With the increasing spread of the legalization of marijuana in the U.S. and around the world as both a form of alternative medicine and for recreational purposes, more and more THC-infused beverages and CBD or hemp drinks are appearing on the market.
Perhaps, one of the biggest complaints from some cannabis users about these drinks is that it’s hard to ascertain the dosage as items like edibles and drinks produced by larger companies are made in large quantities and basically, while a bottle or can of a cannabis-infused beverage may say it contains say 50 mg or .05 grams of weed, in reality, this is going to be a rough estimate and one can of the same drink by the same company contain exactly that whilst another could contain 20 mg more and another 10 mg less.
As such, some users prefer to make their own weed-infused drinks at home, where they have greater control over whether or not they have a high-, mid-, or low-dose beverage.
Making tea from shakes and leftover weed stems is a pretty well-known at-home brew as it’s easy to make and doesn’t require a lot of equipment beyond a teapot and tea infuser, tea bag, coffee filter, or cheesecloth.
However, there are plenty of other options when it comes to making cannabis-infused drinks, which is exactly why I’m writing this article–to share recipes with you.
But first, let’s talk about whether or not marijuana drinks even get you high, and why they can be a great option for medical and recreational users.
Why Use Cannabis Drinks?
Now, you might be wondering “Why should I use a THC drink when I can just pack a bowl, roll my own joint, or eat a gummy?”
And you’re right, all of those options are fine and great, but there are those who don’t like to or can’t physically handle the smoke and how it affects their lungs. Furthermore, depending on the cannabis-infused drink recipe you end up using, weed-infused drinks can be much lower in processed sugar and any added preservatives, etc. that are often used in cannabis edibles, thereby making it a potentially healthier option.
Another reason that a cannabis-infused drink can come in handy is for those who are suffering from nausea due to chronic pain, headaches, migraines, and the harsh chemical treatments of chemotherapy and radiation, which can leave patients feeling too queasy to attempt to combust or eat an edible.
One more big health benefit is that alcohol-free weed drinks can make for a good substitute for alcoholic beverages, which can be especially useful to those who are sober or simply need to take a break from consuming alcohol. In fact, I, personally, have a few friends who swear by cannabis beverages as being the perfect substitute when going to a party or gathering where it allows them to still feel a part of things by having a can, bottle, or glass in hand that leaves them feeling good without any of the negative side effects of alcohol.
Aside from the health benefits of ingesting as opposed to smoking marijuana leaves, there’s also the convenience of having say a nice cold pitcher of this refreshing beverage on hand when you’re wanting to just chill outside under the shade or in the sun on a lazy day at home or when you’re going to a picnic or hosting a party and want to have a variety of beverage options to share or offer your guests such as alcoholic drinks, cannabis cocktails with and without alcohol, and so on.
Cannabis Drink Recipes
Ok, now that you know some of the reasons why making your own THC-infused drinks at home is a good idea, here are some of our favorite cannabis drink recipes. However, I want to preface all of this by first reminding you that just as a store- and dispensary-purchased weed drinks and edibles can result in some unexpected effects or hit a lot faster or slower than when smoking, it’s best to start out with lower amounts of THC and to increase your dosage over time as you figure out what mixture works best for you, your body type, and tolerance level.
First, let’s start with how to make a simple syrup, which you can use in lieu of a THC tincture in any of the drinks, and in many cases in place of sugar as well.
Cannabis-Infused Simple Syrup
While making cannabis-infused syrup does require some time and effort, it’s worth making as it can last for several months when properly stored, and make for a great addition to almost any drink.
This particular recipe should yield about 15-16 ounces, and depending on the strength of your cannabis flower should result in a dose of about 4 mg THC per ounce, or if you use CBD instead, then about 16 mg CBD per ounce.
- 3 grams of decarboxylated* marijuana flower (We recommend using weed that contains at least 20% THC, but if you want something weaker then go for either a lower THC content or use a strain that’s high in CBD and low in THC)
- 2 cups of water
- 1 cup of natural honey
- 1 tbsp of food-grade vegetable glycerin
*Decarboxylating weed is a process that involves exposing your weed to temperatures between 200-245 degrees Fahrenheit, as it serves to activate both the THC and cannabinoids contained in your cannabis plant. For edibles and drinks, heating your buds in the oven at 220 degrees Fahrenheit for 30-40 minutes is usually best.
- One 16 oz sterilized jar
- Digital or manual scale
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Small saucepan
- Cheesecloth, or coffee filter in a cinch
- Fine mesh strainer
- Step 1. Using your scale weigh out 3 grams of decarboxylated* weed, and set to the side.
