Turning up used to be simple. The bar was for drinking, your home and car were for smoking pot, and the bathroom was for… well, you get it. But with the 2018 Farm Bill creating a huge market for now-legal CBD products (under 0.3 percent THC) and billions of dollars flowing into the rapidly growing hemp industry as states rush to legalize marijuana, the lines demarcating the ways we get inebriated in public have started to fade.
"Whatever you do, make sure your creation burns smoothly and evenly"
Now, we live in a world where hemp has infiltrated everything from pajamas and wine to lube. And right on time, hemp cocktails have started popping up in bars and cafes across the country.
CBD cocktails are already ubiquitous, and drinks containing actual THC—mostly sodas and seltzers at this point—have slowly started appearing as well, even though in states where marijuana is legal, like Colorado, THC still can’t be consumed in public spaces like restaurants, bars, and venues. In any case, to paraphrase Jeff Goldblum’s character in Jurassic Park, bartenders and producers have been so quick to see whether they could incorporate hemp into drinks, they didn’t stop to ask whether they should.
Adding CBD to a cocktail isn’t as simple as putting a few drops of oil into a Negroni and calling it a day. Beyond the question of drug interactions and the quality of the hemp being used, there’s the issue of dosage, i.e., how inebriated a person would get with a drink containing X amount of CBD and Y amount of alcohol. Furthermore, there’s the question of flavor, since CBD usually has a very strong earthy, grassy, occasionally bitter taste. There’s also an aesthetic component, since oils, tinctures, and sodas will visually and texturally interact differently with different kinds of spirits, mixers, and garnishes; it would take a bit of R&D to figure out how to avoid issues like cloudiness or separation. The impulse to push food and beverage science in a new direction is a good one that could yield exciting new products and open up new flavor profiles and modes of intoxication