Marijuana Drinks: Pros, Cons, and Dangers
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With a growing number of states in the US making weed legal, marijuana-infused coffee and other cannabis drinks are growing in popularity. Many health stores are promoting marijuana juice as a wellness elixir. How is consuming a marijuana tinctures different from smoking a joint or eating a pot brownie? How long does marijuana high last when it is consumed in liquid form? Let’s find out more about the potential benefits and dangers of consuming a marijuana drink.
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Drinking Cannabis: Types of Marijuana
Although the history of marijuana use in the US dates back several decades, consuming the drug in liquid form has traditionally not been the most common way to use it. However, brewing a pot of marijuana stems tea is becoming increasingly popular. With the increasing popularity, the variety of liquid cannabis has increased significantly, ranging from marijuana coffee pods to weed-infused teas. A range of marijuana-infused wine, sodas, and cocktails are available as well. It is worth noting that not all cannabis drinks are psychoactive.
Here are some of the different types of weed drinks and how they are made:
Marijuana coffee: Cannabis and coffee can be a magical combination that provides energy, focus, and a creativity boost. The drink can be made by crushing weed and adding it to boiling water with 1-2 tablespoons of coconut oil or butter. The weed-infused coffee is ready in 40-60 minutes and can be consumed hot or cold after straining.
Weed-Infused Tea: How to make marijuana tea? When the dried flowers of the pot plant are crushed with a marijuana grinder and brewed with water, the result is a less psychoactive drink because THC does not dissolve in water. On the other hand, a latte drink with a dairy product (full-fat milk or butter) is more likely to produce a high because THC is fat-soluble.
Pot Tincture: This is made by infusing alcohol with cannabis for a few weeks and filtering the liquid with a coffee filter to produce the tincture. The alcohol absorbs the cannabinoids, and the liquid drops can be added in small doses to juices and foods or placed under the tongue.
Cannabis Juice: A recipe requires fresh raw cannabis to be mixed with some other vegetable juice (for example, carrot juice) to cut out the bitterness.
Marijuana Shot: Weed jello shots or shooters are a mix of candy, alcohol, and cannabis, commonly used during party games for fun. Cannabis is converted in an alcoholic beverage such as gin and mixed with gelatin before being cooled and poured into shot glasses which are allowed to set in a refrigerator.
Why Do People Use Liquid Pot?
There are many reasons why people prefer to use a liquid form of pot. The pungent smell of cannabis combines well with the flavor of certain drinks such as coffee for an enhanced sensory experience. Some people prefer this method of use because it has no telltale smell. Others like the different taste or effect of drinks infused with pot.
When cannabis is consumed in liquid form, it takes longer to kick in (30-90 minutes) and produces a less intense but longer lasting high compared to vaporizing or smoking. Drinks laced with weed are often less potent than edibles such as brownies, candies, and other foods. Here are some of the reasons people use liquid cannabis:
- Some drinks like marijuana stem tea do not produce a high but provide all the health and wellness benefits of cannabis.
- Weed drinks are not associated with some of the complications of smoking pot, such as asthma, bronchitis, and emphysema.
- Drinks have a less dramatic and recognizable scent than raw cannabis.
- The flavors of certain drinks such as a coffee can mask the characteristic bitter taste of cannabis.
Effects of Drinking Marijuana Tea
Liquids infused with weed produce a feeling of well-being and a slight buzz. They can act as painkillers and anti-inflammatories. They can provide relief for digestive symptoms such as nausea, cramps, and acid reflux. Is marijuana a stimulant? Some strains of weed produce a sedative effect while others mimic stimulant drugs. So, liquids containing cannabis can help improve mood and alertness.
How long do the effects of weed tea last? How long does it take for weed to leave the system? The length of time weed remains in the body depends on how much is used as well as the person’s metabolism and body weight. THC metabolites may be detectable in the urine for up to 5-8 days. If one is scheduled for a workplace drug test and are wondering how to detox from marijuana, one can be sure that in 3-4 weeks after last consuming a marijuana juice the body will be clean of all traces of the substance.
