do around four and a half percent every old lady in sorry, I don't mean to make it like that but every old lady and old man in Clark County that didn't want to go to a pot shop, because of the way they were treated was lined up at my Farmers Market booth.
Levi: I bet.
Sebastian: And the farmers market manager was a close friend of mine and she was actually a beekeeper that grew cannabis, so she didn't care. But from that, we spawned a farmers market, an all cannabis farmers market, an underground Farmers Market, where exactly what you just said happened, we operated for three years.
Levi: We tried that in LA, we operated for two weekends and then I ended up in a three-year lawsuit with the city of LA. [laughs]
Sebastian: I'm from Providence Rhode Island. I was raised around a lot of Italians that believe in a lot of words like omerta and family. There's a lot of rats and cheese eaters in LA I found out.
Levi: Yeah sure, yeah.
Sebastian: So when we get to the healthy aspects of who and cannabis, and I'm not doing this for an advertising ploy as a matter of fact, if you want to cut it out, you can, but High Times magazine. You wouldn't expect High Times to run a salad would you?
Sebastian: You wouldn't, open up [00:32:25] High Times magazine, avocado toast from Chef Sebastien Carosi.
Levi: Looks good.
Sebastian: High times has got a pulpit. They're not ruining recipes about brownies any more.
Levi: Right, right? No.
Sebastian: Why, because they know their movement and they have been crushed, they get a bad name, they get a good name. They get all this and they're trying to move with the times. He was legal cannabis and still be the biggest cannabis media business out there. I know the bucket list thing for me, Levi, they called me and said, hey Chef can you throw us a few recipes for the next four issues? And hey, throw us one for the 420 issue, too. And I'm like, almost in tears and I'm like, calling my dad going. Guess what? Guess What? You know what I mean? To other people there like you're in High Times and it's like, who else is giving me a voice to tell you to cook with cannabis by making a salad or avocado toast?
Levi: Yup. No, it's amazing. It gives you a brand. I mean, it instantly catapulted. I don't think anybody would do it. I don't know. I think it would be foolish not to take up an offer from High Times and they are pivoting their models and trying to adapt, but I think you know what you're talking about with the sugar and switch into a more mature use of the plant. Like I think that's where the industry is right now. The industry is kind of an immature industry right now, it's all about youth culture and kind of pop bubblegum, hype brands or really big, you know?
Sebastian: You guys opened a Cafe in California. [00:33:58] Lowell Cafe in LA. Remember that?
Levi: I remember it. Yup, I never went. [cuckles] But I remember.
Sebastian: How could the world's first Cannabis Cafe, Cannabis restaurant. Right? That was the moniker, right? But you couldn't eat any cannabis there.
Levi: Right? It was ridiculous. Yeah.
Sebastian: It was a consumption Cafe where you could eat your food and smoke at the same time. It sucked because Andrea Boomer is still running on the fact that open the first Cannabis Cafe. No, no, no, no. First of all, she never serves never served cannabis in that Cafe. She couldn't by legal action she couldn't. She also had the ability to serve [00:34:40] hemp leaves as a salad ingredient but didn't. Why? Because she didn't know how. And I'm not talking shit about Andrea. I'm just talking about her abilities. So when the media gets on the bandwagon of the first Cannabis Cafe, go eat your cannabis but there's no cannabis and you smoke a joint and that's all. That hurt, drastically, everywhere.
Levi: I think I let everybody down, I remember it because there's so much fanfare about it and everyone was hyped about it. Like people were leaving their families from the Midwest to come and be a waitress at the Lowell Herb Cafe. I knew it was all bullshit because I knew that the laws were and I was like this is never going to work. They can't serve real Edibles. This is stupid like it's a consumption lounge. Nobody cares and you know and they spent $50,000 on a chandelier or whatever they did. It's just like a ridiculous vanity project.
Sebastian: When that happened I got really really irate and I started going after the USDA and the FDA really hard with teams of lawyers. And I have just gotten licensed. I'm the first, well my partner is because I'm a felon and I can't. We are the first USDA and FDA licensed hemp farm that is licensed to sell you [00:35:52] microgreens, juicing greens and salad greens.
Sebastian: All you chefs out there that want to cook with cannabis get on the fucking band wagon and start putting it in your salads. Your spanakopitas, your greens, your spinach and everything because right now cannabis has more vegetarian based protein than kale and spinach alone. Why aren't we touching on that subject? We're all talking about being high, [00:36:23] get high and eat some good cannabis leaves is what I'm trying to get people to do.
Levi: Exactly.This is the other side of it that so rarely gets talked about and, you know, THC the molecule is always going to get the most attention because of what it does and I'm a huge fan. But, you know, I make my raw products, both in the hemp and cannabis space because I want people to be exposed to the unadulterated plant, the unheated form of it, which is an incredibly powerful anti-inflammatory and there's all these amazing medicinal values. It's also a superfood, it's [00:36:53] beyond a superfood.
Sebastian: Beyond a superfood.
