What is Weed Wine?

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The latest trend in winemaking? Adding cannabis. That’s right…you can now get high and drunk at the same time thanks to California winemakers who are marrying the two substances.

Canna Vine and Mary Jane Wines are some of the latest to hit the market, but don’t get too excited – this wine is for the weed-smoking elite. You’ll only be able to get your hands on a bottle if you live in California, can get a prescription for it and have as much as $400 to spend on half a bottle of wine.

The overlap of marijuana and wine seems to be a growing trend. Cultivating Spirits, a Colorado-based company, is pairing gourmet meals with wines and cannabis. A typical course would be a ribeye steak with chili relleno, a 2013 Malbec and Gorilla Glue. Dining protocol? Puff, eat, drink. Founder Philip Wolf says they’re adding a “third layer” to the dining experience, and he’s one of America’s first accredited cannabis sommeliers. This is another elite experience for cannabis connoisseurs, clocking in at $1,250 for a three-course dinner pairing for ten.

In most states, even where recreational marijuana use is legal like Colorado, Washington and Oregon – it’s illegal to infuse alcohol with weed. But surprisingly, this pairing dates back to ancient China – archaeologists found records showing that the founder of Chinese surgery, Hua T’o, used wine fortified with cannabis as a pain reliever for his patients.

Singer and cancer survivor Melissa Etheridge has her own cannabis-infused wine line called “No Label,” and has spoken about the beverage’s benefits. She became an unlikely advocate for medical marijuana in 2005, revealing how much it helped her manage her pain when she was going through chemotherapy. On her website, she writes “you won’t believe how good it tastes and feels.” Etheridge’s wine uses a cold extraction technique, so it’s not intended to make you high and prevents any paranoid side effects, but still offers sippers feelings of relaxation and mellowness.

Etheridge makes her wine with Lisa Molyneux, founder of Greenway, the first dispensary in California to be backed by both the city and the state. She sustainably grows 20 strains of cannabis in her backyard, and pairs them accordingly with organically grown grapes. Molyneux describes the feeling you get from drinking the wine as a “full-body and mind happy relaxation.” She prescribes it to her customers who have sleep problems, gastrointestinal issues, and anxiety – and many of them praise the wine for it’s medicinal value.

There are apparently a number of individual winemakers in California who experiment with their own marijuana-infused beverages – one uses Everclear to extract enough THC from the weed, another uses hand-ground cannabis to create a white wine that would cost roughly $55 if it could legally be sold.

So whether you’re looking for recreation or in need of relaxation, it sounds like weed wine is marketing itself as a solution. Would you try it?

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