Cannabis and wine have long been a match made in heaven. With marijuana legalization sweeping the globe, consumers now have the chance to buy marijuana-infused wines from a variety of sources. But just what is marijuana wine? Will it get you high? While most of the marijuana wine products are alcohol-free if they contain THC, due to legal prohibitions, there are also CBD and hemp-infused wines that do contain alcohol.
If that sounds a bit confusing, it’s because it is, but it also means there are quite a few different ways to try marijuana wine. Several winemakers have put out cannabis wine labels recently, so let’s take a look at what the options are and what to expect when sipping on a marijuana wine.
Marijuana Wines That Contain THC
Winemakers that remove the alcohol from their wine and infuse it with THC instead are creating one of the most premium products in the fast-growing edible cannabis market. After all, wine and weed are both highly flavorful natural products due to the fact that they are both full of terpenes. Since we know that terpenes affect the “high” induced by THC, drinking cannabis-infused wine is a unique consumption method and experience.
As might be expected, California is pioneering cannabis-infused wines. Since the California wine country is located just below the Emerald Triangle, the nation’s most famous cannabis cultivation region, it’s a perfect pairing on many levels, including geographically. Several California winemakers are experimenting with cannabis-infused wine, combining the two top craft products of Northern California into one flavor rich beverage.
At Rebel Coast, a Sonoma County outfit that has been producing traditional wines for years, doing a marijuana-infused wine was just natural evolution now that prohibition in California is over. Their “Cannabis-Infused Beverage” is made from the same Sauvignon Blanc grapes used to make their regular wines but has the alcohol taken out. Each bottle contains 20 mg of THC, which breaks down to about 5mg per glass. At that dosing, one glass should be a light serving while two glasses equal a full standard edible dose.
Marijuana Wines that Do Not Contain THC
With the explosion in demand for CBD and other non-psychoactive cannabinoids, products that are infused with these marijuana-derived substances are popping up all over. Wine is of course also a prime target for this matching. Because no THC is present in hemp or CBD infused wine, the beverage can contain alcohol and be enjoyed just like any other buzz inducing wine with the added benefits of CBD and other cannabinoids.
In fact, studies in mice have found that CBD can potentially protect both the brain and the liver from damage at the cellular level associated with excessive alcohol consumption. Now before you go out on a bender thinking that you are bullet-proof because you downed some CBD oil, keep in mind that some health experts do warn that CBD can enhance the effects of alcohol, particularly sedation and sleepiness. As with all alcoholic beverages, moderation remains key even when it comes to hemp or CBD infused wines.
Nestled in California’s legendary Napa Valley, CannaVines produces a line of cannabis-infused wines that unite specific weed strains with favorite grape varietals. They not only offer consumers a red blend that is infused with Headband, but a Chardonnay infused with Sour Diesel and a Rose blended with Grand Daddy Purple.
In Europe, CannaWine makes three different kinds of marijuana wine in classic Spanish styles. Their offerings include a red made from Garnacha and Carinena grapes and a white made from Garnacha and Macabeo plus a traditional bright sangria meant for festivities. Infused with a hemp extract that contains many non-psychoactive cannabinoids including CBD, these wines are made to go with food or to be enjoyed alone.
What Do Marijuana Wines Taste Like?
Marijuana wine tastes a lot like regular wine, plus the added flavors of the highly aromatic cannabis plant. Those that love marijuana will probably find the taste delightful, while those that don’t like the smell or taste of weed may need to down a glass or two before they learn to appreciate it.
According to a recent article in Wine Enthusiast, wine and weed actually have a lot in common and the art of pairing them is still in its infancy. Specific terpenes in certain cannabis strain pair better with particular types of wine – the citrus-like taste of Linalool, for example, found in strains like Lavender OG, goes particularly well with white wines.
The History of Marijuana Wines
While marijuana wines may seem like the newest fad in an ever-expanding cannabis market, the truth is this killer combo has been around for quite some time. Cannabis resin mixed into wine was used as a painkiller by ancient Chinese doctors, even to the point where it was used to provide enough anesthetic relief to allow for minor surgeries.
Both ancient Greeks and early Christians consumed wine that had been steeped in herbs in order to make it more psycho-active, which may have included cannabis as well as other psychedelic substances. This means that the modern marijuana wine craze may be a revitalization of the ancient art of pairing these natural substances for both medicinal and intoxicating effects.
Where Do I Find Marijuana Wines?
Marijuana wines that contain THC are only available at licensed dispensaries in states that allow legal consumption. If your dispensary does not carry a marijuana wine, try asking them to order one from one of the producers. Although access to these wines is limited right now, as legalization opens up more and more areas you can expect an increase in availability in marijuana-infused wines.
Wines that are infused with CBD or hemp and do not contain THC are less regulated and may be found at grocery stores or liquor outlets. Marijuana wine, in general, is a relatively recent phenomenon though and so do not expect every corner store to stock it. You can also try ordering directly from the producer as in many cases they can be shipped right to consumers.