Booze isn’t for everyone. In fact, many people who struggle with alcohol addiction have found marijuana a much safer alternative (though even that isn’t for everyone, and can be abused in other ways). That said, it’s summer, and non-drinkers will inevitably find themselves at a barbecue or picnic where everyone is guzzling down frosty ones.
It can feel awkward to be the only one without a solo cup in your hand at a party, and it’s easier to blend into a drinking crowd when you’re still sipping alongside them, even if that beverage is alcohol free. Enter: Dixie Elixirs. On top of peddling THC extract droplets that are perfect for adding to beverages for a slightly softer, hazier experience, Dixie Elixirs strives for cannabis education and advocacy. The company makes its own infused sodas, too, including next-gen (and all-natural) drinks like Cherry Limeade, Half & Half, and Fruit Punch.
MERRY JANE got with Chief Marketing Officer Joe Hodas to talk about edibles’ long history, philanthropy in the industry, and Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure. He also shares a recipe for an ideal summertime treat he calls his “Root Beer Floating.” Yeehaw!
Root Beer Float(ing)
12 oz. of your favorite root beer
15 ml of Dixie Root Beer Elixir (dose can vary, according to user)
2 scoops vanilla bean ice cream
Pour the root beer into a frosty glass. Add Dixie Root Beer Elixir, stirring gently. Carefully drop the ice-cream on top. Add a straw and tall spoon to serve.
Other lifted beverage offered by Dixie Elixirs. Photo via the company's website
MERRY JANE: Tell me how Dixie Elixirs developed.
Joe Hodas: Well, that’s a long story! But, the short version is that Dixie was formed in 2009/2010 as the medical marijuana industry was beginning to really take shape in Colorado via a regulatory environment that allowed for licensure of MIPS, retail, and cultivation. We began with pretty much a single-product line, known then as a “pot soda.” But the company soon began to make its mark by creating a depth and breadth of innovative edibles, topicals, and tinctures — all with a big focus on flavor and precision dosing.
Most people associate weed-infused consumables with food, not drinks. DE has other goodies like candy and topicals, but beverages is part of the name. How is weed different when drank? How does the liquid form enable the THC to work differently, if it does?
The most important aspect of a liquid delivery system is the time to effect. For many edibles, where more significant digestion is at play (think chocolates or baked goods), it can take an hour or longer to begin feeling the effects of the THC. While liquids do still pass through the liver, the liquid aspect allows for uptake prior to digestion via oral mucosa (the mouth) and other soft tissues on the way down.
Pro tip: When consuming a THC beverage, swish it around in your mouth a bit before you swallow in order to maximize the oral mucosal uptake. And of course, when it’s a Dixie product, to enjoy the flavor.
What are some other good ways to infuse cannabis into drinks — alcoholic and not?
We never recommend mixing alcohol and cannabis (though I have no doubt that many do leverage our elixirs for that type of a mixed drink). We also make tinctures in great flavors like watermelon and ginger mango, which can be added to teas, juices, or even sparkling water to create a great infused drink.
Tell me about some early lessons learned when dabbling with weed outside the smoking realm. Any funny stories to share?
Truth be told, edibles have been around for a long time via iconic home products like the venerable dorm room pot brownie. Of course, today’s edibles are a far cry from those early home cooked concoctions that generally involved a bag of swag/ditch weed and a stick of butter. Now we use clean oil extraction and lab testing to ensure precision, homogenous dosing, and great flavor. The advantage, beyond the obvious of making better tasting/better looking commercially available product, is that there is much more awareness and information regarding how products are dosed and how to ensure a safe experience with edibles.
As for funny stories, I don’t want to date myself, but long before Dixie, I had the experience of trying the aforementioned dorm room recipe before attending a theater showing of Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure. Only, I didn’t find it so excellent. If I knew then what I know now, I could have told my past self a few things that would have made for a much better night...
Explain a little about the recipe you're sharing today. Any pairing suggestions?
Now, this one isn’t too complex, but it’s a great recipe for summer, Independence Day, and backyard BBQs. And the best part is that with this particular root beer float, we make a donation to the Veterans Sportsmans Alliance for every bottle purchased. Obviously, the root beer, the vanilla, and even the slight hint of cannabis all pair really nicely together with a combo of that earthy-but-sweet flavor. And this dessert recipe really does go well with BBQ and meats, but can be refreshing with grilled vegetables, as well.
But my favorite part of this recipe, and the many others we have created for elixir “mocktails,” is that it really helps to redefine what the cannabis drink is [and what it] can be for the consumer and patient. Rather than viewing it like a single-serve soda or juice, we hope that our fans use Dixie Elixirs in a very social way that transforms that bottle into a wealth of great cocktails for multiple (adult-only) occasions. At lower doses, and when mixed with other natural, healthy beverages like juices, etc., you can have a lower dose (3-5mg) that you can appropriately titrate, just as you would with an alcoholic beverage. If you want one, two, or three — it’s up to the consumer/patient to achieve the desired effect. Makes for a great twist to social gatherings.
For more on Dixie Elixirs, visit the company's website here
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