Combining two mind-altering substances in one bottle might once have been a pleasant daydream for wine and marijuana enthusiasts across America, but it has now become a reality.
This could also be a horrific nightmare when it comes to the problem of drink-driving. With marijuana legalization popping up in several states across America, it is difficult to say what the repercussions of mixing wine with marijuana will be.
One thing is for certain, wine and marijuana have become a staple in American culture, just as they have been in cultures around the world throughout history.
Hua Tuo, a famous Chinese physician infused hemp and wine way back in the second century for its anesthetic properties. In fact, the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes dates back to 28 B.C., and it continues to be used today.
A 2001 study published in The British Journal of Psychiatry discussed the medicinal properties of marijuana way before legalization was thought to be even possible. The study stated, “Cannabis and some cannabinoids are effective anti-emetics and analgesics and reduce intra-ocular pressure. There is evidence of symptom relief and improved well-being in selected neurological conditions, AIDS and certain cancers. Cannabinoids may reduce anxiety and improve sleep.”
One of the oldest wine cellars known to date was recently uncovered and excavated in Tel Kabri, Israel. The findings were published in PLOS One (2014) by Dr. Andrew Koh of Brandeis University, Massachusetts, Eric H. Cline, a co-director of the Tel Kabri excavations, and Assaf Yasur-Landau of the University of Haifa in Israel.
The wine dates back to approximately 1800 B.C., and guess what, they found psychoactive properties in the various additives used to process the ancient wine.
The study noted, “These additives suggest a sophisticated understanding of the botanical landscape and the pharmacopeic skills necessary to produce a complex beverage that balanced preservation, palatability, and psychoactivity.”
One notable marijuana-infused wine enthusiast is Melissa Etheridge, a famous singer and songwriter who battled chemotherapy bouts with marijuana.
She has paired up with Greenway, a Santa Cruz marijuana dispensary founded in 2005 and the first marijuana dispensary to be supported by both city and state.
California has over half a million card-carrying cannabis users. Melissa Etheridge’s marijuana-infused wine “No Label” is sold through Greenway and it may be a “high-ly” marketable product with the marijuana crowd who enjoys wine, but despises grain alcohol.
Greenway’s founder, Lisa Molyneux, is one who dislikes the taste and feeling attached to grain alcohols like whiskey, vodka or rum.
Molyneux stated in a previous interview, “Personally, I abhor grain alcohol. Many years ago, I tried cannabis-infused wine that a winemaking friend of mine made for his own personal consumption and I loved it. I got the recipe from him and I started working on my own batch seven years ago. As it turns out, I misunderstood his directions, but even he agrees that my results are better.”
So what does this mean? Can marijuana-infused wine be a good thing? It is likely that this new — and old — craze will be met with mixed emotions.
We know that wine, especially red wine, can be therapeutic, and we also know that marijuana has therapeutic value. However, it appears that the pairing of certain strains of cannabis with various wines will be aimed more at wine and pot enthusiasts than at those seeking medicinal value.
We advise taking certain precautions before trying marijuana-infused wine: It is important to understand what the risks are when using any drug, whether it be marijuana or alcohol — talking to a trusted health-care provider is always advisable.
It is also essential to understand how your body reacts to both marijuana and alcohol separately, before you combine them in an effort to try something new and exciting. Even though these psychoactive pleasures have become legalized in some states, there’s no rush to try them.
Moderation, knowing your body, and having a clear picture of your health is the first step.