Are cannabis-infused drinks the future of the beverage industry?
The drinks offer an easy path to marijuana use. “The experience is familiar,” says Niccolo Aieta, founder and CTO of Spherex, the firm that created Phyx, a mineral water infused with THC .
” I have a drink because I want to celebrate or relax.” Those who have innovated with cannabis drinks have been small companies, but the big ones are not far behind. Last year, Constellation Brands (whose conglomerate includes Modelo Negra and Corona) invested $ 4 billion in a Canadian marijuana company, and Heavenly Rx, a wellness company focused on hemp and CBD, announced a significant investment in Jones Soda in July 2019.
Like alcohol, infused beverages are digested and absorbed into the bloodstream relatively quickly. The onset of the high can be faster than with edibles, and drinkers can more easily count how much they are drinking (for example, a can of mineral water) and stop if necessary.
A bottle of Phyx mineral water contains 2.5 milligrams of both THC and CBD. “The feeling is similar to that of two glasses of wine: calm, relaxation,” says Marketing Director Kelly Calvillo.
MARIJUANA VS. WINE
“The land of wine is the land of weed,” says Jamie Evans, founder of The Herb Somm, a cannabis lifestyle brand in San Francisco and author of the upcoming book, The Ultimate Guide to CBD .
With a similar agricultural approach and with an emphasis on terroir, Evans notes, “It makes sense for both industries to come together to collaborate with one another.” Some agree, as witnessed by the rise in interest in canna-tourism and “wine and weed” tours in destinations like Sonoma County.
There are also many winegrowers who see the cannabis industry as a danger. Since cannabis and wine are harvested in many of the same places, this has created tension in both industries, as they both compete for workers, land and customers.
In a tribute to the terroir, viticulturist Francis Ford Coppola teamed up with the Humboldt Brothers to create The Grower’s Series, a bottle-shaped can containing a pipe, paper, three one-gram samples of cannabis flowers, and information about each terroir. variety. Each year the flower will change according to the producer and the harvest, just like the vintages in wine.
House of Saka , in Napa, takes the wine, strips the alcohol, and adds THC and CBD to create Saka White, Saka Red, and Saka Pink, rosé style. (houseofsaka.com) In Sonoma, Rebel Coast Sauvignon Blanc contains up to 0.5% alcohol and 40 milligrams of THC per bottle.
The Trichome Institute instructs herb sommeliers to identify terpenes, displaying every psychoactive and medicinal property of the plant. ()
HIGH BREWER AND COCKTAIL
Cannabis and hops have similar chemical properties, and in Portland, Oregon, Coalition Brewing celebrates their synergy with Two Flowers , a CBD-infused IPA. In collaboration with CannaCraft in Santa Rosa, California, Lagunitas Brewing Company creates Hi-Fi Hops , a THC-infused IPA-inspired drink. (With 10 milligrams of THC or 5 milligrams of THC and 5 of CBD; available in dispensaries in California and Colorado).
Using technology that makes cannabinoids more soluble in water, The Tinley Beverage Corporation of Los Angeles created a THC-infused almond and peach “liqueur” – amaretto style – called Almond Cask. Also look for their bottled versions of classic cocktails: the Stone Daisy , margarita style, and the High Horse , inspired by Moscow Mule.
Cascadia Coffee Brewers , of Portland, Oregon, launched a bottled cold brew infused with CBD in their coffee shops. (cascadiaroasters.com) And Willie Nelson, the world’s most famous marijuana fanatic, offers Willie’s Remedy , CBD-infused coffee beans, available in medium, dark and decaf, with about 1 milligram of CBD per gram of coffee.
Each Compostable Capsule of Brewbudz Garden Eden Black Tea contains 10 to 50 milligrams of THC. (leafy.com) Joy Tea in San Francisco offers bottled iced tea infused with 25 milligrams of CBD. (getjoytea.com) In Portland, Oregon, try Camellia Grove Kombucha Co.’s CBD-infused kombucha .
Lumen occupies the entire plant and gets shots of cold drawn hemp with minimal processing. It’s the closest you’ll get to eating fresh leaves.
A BETTER RANKING
Marijuana was once classified into two types: broad-leaved indica was believed to be sedating, and narrow-leaved sativa was thought to be stimulating. The industry now sees them as a spectrum, emphasizing the effects of varieties such as “cheerful” or “calm.” And expect even more subcategorization: it is said that the taxonomy of the plant and its varieties could be mapped to help determine which terpenes and cannabinoids suit each individual.
This article is an excerpt from The F&W Guide to Edible Cannabis. Its authors are Amanda M. Faison, Jamie Feldmar, and Karen Shimizu.
Source: Food & Wine