It was only a matter of time until the marijuana industry hit booze culture. Recently, cocktails infused with cannabis have been making their way onto menus. So if you like to get a little stony baloney during cocktail hour, this news is right up your alley.
West Hollywood’s Gracias Madre is a great example. The head bartender at the vegan Mexican spot is Jason Eisner, who’s been making cannabis cocktails ever since he started using them to help treat injuries he suffered from playing sports.
Currently Eisner serves three different kinds of cannabis cocktails: the Sour T-iesel, which is a twist on a Tequila Sour, the Rolled Fashioned, which is a play on an Old Fashioned, and the Stoney Negroni—cocktail heritage clear. These are all pretty straightforward cocktails, but theoretically your buzz will be a bit…buzzier?
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If you’re thinking drinking a cannabis cocktail will be like smoking the good-ol’ ganj or eating strange homemade pot brownies from your college days, well… you aren’t exactly s”pot”-on (we tried). The cannabis component of these cocktails isn’t THC. It’s CBD, which is completely different. THC is the psychoactive chemical scientifically associated with being stoned. CBD, or “cannabidiol,” “can’t get you high.”
To break it down simply: it was THC’s fault that time you lost your shit from being too stoned. You hit a joint one too many times, or let’s face it, a couple too many times, thinking it would chill you out when in reality it did the opposite. CBD is the chemical component that serves to counteract paranoia induced by THC. So, during this hypothetical freak-out during your college years, which is probably not so hypothetical, CBD would have been exactly what you needed.
But marijuana is complex—CBD is one of 113 active cannabinoids in cannabis—and so are its effects. Thus, CBD is much more than just a combatant to THC. According to a 2013 review published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, studies have found CBD to have many medical properties. Among them: it helps with pain extremely well, which is probably why bartender Eisner experimented with CBD infused cocktails at first. It might even be useful in the treatment of schizophrenia.
Lastly, it’s mild. Even in high dosages. Which leaves us to wonder what effect it’s going to have in that cocktail (whose price, by the by, is likely jacked up).
Not to say to say cannabis cocktails aren’t pretty chill (yeah, we talk the talk). Cannabidiol actually has a pot-like grassiness to it, so cannabis cocktails end up with a slight kick of marijuana flavor, though it varies depending on what else is going on in there. It also stimulates the appetite (that’s right: munchies) and keeps you awake, making it a good starter drink.
Of course, if you want to avoid the cocktail aspect entirely, you can always go online and see if you can find some CBD oil for yourself. One ounce bottles start at $40.