- Step 2. Add the water and honey into your small saucepan and bring to a slow boil. Make sure to continuously stir the mixture until the honey is completely dissolved.
- Step 3. Reduce your heat and using the thermometer wait until it’s between 160-180 degrees Fahrenheit, at which point you can add your 3 grams of cannabis.
- Step 4. Simmer over low heat for about 50 minutes, stirring from time to time. Reduce your heat and add your vegetable glycerin, which is what serves as the binder for your CBD or THC cannabinoids. Simmer and stir for another 10 minutes, and then remove your mix from the heat.
- Step 5. Line your fine-mesh strainer with the cheesecloth (or coffee filter) and strain your cannabis-infused simple syrup through it into the 16 oz jar.
- Step 6. Once your cannabis syrup has cooled, you can use it in lieu of a THC tincture to add to your favorite drink for a crowd-pleasing cannabis cocktail or alcohol-free beverage.
- 3 cups of cold water
- 1 cup of warm water
- 4 tbsp of granulated sugar (more or less to personal taste preference)
- 6 tbsp of fresh lemon juice (approximately 2-3 lemons)
- Ice cubes
- Cannabis tincture – The amount is up to you and is based on your own tolerance level. OR you can use your cannabis-infused simple syrup
- Step 1. Juice your lemons
- Step 2. Mix your sugar into 1 cup of warm water until it dissolves* If you are using weed-infused simple syrup, you’ll probably want to half your sugar and then add more to taste at the end.
- Step 3. Fill a container or pitcher with ice cubes
- Step 4. Pour the sugar mixture, cold water, lemon juice, and THC tincture over the ice and mix well.
- Step 5. Pour and serve.
*For a twist to your lemonade you could either substitute the lemons with limes for limeade or add some lime juice for a tasty lemon-lime beverage. To make it even “fancier” you could add sparkling water or tonic water for a lemon-lime soda, and if you wanted to make it a cocktail then add about 2-4 oz of vodka per 1/2 pint sized-glass. Other fun ingredients to add are basil, rosemary, or mint leaves to make it that much tastier.
Elevate this refreshing classic summer drink with some weed tincture or cannabis-infused simple syrup and be the “hit” of the party!
- 4 cups of white wine (a Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, or Grenache Blanc go nicely, as does a rose) – If you prefer an alcohol-free version then use white grape juice instead
- 1 cup of orange juice
- 1-2 limes
- Fruits and berries: i.e., strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, etc. Kiwi also makes for a nice addition. *If it’s an especially hot day, used frozen berries will help keep things nice and cool
- 2 oranges sliced or cut into halves with the peel left on (using a blood orange is especially nice)
- THC or CBD tincture, or your cannabis-infused simple syrup
- Add all of the fruit into a large bowl or pitcher. (Whether or not you want to cut things in half is up to you, but if you’re using any kind of smaller bite-sized berry, you’ll probably want to leave it whole.)
- Add your wine or grape juice, orange juice, 1 juiced lime, and your THC or CBD tincture (or weed-infused simple syrup). You may also want to add some additional lemon and/or lime wheels to your sangria.
- Mix thoroughly.
- Stand and let chill in the fridge for at least 2-3 hours before serving. (You can add ice, but this will dilute things. As such, if you’re using frozen berries, then simply pour it over ice upon serving should suffice.)
Lastly, nothing says “end of the day” or “party” like a refreshing margarita. The recipe I want to share with you doesn’t involve the use of tequila, but if you wish to add it, you, of course, can. Just don’t say you weren’t warned about the possible effects of mixing alcohol and weed together! (If you are making it an alcoholic cocktail then add approximately 2 oz of tequila as this recipe is for 1 serving)
- 1.5 oz of freshly-squeezed lime juice (or you can substitute bottled lime juice)
- 1 lime sliced into wedges
- 1 oz orange juice (if you’re not making an alcohol-free margarita then use Cointreau, Triple Sec, or Grand Marnier)
- THC or CBD tincture
- Approx 1/2-1 oz of agave, or your cannabis-infused simple syrup (if you go with the latter then you probably don’t want to add the THC tincture too)
- Step 1. Add all of the above ingredients to a tall glass or mason jar (or shaker) and mix well.
- Step 2. Using a lime wedge “wet” the rim of your glass and dip it into a plate of salt if you wish
- Step 3. Add ice if you like and pour your margarita over the ice, garnish with a lime wedge, and serve!
*Note that this recipe is for a margarita on the rocks, but you can always freeze the whole mix into ice cubes, add them to a blender with maybe a little more orange juice or even sparkling lime water, and have a frozen cannabis-infused margarita.