If kicking back with a crisp beverage sparks joy for you, but you’re sick of that fuzzy feeling you’re left with after a glass of wine, weed drinks could be a welcome alternative! If you haven’t tried one yet, here’s what to expect: weed-infused beverages provide a feel-good and hangover-free high, enhance your experiences, and fit right into your social settings. In today’s episode, we explore why so many people are turning to low-dose, weed-infused drinks as a refreshing alcohol alternative. Be sure to stay tuned for our next episode about how weed drinks are made, and how to make them yourself.
Ellen Scanlon (00:00):
This podcast discusses cannabis and is intended for audiences 21 and over.
Are you having a hard time relaxing at the end of the day without a glass of wine or a cocktail? Alcohol isn’t your only option anymore. Now in 39 states, you can have Happi, a THC-infused, good mood inducing sparkling seltzer shipped right to your house. Happi is a women-run company helping to make the transition from work to play to the next morning a little easier.
If you’re curious about a lower alcohol lifestyle but miss mixing up cocktails, Happi’s mojito mocktail recipe might be just what you’re looking for. I recommend trying it with a can of Happi’s Lime Wild Mint, which has a refreshing, tangy lime flavor. This flavor has five milligrams of THC, so start with a half a can. Wait about 15 minutes. You’ll know by then if you feel great or if you want to add a little more buzz.
Here’s the easy recipe for Happi’s mojito. One ounce of simple syrup, one lime sliced into wheels, three to four sprigs of fresh mint, and ice for serving. First, muddle the mint leaves with a few wheels of lime at the bottom of the glass. Then add ice and simple syrup. Pour in the Happi Lime Wild Mint and stir. To top it off, add more lime wheels and the fresh mint as a garnish. Then enjoy.
For better relaxation tonight, go to happihourdrink.com and order a four-pack of Happi’s Lime Wild Mint drink, a THC-infused seltzer. Happi is offering 20% off for How to Do the Pot listeners. That’s happihourdrink.com, and use the code “Do the Pot” for 20% off. I’ll link to it in the show notes. Remember, it’s Happi with an I at the end.
Xander Shepherd (02:22):
It is an introduction to those who are skeptical. It is a way for people who are more habitual consumers to bring their love and appreciation for how cannabis makes them feel into places and spaces more discreetly that allows them to participate in those social settings with their preferred feeling that doesn’t have to always be alcohol.
Ellen Scanlon (02:47):
Welcome to How To Do The Pot, a podcast helping you feel confident about cannabis. I’m Ellen Scanlon.
You just heard from Xander Shepherd, the California-based founder of non-alcoholic aperitif and cannabis cocktail company, Artet.
This is the second episode in our series all about weed drinks. In the first episode, we talked about how low-dose, cannabis-infused drinks can be shipped right to your door and covered the cutting edge science that helps keep the effects consistent and predictable.
Today’s episode is all about why weed drinks are catching on so fast. It’s a big deal that you don’t have to buy them at a dispensary, which can be a barrier for a lot of people who are just looking to dabble in weed. More access is making weed drinks a new option if you’re looking to take the edge off without alcohol. Low-dose cannabis is also becoming more popular with parents, and we’ll dive into what that means for weed drinks too.
Since the pandemic, the idea of choosing not to drink alcohol for physical or mental health reasons has really been catching on. Polls show that 35% of Americans say they want to drink less this year, and choosing not to drink at all is gaining momentum, especially with younger generations.
Xander Shepherd shares how feeling left out of a family gathering inspired him to think beyond alcohol.
Xander Shepherd (04:36):
One of the primary things I love about cannabis beverages is how seamlessly and elegantly it can fit into the social settings that we all hold near and dear to our hearts. My cousins, who are my business partners, and I set out to create Artet specifically with the goal in mind of creating a cannabis product that we could bring to our family’s Thanksgiving dinner. We were freezing smoking a joint in Vermont while our whole family was inside drinking wine, getting drunk, having fun, being merry, and we felt like there was, due to cultural perceptions, format challenges, and smoke, barriers to allowing our family to understand the benefits of cannabis, and then also allowing us to enjoy cannabis and be present in those moments that we all love.