Levi: It's what the Japanese would call a functional food.
Levi: It goes far beyond its dietary value, it has medicinal value when you call something medicine, it creates this barrier to wear now it's only something you use when you're sick. And I don't believe that about cannabis. [00:37:11] Cannabis is food. It's preventative. And you don't just have to smoke a joint and God bless you if you do, I know, I will probably shortly after this interview, but I take raw cannabis every day. I use my topicals, I ingest the tinctures. I do, you know, when I used to grow, I would juice the leaves and wheatgrass juicer I'd throw the nugs in my smoothies. I'd chop them up into my salad. I take the raw. I’m talking with another guy Ron Spencer from Bio sync and he's a hemp farmer and he takes his dried nugs and uses them as a dry rub on tri-tip.
Levi: And it's amazing. I mean, the terpene like cannabis has so many culinary uses that unfortunately get completely lost to, like just add distillate into your brownie mix and you're done, or make some cannabutter and you're done. It sounds like salad is kind of like your thing right now and avocado toast, but you have a favorite cannabis dish right now.
Sebastian: That's hard man.
Levi: Do you like working with the like the raw leaf is that kind of like, one of your favorite creative ways to incorporate? I was going to ask you to, like, what is the most underutilized part of the plant? Would you say that's like the raw Leaf?
Sebastian: No [00:38:24] the roots are the most underutilized. The roots.
Levi: Yeah. So how would you use the roots? I used to make a root tincture but how would you use the roots culinarily?
Sebastian: So realistically, depending on if you're growing and remember, I'm not a grower. I'm not a grower at all. I don't know how to grow. But what I can tell you, is that studies that we've been doing for the past three years that if you have a hydroponic or reservoir situation and your roots, touch any part of the basic, anywhere from the side to the top there bacteria between the basin reservoir and the roots, no matter what anybody says. So any roots that touch your basin in a reservoir? Not the water, but the physical reservoir itself, I would not consume. I wouldn't even make RSO out of it. I would make anything about it, because there are so many biotoxins, molds, things that are growing that are unseen. Seen in there that we won't know for a long time. But juicing, if you can juice the root, a lot of the lipids tend to be in the root systems not in the actual plant. So lipids mean something for me because I'm a diabetic, they may not mean something for anybody else. Personally, when I eat cannabinoids, I eat it the exact opposite that everybody thinks of me as a chef eats it. I eat what I call [00:39:37] Bob Marley style and a lot of people don't realize that the Bob Marley strain was about 7 percent THC 7%, CBD, it was an equal balance, that's why he was smoking all day and it goes back to genetics. And when we were trying to get 14% CBD, and 14% THC see to have a nice ride across the board, you know, fuck, I'm a stoner and I lost my train of thought.
Levi: I tell people all the time, my favorite weed on earth, what I like to smoke. I make a one-to-one tincture that comes from a strain called Dr. Greenshock from Greenshock Farms. It's eight percent, total THC, eight percent, total CBD, has a beautiful terpene profile, super tasty, kushy, I can smoke it all day, it's so relaxing and enjoyable. I'm not, you know, too far out of my mind and then later on, I can take a dab of some rosin, you know, to get there, but like, for my daytime smoke, yeah it's the Bob Marley way and I think that's true too, not just Marley, but I think they're finding now like, even just back in the fifties like, A lot of the weed there smoking on Stanford University. I was reading this article like you know, Aldous Huxley and a lot of these like psychedelic explorers they're smoking weed back then too. But they were smoking stuff that was seven percent THC with a lot of CBD. And so when they talk about how we're so different now, well, they're kind of right. I mean we've basically bread out all the CBD which actually kind of takes down the psychoactive effect of THC so you don't get that paranoia. That's what I don't like. That's the one thing I don't like about weed is that sometimes you smoke a little too much and you feel like life gets shoved up in your face and it's kind of an experience. You just kind of accept it as a smoker. We like this is going to happen, but if you just have a little bit of CBD, it totally takes that away. And then you kind of get this nice floaty high without that, like, oh God, I'm lifting off to Jupiter, and I don't know if I'm going to ever come back. Like, it just kind of keeps you in this nice kind of middle ground. And I think most people would enjoy that. I think most people that haven't smoked weed in 20 years, if they knew that there was something out there, that was 7% and 7%, and there is now, I think you'd get a lot of people coming back in and maybe they're not going to smoke. Maybe they find it in another way but there are more people right now they're not consuming cannabis that I think will if it's presented to them in the right way and I think the right way to do it is from like what you're doing like, yeah an Infused pesto. It's like somebody might not know everything about that. They might like, well, I don't want to. They associate weed with brownies and junk food and smoking and all those things are unhealthy. And you can say, hey, guess what you can actually use the raw plant. Or you [00:42:11] decarb it a little bit and you can really adjust the ratios. You can do this at home even. If there are things that people can do that you would recommend that they can do at home with flower or extracts they can buy at their local dispensary or even online.
