Illustration by James the Stanton

How to Mix Your Booze and Bud

It’s an intoxicating cocktail, but be careful.

Mixing cannabis and alcohol into one intoxicating experience is quickly becoming a new trend in weed culture. And people are getting on board in a variety of ways: brewing beers, infusing liquors, using THC-enhanced mixers in cocktails.

Commercially, only a few companies around the country have dipped their toes into the mix of booze and bud—because of course cannabis is still illegal on the federal level. And most of those brave souls are simply making beverages utilizing hemp, or CBD-heavy strains.

Humboldt Distillery in California makes a vodka derived from hemp that is a lovely gin replacement with fresh herbal notes, one of several hemp vodkas available in North America. Mary Jane Wine, also in California, has begun offering a CBD-rich table wine. A few brewers have jumped into the game as well; since cannabis’ closest relative in the plant family is hops, it should come as no surprise that you can make a great-tasting beer from hemp or cannabis. George Washington’s Secret Stash from Dad and Dudes; Hemp Ale from Humboldt Brewing Co.; and even Red Hook’s limited-edition Joint Effort all take advantage of hemp’s delicious flavors to make some tasty beers. However, none of these will get you high in the traditional sense.

THC and alcohol combinations are a little harder to come by. Singer Melissa Etheridge is currently taking pre-orders for her new marijuana wine—which by law she is required to call a “wine tincture.” It will have THC in it and it will get you high. For now, it is available only to California medical patients.

Combining weed and booze has always been a practice I’ve had to engage in carefully. Like many, I feel the effects of each substance way more intensely when they are combined. So a word of caution: Treat these drinks like you would edibles. Have a little, wait for the effects to hit, then proceed.

Rumor has it a secret underground network of Seattle bartenders will offer “green” beverages if you know the right code. But most folks who want to explore this potent combination need to experiment at home. The easy way: Add a few drops of a tincture to your drink, or use cannabis-infused sodas or juices as mixers. The column “Psychedelicatessen” in High Times offers a great recipe for making your own ginger-and-weed simple syrup. However, the THC molecules will not be bound to the alcohol molecules, and you will experience the same type of high an edible will provide, with the same wait time. This can pose a problem if you lose track of how much you are drinking.

For true visionaries, infusing alcohol with cannabis will produce a “high” within 10 to 20 minutes. What’s more, you can pair specific effects or flavors: Vodkas work well with fruity strains like Tangerine and Strawberry Cough, gins with piney strains like Jack Herer or Northern Lights. The burst of energy that comes with a shot of tequila complements the euphoric high and lime flavors found in NY Sour Diesel or Lemon Haze. There are a ton of recipes on the Internet, including some calling for nitrous or heating plant material with alcohol. Proceed with caution; don’t be “that guy” and blow yourself up looking for the epic high.

stashbox@seattleweekly.com

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