Ellen Scanlon (05:19):
Weed drinks are popping up that not only look like a bottle of nice wine, a local craft beer or a cute can of sparkling water, they are meant to be consumed like them too.
One intention behind weed drinks is simple. Like a bottle of wine, you can bring it to a party or as a gift for your host. Since my friends all know I work in weed, that is usually a gift I bring when I’m invited to someone’s house. Often, I’ll bring low-dose edibles, which are always a big hit. I make sure to tell people to start by cutting the edible in half. Wait an hour or more to feel the effects and do not take another one.
Recently, I’ve started gifting weed drinks instead. Since I usually drink them at home, lounge around, and then go to bed, I’m embarrassed to say that I didn’t give very good instructions to a friend. I dropped off a four-pack of Lagunitas Hi-Fi Hops, a weed drink with five milligrams of THC and five milligrams of CBD. It’s one of my favorite California beverage brands. But the cans look just like beers, and my friend drank the whole can. She and her husband went out right afterwards with their kids to a local theater production of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. She was very gracious and told me that they had fun, everything was fine, but that the drink was stronger than she expected.
Parenting and weed is a big topic. We have a sex episode that talks about parenting, episode 190, and it’s literally our most popular episode ever. So I hear you. Stay tuned this fall. We are here to help with episodes about microdosing, parenting and weed.
Drinking weed is a new way to consume cannabis for most people. It will help to practice in a low stakes place so you can feel prepared for whatever situation you decide to step into.
Do you set limits for drinking around your children? Are you comfortable having a glass of wine or a drink around your kids? If you’re considering a weed drink, maybe experiment when kids are not around while you figure out the dose that feels comfortable for you. Start with a half a can of whatever weed drink you try and work up to what feels best.
Lisa Hurwitz, the co-founder of cannabis beverage brand, Happi, explains how she used her own experience as a busy mom and executive and someone who doesn’t want to drink a lot of alcohol to create a new kind of transition from work to play.
Lisa Hurwitz (08:23):
I have two teenage boys. In the afternoons, sometimes transitioning between work and evening is really tough for me. It always has been in my whole career, but that transition time was really what we thought about in designing Happi Glow. How do I end my workday? How do I transition into my evening routine in a way that calms me down, but doesn’t make me groggy or sleepy so I want to go take a nap on the couch? I can still focus on my kids and their homework and their activities and whatnot, but I don’t feel like I’m going to get angry or snap at any moment. I’m just more mellowed out, but focused.
Ellen Scanlon (09:00):
These take the edge off. Microdosed products do not create a heavy high. I’m hearing from more and more moms who really feel supported by weed drinks at the end of a long day, a little lighter during bath time or a bit more patient if your child refuses to go to bed.
California-based Jamie Evans, the founder of Herbacée, a non-alcoholic, cannabis-infused rosé, shares why she thinks weed beverages are catching on so quickly.
Jamie Evans (09:33):
Cannabis beverages are more discreet and socially acceptable compared to smoking. With the new low-dose options that are now available, we can really have this sessionable experience, which is comparable to alcohol, but with none of the negative side effects.
Ellen Scanlon (09:50):
I want to emphasize Jamie’s point. No negative side effects means no hangover. Not getting hung over is one of the reasons a lot of people have switched from alcohol to weed. Many people choose edibles, but it only takes about one second to pop an edible in your mouth, which is fun, but doesn’t help replace the social dynamics of having a drink in your hand.
Lisa Hurwitz talks about the evolution of consuming cannabis socially.
Lisa Hurwitz (10:25):
Cigarettes are a thing of the past, so pot smoke and cannabis smoke in those same environments are not particularly well-received. The challenge with edibles is it’s not social. There’s nothing for you to sip while your friends are having a glass of wine or a beverage. It takes an hour to kick in, so you don’t know what your tolerance might be, and cannabis beverages solve for all of that, which is really exciting.
