Crafting Terpene-Inspired Cannabis-Infused Drinks
**As Seen On MJLifestyle.com**
One of the building blocks and most crucial compounds that differentiates herbal products are terpenes. Terpenes are the organic compounds that give plants, herbs, flowers, and spices varying aromas, flavors, and therapeutic properties. In cannabis, they are produced in trichomes, the special glands that create phytocannabinoids and all of the other special compounds that make cannabis unique. More than 200 terpenes have been identified in cannabis so far, each offering many benefits as well as expressive smells and tastes. Before we explore how to incorporate terpenes into drinks, here’s a quick look at six of the most common terpenes found in cannabis along with their distinctive characteristics.
Beta-Caryophyllene is a therapeutic terpene that is characterized by its spicy black pepper, cinnamon, and clove notes. It is known to be a natural pain reliever, reduces inflammation, and acts as an antioxidant, as well as protects the brain, nervous system, and body by binding to CB2 receptors. It is also one of the most prevalent terpenes found in cannabis.
Limonene is a citrusy terpene that displays pronounced lemon, lime, grapefruit, and tangerine characteristics. Not only is this terpene beneficial for aromatherapy purposes, but it is also a natural stress reducer, can enhance moods, promotes weight loss, and fights depression. If you’re a fan of citrus fruits, you’re a fan of limonene.
Linalool is a restorative terpene that presents floral notes and is found in lavender, citrus blossoms, violets, roses, cannabis, among many other flowers. Linalool promotes relaxation and sleep, as well as a sense of well-being, and is used in many essential oils, soaps, and bath and body products. Linalool is best known to have blissful side effects, or in other words, I consider it to be the spa terpene!
Myrcene is one of the most common terpenes found in cannabis and is often characterized by its signature notes of mixed herbs, forest floor, mushroom, skunk, tropical fruits, and earthy undertones. As a natural remedy, studies have shown this terpene has the ability to relax muscles, slow bacterial growth, and can help promote sleep. This terpene can be quite sedative, so myrcene-rich strains are usually best enjoyed before bedtime.
Nerolidol is a useful terpene that is found in cannabis and several different plants, herbs, flowers, and spices. It can be easily absorbed through the skin which makes it an excellent addition to cannabis-infused topicals, such as lotions, moisturizers, and salves. Known for its relaxing qualities, nerolidol can be described as perfumey and floral-like with hints of jasmine, wood, and ginger flower. It is also a common ingredient that’s found in perfumes and scented candles.
Pinene is a principal monoterpene that’s found in pine trees and other conifers, but high levels of pinene can also be found in cannabis, pine needles, pine nuts, dill, rosemary, and other herbs. When consumed, this refreshing terpene has the ability to help with asthma, acts as an anti-inflammatory, provides energy, promotes alertness, and can help aid in memory retention.
By tapping into your senses, you can train your nose and palate to identify different terpene profiles in your favorite cannabis strains. Once you learn to recognize the differences between each terpene, you can easily create the perfect flavor pairings to craft infused drinks.
(photo credit: Colleen Eversman of 2nd Truth Photography for The Ultimate Guide to CBD)
While many cannabis products can often present pronounced herbaceous flavors when mixed into a beverage, I recommend not trying to mask the flavor of cannabis, but complement its terpene profile instead. One of the best ways to do this is by incorporating terpene-rich ingredients into your drink recipes. Some of the best ingredients include citrus, tropical fruits, mint, lavender, cinnamon, black pepper, mixed herbs, fresh dill, seasonal flowers, and sometimes ingredients with savory, earthy flavors. Whether you’re using fresh-pressed juices, infused simple syrups mixed with different herbs, fruits, and spices, homemade botanical bitters, shrubs, or simply adding an aromatic garnish, there are many ways you can incorporate terpene-rich ingredients to enhance a canna-cocktail!
To celebrate this concept, I am pleased to share a beverage that’s featured in my new book, Cannabis Drinks: Secrets to Crafting CBD and THC Beverages at Home, releasing this April 2021. Introducing the Raspberry Rickey. Refreshingly tart with a hint of sweetness, this easy-to-make nonalcoholic drink is bursting with bright limonene notes followed by luscious undertones of freshly muddled raspberries and cannabis-infused rich simple syrup. With a seasonal flower garnish, this recipe also presents blissful hints of linalool which greets the nose and palate as you sip and savor this delicious elixir.
Traditionally, the rickey is made with gin and lime juice with a splash of sparkling water; however, to make this a tasty spirit-free mixed drink, we will skip the gin this time and focus on the other ingredients. If you’re not a mixology pro, don’t worry. This is a perfect terpene-inspired recipe to begin with since it’s very simple to create. Keep reading on for more, and be sure to pick up a copy of Cannabis Drinks, now available to order. Cheers, and enjoy!
The Herb Somm’s Raspberry Rickey
Featured in Cannabis Drinks: Secrets to Crafting CBD and THC Beverages at Home
Yield: 1 serving
Target Dose: 7.5 mg CBD | 2 mg THC per drink (using Cannabis-Infused Rich Simple Syrup, find the recipe in the book) or your preferred dose (using a commercially made CBD or THC tincture of your choice, see note below)
1/4 cup (33 g) raspberries
1 ounce (30 ml) fresh-squeezed lime juice
1/2 ounce (15 ml) Cannabis-Infused Rich Simple Syrup (find the recipe in the book)
Lime wheel and seasonal flowers, for garnish
In a shaker tin, muddle the raspberries and lime juice. Add the infused simple syrup and ice, then cover and shake for 15 seconds or until fully chilled. Using a fine-mesh strainer, separate the solids from the liquid over an old-fashioned glass filled with fresh ice. Top the drink with a splash of club soda and give it a good stir. Express the lime over the glass, then garnish with a lime wheel and seasonal flowers for a boost of terpene-rich aromatics.
Note: If you don’t have the supplies to infuse the Rich Simple Syrup at home, simply substitute regular rich simple syrup, then, add your favorite unflavored tincture (at your preferred dose) into the shaker tin before muddling. Follow the directions as written.
Text & Photo © 2020 Jamie Evans–The Ultimate Guide to CBD: Explore the World of Cannabidiol
Text & Photo © 2021 Jamie Evans–Recipe from Cannabis Drinks: Secrets to Crafting CBD and THC Beverages at Home
About the Author:
Jamie Evans is the founder of The Herb Somm and author of The Ultimate Guide to CBD: Explore the World of Cannabidiol and Cannabis Drinks: Secrets to Crafting CBD and THC Beverages at Home. She is an author, entrepreneur, and writer specializing in cannabis, food, recipes, wine, and the canna-culinary world. In addition to her work in the cannabis industry, Jamie has over a decade of wine industry experience and is a Certified Specialist of Wine. Having represented a wide array of organizations and wineries, she is best known for her literary work and producing high-end events. She was also named as one of Wine Enthusiast Magazine’s Top 40 Under 40 Tastemakers in 2018. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter @TheHerbSomm.