Thursday, December 5, 2019

Emerald Leaf: Chef-Crafter, High-Quality Infused Edibles Coming To Oklahoma

By. Barbara Bolduc

There is a new chef in town, and he’s not cooking dinner – he is creating a new line of infused cannabis edibles for dispensaries across Oklahoma.

The new infused edibles company Emerald Leaf is focused on quality. Chef Daniel DeGiusti was brought in as a 50/50 partner so that he could take the reigns as executive chef. DeGiusti is a first-generation cannabis enthusiast and professional cannabis chef, as well as a family-oriented father of four who is happy to be back in his favorite state.

DeGiusti, who originally hails from Oklahoma, left the state to attend school in his chosen profession. At the culinary arts school of Le Cordon Bleu in Scottsdale, Arizona, he trained in the high-end preparation of classic French cooking, and received his degree. His past accomplishments include being classically trained under his mentor, Christopher Nicosia, the executive chef of Sassi, and being personally appointed to the position of executive chef of notable restaurants, such as Perfect Pear and Unwined Bistro, in Phoenix, Arizona, as well as Craft 64 and Saucey, in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Several years later, DeGiusti returned to Oklahoma to become executive chef for the leading food and facility management company Sodexo, where he remained for three years until fate introduced him to Emerald Leaf. Because of his 10-year history of infusing edibles, which he began in Phoenix, he was a perfect fit. Emerald Leaf will offer patients a premium line of infused edible products at very affordable prices. Planned products include rice krispy treats, gummies, brownies, cookies and gourmet chocolate, with more goodies to come.

With regards to the extraction process, Emerald Leaf also chose the high-quality path. The lab uses CO2 in extraction, not alcohol, “which can burn the throat and may contain heavy metals.” But the quality doesn’t end there. Rather than using isolates, they use the “finest full-spectrum extracts that money can buy,” which are third-party lab tested. “That’s what makes us different than so many of the labs out there.”

Science seems to be discovering that the full-spectrum version is more useful than the isolate: an effect dubbed the entourage effect. “On the basis that the anti-inflammatory activity of cannabis is not attributable to only a single constituent, we discuss the possible advantages of administering the whole phytocomplex in order to fully exploit the ‘entourage effect’ in neuroinflammatory-related conditions,” say the authors in a study by Borgonetti, Vittoria & Governa, Paolo & Montopoli, Monica & Biagi, and Marco in 2019.

The book The United Chemicals of Cannabis states, “…empirical evidence suggests the presence of an ‘entourage effect’ in cannabis; that is, observations that medicinal cannabis seems to work better in some instances when administered as a whole-plant extract.” Studies are continuing to explore an idea that has shown up before in the plant versus drug debate: Isolating chemicals is not always the best way to obtain benefit from the natural world.

The Past and the Future

DeGiusti decided to get into the cannabis industry after his father was diagnosed with prostate cancer. “I was trying to create something to make him more comfortable, and he was a part of my experiment,” he jokes, though through this process, he reports, his father is doing much better today.

His vision is for Emerald Lead to be a gateway to better health for the cannabis community. His goal is to win the prestigious James Beard award. And with a start like this, he might just get there.