Roller derby gets rough. That’s part of its charm, right? But when Ilana “Sugar” Laytart tore her MCL, a ligament in the knee, she needed relief. She couldn’t sleep, felt like she wasn’t healing well. Her husband suggested she try medical cannabis. She began using topicals and edibles, and was amazed at the experience.
“I had never been happier,” Sugar said. After a lot of injuries in the rink, “I felt like I was getting my body back.” She was purchasing edibles, but they were expensive, “and it wasn’t the kind of thing I wanted to be eating.” A yoga teacher and fitness coach, with a strong interest in nutrition, Sugar was looking for a healthy option, and not finding it. “The top allergens are in so many edibles on the shelves,” she said. “The edible options at the dispensaries contained ingredients I did not want to put in my body every day: high sugar, highly processed ingredients.”
She was looking for something versatile, based on whole foods and low sugar, that could be used in her own culinary adventures. Nothing like it existed, so she and her husband, Schwa, invented Giggle Butter.
Sugar calls it a medicated condiment. Giggle Butter is a spreadable base of coconut oil and red palm oil, flavored with super-foods. Each 1/2 teaspoon of the lab-tested spread contains 15 mg THC. They currently have two flavors: Peanut Butter & Jelly, which is vegan, and Eazy Cheezy, a savory, no-sugar option. The couple is in the process of developing a third flavor: Nice Dreams, infused and flavored with chamomile, passionflower and honey. The products are gluten-free, organic and use only sustainably-harvested oils. Giggle butter can be used just like butter. Sugar suggests adding it to your foods, rather than cooking in it, to preserve the THC content.
“We want to encourage the patient to be creative,” said Sugar, who says that for her, cooking is a “meditative and creative outlet.”
“It’s used like a butter,” she said. “Keep it in the fridge for a longer shelf-life, where it will have a firmer texture. You can take it out for 10 minutes to let it soften, or take a scoop and put it on something hot that will melt it. We encourage users to be creative with what food they put it on.”
The PB&J flavor, which is sweetened with brown rice syrup and coconut nectar, can be stirred into cookie dough, spread on fruit crumble, or for a quick snack, put on an apple or banana.
Eazy Cheezy can be spread on pizza, mac and cheese, eggs, potatoes, crackers—anything savory.
Sugar recommends starting with a ¼ teaspoon and giving it 1-2 hours to take effect. Staying mindful and maybe even taking notes can help individuals figure out what dosage works best; everyone has a different threshold. Sugar repeats the golden rule of edibles: Start slow. You can always add more, but you can’t take it away.
Sugar is also working to help shape the emerging cannabis industry. She is the chair of the Sonoma County chapter of Women Grow—a chapter she started in July. Women Grow, founded in Colorado in 2014, aims to connect and educate women in the cannabis industry. There are currently chapters in 27 cities across the U.S.
“Starting Giggle Therapeutics, I wanted to find a support network,” she said. “Having that network and support has been inspiring and amazing. It’s a fast-paced, growing and changing industry in California… I feel like I can have a say in the future. It’s a really unique experience to be a part of.
“As the co-chair of the Sonoma County chapter of Women Grow, I am witnessing first hand the growth of female leaders, patients and advocates who are shaping the future of cannabis as a whole, hoping that we can be a role model for other industries.”
California 215 patients can sign up with the Giggle Therapeutics collective to access the products, and patients can request that their local dispensaries carry Giggle Butter. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit Gigglebutter.com.
For information about Women Grow, to find WG-sponsored events or a chapter near you, visit Womengrow.com
Written by M. Hansen