At this point, there are too many kinds of weed products to count. Anything you can think of to add cannabis to, it’s probably already been done. There are weed lotions and sprays. There are weed gummies and smoothies. There are weed tinctures and supplements.
Along with the overall boom of the cannabis industry, “weed wine” has been a growing trend in recent years. Most people’s first question is usually: Is it what it sounds like? And the answer is yes. Or, well, kind of.
Read on for the low-down on weed wine, what it is, what you should know about it, and where to find it.
What Is Weed Wine?
Weed wine is cannabis-infused wine. Which might sound like the perfect beverage to some. However, it’s not typical wine combined with the weed.
While the majority of states have legalized cannabis in some form or fashion, it is still classified as a Schedule I substance under the Controlled Substances Act at the federal level.
It is possible for one person to hold both an ABC license and a license to grow, process, or sell cannabis. However, stores aren’t legally allowed to sell alcohol and cannabis under the same roof. Likewise, companies aren’t allowed to sell combined cannabis-infused alcohol products.
So, in order to create weed wine, first, the wine has to be dealcoholized. Essentially, the wine goes through all the same grape crushing, fermentation, and aging as regular wine. But then the alcohol gets removed after the whole process.
Once they remove the alcohol, they add in the cannabis—and voilà, weed wine!
How Do They Dealcoholize Wine?
Winemakers typically go about removing the alcohol in one of two ways: distillation or filtration.
For distillation, the wine is placed in a vacuum and heated. This causes the alcohol to distill off the wine as steam, without causing the wine to oxidize.
For filtration, they create a high-pressure environment and force the wine through a membrane that only allows water and alcohol through. Eventually, they’re left with a wine concentrate sans alcohol, and they just add water back into the mix to end up with their dealcoholized wine.
Once the wine is taken through one of these processes, it’s ready for bottling—or for a little bit o’ weed.
How Is Cannabis Added to Wine?
Weed wines typically have to pass through multiple different manufacturers in order to become a completed product. After dealcoholization, the winemakers pass the wine off to a manufacturer that is able to infuse beverages with cannabis.
Nanoemulsions are a primary method for infusing wine with weed. It’s basically a process of breaking down cannabis until it’s in small enough parts to be water-soluble and combine with liquid. Nanoemulsions are able to be fairly colorless, odorless, and tasteless, which is part of what makes them ideal for creating weed wine.
What Does Weed Wine Taste Like?
The whole, involved process allows manufacturers to produce a weed wine that might not taste quite like your typical bottle of wine—but comes enjoyably close.
In the early days of weed wine, there was a lot of funky-tasting wine. The processes weren’t refined enough to make the wine taste much different from unappealing bong-like water. But that’s changed.
More recently, high-quality weed wines are able to mimic a lot of the textures and flavors of traditional wine. Again, don’t expect a world-class sauvignon blanc or pinot noir. It can have a bit of a skunky nose or taste to it. But the good ones are tasty enough to be at least worth a try (assuming you’re a weed fan).
Where Can I Buy Weed Wine?
While, no surprise, not all weed wine is worth trying, there are some great brands putting out some damn good products.
Rebel Coast Winery is a well-known and widely praised weed wine brand. They first started making traditional wine in 2012, but then switched over to cannabis-infused beverages in 2017. Part of their message is centered around the idea of healthier, no-alcohol, no-hangover beverages. Rebel Coast brands itself as a “delicious, low-calorie alcohol alternative to a new generation of consumers.” They offer products like Sauvage 2019 Sparkling Cannabis-Infused Beverage (containing 10mg THC) and Pink Passion Classic Cannabis-Infused Beverage (also with 10mg THC). Also offered are a few different kinds of seltzers, including Lemon Lime and Black Cherry.
CannaVines is another high-quality weed wine producer. Their wines are crafted in the heart of American wine country—Napa Valley, California. They describe their beverages as “the perfect balance between the world’s 2 most loved euphoria enhancing substances.” CannaVines has a few different wines to choose from. Rosé X Grand Daddy Purple is a combination of flavorful rosé wine with its high-quality CBD and Grand Daddy Purple terpenes. Chardonnay X Sour Diesel is an “airy, tropical” wine with “earthly, energetic” Sour D. Red Blend X Headband uses cannabis strain Headband, which has hints of lemon and can help with pain and stress relief.
House of Saka is another Napa-based weed wine producer. Wine industry expert Tracey Mason and cannabis industry expert Cynthia Salarizadeh came together and combined their expertise to create women-focused, cannabis-infused beverages. They started the company in 2019 and hope to bring cannabis into the luxury and mainstream worlds. House of Saka offers Saka PINK wine, which uses a pinot noir red grape variety blended with a craft cannabis infusion. They also offer Saka WHITE, which “offers mouth-watering aromas of ripe peach, apricot and toasty oak combine with rich, buttery vanilla and tropical fruit flavors balanced with mild acidity and a long, pleasing finish.”
Weed Wine: A Match Made in Heaven
Whether you’re an all-out weed fanatic, looking for an alternative to alcohol, or just wanting to try something new, it’s worth giving weed wine a shot. We all know how tough it can be to deal with the next-morning effects of alcohol. And we’ve also become more and more aware of the helpful benefits of THC and CBD.
Weed winemakers have made the business into both an art and a science, creating enjoyable, fun, and relaxing products that can add a little happy to our days.