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THC-Infused Cannabis Drinks

Ever drink your weed?  Sure, everyone’s heard of cannabis edibles, but a growing trend is THC-infused cannabis drinks.  Cannabis drinks offer a different experience, compared with smoking or vaping cannabis.  However, this is nothing new.  There’s a long history of THC and CBD Infused drinks, and a bright future, as well.   Let’s take a closer look.

History of Marijuana Infused Drinks

Cannabis, and, specifically cannabis drinks, have a long history medicinal use. Our ancestors used all parts of the plant to make tinctures and elixirs; not just the resin coated flowers.  Geography didn’t seem to matter either, as cannabis use was widespread in medicine until the recent past; around the globe.  Since hemp seeds were used as food by many ancient cultures, it’s not surprising they discovered the medicinal effects.

 Perhaps the earliest record of a cannabis infusion comes from Ancient China.  Hua Tuo (c. 140-208), an early Chinese surgon, was the first (recorded) person in history to use a Cannabis Infused drink for an anesthetic.  Dried plants were ground into a powder and mixed with wine, and given to patients before surgery.  In fact, the Chinese term for Anesthesia(mázui 麻醉) literally means “cannabis intoxication”. 

Our Western ancestors were in the ‘know’ as well.  The “Father of History”, Herodotus, “described how the Scythians of the Middle East used cannabis in steam baths.  These baths drove the people to a frenzied state.”*  In Ancient Greece, green cannabis seeds were steeped in water or wine to produce an elixir.

It should come as no surprise that India has a long history with Cannabis.  Home to many landrace strains, Indian cannabis is the source of many of today’s popular strains.  The traditional Cannabis infused drink of Indian is Bhang, or Bhang Lassi.  Bhang is a decoction of Cannabis and spices mixed into milk, often THC infused Ghee is added.    

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Why Non-Alcoholic Over Alcoholic

More study is needed on THC-infused beverages, but we already know much about having alcohol before cannabis.  I bet most of you have your own stories about mixing alcohol and cannabis.   The main reasons for choosing a non-alcoholic cannabis drink come down to health and safety.

  • Both Cannabis and Alcohol are Central Nervous System(CNS) depressants.  Mixing CNS depressants of any type is generally frowned upon.  
  • Any amount of Alcohol in your bloodstream increases the amount of THC absorbed
  • Mixing Cannabis and Alcohol impairs judgement
  • Dosing with Cannabis infused Alcoholic drinks is difficult to get right
  • In States like California, Weed and Alcohol , can not be sold or served together for SAFETY concerns

While it comes down to your personal choice,  we prefer to enjoy our THC without alcohol.  The simple truth, You decide what is best for you based on your circumstances, and always follow the law.

Effects of THC-infused Canna-beverages

‘Drinking your weed’ is quite a different ride when compared to smoking or vaping cannabis.  Essentially, it has the same effect as an edible.  That is to say, it comes on slower, hits harder, and lasts longer.

The cardinal rule with marijuana drinks is, take it slow.  Drinking a THC infusion can hit you faster than edibles, because liquids are more readily absorbed by the stomach.  However, it affects you much slower than inhaling it, and can take as long as 30-90 minutes before you feel it.  Remember, you can always drink more.

The effects can range from mildly relaxing to a body melting, semi-comatose state that lasts between 3-8 hours.  Just like those “special brownies”, Canna-beverages have enhanced effects/side effects.  These effects are determined by body chemistry, setting, and, probably most by dosage.  

Relaxation and  euphoria, sometimes bordering on a giddy delirium are my favorite effects of drinking cannabis.  While dryness of the mouth and eyes, are often elevated to Sahara Conditions.  I find that edibles, specifically drinks, give me that “first time” high, and make me really giggly.

Bottom line? Enjoy, but go slowly.

Future of Cannabis Drinks

Cannabis and grape vines both love the Californian sun.  So, it’s no surprise that California is home to a vibrant Wine and Weed Scene.  Only catch?  California prohibits cannabis infused alcoholic beverages.  Heck, you can’t even sell cannabis and alcohol under the same roof in California!!

Necessity is the mother of invention, though, and many companies started offering alcohol free, cannabis infused, wine.  Same great wine taste, but it doesn’t get you drunk.  It does, however, get you really stoned.  California doesn’t have a monopoly on Canna-beverages though.  You can find non-alcoholic THC-infused Cannabis drinks in most States that have gone recreational, and, now, in Canada.  You can also find CBD-infused drinks more widespread.

Cannabis 2.0, was the second wave of marijuana policy changes in Canada.  This involved the sale of edibles and drinks to adults.  At this point, how much demand there actually is remains to be seen, but many large companies are betting on selling a lot of canna-drinks.  Including Constellation brands, who have invested billions into Canopy Growth Corp.

As most cannabis beverages are non-alcoholic, they can be marketed as healthy alternatives to alcohol, without giving up your “buzz”.  The fact that many ‘weed wines’ have 1/3 the calories of normal wine, is sure to help with that healthier image. Seltzer water has become a hit for the alcohol companies with the health conscious crowd, and a similar, non-alcoholic, THC-infused beverage could be huge. 

While not as common as smoking or vaping to get high, THC-infused cannabis drinks are bound to grow in popularity, as they become more widely available. Who knows, some day we may order a Vintage Sativa instead of a Beer at the bar.