Ellen Scanlon (10:48):
Until recently, a very small percentage of people even knew that drinking weed was a thing. Now, cannabis beverages are a fast-growing part of the industry with a big advantage in the market.
So what happened? It all started when the Minnesota State Legislature passed a law allowing the sale of products containing low-dose THC. Lisa explains more.
Lisa Hurwitz (11:19):
Minnesota really turned the cannabis beverage category on its head a bit. What they did was pass some legislation over the summer which allowed cannabis beverages under five milligrams of THC derived from hemp to be sold at bars and restaurants and in establishments that you would expect out of a beverage.
I think one of the challenges in the adult use space right now is dispensaries are not where people go to buy beverages. They go to grocery stores, they go to convenience stores, they go to liquor stores, they go to bars and restaurants, and it’s a social experience.
Ellen Scanlon (11:53):
Until now, there has been no interstate commerce of cannabis allowed. The weed grown in a legal state had to be sold only in that state. The Minnesota loophole has opened a national market. This change makes cannabis drinks easier to sell and to distribute compared to any other type of weed.
If you’re over 21, you’re not doing anything wrong if you order a four-pack of weed drinks to your house. It is legal to buy and ship these low-dose cannabis beverages to nearly 40 states. If you’re confused, I understand. As they say, history doesn’t repeat itself, but it rhymes.
Ken Burns’ documentary about alcohol prohibition blew my mind, and I recommend it if you haven’t seen it. Alcohol was prohibited in the US for 13 years. When prohibition was repealed in 1933, each state got to decide the rules of sales and distribution. As you know, alcohol is legal in all 50 states, and yet still today in some states, you can’t buy alcohol on Sundays. In others, you can’t buy alcohol at a grocery store. It’s only available at a liquor store. This patchwork of quirky laws in different states is probably what we can look forward to with cannabis.
Recently, we polled How to Do the Pot’s Instagram followers and asked whether microdosing cannabis helps with stress. Microdosing is taking small amounts of cannabis with THC to get the benefits of the plant without feeling intoxicated. 80% of you said yes, microdosing cannabis does help with stress. Not only that, but our episode all about microdosing, episode 59, was our most listened to episode of 2021.
I hear you loud and clear, and I have a great microdose product for you to try. CURED Nutrition’s Serenity Gummies. I take a lot of CBD. It really helps me feel more balanced. If you’re a CBD skeptic, I get it, but you might need more than you think to feel it. Each Serenity Gummy has 30 milligrams of CBD, which is a lot, plus about a milligram of THC, which is a really teeny amount that won’t get you high and is mostly there to activate the CBD. They’ve added functional mushrooms like reishi and adaptogens like ashwagandha, which all work together to help you feel calmer and more present. All the ingredients are third-party tested and sustainably sourced, and they don’t contain any artificial flavors, sugars or dyes. CURED Nutrition Serenity Gummies ship to all 50 states. Plus, we have a promo code for you with 20% off. What are you waiting for? Head to curednutrition.com. That’s C-U-R-E-D Nutrition and use the code “Do the Pot” for 20% off. I think you will love them, and I’ll link to all the details in the show notes.
Weed drinks offer people not just a new way to consume cannabis, they are also creating an alternative in our alcohol-heavy culture. Lisa shares more.
Lisa Hurwitz (15:50):
If you think about how our culture has been built around this socialization of the alcohol moment, there’s sporting events, there’s concerts, there’s festivals. All of those are places where a beverage would be so much more natural as part of what you would want to do than any of the other formats of cannabis.
Ellen Scanlon (16:11):
If you’ve listened to our Women, Money and Power episode, episode 183, you’ll remember Wendy Berger. She is the Illinois-based CEO of WBS Equities and a board director of Green Thumb Industries, a publicly-traded cannabis company. Wendy is an early and successful investor in cannabis, and she sees a lot of opportunity in the beverage category.
