Sometimes, there are two things just waiting to be combined. The combo makes perfect sense, but there is initial resistance. This is precisely what we’re seeing with the latest weed-related product: Cannabis-infused wine. We all know that the marijuana industry is exploding while the wine industry is valued at $300 billion globally.
Although it makes sense to combine two monster markets, the final product is unusual and not likely to be to everyone’s taste. Perhaps this is why the launch has only happened recently. In November 2018, the House of Saka brand announced its plan to release cannabis-infused wines from Napa Valley. It is a bold move and one that could prove to be a masterstroke.
Introducing Weed Wine!
Perhaps your first concern upon reading the news is that alcohol and marijuana don’t mix well together. Don’t worry! House of Saka is well aware of this fact, which is why its wine is alcohol-free and contains both CBD and THC. Tracey Mason, the CEO of Saka Wines, said she was “confident that cannabis-infused products are the future”.
The founder of House of Saka & Saka Wines, Cynthia Salarizadeh, said that the concept for the idea began five years previously, but she needed a combination of the right time and the right team, to launch the brand’s cannabis-infused wine. It was the right decision not to proceed back in 2013 because numerous states have legalized medicinal and recreational marijuana in the years since.
Salarizadeh said that the brand would launch its wine portfolio during the first quarter of 2019. However, I went to the official Saka website and found that the wine was still not on sale. The webpage said that Saka would be available in California dispensaries by March, but one month on, the wine remains out of reach.
The brand’s CEO went on to say that replacing alcohol with a combination of CBD and THC could have an array of health benefits. No alcohol means less damage to the liver, no recovery time, no hangovers, and there could be several possible health benefits including improved focus, reduced pain relief & inflammation, and better muscle function.
House of Saka will be releasing Saka Rose and Brut Rose from grapes in a single Napa Valley vineyard. These grapes are blended with organically grown marijuana with special THC to CBD ratios. The brand gets its name from the fearless Saka, or Scythian, warriors who allegedly used cannabis seeds to get high approximately 2,500 years ago.
The Science Behind Cannabis-Infused Wine
According to House of Saka, the water-soluble infusion used in the new wines is developed using a patent-pending formulation to ensure the delivery and flavor profile of the cannabinoids is consistent. The brand uses a precise combination of cannabinoids and terpenes.
Once the wine is available, you should feel the effects between 5 and 14 minutes, assuming you drink a 6oz glass of wine. One major problem with edibles is the low absorption rate. House of Saka says its wine has an extremely high level of bioavailability. As a result, it shouldn’t take you long to determine what the right amount of wine is for you.
After fermentation, the alcohol is removed from the wine through a proprietary process. A mixture of CBD and THC, which is odorless and tasteless, is added. Mason believes that the water-soluble technology used by the House of Saka gives it a major advantage over the competition. The main benefit is a level of consistency and predictability that other edibles can’t hope to match.
Cannabis-Infused Wine: A Growing Market
Each bottle of Saka contains THC to CBD in a 3 to 1 ratio, and each glass contains between 5mg and 10mg of cannabinoids. It has also been confirmed that the sparkling wine will be more potent than the still version. Those who have sampled the wine say it tastes like a crisp rose, and that you don’t taste any marijuana.
Salarizadeh believes that there is going to be an increase in ‘sophisticated’ customers looking to enjoy marijuana through microdosing. However, it seems as if we have already reached that stage. One Cannabis Consumer Coalition study revealed that women consume weed more often than men, but prefer to do so in doses of 10mg of THC or less.
Eaze sent a survey to approximately 10,000 customers, and the findings were surprising. Of the 78% of female respondents who admitted drinking alcohol, 86% reduced their intake when they began using weed, and 13% replaced alcohol with marijuana completely.
Don’t expect this new product to come cheap! You could be looking at $39 per bottle for still wine and an eye-popping $89 for a bottle of sparkling wine. Each bottle will contain between four and five glasses, and Saka also plans to release a cannabis-infused ice-cream range by the end of 2019, followed by night creams and lotions in 2020.
Saka is Not the Only Game in Town
House of Saka is keen to stress that its water-soluble technology is a game-changer, but several brands have already beaten the company to the punch. The cannabis-infused beverage market is going to be huge. According to Business Insider, the market could hit $600 million in sales during 2022, with almost 60% of revenue coming from THC-infused drinks.
Some of the world’s biggest drinks makers are getting involved. For example, Constellation Brands, perhaps best known for Corona beer, invested $4 billion into Canopy Growth, one of the planet’s biggest marijuana companies.
Indeed, House of Saka isn’t even the only cannabis-infused wine seller in California! Rebel Coast Winery began selling its weed-inspired Sauvignon Blanc in 2018. At the time of writing, the brand said it is out of wine, but it will be back for $60 a bottle in two months. Each bottle contains 35 calories and 20mg of THC. Rebel said its goal is to mimic the experience of traditional wine without the hangover.
CannaVines is another Californian winery offering cannabis-infused wine. Unfortunately, you need to go on a Cannabis Tour to taste this wine, but the brand promises that it will be available for online purchase soon. Other wineries getting in on the action include Greenway in California and Mary Jane’s Magical Hemp Wines which is a Canadian company.
Final Thoughts on Marijuana-Infused Wines
Salarizadeh believes that cannabis-infused beer is mainly targeting a male audience whereas marijuana-infused wine is more suitable for females. She said it enables women to replace alcohol’s harmful side effects and unnecessary calories with something healthier. While she is right about the beer, we think that marijuana-infused wine will be a big hit with a male audience, too. The modern male is more conscious about his appearance and more likely than before to choose a calorie-cutting option.
At present, beverage makers are not allowed to put more than 10mg of THC per serving, so the wines or beers you consume are not likely to get you particularly high, especially if there is also CBD involved. The most important thing is the taste, and Saka Wines are fruity, light, and linger on the palette. However, although the market is going to grow rapidly, paying $89 for a bottle of wine does seem to be a little much!