Introduction to Cannabis Cocktails

Cannabis cocktails is a new frontier for bartenders and mixologists around the world. While most of us are familiar with the concept of smoking, vaping, and consuming cannabis through edibles - cocktails offer an opportunity to get more creative with blending art with function.

This subject of Cannabis Cocktails came up in our discussion of cannabis culture and what the future might bring during our #MenWhoBlog Virtual Happy Hour episode recently. However, there is much more to explore here so we prepared a quick introduction to the topic and hope to do more research in the future!

A cannabis cocktail can be a great way to unwind after a hectic day. It can also be an addition to entertainment enjoyed with friends. Whether relaxing alone or with others, it's important that all involved have experience with their tolerance levels. The difference in those levels is unique to individuals and is reliant on several factors. Society has generally become more aware of the importance of responsibility when drinking alcohol, but there is added responsibility when mixing spirits with cannabis. As with just about everything, knowledge is key.

Factors to Consider for your Unique Experience

Knowing what to expect from any altered state is helpful before you get to it. People who don't already have an idea of the strain of cannabis they like best should experiment first. Whether you prefer the cerebral effect of sativa, the mellowing effect of indica, or a hybrid of both will make a difference when you mix them with alcohol. Those effects are not exclusively synonymous with those types either, as some people are known to feel more effused with indica and more sedated with sativa. Experimenting with the type of marijuana you prefer by mixing it with non-alcoholic beverages or mocktails at first will give you an idea of how long it takes for you to feel its effects, what those effects are, and how you will need to pace your drinking. The results will differ among individuals.

Infusing into a Beverage

Since heat is what activates THC, the psychoactive compound, the cannabis needs to be heated first. You can do this in your oven, spreading it out evenly on a baking sheet at a temperature of 250 degrees Fahrenheit for 25 minutes. After it has cooled, you can store it in an airtight container, ready to be used to create a variety of cocktail or mocktail recipes or other ingredients for them.

Speaking of which, you can get some of the finest of these recipes from the fabulous book written by the connoisseur of cannabis cocktail and mocktail libations (Amazon affiliate link), Warren Bobrow.

Other Considerations

If you're used to smoking and feeling the high almost immediately, don't expect the same results as quickly when drinking. The combination of alcohol and marijuana is far more potent than the use of either alone. Alcohol increases the potency of the THC in the cannabis. Marijuana will also slow the absorption of alcohol in your system, so it's easy to think another drink is fine before the effects of the first one have even been realized.

Even if you're an experienced cannabis user, it's wise to consider using half the amounts of both alcohol and cannabis recommended in the recipes at first. Experimenting by slowly sipping the cocktail at home, gradually increasing the amounts of alcohol and marijuana in the cocktails over a period of time until you've reached the recipe recommendations or whatever is best for your level of tolerance will help to ensure your experiences to be pleasant ones.

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