Sebastian: So there's a ton of equipment that is made for everybody now, just as everybody has a Crock-Pot now, you can go down and for $100, you can get a, I'm going to name all of them, I'm going to tell you the one I use and I use it because we're making something like you said that has a medicinal moniker to it. So if I tell somebody, hey this has 12 milligrams in it. I want to be as accurate as I can because that one milligram over could be the detriment point for them going, holy shit I feel like a teenager, you know?
Sebastian: [00:43:00] And so for me, it's highly important to get a gadget or use or a method that is tried and true and I had some friends here in Seattle, develop a machine 12 years ago now and it's called the Magical Butter Machine. There's also machines called Levo, and there's another one called Ardent, and I will be honest, I work for all three companies on R&D, for all of their machines, all three of them and I will tell you that I am still on the R&D team at Magical Butter. I will never be let go. As a matter of fact, we just went worldwide almost every day we give away 420 Magical Butter Machines. It became Florida's small business of the year. Entered into Fortune 500 status pretty soon I think, I mean the company is climbing like you wouldn't believe.
Levi: I've never owned one but my roommate had one so I've used them and they are really cool machine because they make that cannabutter experience pretty simple. It does the decarb for you. So if you want and I've talked about this on the podcast, but cannabis in its raw form does not get you high, THCA is the acidic precursor to THC. If you want to get high, you have to heat it. If you don't want to get high that's cool and there's a ton of medicinal value in the raw plant. Yeah, I explore that a lot. And you know maybe even like, I think, like partial decarbs are cool, like, keep half the THC, you know, there's a lot of ways you can play around with that.
Sebastian: Yeah, so Levi, so, with the research that I've been doing because you know, we didn't know this, the first of all you've asked me what the word decarboxylation meant 25 years ago and I would have been what huh you know that mean? You know and so . . .
Levi: It's a big fancy word for fire, for heat.
Sebastian: Yeah, so when we apply heat to this tetrahydrocannabinol compounds and we activate them and we make them psychoactive because like my saying that I like to educate people with is, [00:45:07] there's no intoxication without decarboxylation. I know a lot of people, some people don't want to get high and there's big, big research right now on does CBD have to be activated to be fully usable if it's non psychoactive but CBD is psychoactive, we all know that. So, you know, my thing with the [00:45:31] decarboxylation research has been, you know, I used to do two hundred forty five degree internal, that means that the inside of the bud. If a bud was this big, the inside will be 245 degrees for a matter of 35 to 40 minutes. So when I got with the University of Washington and Dr. Ethan Russo, we started doing these studies like, hey if they're 300 components you can't tell me that they all evaporate burn enough at the same time because they don't. So there's a big push with CBG right now. Everybody's on that alphabet. So we had to sit for three months. As we were doing the [00:46:11] covid and CBG studies, I had covid, by the way, I fully recover them, I was part of Ethan Russo's CBG studies at Washington State University with high megadoses, 3,000 milligrams, 3,000 milligrams every day.
Levi: For covid. Wow, interesting, I'd love to have an entire other podcast on that one because I think that would be really great.
Sebastian: I still don't even have, I'm at about 85% right now and tasteless.
Levi: Oh wow! Yeah, I was going to say as a chef if you lost your taste, it would be like a musician that can't hear. Beethoven did it. So I guess it's possible. But wow!
Sebastian: For that food and that connection. The lifestyle of cannabis is our lifestyle. It's a lifestyle for me, it's outdoors, it's the outdoors, it's food. It's real food. First of all, real food. I'm a real sustainable food and lifestyle. [00:47:05] I don't smoke a lot of flower now and I don't know what the high heat nail is going to do. We haven't found all the studies on that, but I will tell you that absolutely nothing on this planet gets to you like a dab gets to you.
Levi: Sure. Talk about rapid absorption. If you need the effects immediately, I don't think there's a better way than taking a concentrate. A lot of people get scared off by the blow torch and the nail and all the equipment that's used. But I think for people who have never tried dabbing it's you are heating your vaporizing cannabis hash that's what it is. It's been done for thousands of years so you use a blowtorch you know you use a blowtorch to make creme brulee too, I mean, it's not it's not that scary but when they bust out the blowtorch, you know, sometimes around the family members their like -- this isn't weed. I'm like, no it is. I promise. It's just weed. [laughs]
Sebastian: When I had my bar about five,six years ago, I had my last food service operation that I had here in Vancouver and it was a craft cocktail bar upstairs and it was a dab lounge underneath. I've got to the courthouse, all three judges there every night. It was . . .
Levi: [laughs] That's what we need. That's what we need.
Sebastian: It was a Ruffian Speakeasy and I lived at the bar also, because my dad was dying of cancer at the time. And I was just like, going berserk, you know, it's like trying to drink myself to death. And I really realized that I was right across from the courthouse and nobody ever said anything to me in three years. You would come to the bar, you would ask for the cocktail menu, and you'd say, I heard you got another menu and if you said it, you got it, you know? And it was really weird. It was like the farmers market for me, coming out of prison and still operating in those gray areas is kind of the mentality I got. And I'm sorry that I make fun of the suits that are the investors in the cannabis industry that don't know anything about cannabis, but are just dollar signs. They're just investors and I understand that, but when they say in the crowd, yeah, I'm in the Cannabis industry. That's cool. Come on, let's go smoke. What do you like, smoke? What do you like to do? What do you like to grow? What kind of plants do you like, what do you believe in? You know what, they're just not industry professionals.
