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The B-Side of Cannabis

Posted by Emma Baron on

Song of the Week - Tequila by The Champs

In another bit of music magic, this impossible-not-to-dance-to song was an afterthought, a last minute B-side composed to complete the release of their first track: 'Train to Nowhere'. They had played the melody a few times as an in-betweener on stage, and they ended up gluing it together with the well-timed delivery of the single lyric, "Tequila". Disc Jockeys preferred the B-side, and Tequila climbed to the top of the charts to be one of the most popular songs of the 50s. Will we see a similar performance from the beverages, the B-side of cannabis?
The Long Form - The Chemistry of a nice, tall, icy glass of... weed?

I guess I'll have... the green Kool-Aid? There's been so much talk about how cannabis beverages are about to be the next hot thing, making us both excited and slightly trepidatious to read the drinks list. While frosty flowers are familiar, the world of weed cocktails is relatively unexplored. 

Humans are no strangers to intoxicating drinks, we've been making beer and wine for since roughly 7,000 BC. We've come a long way from making the best of rotten fruits from the forest floor, there are thousands of tinctures, bitters, liquor, and liqueurs that showcase almost any plant you can name.

Grapes, potatoes, corn and other crops can be turned into many different kinds of alcohol, but for most plants, one style of intoxicating beverage usually rises to the top as a preferred choice. Let's use grapes as an example: while Grappa and Brandy have an annual global production of 9M litres and 1.75B litres respectively, neither one comes close to touching wine: we consumed 27B litres in 2018.

Cannabis wine though? Apparently so, in California. Rebel Coast, a weed-wine producer, breaks it down for us: it's illegal to have a concoction with alcohol and THC, so they ferment their grapes and then remove the alcohol before infusing the liquid with weed. They say the final product tastes more like wine than cannabis, and it's only 35 calories per glass. Hmmm...

Most Canadians would probably be hard-pressed to name a type of cannabis drink, but in India, there's a milk-based drink called Bhang that they've been making since 1000BC. The cannabis is ground into a sticky paste with the wood from the neem tree that's known to have its own antifungal and antibacterial properties. The past is strained, and added into the mixture, ideally, is a mix of almonds and pistachios; some milk; a bit of rose water; and perhaps a few peppercorns and strands of saffron. This drink is ubiquitous during the Holi festival, and well known to most of India.

Will Bhang cross over into the Canadian retail cannabis market? With the current restrictions calling for shelf-stable goods, it's doubtful you'll see a milk-based drink on shelves anytime soon. We can't imagine enjoying this drink as much if it's not made fresh, so it looks like we're still saving for that tour of India. 

We're pretty sure there will be a whole host of sugary, fruity infused beverages - what we're looking forward to is maybe something a little different or unique to cannabis. Will it be a fermented weed kombucha that rises above the rest? Perhaps it's marijuana martinis or sativa spritzers that take the cake? Could Canada fall in love with cannabis hot chocolate? We'll soon find out!
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The News: America’s Best Drug Dealers Are A-List Celebrities

As The Atlantic points out: "Over the past two decades, Americans have proved willing to do lots of things at Martha Stewart’s behest. They will decoupage. They will make their own holiday wreaths..." Above all, they will spend money in the name of Martha. We have to admit it, we're guilty as charged. Yet there's something that the lack of equity and access to cannabis for both consumers and would-be business owners that feels sticky, and not in a primo cannabis flower sort of way. 
The Social Calendar
High Art

Introducing a brand-new content segment to your Milkweed Newsletter: High Art, a collection of our favourite creative moments of the week. We hope you take a few moments to put your work down and enjoy a little daydream fodder...
'The Laughing Heart' by Charles Bukowski

Thought Bukowski was all dark and sordid, twisted and ugly? 

'The Laughing Heart' is a wonderful little pick-me-up, especially when it's read by the inimitable Tom Waits.

Take the Bait 

Geodesic Knots by Oddball Gallery

Watching imperfections come together to create a beautiful result.

Take the Bait 

Urban Weed Awards by Michael Pederson

Little public art interventions that honour everyday magic

Take the Bait 
Keep your stick on the ice...

- Emma & Carol
Milkweed website

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