As more states and countries legalize some form of cannabis use, different methods of consumption continue to emerge. Where we used to have to jump through hoops to get weed, now we can get everything from cannabis-infused lube to CBD massage oil. But one of the newest trends is pot cocktails.
While many people may still choose to reach for a joint, pipe, or edible, part of the industry is turning towards cannabis drinks. Because when you can find guides on beer and pot pairings, it’s only natural that you can now find cannabis-infused drinks.
We’re still very much in the infancy stage of the cannabis cocktail rise. Just like the start of the craft beer boom when some people weren’t ready to give up their PBR, people may not be ready to give up their favorite bong from college. No matter how clogged up it is, or how much their sorority symbol has faded on it.
What Happens When You Mix Alcohol and Weed?
Marijuana can get you high and alcohol can get you drunk, and they’re both sedatives, so you should proceed with caution when combining them. Make like a snail and start slow. Here’s the general recommendations:
- Start with nonalcoholic drinks or small amounts of cannabis-infused ingredients.
- If you begin to experiment with homemade cannabis cocktails, follow proven recipes from reputable sources.
- Consume your first cannabis drinks in a safe environment.
- Cannabis drinks work similar to edibles – it can take some time to go into effect, so don’t overload it too quickly.
Are There Benefits of Drinking Cannabis?
The benefits will vary depending on whether the drink is infused with THC or CBD (or both), the strain used, and so on. However, there are some basic benefits to drinking cannabis rather than other consumption methods, especially smoking.
“I’d say the best benefit is not consuming smoke. Drinking cannabis is a fun and easy way to get high without any odor and while being discreet,” says owner and creator of Budder & Baked Lisa Meza.
Meza contines, “Just like consuming cannabis in any other way, go slow. If you are using a tincture or drinking a pre-made beverage from a dispensary, I say dose 10mgs at a time until you feel comfortable, confident, and safe.”
How do Cannabis Cocktails Taste?
If you like pot, you already have an idea of its flavor. But, the exact flavor will vary depending on the strain. When adding alcohol, tasters say it has a sunflower-like flavor. Coming later this summer: A taste test of the sunflowers in our mom’s garden.
Where Can You Get Cannabis Drinks?
Laws are still funky, and not in a good way. In California, you could once get CBD cocktails, but a law went into effect in 2019, making it illegal for places that sell alcohol to also sell or provide CBD products. Which meant LA’s vegan restaurant Gracias Madre had to remove their “Stoney Negroni” from their menu.
But you don’t actually have to mix cannabis and alcohol to make pot cocktails. There are alcohol-free cannabis drinks. You can purchase the ones below or make your own (scroll down to learn how).
Cann is a microdosed cannabis social tonic gives a light and uplifted buzz with no hangover, fewer empty calories, all-natural ingredients, and “no regrets.” At least none that can be associated with the beverage.
Their fruit-flavored drinks include the flavors Lemon Lavender, Pineapple Jalapeño, Grapefruit Rosemary, Cranberry Sage, and Blood Orange Cardamom. Cann is available in dispensaries across Massachusetts, California, Nevada, Illinois, and Rhode Island, and if you live in California, you can order the products online.
Wunder is available at California dispensaries and offers drinks based on your tolerance level with a low-dose line that’s perfect for beginners and a high-dose line for experienced users. Flavors include Grapefruit Hibiscus and Blood Orange Bitters.
3. Good Stuff Tonics
Good Stuff Tonics is a line of “clean” cannabis-infused drinks that are vegan, gluten-free, GMO-free, and made with all-natural ingredients. If only our go-to lunch was that wholesome. Sold at California dispensaries, flavors available include Strawberry Hibiscus, Key Lime, and Raspberry Lemonade.
4. House of Saka
House of Saka is a female-founded company removes the alcohol from their wines and adds in a blend of CBD and THC. They offer pink and white blends, and even a mimosa option.
How to Make Your Own Cannabis Cocktail
Before you mix up a cannabis-infused cocktail, there are a few things you should know about how weed combines with drinks.
1. Decarb the Cannabis
Before you can add cannabis to your drinks, it needs to be decarboxylated (or decarbed).
Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA) is one of many cannabinoids found in cannabis. It has a ton of benefits, but in order to give you that high feeling, it has to be converted into Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
To properly decarb your weed, you need to evenly heat, but not burn it, which can be done in an oven or a microwave. Instructions are readily available on the Internet. The process is generally easy, but it is pungent. So be prepared to anger your neighbor or invite them over for a drink.
2. Infuse the Mixture
Once the pot is properly decarbed, there are a few basic ways to get it into your cocktail. Alexa, please play “Put The Lime In The Coconut.”
- Butter: While butter may be the general term used, you can use other fats, such as coconut oil and olive oil. You can even make it in an Instant Pot! Just clean out those mashed potato remains first.
- Bitters: You can create your own bitters by adding fresh herbs, spices, or roots. Just like alcoholic bitters, these are very concentrated and it doesn’t take much. A simple dash should easily do the trick.
- Infused Liquors: You can infuse your liquors with cannabis using similar methods to homemade liquor infusions. But for this, you’ll use a little heat to get the process going. That Passion Fruit Smirnoff doesn’t seem as wild now.
- Tinctures and Oils: Tinctures can be powerful and often a single drop is all that’s needed. The cannabis content can vary greatly and CBD-only tinctures and oils are generally available. Choose your own adventure wisely.
If you want to create your own products for cannabis drinks, Meza has some advice. “At home, I use a LĒVO II infusion machine and absolutely love it. I’m able to infuse simple syrups, agave, honey, and herbs with THC or CBD…the best part is that I know how much I’m using while also sourcing the best local products from my local farmers and growers.”
Snowy Coco MojitoPrint Recipe
- 1 oz white rum (optional)
- 7 mint leaves (up to 10)
- 2 oz lime juice
- 1 oz THC 10mg cannabis simple syrup
- 1 oz coconut puree
- 4 oz sparkling water
- 1 mint sprig
- 1 lime wedge (optional)
- Add rum, mint, lime juice, simple syrup, and coconut puree to cocktail shaker.
- Add ice and shake well.
- Pour mixture into a glass over crushed ice. Top with sparkling water.
- Garnish with mint sprig and lime wedge.
- Please drink responsibly and only where cannabis is legal.
- Meza recommends Coco Lopez for the coconut puree.
Pot Cocktail Books You Might Want to Pick Up
For all you buzzed bookworms, there are a number of pot cocktail-inspired books you can pick up. Even if they only live on your coffee table.
1. Cannabis Cocktails, Mocktails & Tonics: The Art of Spirited Drinks and Buzz-Worthy Libations
From coffee in the morning to cocktails night, this book offers a range of recipes to drink your weed. Including a lemonade drink that’s a big improvement from what your neighbor is selling down the street.
2. Cannabis Drinks: Secrets to Crafting CBD and THC Beverages at Home
The holy grail of all things drinkable. You’ll learn about basic infusions, how to use both CBD and THC, and get an array of beverages that can get you high and help you mellow. You chose… not poorly.
3. Bong Appétit: Mastering the Art of Cooking with Weed
Get a full rundown on decarbing and infusing cannabis in this book, and then finish things off with a weed-infused snack. Not that we’re against a classic bag of chips.
4. The Cannabis Kitchen Cookbook: Feel-Good Edibles, from Tinctures and Cocktails to Entrées and Desserts
Try out a cannabis curry, cannabis coconut mojito, and even cannabis carrot cupcakes in this 116-recipe book. In other words, this is the perfect book for the next time you want to spice up a usually boring family gathering.
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