Levi: They're not a part of the culture and they probably don't want to be, and that's okay. You know as this industry matures, we're going to need business people. We need the MBA's and the suits to grow this industry. We have to. But they need us too and so as long as long as there's that recognition that, yeah, both of these camps might not see eye-to-eye on everything, but we do actually need each other. And there are plenty of bad operators in the cannabis space. That's for sure. You don't have to have a suit to be a fucking douchebag. [laughs] So it's you know, and I'm trying to kind of get over all those prejudices myself because I'm trying to grow my company and I don't think I can do it without investment. So I don't want to bad-mouth the investors too much. But you're right. I mean, a lot of people, especially in [00:50:12] the green rush, and I know for the California operators, you know, we've seen two waves of green rushers come through this state with their money, and their talk and we're all sick of it. All the small operators I talk to that haven't sold out that still have their heart in the game, you know?
Sebastian: That's when we earlier we're talking about ruderalis, that's why I wanted to bring attention to ruderalis, that's why we formed our company. Our company is an outdoor eco gastronomic adventure and cannabis psilocybin immersion experience.
Levi: I'm in. Sign me up dude. I am so there. I mean the [00:50:49] psilocybin aspect. I didn't even know we're going to talk about this when I'm glad we are because like that's the next frontier and the two really do go together in this is this is medicine. You know and I love mushrooms and weed are the only two drugs I'll do. I mean I'll fuck with some other stuff every once in a while. But I mean, it's pretty much natural medicine for me all the way. How so, let's just talk, can we talk about psilocybin and culinary? Like what? I mean, I know how to make mushroom chocolates. I've made mushroom tea. Yeah, I've seen it encapsulated, what are some of the new ways to use psilocybin for product development or culinary purposes that maybe people don't know about?
Sebastian: So, you know, we were talking about the correlation between cannabis and culinary. That correlation between psilocybin and culinary is even deeper because of well, we've been eating mushrooms for a long time. Sometimes we didn't know that there were mycotoxins and they were slightly toxic and they had psilocybin them or psilocybin and and that was, you know, it's really weird because I try to, a lot of people are getting into ayahuasca, Oba gang. A lot of these things, but my family doesn't come from a region where those medicines were used. So I don't believe in using those medicines. In Italy, in Abruzzo, there were plenty of mushrooms, you know, culinary and psychedelic. So mentally Levi, I'm going to be honest, there is nothing on this planet that has gotten me, rejuvenative reconnected in my brain. Then these right here are TT wise. We have landslides blue meanies, golden teachers. We cultivate quite a few. My wife does. She's he's awesome at that.
Levi: These are homegrown mushrooms. Nice. Can you send me some off-the-record off?
Sebastian: I send a few thousand capsules a week out bro. And the most New England. That's why they're in these fancy bags.
Levi: Right. Hypothetically speaking for the DEA agent that's listening, hypothetically.
Sebastian: So for me, it's something we hit on a really good point earlier and people may not have picked it up, but it was about like preventive medicine, first before trying to fix it, when problems are too bad. So I take a micro dose .01 once a day. It's like my vitamin thing.
Levi: I would if I had them honestly. My friend is making microdose capsules, and she sent me her seven-day supply. And I took it every seven days and it was game-changing. It really was like, for my whole like it's just incredible what it does it like, not only the mental, but the physical. I'm a runner. I was running my best times. I was running with more joy. It was just like . . .
Sebastian: It's connecting.
Levi: Right. I feel like everything else is unconnected my brain, you know, like, all the sugars and even a lot, even the too much caffeine and like, just all this stuff is like, ripping, my brain cells apart and then psilocybin comes in and just start mending and healing everything, I don't I just can't, I can't express enough to people how the appropriate use of psychedelics has been so incorrectly demonized. I mean it's probably one of the greatest harms we've committed as a culture is to demonize these plants and the people that use them.
Sebastian: Worse than cannabis. Psilocybin has gotten worse than cannabis.
Levi: Yup, because these are really, I mean cannabis is used by really sick people too, but the reason why psilocybin is being fast-tracked is because it is showing powerful results and helping people with chronic depression who have tried everything else.
Sebastian: This guy. PTSD from prison at 17.
Levi: Who are suicidal and who see no way out. And then they do a heavy mushroom trip under a doctor's guidance or whatever and they come out the other side like a changed person.
Levi: Yeah, and then you can scientifically unpack that and go, well this is we kind of think this is what's happening and it's totally makes sense and it's totally natural and it's not override things it's actually repairing, it's not masking, it's not putting a bandaid on the problem, like a lot of western drugs do it's actually helping to correct it and to help get you in tune with yourself so that you can heal yourself. Our bodies and minds want to be operating at our best capacity right?
