Yield: 6 cups lemonade
Prep time: 10-15 minutes if tincture is already made. 24 hours if not.
As the saying goes, when life gives you lemons, smoke weed and drink lemonade. Or just smoke weed and wonder why a handful of lemons just fell from the sky into your lap, and if you should consider seeing a neurologist.
But whatever life has thrown your way, if it’s hot outside or you just need a great thirst quencher that will get you high and help fight off scurvy, then THC lemonade is your friend.
Here’s why we love it.
A lemonade stand we’d love to see
In rain, wind, snow or pandemic lockdowns, there is little that can compete with a freshly rolled joint of incredible weed, or a perfectly packed bowl of herb resting in the stem of an iced out bong that is just the right height.
But you can always find an excuse to mix things up a bit and if you clicked on a recipe for weed lemonade, then chances are you are not an anti-Edibleite. (By the way, if you don’t like edibles, this is probably why.)
Edibles produce a feeling that is quite different from smoking and can produce a potent body and mental high that can last for hours without needing to deal with any smoke, pipes, lighters, or the people who steal them. And marijuana lemonade? Chilled down in a tall glass pitcher, it’s an environmentally friendly way to cool off in the summer and the perfect thing to whip out when friends come by or to hand to the mailman when he or she is strolling past your porch in need of a cool libation.
(Note from our legal, ethical, and editorial teams: Never give people edibles without their knowledge. This is not informed consent and if the person in question is a federal employee there may be mandatory minimum sentencing at trial.)
Cannabis beverages: About those incredible, drinkable edibles
Cannabis beverages make for an easy elevator pitch: What if you could have happy hour, but people just got high without hangovers or any serious HR complaints? When done right, drinkable weed produces the same great high of other edibles without any of the smoke or hassle of other intake methods, with a relatively quick onset time. Beverages also add a bit more harmless fun to the mix, by allowing you to make all your favorite mocktails (or lemonades, fancy coffees, and sacramental wines) with a little dash of THC to put everything on a whole different wavelength.
Unfortunately, cannabis beverage makers have traditionally been stymied by the fact that THC is not water soluble, and not only takes a long time to kick in, but also doesn’t break down in water. This means that cannabis drinks can have a chunky or gritty consistency, which has driven the industry to look for new means of nanoemulsion to seamlessly blend THC and beverages.
Luckily, you don’t need to invest millions in nanoemulsion technology or to even know what nanoemulsion is. Rather, you just need to make a weed tincture, and add some to the drink of your choice.
First things first though, keep in mind to watch out for these common edibles mistakes.
Common edibles mistakes
The most common edibles cautionary tale is one you may have already heard: A well meaning “friend” whips up a batch of edibles or buys a brand of gummies they’ve never tried before and downs a single serving. After 30-45 minutes they aren’t feeling anything, so they go in for seconds, only to soon realize that they should have waited for the first dose to kick in.
With edibles, you can’t fatally overdose but you could experience a high that is too intense for your liking leading to all sorts of unpleasantries. The best way to avoid this is to take your time, start with a low dose, and just wait and see how you feel. With something as delicious as lemonade it may be hard to stop yourself from going back for seconds, but until you know the right dose for you, it’s best to take your time.
The other main mistake is to forget to decarboxylate your cannabis, which in the case of this recipe will leave you with what is basically just a batch of Country Time Lemonade, which can be delicious, but won’t get you high (unless they’ve really changed their recipe).
What is decarboxylation?
Decarboxylation is simply a chemical process in which cannabis is heated up until the cannabinoid THCA, which is what the plant itself produces, converts to THC, allowing you to get high. When you smoke or vape your cannabis, this takes place almost instantaneously as the flame hits the flower. But when you ingest weed, the decarboxylation process must be carried out before you eat it, otherwise there will be no intoxicating effect.
To decarboxylate cannabis, just take some ground-up cannabis and bake it in the oven for about 30-45 minutes at around 220-245°F (105-120°C).
To learn more and find our step-by-step directions: How to decarboxylate cannabis.
Infusing your lemonade with a tincture
If you can buy a tincture where you live, that’s probably the easiest route. If you need to make your own or you’re just more of a DIY kind of person, you can follow these instructions.
A tincture is an extract that is typically made by taking the flowers, leaves, or bark of a plant, and soaking them in alcohol.
Cannabis tinctures are a popular way to ingest cannabinoids and for many patients or just casual cannabis fans, they can be an easy way to carry out precision dosing.
How to make a cannabis tincture
- ⅛ ounce cannabis flower (3.5 grams)
- 4 ounces Everclear, 151, or similarly very high proof liquor
- Glass jar
- Dark glass dropper bottle
Grind the cannabis flower up quite nicely and decarboxylate it in the oven. Once it has cooled, pour it into an airtight glass jar and add in the Everclear. Give it a few good stirs and then seal it closed.
Leave the mix in a dark place and let it soak. Some recipes call for letting it soak for days or even weeks, but within 24 hours you should be in good shape. Once it’s done soaking, simply pour the mixture through a cheesecloth to remove the plant matter, and pour the tincture into a dark glass dropper bottle.
THC lemonade recipe
For a simple cannabis lemonade recipe made using a THC tincture, we recommend you make a BYOT (Bring Your Own Tincture) version of this very easy, standard lemonade recipe from allrecipes.
The best part is, once you’ve made the tincture, you’ve already finished the only (relatively) hard part.
- 6 cups of cold water
- Juice of 6 lemons or enough until you have 1 cup of juice
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 gallon pitcher
- Cannabis tincture (you’ll want to add the amount you would normally take multiplied by 6)
- Squeeze all of the lemons and place the juice in the pitcher, making sure to remove any seeds.
- Add the sugar and mix well. The recipe doesn’t call for this, but you may consider simmering the sugar with a small amount of the water in a saucepan until all of it melts completely. This will make it easier to mix it seamlessly with the liquid.
- Add in the water and the tincture.
- Mix well and refrigerate for at least three hours.
How much lemonade should you drink?
Cannabis tolerance can depend on a wide range of factors. For edibles, this includes how often you consume cannabis, the strength of the cannabis used in the recipe, what else you’ve eaten that day, and how quickly you consume it, among other factors.
There isn’t a black and white definition of what is too large a dose, rather, it is a very personal thing and this is why anyone trying out a new edible formulation should take it low and slow that first time.
With cannabis lemonade, this means drinking one small glass and giving it at least an hour to gauge the results. The good thing is, you already have a cannabis tincture on hand so it should be easy to give yourself another few drops if need be.