The wine industry is expanding horizons by infusing the wines with herbs and other flavors. In the beginning, the process was limited to the use of other alcohols, honey, mint, etc. to infuse the wine with. However, the vintners in California are now working hard to revive the cannabis-infused wines in the US for connoisseurs.
Yes, with the legalization of recreational marijuana in the Golden State of the US, California is using its favorable climatic conditions to invest in the production of both – wines and cannabis. Finally, they are combining the two for the recreational and medical use of individuals.
Weed wine. What is It?
The history of cannabis-infused wine may be surprising. Cynthia Salarizadeh, founder and president of House of Saka, points out, Cannabis-infused wine has been around for thousands of years, it’s one of the original marijuana products … It’s less of a trend and more of a resurgence now that the regulations and industry have matured enough for people to bother doing it again.
Weed wine that can be found in a dispensary is dealcoholized wine, mostly from California, blended with a THC or CBD emulsion, meaning the alcohol is removed from the wine before it gets infused with cannabis. It looks and is served like a regular bottle of wine, but with a slightly different flavor because of the dealcoholization process, and optional additives to reintroduce flavor and texture. The cannabis, rather than any alcohol, gives the beverage its effects.
While the ancient versions were combinations of the plant and alcohol, current regulations prohibit the mixing of cannabis and alcohol. Laws also prohibit the use of the term ‘wine’ for packaging and marketing. Weed wine, like infused beer, must be dealcoholized before it comes into contact with cannabis.
The Infuse of Weed wine
The chain of weed wine production is convoluted, involving a minimum of three separate companies: the company providing the cannabis solution, the beverage producer and the distributor before arriving at a dispensary for sale. New companies have popped up, blazing a trail of infrastructure to support the infused beverage category for the long term.
Once dealcoholized, the “vin-fusions,” (vin=wine) as House of Saka describes them, are sent to a manufacturer that is licensed to infuse beverages with cannabis. Nanoemulsions, a process of breaking down cannabis particles into such small components that they act water-soluble enough to mix easily with liquids, are the leading method of infusing cannabis into beverages — wine included. This is because nanoemulsions are stable when mixed into liquids and can be made relatively odorless, colorless, and tasteless.
The Advent And Use Of Cannabis-Infused Wines
Cannabis enthusiasts have been adding some of it to their alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages for ages now. Believe it or not, the combination was used as general anesthesia in 400 BC. Then again, it has never been so popular a trend in the US than now because, nowadays, all these individuals seem to be talking about is cannabis-infused wine.
The archeologists and historians have discovered evidence of the use of cannabis in wines in ancient times as well. The Earnest Han Dynasty’s surgeon Hua Tuo used the combination of cannabis and alcohol for performing surgeries too. Marijuana has been a medicinal herb for almost 50 centuries now.
Apart from surgeons and medical practitioners of those times, even the priests and other religious leaders used weed wine to perform ceremonies. It was said to ease the pain of the revelers as they went into a trance.
Mostly, the people who want to experience the high of cannabis but refrain from alcoholic beverages such as beer or whiskey opt for its less-alcoholic counterpart – wines. The high-end circles mix the weed and wine to create a sophisticated concoction that any connoisseur would admire.
Moreover, the combination of weed and wine is not only limited to uptown soirees but has also made its way to the tastings where individuals are offered weed flowers to smell along with the wine. Or, how about a tour to the most lavish vineyards and wineries with an off-route trip to the nearest cannabis grow site?
Weed Wine Recipes to try at home.
If you are planning to create your own weed wine mix at home, you should remember that since white wine doesn’t have a strong flavor of its own, it serves perfectly as a base for infusion.
- Approximately 4 ounces or half a pound of weed stem. Make sure that you use more of the leaves and discard the seeds since they will not only make your wine taste bad, but they also do not contribute to its THC level.
- Citrus fruits, preferably a couple of oranges and a lemon.
- White of refined sugar weighing 3 pounds.
- Fresh active yeast.
- Two capped one-gallon jugs along;
- A bundle of smaller bottles;
- Plastic tubing, preferably 3 foot long;
- Discarded nylon stockings.
Method of preparation:
- Take the caps off the gallon jugs and stuff the leaves in them. The more leaves you use, the better will be the rate of infusion.
- Pour in the juices of lemon and oranges into the jugs along with the wine.
- Now, boil two to three-quarters of water in a vessel. Ensure that you do not use an aluminum vessel.
- Pour all the sugar into the vessel and stir till it is completely dissolved in water.
- Once you have prepared the sugar and water concoction, you can add it into the jug with weed and juice in it. Then tighten the cap on its lid and shake the mixture through.
- When the mixture is well-shaken, loosen the cap a little and let it cool down for a while till it reaches room temperature.
- Put some more water on the heat to dissolve yeast into it. You need luke-warm water this time, so do not let it boil. Since you are trying to dissolve an entire cake of yeast into the water, give it a while and stir patiently.
- Check the first jug to see if it has cooled down properly. Only after it has reached room temperature, pour the dissolved yeast into the jug. Again, cover the lid tightly with the cap and shake well.
- Remove the cap and pour some cold water into the jug leaving a few inches empty to facilitate the fermentation procedure. Put the cap back on loosely.
- Find a dark and confined space, like the back of your closet to place your preparation. Place some newspapers on the spot before you place the jug. The process of fermentation will begin in a couple of hours.
- If the mixture overflows, you can replace the newspaper with fresh ones. Remember not to add more cold water to it for the initial few days. You can accelerate the process by using a wooden spoon to push the cannabis leaves to the base of the gallon jug. However, do not forget to put the cap back on loosely every time you open it.
- You can add more water to the concoction when the fermentation calms down. It will take a couple of weeks, approximately. The aim here is to keep the gallon jug topped up till the rim with water. Also, keep pushing the leaves to the bottom.
- Overall, it will take four weeks to ferment to get prepared. Still, you can tip the jug back and forth a little to check whether there are bubbles in the leaves or not. If there are none, your wine is ready. However, make sure that you only tip the mix and not shake it.