Sebastian: All the time. Yep. They do.
Levi: So, we're always trying and anybody has struggled with addiction. Anybody that struggled with anger issues. Any time you know things go out of balance. It's very and I think I think to varying degrees we all have and, and I think, you know, when you're in those states, when you're at rock bottom, it's really obvious and people need that, but even just even people that are just turning to other things like, you know, I would rather see people take microdose of mushrooms then even drink alcohol. And I'm an alcohol drinker, but whatever, there are these natural plant-based, you know, but if you're looking to calm down, kava, drink some kava tea, like there are so many cool plants that we have, made illegal. Don't have access to that they want to sell back to us in a synthetic form that doesn't work as well. And I really liked what you said about who knows how to eat Chanterelle mushrooms and all these expensive ingredients better than the peasants who harvest them? And you're absolutely right man, having lived in areas like I lived in Big Sur and we'd have a bunch of chanterelles and people go and harvest some Abalone and we get some fresh rock fish right off, you know, and we'd eat these dinners that were like they would cost a thousand dollars, you know, how to fancy restaurant, literally, and like a plate, like with Abalone and chanterelles and all this crazy stuff and we're all working at restaurants, we were Bartenders and waiters and stuff. We weren't rich, but we're eating, like, kings and queens because we lived we knew how to harvest the bounty around us and then somebody else, you know, how to wild pig, you know, they hunted and they brought it's like the, you know, rural America, actually, you know, we used to be an agricultural country. We decided a long time ago to be a hydrocarbon economy rather than a carbohydrate economy, but we still haven't in us. Americans are not retarded on this issue like we our fingers were in the dirt, our ancestors had our fingers in the dirt, like all of the like you know, farming is really big just a little home, you know like we have a like my girlfriend's really into like farms. She's never farmed in her life but she's super into it now like the pandemic and like she loves it. Like we always have beds now and like more people have probably started garden beds in the last year and a half than ever before. But like the more we can get into that and the less time we can spend on screens and the more time you can spend with our fingers in the dirt, and understanding our relationship to food and the products we put into our body. I think, the better off, and I think this is a big part of it. I think cannabis has the potential to really influence society at large in ways that go beyond, I think what most people even realize, I think a part of that is this mushroom debate because we wouldn't even be having this mushroom debate without the cannabis debate, having happened first.
Levi: And a lot of people might say, well this is going to lead to all drugs being legalized. Great. I think that's great. They all shouldn't be But let's at least start with the least harmful in the most productive, which is cannabis and mushrooms.
Sebastian: Yeah, I was really lucky to have been living here in the Pacific Northwest and there's a 27 mile stretch of beach outside of Astoria Oregon and Paul Stamets, you know, the great mycologist is from Olympia here in Washington and I grew up 33 miles away. So his son Azer, which means blue, which is short for Azurescen. Psilocybin azurescens, the most psilocybin dense mushroom on earth..
Levi: Of course that Paul Stamets kids name, it wouldn't just be Joe. We all know that.
Sebastian: No, and growing up in that area on the beach. It's a 27 mile stretch of dune grass where Azi's grow wild and that was my first foray into psilocybe was eating freshies off the beach and just losing your gourd. You know.
Levi: I bet. I bet those freshies, yeah that's a little different, huh?
Sebastian: Oh yeah, I prefer freshies all the time, all the.
Levi: What happens when you cook? I want to ask you this because I don't know the answer. And you might, what happens when you heat psilocybin? Is there a similar thing with cannabis where you need to heat it to get the effects or how is it different in its raw form than it's heated form?
Sebastian: So there is destruction, obviously there's destruction if you want to keep the psilocybe in the dish at a good amount, you either use dried and reconstituted or freshies and use big ones. So the psilocybin on the inside will still retain. Another good thing is to finish with tech. If you make lemon tech or blue water, just finish the dish with the tech or the blue water.
Levi: What's blue water?
Sebastian: So you can't really make tincture out of mushrooms. A lot of people do. But . . .
Levi: I've always wondered that I've never tried, I've always wanted to try it though.
Sebastian: Don't, don't you're wasting your time, so when I act like that, The first part about that, you have to learn is that psilocybin is water soluble and fat soluble. So you have to do two different extractions to make it right. And if your water ends blue then you did it, right? And I've been with a lot of shitty brown water, all the time, and never blue water. Just barely starting to get this right for probably 10 years.
Levi: Was that a temperature thing? Or what? How do you go from Blue to brown?
