The Ultimate Guide to Weed Wine
Yes, weed wine is a thing, and it’s exactly what it sounds like – a great way of killing two birds with one stone(r). Sorry about that one.
We are often asked if weed wine was just created. Is this is a new invention that rides the wave of the recent legalization of Lady Jane in California? The answer is, the popularity and attention to weed wine are new, but the practice of making it isn't. The thing is, infused or aromatized wines, in general, have been a thing for almost as long as mankind understood that fermented grapes have a lot to offer. Honey and mint infused wines come to mind, or the more exotic snake wine from Vietnam (yup, that’s a thing, as well).
For those of you not in the know, infused wines are not the same as fortified, though there’s some overlap. They can be used interchangeably to some extent. Fortified wines are just normal wines that have distilled spirits added to them. The spirit usually being brandy. They are not infused or flavored wines.Aromatized wines, on the other hand, are indeed X-flavored, usually by adding herbs. On that note, infusing or fortifying wine is different from actually making it from whatever fruit you prefer (watermelon and blueberry are two of the most popular choices besides grape), and you can indeed brew your wine entirely from weed.
Fortified wines are just normal wines that have distilled spirits added to them. The spirit usually being brandy. They are not infused or flavored wines.
Aromatized wines, on the other hand, are indeed X-flavored, usually by adding herbs. To make it all a little more complex, infusing or fortifying wine is different from actually making it from whatever fruit you prefer (watermelon and blueberry are two of the most popular choices besides grape). If you are wondering, yes you can indeed make your wine entirely from weed.
So Is It Legal?
Yes and no.
As of November 2016, recreational marijuana is legal in California. A slight majority voted in favor of the Prop 64. This makes The Golden State the fifth and latest US state to legalize recreational ganja. They followed after Colorado (2012), Washington (ditto), Alaska (2014) and Oregon (2014).
Now, this new law applies to the regulation of marijuana specifically. The deal legalities of weed-infused wines are a bit hazy. The prop didn’t address the issue at all. Still, seeing as the rest of the pot-friendly states explicitly disallow making weed wine, California is the only place you can get this weed infused wine elixir.
Marijuana Wine Haze: How Old Is the Idea, Actually?
We mentioned that honey and mint infused wines were popular in ancient times. However, historians and archaeologists have found that cannabis-infused wines were also a thing. These date at least as far back as their mint-infused counterparts. However, while mint wines were regular Friday-dinner draughts (at least for the rich), weed wines were used far less often. It is assumed this was due to their powerful effects.
Just how powerful is pot wine? Historians tell us that an Eastern Han Dynasty surgeon by the name of Hua Tuo (or Hua-t'o), used wine infused with cannabis resin as an anesthetic. Sadly, we don’t know the exact recipe. This was in the 2nd century CE. Marijuana has been used as a medicinal plant for at least 4,800 years.
Another target audience for weed wine in ancient times were religious initiates of all colors and creeds. The ancient Greeks to the early Christians included the pot-infused wine in their ceremonies. The wine apparently caused powerful trips and eased the revelers into a trance. That could explain some things...
Weed-infused wine is not a new idea for Californian vintners. Certain California winemakers have made it since medical marijuana was legalized, some longer. They were usually low key about it. Most of what was made was shared with family and friend. Nowadays, the industry is booming, with the Sonoma County being a hotbed of weed wine experimentation.
How Can I Get Some Weed Wine?
California is currently the only kush-friendly state that doesn’t explicitly ban making and drinking wine infused wines. If you’d like to get high on the green wine, this is the place to go.
If you do decide to make your own brew, you should keep in mind that it’s the white wine that lends itself particularly well to infusion, giving a nice and balanced aroma.
If you’d rather sample some vintages instead of making your own, there’s a fine selection of brands. A popular choice among organic oriented folks is Canna Vine, made by Lisa Molyneux. If you’re intrigued by the very idea of weed-infused food and drinks, you might want to pay a visit to Santa Rosa and the Sonoma Cannabis Company, where you can sample anything from marijuana leaf pesto to wines paired or infused with it. Of course, like all the good stuff in life, it’s not cheap. Weed wine can retail for $100 to $400 for a half bottle.
Effects of Weed Infused Wine
Weed wine high depends on numerous factors, but painting with a broad brush, it pretty much boils down to black grapes vs. white. Either way, the aromas and flavors can be a bit confusing, going from freshly cut hay to freshly brewed hibiscus. You may not even know that you’re drinking weed wine (depending on your palate). However, once the THC kicks in, you’ll know.
Drinking about half a glass of weed wine feels like you downed three glasses of strong red wine on an empty stomach. Speaking of which, black grapes tend to overpower the weed and give you the same high as if you ate too many brownies, with the risk of developing a severe case of couch-lock. On the flipside, white grapes make for wines with lower alcohol levels and better aromatic balance, resulting in a more enjoyable high.
Pot wine has pretty much the same effects as other marijuana products. It helps relieve muscle spasms and seizures, reduces nausea from chemo, improves appetite, the works. However, unlike medicinal marijuana, weed wines don’t agree with most drugs (as in medicine) because of the alcohol. Consulting a doctor before enjoying some is definitely the smartest thing to do.
Just like with medicinal marijuana, weed wine should not be enjoyed by pregnant women, folks with heart disease and/or those with documented psychotic disorders, not to mention those who attend the AA. Driving after consuming weed wine is also a terrible idea and illegal.
Weed-infused wines should be approached with caution by the novice. Just like with just drinking or just smoking weed, you need to pace yourself. Seek out trusted providers and get their feedback on the right amount to drink and the type of high it produces. Done right, weed wine has a lot of promise for both recreational users and more importantly for medical users that don't enjoy smoking marijuana.
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