How to
25 Oct 2018

Psilocybin and Cannabis Cocktails

by Roderick

With the legalization of Cannabis in Canada being celebrated and experienced this week, we thought it would be great to find a way to add mushrooms to the mix! As mentioned in the article a few days ago, combining all the active ingredients suggested in this recipe may best be left to those with experience. The best part of this recipe, is that all components can be prepared ahead and used in all sorts of amazing combinations with other popular cocktail ingredients.

To best serve all attendees of any shindigs, soirees or parties celebrating the legalization of cannabis this week, this recipe is a mix-and-match. Keeping everything well-labelled here is a must, highs and trips are not the nice kind of surprises. Everything in this recipe can be created the night before, a minimal amount of focus and preparation is required on celebration day.

The Cannabis Component

The easiest way to incorporate cannabis into a cocktail is with a tincture, an alcohol-based extraction or infusion. The cannabinoids in the herb easily dissolve in alcohol, including THC, CBD and the myriad others. The higher the alcohol content, the faster and more thorough an extraction, aiming for 90% or higher will be beneficial. With a lower strength spirit like vodka, commonly 40%, it make take more time and may be more green, a consequence of water-loving chlorophyll dissolving into the mix.

There is a step that many can forget, before infusing cannabis into alcohol or food. The primary active compound in marijuana is tetrahydrocannabinol or THC; however, this is stored in the flowers primarily as tetrahydrocannabinolic acid, or THCA. THCA requires decarboxylation, usually achieved by heating or curing, into THC before it becomes available and active to the body and mind.

In smoking or vaporizing the herb, the flame or heat source accomplishes this at the same time as consumption. Ageing or “curing” cannabis can assist this transition, though not entirely. For food and drink, this must be accomplished beforehand, commonly through the help of an oven or toaster oven. Fair warning, this could get stinky.

Decarboxylation (Oven Method)

Decarboxylation occurs between 100-140°C (210-285°F) and the time it takes is a consequence of temperature. It proceeds most quickly on finely ground and well-dispersed product; spread evenly and thinly on a baking sheet is the preferred method. At 100°C, it may take up to an hour to process all the THCA; at 140°C, it could be as little as 5 minutes on a smaller quantity of product.

As there is no way to judge the THCA:THC ratio, it is best to give a little more time than less. At these temperatures, THC does not vaporize, however other terpenes and cannabinoids may be less stable. A browning of the flowers is to be expected, along with a strong herbal smell; burning or extreme darkening means it is too hot or has gone too long.

Once the process is complete, you should have very dry and somewhat brown flowers. It will have a deep and almost baked scent, and will be ready for incorporation into any food or drink products. Extractions, using either alcohol or fats, can occur and remain at low temperatures while maximizing potency.

Infusion

This decarboxylated cannabis will be leached of its active compounds by using ethanol. For all intents and purposes, we will assume a complete extraction is accomplished. For the average flower, THC is expected in the 10-30% range by weight, with a gram of dried flower producing 100-300mg. The average “shot” added to a mixed drink is about 45 ml. The perfect dose for a “party shot” is ultimately up to the host; factors such as number of doses and experience of revelers should come into account.

An ideal range appears to be 10-30mg per dose or shot. To accomplish this, you will want to incorporate 1.5-2g into 375 ml (a mickey) or 3-4 g into 750 ml (26 oz). This depends on the potency of the starting product and the time allotted to extraction. If you have 24h+ to make your tincture, the lower estimate can be used; to maximize the potency of a speedy extraction, higher amounts can be applied.

After soaking the cannabis in alcohol for 8-36 hours, strain the liquid component into a well-labelled container and press the remaining tincture from the plant debris. The liquid may be more or less green, the colour is not associated with potency; extractions made with high percent alcohol may be nearly clear. Aside from mushroom combinations, this tincture can be used in lieu of the solvent alcohol in nearly any drink.

Most people use vodka or a clear spirit for cannabis tinctures, however any solvent can be used. Rum or whisky can provide added nuance to a cannabis infusion, gin and tequila can enhance the herbal notes of the dried flower. Depending on the drinks you intend to serve, or if the tincture will mainly be mixed with cola, an alcohol of at least 80 proof will provide the base you need.

The Mushroom Component

Mushrooms are mainly consumed in the dried state, powdered or whole. In terms of an extraction, the active ingredient psilocybin is readily soluble in water. Like THCA and THC, psilocybin is the “pro-drug” of psilocin; like THC, psilocin is active on the body, while THCA and psilocybin have negligible effects. Psilocin is very unstable in solution, so unless the extraction will be used on the same day, conversion should be minimized.

Since water is the best solvent for carrying psilocybin, a brew or tea can be made. Similar to cannabis, smaller particles are amenable to a complete extraction; grinding or milling the dried mushrooms into powder will ensure the best result. Since psilocybin is stable up to nearly 160°, boiling or simmering the mushroom product in water is an excellent method for extraction. Within 15-30 minutes at a simmer, most of the active ingredients will have been leached into the water.

For this recipe, we will want to use the minimal amount of water to produce our tea, making it usable in mixed drinks and cocktails. The average dose for a mushroom experience is around 2g of dried P. cubensis, the most popular species of cultivated shroom; lower doses can still produce effects and has contributed to the popularity of “microdosing.”

Aiming for 100-200 ml of water per gram of ground mushrooms is ideal, though more is possible. After the infusion is complete, the liquid can further be simmered to concentrate the liquid without limiting potency significantly. The most important aspect of this production is remembering the amount of mushrooms by weight that was included in the infusion. This will dictate dosing, dilution with water is an option if a lower potency is desired.

The infusion can be stored in a well-labelled container in the fridge. This will prevent excess degradation or oxidation. It may assume a blue tinge over time, this is simply the oxidation of psilocin and does not indicate a gain or loss of strength. Calculating the “dry weight” dose of 45 or 90 ml of the liquid allows for easy mixing into cocktails. A single shot of this elixir is equally an option for easy dosing.

The Cocktails

Canna-Cola

  • 45 ml (1.5 oz) Cannabis Tincture
  • Top with Cola or Soda

A simple option that can usurp a Rum and Coke. Depending on the alcohol used for the infusion, the options are endless.

Shroom-Fizz

  • 45-90 ml Mushroom Extract
  • Top with Ginger Ale

The ginger helps to mask any unwanted flavours of the mushrooms while helping to quell and nausea that may occur.

Green and Gold

  • 45 ml (1.5 oz) Cannabis Tincture
  • 45-90 ml Mushroom Extract
  • Soda Water or Tonic Water

For the experience revellers, this drink highlights the individual aspects of the ingredients and packs a punch of mellow, psychedelic adventure.

The Other World

  • 45 ml (1.5 oz) Cannabis Tincture
  • 45-90 ml Mushroom Extract
  • Top with Orange Juice

The acidity of the orange juice will amplify the mushroom component of this mix. Experienced users can expect a smooth transition from a cannabis body high to short-lived but intense psychedelic experience.

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