Sebastian: It's all cold. That's the thing. It's just doing your processes right. So the other thing is that when we talk about the regenerative and regenerative properties of these mushrooms, when I make a dish or a capsule out of the psilocybe, I also add reishi, chaga, lion's, mane and turkey tail. The hericium or lion's mane is another hugely regenerative mushroom. It's going to help connect those sparks and help the psilocybe connect in there. You, there's actually more benefits to hericium than there is psilocybe, but most people are still there buying these mushrooms from a source that's growing them in a lab in a garage, and that's great, but that's not that's not what we need to be doing. Even when companies are doing that, we need to be getting closer to a wild source. So that it is more natural. It's more of an adulterated, it's in it because if we can put those natural things in our body there, we're going to be that way. So I always practice. So this year my wife and I are actually Camp Ruderalis is an outdoor adventure society. So this year we're holding the Auto Flower Cup on a 1940's scuba resort where the Beatles filmed the video. Where the first underground footage of a pacific coast octopus was filmed by National Geographic and it's 400 yards on the other side of the sound where I was busted in a boat with 32 pounds of cannabis. So it means something to me. So they'll be in an auto flower Growers, converging on this resort. There's forging forays, there's wild psilocybin, educational classes, auto flower educational classes, joint rolling competitions, last dab standing competitions. Educational, what the fuck is an auto flower frst of all, you know. Some of the best geneticists in the world. I'm bringing geneticists all the way from Spain, all the geneticist from around here. The boys from Humboldt, Humboldt Seed Company are coming up. The girls from Hembra, in San Diego, one of the first female owned seed companies in the world. The girls from Hembra are coming up and we're all getting together and we're eating wild oysters off of the beach, grilling them over a fire, eating mushrooms, foraging for mushrooms. Last year, I did it at a campground in the middle of Oregon and I got about 200 participants. I got about 25 entries and then people were just like, why don't you do this more? And I said, well, because I'm too busy working. It's a lot of work, you know, first of all, the party cost $90,000 to throw. And that's, I don't have that type of money. I gotta get that from people. But when I put the feelers out there like in three days, I had a hundred and forty thousand dollars in the bank and everybody all these big sponsors were like throw this party, throw this party, throw this party. So I was like shit okay, throw this party.
Levi: Are you the only auto flower competition in the world? I don't know of any others.
Sebastian: There's two. There's the Auto Flower World World Cup in Spain. And if you win from us, you get an automatic entry into the world auto flower cup because it's five grand to enter that.
Levi: Interesting, so any growers listening with some auto flower, you gotta sign up. This is really cool and I think it's important work too because of not only telling honor to the other side of the plant, the ruderalis species that doesn't get enough attention, but also it's going to have a huge impact on agriculture. Obviously, I mean, there's a better way to do it.
Sebastian: Yeah, commercials grow up here. Walden cannabis is now 40 acres of Autos. We've got people flipping because they can flip their money and if they're only shooting for 20% THC, they find the genetics that match it, it's a go.
Levi: And Washington State, correct me if I'm wrong. Washington state is not doing much full term outdoor. It's mostly indoor and greenhouse right?
Sebastian: Well so we have, no there are a lot of tier 2's. It's a good mix. It's a good mixture, you're right? It's a good mix. It's a good mix.
Levi: I just know, one grower in Washington state and he does, he's indoor and light dep in a greenhouse outside of Seattle. I mean every time I've ever been up to Washington. I've always gotten really good like Lemon Haze and kind of the more like Jack Herrer Haze vibe, Blue City Diesel, Super Lemon Haze, Jack Herrer. I associate that type of genetics with Washington state.
Sebastian: You just named almost all of the concentrates in my concentrate box.
Levi: [laughs] There we go.
Sebastian: Lemon Haze does phenomenal out. All of the kush's do well. We got moisture in the air. But we have a lot of our own things like I'm smoking on a strain right now called Mount Hood Magic.
Levi: Mmm Hmm.
Sebastian: And that's got a Durbin cross in there and like, a Northern Lights #5.
Levi: Those are the best man. I love that because, you know, I know like, you know, like Cookie's Family is kind of taking over the scene, you know, with the genetics and there's some cool shit. I like all the cakes that are coming out, you know, I just smoked a bunch of London Pound Cake and Ice Cream Cake and I went on a cake like mission. I was like, I want to understand the cake strains, you know so I got them all and they're really good. I mean I love weed. I love it all.
Sebastian: For me their gassy.
Levi: Their super gassy, but the nice thing about the cake strains is their gassy, but they're kind of creamy. There's like this nice creamy undertone, that that's actually really good. But I think the best is like, I don't want these homogenized strains. I don't want everything to be GMO Cookies in a bag. I want to see what Spokane Washington is doing and I want to see what Redding California is doing and what Bumfuck Idaho, like I want to see what the growers in those areas have taken this stuff and made it their own you know and especially if it's outdoor then there's like the terroir and the the local environment just like the mushrooms that kind of absorb it. Really cool stuff man. It's amazing. I don't know how you have time in the day to do all this stuff. I mean it sounds like you're extremely busy, you've got your Camp Ruderalis, the AutoFlower Cup, you're a member of multiple culinary boards outside of cannabis and you participate in R&D on a lot of companies. It sounds like you're a busy guy. It's really great to have you on the show. I think I definitely want to bring you back to talk about a million other things that we just scratched the surface on today, but really fucking cool man.
