Bid farewell to the Stoney Negroni cocktail at Gracias Madre and get ready to become your own mixologist. As of January 2019, bars in California will no longer be able to serve popular alcohol and CBD cocktails. AB 2914, which was signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown in September, prohibits the sale of CBD and/or THC-infused alcoholic beverages in California.
Before breaking out your favorite spirits, here’s a word of caution about mixing alcohol and cannabis or crossfading. A small number of studies have been conducted regarding the effects of mixing cannabis and alcohol, according to Tonic, the results are mixed.
A study conducted at the McLean Hospital/Harvard Medical School found that drinking alcohol may increase the effects on marijuana and contribute to a “positive subjective mood effects of smoked marijuana and contributing to the popularity of this drug combination.”
However, a study conducted by Psychology Today cautions that mixing alcohol and cannabis can lead to nausea, paranoia, dizziness and an increased risk of alcohol poisoning. Both studies indicate that crossfading magnifies the effects of alcohol and cannabis. So start with a low dose, generally 5-10mg per drink, until you know how the drinks will affect you.
Make alcohol-free mocktails more fun by adding THC or CBD or create an alcohol-cannabis cocktail. What’s the best way to add cannabis? There are a variety of ready-to-use products available. Or, if you’re feeling ambitious, create your own.
Tinctures. A tincture is made by steeping cannabis or cannabis extracts in alcohol. These potent liquids sometimes contain carrier oils or added flavors. CBD tinctures are a popular choice for pain relief and can easily be added to your favorite drink recipe.
Oil. CBD or THC oil is an easy addition to drinks and can be added to hot or cold drinks. Formula Swiss, a health food company in Switzerland, cautions that CBD oil will evaporate in temperatures over 320 farenheit. This shouldn’t be an issue for hot beverages but may cause unexpected results in baking or cooking.
Honey. Ready-to-use products like CBD-infused honey are a simple way to sweeten and infuse your drinks with CBD. Although dosage may be difficult to measure, CBD is considered generally safe and has few side effects, so an extra spoonful of infused honey won’t send you to the emergency room.
Make your own. Infusions and syrups are a bartender’s best friend. Paste Magazine advises the ratio of 1/8-ounce bag of high-grade weed for one 750-milliliter bottle of booze for cannabis-infused alcohol and Chron Vivant offers a detailed guide to making your own infusion.
For an alcohol-free option, cook up your own cannabis simple syrup. As the name implies, simple syrup is relatively easy to make – all you need is sugar, water and cannabis. Find this and other recipes in Cannabis Cocktails, Mocktails & Tonics: The Art of Spirited Drinks and Buzz-Worthy Libations by mixologist Warren Bobrow, who is known for his blog “The Cocktail Whisperer.”
Keep in mind that both alcohol and cannabis affect everyone differently so mix at your own discretion.