Depending on the method of consumption, the effect of pot can be immediate or delayed. Marijuana tinctures and drinks can take several hours to produce a high as opposed to the almost immediate effect of smoking a joint. When a tincture is placed under the tongue, effects may manifest in 30-45 minutes and peak in about 90 minutes. When consumed as a drink, effects may take longer to manifest but last longer (up to 4 hours).
The effect of weed also depends on the THC level, which is the main psychoactive component. Drinks are typically less potent compared to weed-laced foods like brownies and cookies. In fact, some cannabis-laced teas produce nothing more than a slight buzz. Consuming pot-infused drinks on an empty stomach can lead to symptoms such as stomach ache.
Sometimes exposure to heat or improper preparation of the marijuana tea recipe can make the psychoactive cannabinoids less effective, reducing the quality and strength of the drink. Adding butter or coconut oil to the weed and whisking the emulsion can increase the potency of a drink because THC dissolves in fat.
Is Juicing Marijuana Dangerous?
The biggest danger in using weed syrups is that it is difficult to control the quantity and potency of the drug in a drink. Some types of pot-infused drinks are highly concentrated and can have serious health consequences such as anxiety, paranoia, vomiting, and unconsciousness. The high produced by weed drinks also depends on the person’s metabolism, body weight, and many other factors. It takes a longer time to feel the effects of marijuana water, juice, other drinks compared to smoking a joint. That’s why it is important to consume a small amount of the drink and see how it affects the brain and body before moving on to larger quantities.
Does cannabis affect cognition? Does marijuana kill brain cells? Some studies have found that chronic users of pot have lower IQs and prolonged exposure to THC can cause changes in memory and cognition; however, the results remain controversial, and many scientists claim that the benefits of medical marijuana outweigh the risks.
The combination of weed and alcohol is one of the most common mixed substance uses seen, for example, cocaine marijuana beer. This is a dangerous mix and can result in deaths from marijuana. Both THC and alcohol are psychoactive and have a potent effect on the brain. While THC affects cognition, alcohol affects motor skills, and a combination of the two can be lethal. In addition, weed and alcohol may cause a person to feel the effects of each substance more quickly or in a more pronounced way. In other words, together pot and alcohol can produce a higher high.
Health Benefits of Drinking Weed
Cannabis-infused teas have many therapeutic benefits. They produce milder effects and do not cause a heavy stoned sensation. The mild euphoria or buzz gives a sense of renewal to some individuals. People follow a marijuana tincture recipe or brew a weed coffee for a number of reasons, including:
- Reduction of chronic pain
- Decrease in chemotherapy-induced nausea
- Boost in appetite
- Relief of mental anxiety and stress
- Benefit in autoimmune conditions such as multiple sclerosis, irritable bowel syndrome, and rheumatoid arthritis (further research is needed to confirm beneficial effects)
Marijuana Tea: A Gentler, Healthier Alternative
Compared to traditional consumption methods such as smoking, eating, and vaping, weed-infused drinks are a gentler, healthier choice. They protect against the risks of smoking and are a convenient method to harness the healing powers of the cannabis plant.
It is worth remembering, however, that weed is a potent drug, and prolonged or excessive use can have serious health consequences. To prevent the long-term repercussions of marijuana tinctures and drinks, it is important to seek therapy at a rehabilitation facility for drug users. Professional addiction treatment experts at these facilities can help develop a treatment plan for substance addiction and help pot users overcome a substance use disorder.
- Ryan Vandrey, Evan S. Herrmann, John M. Mitchell, George E. Bigelow, Ronald Flegel, Charles LoDico, Edward J. Cone, Pharmacokinetic Profile of Oral Cannabis in Humans: Blood and Oral Fluid Disposition and Relation to Pharmacodynamic Outcomes, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5890870/
- Robert B. Mims, Joel H. Lee, Adverse Effects of Intravenous Cannabis Tea, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2536936/
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