We often get the craziest of brainwaves in the most unexpected settings and situations. One such crazy (in an awesome way) maniac is Adam Stites. One day on a never-ending drive home, Stites was struck by this crazy lightening that for some reason made him wonder What would happen if I infused heavy cream with cannabis, then mixed it with my coffee?”
He put the idea into action by downing a cup full of caffeine and cannabis the moment he got home. The dose turned out to b so strong that Stites was wide-awake for the next 13 hours on a single cup of the concoction! This obviously got his clock works churning faster and he roped in Mirth Provisions to vend a marketable version of his invention: marijuana-infused cold-brew coffee, doused with 20 milligrams of THC (an active ingredient in marijuana) per serving.
Adam Stites wasn’t done with being bold so he went ahead and named his brainchild ‘Legal’.
Cannabis Caffeine Convolutions
Easy as it may sound, the drug-infused coffee is not easy to concoct. A convoluted process goes into its making which starts with combining the weed and beans into a functional mix. This alone is a tedious job as coffee and cannabis molecules separate when brewed because cannabis oil is not water-soluble.
Also, to obtain a good flavor, Stites had to look for the perfect cannabis extract.
Let’s get into a bit of biological background of marijuana. Cannabis comprises two components: THC, the psychoactive element most closely associated with feeling high, and CBD, which has no hallucinogenic impact and usually leads to alertness. The two major species of marijuana, sativa and indica, contain varying proportions of THC and CBD.
So for the blend to work out perfectly, Statis had to dig for a strain that had an ideal ratio of both the cannabis components. This required straining through over 50 varieties of the plant.
The High Market
In California, where marijuana is legal for medical purposes, Jill Amen’s Bay Area-based House of Jane also serves up a house-baked coffee. Amen uses specialised filters in pre-packaged pouches that let the weed particles pass freely into the brewed liquid. The concoction comes in various strength levels that go up to 200mg in a single serving (plus a creamer containing 20mg per dose).
Another establishment in California offers the blend. LA’s Compelling & Rich uses “herb conditioned” Ethiopian Yirgacheffe beans. Owner and roast master Kian Abedini calls his process “hot-boxing the roasting room” during which beans are exposed to vaporized marijuana when still green and unroasted. This means that the remaining residue is insufficient for drinkers to get high.
“Coffee enhances marijuana’s addictive properties,” Gary Wenk, an Ohio State neuroscience professor and author of Your Brain on Food, explains to The Chicago Tribune.
“Since it turbocharges marijuana’s euphoria in that way coffee spiked with weed could lead to dependence on the latter.
“If [drugs] share some molecular mechanisms, their effects might become additive, or even synergistic. That’s why it’s never a good idea to combine psychoactive drugs. The effects can be hard to predict”, he adds.
The biggest challenge for this growing industry is that the current laws bar consumption on premises in coffee shops. Basically, Legal and its subordinates must be brewed-and consumed-at home.
Stites is prepared for those rules to change, saying that Legal’s production process could be adapted for serving at a café.
According to him, weed-infused coffee could easily be brewed on demand, in the same way European-style espresso is charged with a slug of grappa. The only tweak here would be a tiny drop of concentrated hash oil on top of that foam. Okay then!
The Legal coffee range consists of plain coffee, coffee with sugar and milk, and even fruit drinks, each juiced with its own herb recipe. So you don’t really have to be a coffee person to get baked in the morning. The juices to will be happy to help!