With public approval of marijuana legalisation at an all-time high, more and more people are incorporating marijuana into their relaxation and socializing routines. While a bottle of wine is a traditional party favor and smoking weed to relax is a common pastime, most people haven’t considered combining vino with their favorite cannabis strain. Weed wine, however, is easy to make—while remaining delicious and potent. Below, we dive into all of the details around this delicious 4/20 cocktail.

First, you need to make sure you have the right tools. While marijuana-infused wine can be made multiple ways, this simple method requires cheesecloth, ⅛ – ¼ ounce high-grade cannabis, a dry wine with bold flavors, foil, a pan, and a pot or punch bowl. When picking your wine, choose a dry variety for maximizing the effectiveness of the infusion. I went with a Columbia Crest merlot in an effort to bring out bold flavors that would complement the marijuana I chose. While white wine works just as well, I favored red for its health benefits and more mild hangovers. (Waking up stoned and hungover is less than pleasant. Most of us aren’t in college anymore.)

Photo courtesy Laura Aebi

Next, we have to activate our weed. Unless you’re buying activated marijuana oil from a dispensary, we have to use the decarboxylation process to activate the THC in our weed. Until the marijuana is heated, it won’t have any psychotropic effects. Start by lining a pan with foil and breaking the buds into slightly smaller pieces. Spread them evenly across the pan and cover them with additional foil. Then, cook the buds at 230 degrees Fahrenheit for 110 minutes. While faster methods will still produce a great product, this slow and low strategy has proven to have the most yield in a 2011 study on the molecular structure of THC. For those who share a ventilation system with your neighbors, keep in mind that this process can be pretty aromatic. Properly sealing the top of your pan with foil will minimize the fragrance—but it’s still pungent.

Then, it’s time to steep. After your timer goes off, pull out the tray and remove the foil: The weed should be slightly less green and a bit drier after proper decarboxylation. After your weed is activated and cooled down, you can grind it up into fine pieces. If you don’t have a marijuana grinder on hand, don’t panic—a mortar and pestle offers a solid replacement. After the decarboxylation process, the weed will be more brittle, so avoid pulverizing the bud. Place the ground marijuana in the center of the cheesecloth and tie the corners together to create secure bags of the decarboxylated weed. Try not to overstuff the bags in order to avoid excess ground weed floating in the final product. Depending on how finely your weed is ground, multiple layers of cheesecloth may be required. Pour the wine into your pot or bowl and place the marijuana cheesecloth bags inside. Cover the dish with cellophane and place it in the fridge to chill. For the next 24-48 hours, let the mixture steep—stirring occasionally to disrupt the settled marijuana.

Photo courtesy Laura Aebi

Finally, we’re ready to enjoy. Remove the dish from the fridge and pull out the bags of decarboxylated marijuana. Be sure to strain the wine for any fine weed that may have escaped the cheesecloth before serving—this can be done with any excess cheesecloth, if you have some left over. If not, a sieve will work just fine. The synergy between marijuana and wine create a formidable adult beverage that will leave the drinker feeling both sauced and stoned. Keep in mind that eating marijuana can be a much more potent experience, and cooking with weed can make dosing difficult.

While the chilling method is one of the easiest ways to make marijuana wine, it’s far from the only option. One alternative is cooking the wine on low in a Crock-Pot or stock pot for two hours with the cheesecloth-wrapped decarboxylated marijuana. This can be even more effective in creating a great product, but risks overheating the marijuana and burning the THC—which renders it unusable. Check the pot frequently, looking for red flags such as too much wine being cooked away or the boil exceeding a slow roll. This method can be also personalized with spices and other fragrant ingredients. For inspiration, you can always look to traditional mulled wine: Nutmeg, orange peel, cinnamon, maple syrup, and cloves are just a few things you can use to enhance your wine’s natural flavors while fortifying it with the marijuana THC.

In conclusion, weed wine is an easy-to-make, potent alternative to regular vino, but it packs a serious punch. A glass or two of potent weed wine on a Friday evening will have you waking up stoned on Saturday morning. If you’re concerned that the wine is too potent, try adding orange juice, lemon juice, sugar, and triple sec to make a diluted sangria. This method provides an excellent alternative to smoking the herb, and (after being rebottled) can make an excellent party favor or housewarming gift.

Header image courtesy of Pixabay.

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