Wendy Berger (16:37):
We are all used to having something in our hand at all times of day, a tea or a coffee mug in the morning, some kind of juice or energy drink throughout the day, something in the afternoon, socially a cup of anything out at night. So this notion of being in the same place with the people you are with, but not having to have alcohol. So if I’m at a dinner party and I want to have a cannabis-infused beverage, I don’t have to, if I was smoking, have one hit, go outside, have one hit and come back to the dinner table.
Ellen Scanlon (17:09):
Cannabis beverages are meant to enhance your experience. They feel modern, and there is something timeless about sitting down with a nice glass of something.
Wendy Berger (17:22):
Beverages are my favorite way to consume hands down because it satisfies so many different things. It’s a visual, it’s taste, it’s the longevity. It’s not just one bite. There are some edibles that I absolutely love, and I sometimes jokingly say, “I want the one bite of infused and nine bites of non-infused.” Cannabis-infused beverages, out of the park home run on a fun factor. The packaging and labeling, everything is fun.
Ellen Scanlon (17:57):
Okay, so there’s the fun factor and the timeless idea of drinking. Will weed drinks really replace alcohol for some people? Xander thinks so.
Xander Shepherd (18:08):
For me, that is one of the things that I love most, that cannabis frees people up from the perspective that all social settings have to inherently be alcoholic, that there can be a future state where to socialize, to party, to be with friends, to be with family over dinner, can be alcohol, can be non-alcohol, and can be non-alcohol cannabis-infused. That is where I get really excited when I think about this format and what it means for the future of socializing and being present in places with friends and family and all the things that we hold near and dear to our hearts.
Ellen Scanlon (18:41):
Weed drinks can allow you to stay social while consuming cannabis in an easy and fun way. Xander believes this is only the beginning.
Xander Shepherd (18:51):
As regulations continue to evolve and people become a little bit more aware of cannabis beverages, you will see people starting to figure this out for themselves in the same way that we have all collectively over many, many years figured out how to pair alcohol with social experiences that tend to center around conversation, friendship and food.
Ellen Scanlon (19:14):
The future of weed is exciting to think about, and the present is a little confusing, the patchwork of state and local laws, the criminal justice issues. Don’t forget, 40,000 people are still in prison for cannabis crimes in the US. Right now in Texas, for example, cannabis is illegal, and you can buy a low-dose weed drink in a bar. The idea that two things can be true at once can be hard to wrap your head around when it comes to the legalization of cannabis.
Alcohol prohibition lasted for 13 years and it ended in 1933. I think we can agree that since that time, alcohol has been seamlessly woven into the fabric of families, holidays and celebrations.
Let’s consider cannabis. It has been illegal for over 80 years, so it has made a lot of sense to keep your consumption private. But modern, legal weed is here, and drinking weed is a sign of how far we’ve come.
Cannabis may have been consumed for thousands of years, but the small daily rituals around it are still new to lots of people, and that is why our show exists, to help teach you how to do it.
I have a request. I would love to hear from you. Have you tried weed drinks? What do you think? Tell me if you’ve opened and shared a can, made a mocktail or had a weed beverage with friends. What other questions do you have about them? Please send a voice note to email@example.com or DM at Do the Pot.
Join me next episode, when we’ll give you more tools to navigate the rapidly-changing world of cannabis beverages. We’ll share how weed drinks are made and teach you how to make some yourself.
Thank you for listening to How To Do The Pot. For lots more information and past episodes, visit dothepot.com. Are you one of the thousands of people who love How to Do the Pot’s newsletter? If you’re not getting it, please sign up at dothepot.com. If you like How to Do the Pot, please rate and review us on Apple Podcasts. It really helps people find the show.
Thank you to writer Joanna Sokolowski and producers Madi Fair and Nick Patri. I’m Ellen Scanlon, and stay tuned for more of How to Do the Pot.
So you must be legal, too. Age 21+ invited to continue.