Sebastian: We talked about Paul Stamets and we talked about the mushroom thing right now, one of the projects that I'm working on and working on with a lady named Eugenia Bone. And we're putting together the Fantastic Food Guy movie cookbook.
Levi: Oh nice. Right on. Yeah I watched that, that was a good one.
Sebastian: Have you seen Dosed too?
Levi: Have I seen Dosed? I think. So, I've watched so many weed movies. I don't know. I'm going to write that down. Dosed.
Levi: Okay, I'll check it out. I think I have. But what's it about?
Sebastian: It's about getting a heroin addict on the psilocybin and getting them off other drugs.
Levi: I have not seen that, I'll definitely watch that. Yeah, yeah, good. Yeah, well right on man, I'm glad you like the products. Thanks for the feedback on the cassia and orange because that's sometimes people, you know, I really want. I sent it to a couple chefs because I know, I can trust them to tell me the truth because I don't need people to tell me they like it, if they don't. And I can't always trust my mom, you know, to be honest with me. But you know the cannabis plant, you know, and every strain is so different, you know. I love to just like eat nugs, you know, like, you know if you're buying a $50 eight from the dispenser, you probably don't want to do it, but if you ever got a nice little amount, or if you're ever on a farm, I just want to get people out into the farm. I don't think people know what it's like, you know, and I want them to experience it.
Sebastian: It's an agricultural crop and they got to get back to that. Even though they got greenhouses, carrots got greenhouses, kales got greenhouses. You gotta get back to the farm mentality. And I hate to say that, that's why I make, you know, when I make the comment when I make the comments like, do you know farmers in suits? It's to get the people to think. Back to what you're just saying. It's not to be derogatory towards them. It's to get the whoa, hold on a second. What is the vegetarian wearing leather shoes for or why does a vegetarian have a leather seat or does a vegetarian eat off a bone china or does a vegetarian eat Sriracha because the sugar in Sriracha is filtered with bone.
Levi: Yeah, I know when I learned Sriracha so much sugar in it really bummed me out, I didn't realize they put so much sugar in Sriracha.
Sebastian: So I developed a Sriracha for Fairwinds Cannabis up here but we had to develop it in the tincture category. So it's an oil base so it doesn't have any pepper in it that's perishable.
Levi: Hmm, interesting. Yes, so being a diabetic you probably, you could, you know, have you ever thought about making like an infused product line for diabetics specifically?
Sebastian: I No, because then that pigeon holds them in what to eat and I want to get them to go and eat kale instead of the chips that they are eating to give them diabetes. I want to make them rethink. I don't want to re-educate. I want them to revert back to what is true, and that is what you said it five times the inconvenience that all America wants is convenience. The drive-through is never going to leave and it's just getting more and more and more like that with everything
Levi: It is, you know, and the algorithms are like, I think like a Frankenstein that we've unleashed on ourselves that we're really going to regret. As these algorithms, you know and I'm using them for my YouTube channel. It's like you got to put the right title, you know. And you gotta make things seem more dramatic than they really are.
Sebastian: Hashtag is an algorithm. Nobody seems to understand that.
Levi: What's an algorithm?
Levi: Right, right.
Sebastian: It's their way to get you to use their algorithms, It's just like, here's the thing I got, I got two family members that work Facebook, work for Instagram. They put the big old fucking things out of the desert over here. Everybody thinks that Instagram goes after and looks for people and creates algorithms that go after weed people --wrong. They don't, they never have, they don't care if you put the word cocaine, methamphetamine, any of that in anything. All they listen to is rats and snitches, if you get reported by somebody that doesn't like what you do, then they go and look other than that, they don't spend their time looking, it's all rats and snitches.
Levi: Yeah. There's a lot of backstabbing that goes on in space because you can really derail somebody's brand if they're trying to get launched, you know, and they build up 5,000. 10,000 followers and you rat them out and they have to start over and do that happens a lot with cannabis brands.
Sebastian: Fair Winds Cannabis, one of the companies I work for. James did 44 million dollars in sales last year. He's the highest-grossing cannabis company in the state of Washington. As a matter of fact, the only other company that was close to him was a dispensary here in my town that did a hundred and four million. That's not a producer. That's a dispensary. James did forty four million dollars a year last year. James hires at $65,000 a year, a person with a law background to work 20 hours a week to field all of the I502 rat complaints, all he does. And most of them are all based on Instagram reports.
Levi: Hmm. That's that, yeah, wow. Yeah. Money, more money, more problems, that's for sure. Well I think it's about time to wrap it up. I know you're busy, don't take up too much time but can I get you back on the show in the near future and we can talk about anything and everything, man? Because it's really good to get to know you and then just to see what you're about. And I'm going to make sure and let people know where they can find all of these organizations that you are part of. I'm really interested in the AutoFlower Cup, I just think that's super cool.
