Cannabis-Infused Cocktails: To Buy or DIY?

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Novel cannabis products are sweeping the nation as legalizations spread state to state, adding more ready-to-buy consumers to the market. Edibles have solidly made their mark on the cannabis community subsequently evolving far beyond their humble “space cake” beginnings. Organically, cannabis cocktails are following suit, as we can all use something refreshing at the end of a long day — or any day all day! 

The Basics: Cannabis Beverages 

If you’ve tried an edible, you know its side effects, how they feel and how long it lasts. The onset effects start around 30 minutes with cannabis beverages, since the body absorbs THC into the bloodstream through saliva quicker than through digestion. If you’re experimenting with alcoholic cannabis infused beverages, keep in mind that both substances are sedatives and should be approached slowly with caution in mind. It’s recommended to start with nonalcoholic cannabis beverages that contain small amounts of THC and to enjoy them at home or in an otherwise safe environment. 

There are a lot of benefits to cannabis drinks, namely their discrete nature, convenience, and not needing to inhale smoke or vapors to get high. Many users who abstain from alcohol have noticed heightened social inclusion when they drink a cannabis beverage among peers. Having the ability to mingle, get a buzz and safely drive home is a win worth celebrating. There are some great brands making fun, alcohol-free cannabis drinks. Here are just a few: 

  • Sparkling Water: Phyx offers bottled bubbly, weedy goodness each containing 2.5mg THC & CBD. 
  • Soda “Pot”: Olala features a fizzy lemon-lime flavored soda with 10mg THC, and Sprig has a CBD seltzer in citrus, tea and melon flavors. 
  • Cannabis Coffee: Cascadia Coffee Roasters sells a CBD-infused cold brew, and cannabis legend Willie Nelson makes Willie’s Remedy CBD-infused beans, each with 1mg CBD per 1g of beans.
  • Herbal Tea: Brewbudz sells their Garden of Eden black tea, with 10mg THC to 50mg THC options. San Francisco-based Joy Tea created a delicious iced tea with 25mg CBD in each bottle. Lastly, Camellia Grover Kombucha Co has hit the market with CBD-infused kombucha. 
  • Wine: House of Saka has made a wine that fully replaces alcohol with THC & CBD. The three blends to choose from are Saka White, Saka Red and Saka Pink.

Cannabis Infused Beverages 

What better way to introduce a new cannabis product into your regular life than to try it in the form of something you already love? Companies like Coalition Brewing, Two Flowers, CannaCraft and Lagunitas Brewing have hit the ground running with CBD and THC-infused IPAs, giving more approachability to alcoholic cannabis infused beverages. If beer isn’t your thing, Rebel Coast has crafted a lovely Sauvignon Blanc with 0.5 percent alcohol and 40mg of THC in each bottle. For liquor lovers, Tilley Beverage Co. has all your favorites, such as the nutty Almond Cask, the Stone Daisy margarita and the High Horse Moscow mule. 

For those who prefer to drink their personal libation creations, or perhaps may be curious about the DIY process of creating cannabis infused cocktails, there are luckily only a few steps to get there. Whether you’re working with whiskey, vodka, tequila rum, gin or scotch, the process is the same across the board.

DIY Cannabis Cocktails

First, decarboxylate (“decarb”) your ground flower by evenly heating it in an oven or microwave. This turns the THCA into THC, the chemical that gives you that “high” feeling.

Second, infuse your decarbed bud based on the end product. For example, if you want weed butter for eggnog, infuse your bud with a fatty activator such as butter or coconut oil. If the drink calls for bitters, infuse by combining the bud with herbs and spices.

For liquor, infuse by combining the bud directly with the liquor in a glass container and let the mixture sit out of the sun for anywhere from two days to one month. The longer the infusion period, the higher the potency. Be sure to shake it up every day to continue the THC activation with the alcohol! Once you’re ready to sample it, strain using a cheesecloth, and enjoy your new weedy brew with your favorite mixers. For inspiration, check out these DIY recipes for a Mai “High”, Gin and Chronic and Chapulin.

Cannabis Infused Cocktails are Here

It’s safe to say cannabis cocktails are not merely a trend but will earn their place in the future of the industry as a whole. As we are still in the pioneering stage of cannabis cocktails, it’s important to remember to adhere to your local, state and federal laws in terms of drinking age and cannabis consumption access. Please enjoy cannabis infused cocktails responsibly. Cheers!

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