Sebastian: In November our next event. So after the auto flower cup, we have an event in Palisade Colorado on a cannabis farm. Usually we bring them to the governor of Colorado and everything. Last year, I was eight eight hours before the dinner with the governor of Colorado. And he comes to me and says Sebastian we got to cancel the dinner and I was like, fucking kidding me. And I left, went home and got Covid from there. It was so funny this year, we've got a wild psilocybin symposium happening in November on the coast that we haven't advertised yet. And the reason why we haven't advertised yet is because we got to keep these things. These are semi private events. Yeah, you know, they're open to the public but they're more members only.
Levi: Well somebody's gonna have to watch this whole interview to really get the scoop on it. So for the people that sat here and listened to this for an hour, you've got the inside scoop on some of these secrets, some of them like the underground culinary stuff is like the coolest stuff that happens. Anybody that's never been to a pop-up.
Levi: Like you're going to get your best, most creative chefs. You're gonna have the best food of your life. If there's a pop-up in your area, especially since we live on the west coast, I'm sure there's stuff everywhere but if you're in an agricultural region where there's Farmers, find your local pop-ups and then see if anybody is doing some under the table psilocybin or cannabis pop-ups. Because I know they are and I want some.
Sebastian: I do, we do regularly. Camp Ruderalis was designed to do that, to immerse people in the woods. We have a mobile hookah lounge that comes with us in the forest and really you're picking licorice fern off of the tree, you're making tea out of it. You're adding maybe some cannabis-based terpenes and cannabinoids and you're enjoying it right there in the woods. Full on in the pines.
Levi: Amazing. That sounds amazing. Yeah. My Pacific Northwest Roots really need to get water because I'm drying up down here in Southern California, but maybe I do like the weather down here.
Sebastian: You can come up Levi, anytime you're more than welcome and I got you taken care of, any of the festivals that we throw and they're kind of small their own people.
Levi: Well yeah, well if you're down I know you do some work in LA with some restaurants I was reading. So if you're still doing that but few ever go down the Los Angeles area. Hit me up.
Sebastian: Coffee Expo, this year I'll be at the Coffee Expo. I have a new product I've developed with the Norwegian Olympic Team and I developed two products with them, actually one's a bone broth, and one's a coconut creamer, for the owner of Futurola I don't know the joint rolling paper. The paper company. He's from Norway. So he came to me with this kind of weird concept. We're actually two of the products in the High Times hemp box. And they're also to the products that would be feeding their Norwegian Olympic team this year.
Levi: Yeah, yeah. Get those MCT's and all that biofuel. I'm a fan of the bone broth. Well, cool, man. I got a lot, you know, to unpack from this because I think I hope it is valuable to people. I know I learned a lot today and, you know, just ingesting cannabis is more popular than smoking it now. And I think in the baked goods and the sugar delivery model is gonna always be there, but we're going to see this massive rise in people that want the savory and the people that want to explore the different psychotropic levels of cannabis. Because, you know, like we talked about a lot, you know, you can ingest the raw leaf and it doesn't get you high at all, but it's the most nutrient-dense, you know, thing on earth just about. So just the nutritional value know if you're a bodybuilder and you're not incorporating cannabis into your diet and some way you're fucking up. If you're an Olympian, if you're a surfer, even if you're just an average runner jogger, like me, you can have massive gains, and massive recovery shortening of recovery time with cannabis. I mean, that's one of the main uses I use it is to, and on athletics, you know how quick you can recover as the game changer? I think like 80% of professional athletes use cannabis when they're asked anonymously, that are active right now in the NFL and NBA because it works, they're not trying to get high, they're trying to get their hamstrings to repair quicker.
Sebastian: I got a buddy up here in Seattle, he happens to be, he's got two of those Super Bowl rings on his name is Lofa Tatupu. He owns 1937 Farms which is an extremely craft cannabis farm, and he also owns ZoneIn CBD, and it's just like my recipes. He wants people to do this, I have a CBD product and I have a cannabis product, just like the salad recipe that I have in High Times. It's got raw cannabis. It's got cannabis infused olive oil. It's got cannabis infused vinegar and that building that cannabinoid pantry is my biggest push for people when they go to a baked goods don't only put cannabis in it, put cannabis infused vanilla in it, right? You know, anything that you can get cannabinoids in will feed your endocannabinoid system, which means that your recovery time is just that much quicker,
Levi: Right, yup it's amazing. Well I'm excited for people to check out your stuff and we're up to you because you got a lot of cool projects and just the pictures on your Instagram are beautiful and the food you make. I can't wait to try it myself someday. So thank you Chef for being on the show. I look forward to having you back and yeah, happy eating out there. Say hi to the Pacific Northwest for me.
Sebastian: Definitely. Hope to see and to talk to you soon. You have a good day, man.
Levi: All right. Peace brother. Thanks for joining me today on Head Change, the podcast that puts you in better head space. I've been your host Levi Strom. Full transcripts of today's episode are available on our blog at awakenedevery.com. If you'd like to listen to more podcasts like this, you can join the conversation on Anchor FM and YouTube. Until next time, peace.