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Drink Your Gin, It’s Medicine



An interesting tidbit about gin, is that it started as a medicine. Here’s the lowdown on the distilled spirit, and whether it has medical uses today.

History and jenever

One of the biggest realities of both the modern and ancient drug worlds, is that drinking alcohol has consistently been one of the biggest parts of it. Whether we’re talking wine, beer, or distilled spirits, alcohol is the most popular drug today, and overall through history. It’s the kind of thing where we all know what we want by a certain point too. Some go for whiskey on the rocks, some want a nice chardonnay, others prefer to crack open a beer.

Gin is one of the main spirits on today’s market, alongside vodka, whiskey, and rum. For some things, we have history that goes back thousands of years. For some things, we can guess that the history is pretty extensive, but records only tell us for sure back to a certain point. In terms of gin, it was first mentioned in the 13th century in the book Der Naturen Bloeme, as part of a recipe for jenever.

Jenever (also called Dutch gin and Holland gin), is essentially, old-school gin. Like the gin of today, its made from juniper; and is a traditional liquor of Belgium, Netherlands, Northwest Germany, and Northern France. Much like champagne, and balsamic vinegar, its a rather specific product; and technically, only products that meet Belgian standards, Netherlands standards, the standards of two German federal states, or one of two Northern French departments, can be called by this name.

Juniper alcohol like jenever or gin
Juniper alcohol like jenever or gin

Jenever, and gin, were originally made by distilling wine, and then adding herbs to improve the flavor; with juniper as a primary one, for its medical benefits. There are a bunch of variations of jenever with different stipulations of production in terms of the amount of malt wine and sugar used. It’s believed the term ‘dutch courage’ might be a reference to soldiers using jenever before war, as a means of loosening up for battle.

Gin’s popularity

Gin closer to its current form, was used as a medicine by the mid-17th century; for kidney problems, back issues called lumbago, gout, gallstones, and stomach problems. It had also been widely used during the black death, as a protecting agent against the illness. By the beginning of the 17th century, when re-distilling barley and malt wine came back into fashion, different varieties of gin came out.

In the 18th century, England began allowing unlimited production, and this skyrocked the popularity of gin. The allowance did come with alcohol taxes for imported products, though. From 1695–1735, low quality barley was often used, which led to a plethora of low-level gin shops popping up, creating the ‘gin craze.’ It’s generally low price encouraged it to be a prime drink among the poorer classes. Much like we saw with absinthe, gin raked in the blame for a number of social ills.

In 1736 the Gin Act passed, which slapped heavy taxes on the products, leading to riots. It was so unpopular, that by 1742, it was abolished. In its place came the Gin Act of 1751, which required distillers only sell to licensed retailers, all of which went under the watch of local magistrates. It actually became common around this time to add in turpentine for flavoring, alongside the juniper. And when quinine became popular for malaria, it was mixed with tonic, and gin, to create the gin & tonic.

Is gin a medicine?

There are some hard realities to alcohol, and one of them is that alcohol is supremely bad for human health. To the point that studies tend to indicate there isn’t really a safe amount; or a benefit to be gained. Of course, these studies came out well after gin, so did they miss something? Is all other alcohol bad, but gin works as a medicine?

No, of course not. Gin is an example of how good and bad can be mixed together. It’s not the alcohol in gin that’s beneficial after all, but the juniper berries that give it its medicinal benefits. So its not about gin, its about juniper. If you take juniper at the same time you smoke crack or shoot meth, you might still get a benefit from the juniper, but you’ll also get whatever ills come from the drugs.

Gin thought of as a medicine due to juniper
Gin thought of as a medicine due to juniper

Whenever you hear about an alcoholic beverage in the capacity of ‘healthy’ or ‘medicinal,’ what you’re actually hearing, is a testament to some herbal blend within. As alcohol is a good way of extracting plant compounds to form tinctures; its not shocking that a lot of medicinal products throughout history have contained alcohol. Tinctures made today, still do, although the alcohol is in relatively small amounts; and there are alternatives like glycerine.

The better answer for those who want a medicine, is to use the actual juniper plant, instead of gin or jenever. There are a lot of options for products; which involve different methods of extraction, or plant material itself. Its medicinal benefit has 0% to do with alcohol, except for the idea of extracting plant compounds. In fact, given that alcohol is generally bad for the body; those that consume(d) gin regularly, must deal with the alcohol damage, which in the long run erases any benefit of juniper.

This logic, does not stop the plethora of articles out there, from talking about all the reasons that gin is good for your health. These articles mention things like fewer wrinkles, fighting liver and kidney disease, increasing longevity, and help with diabetes. All of this, of course, is relevant to the berries; with little thought by the authors, as to the detriment of consistent alcohol consumption.

Some research touts that there is no safe limit for alcohol, and no benefit. Other sources indicate moderate drinking can be healthful. I go pretty hard on alcohol, but I actually agree with the second point. At least in terms of one specific thing, and how that one thing, affects other things: lowering stress and anxiety. So a healthful benefit can exist; although it does require drinking a poison to get the benefit, and not overdoing it. Consistently going beyond ‘moderation,’ is likely to nullify most any benefit.

With a tincture that uses small amounts of alcohol only, the medicinal elements are not overshadowed. Perhaps drinking a small amount of gin a day is fine as well. But when drinking gin regularly for intoxication (or anything close to that), there should be a much lowered expectation, of gaining positive benefits.

A little more on juniper

That gin was so popular as a medicine, is really just a testament to the power of the juniper plant. This is yet another story of natural medicine, and the benefits of plants. So what is this plant, that helped create one of the most popular alcoholic beverages worldwide, and which was used all throughout ancient history?

Juniper berries
Juniper berries

Juniper is a coniferous plant from the family Cupressaceae. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 50-67 species populate the Northern Hemisphere, Asia, and Central America. Though they don’t produce fruit or flowers, they do produce berry-like coalescing scales, that appear to be fruit; and which are referred to as berries. They can be red-brown, orange, or blue. These seeds, or berries, can be used as a spice, and are the basis for the medicinal value of the plant.

The use of juniper oil is noted all throughout history, going back to the Mesopotamians, who believed it could be used to protect against the evil eye. There is also a noted history with American Indians like the Navajo, who use(d) it for diabetes, and as a source of calcium. And, it has a history over toward England and Ireland, where it was used in folkloric tradition and Gaelic Polytheist saining rites; which were performed during holidays and such. Juniper oil is made by steam-distilling the berries of the tree.

The berries of the plant are used as a spice, and added to many dishes. And, of course, gin. Gin can be made with barley or wine from other sources, but it can also be made directly from the juniper plant. In this method, the berries are fermented with water to make a wine; which is further distilled. This concoction is known as juniper brandy, in Eastern Europe. Junniper was/is used medicinally, for all the things jenever and gin were used for, including as a way to ward off the black death. Beyond using the berries, the plant’s young twigs can also be boiled to make tea.

Aside from food and medicine purposes, juniper wood is very dense and resistant to rotting. Its used for fences and firewood, as well as a specialty wood for products like closets and drawers, under the name cedar or red cedar. This is not to be confused with actual cedar, which is an entirely different plant. Often when speaking of juniper and not cedar, its written as redcedar.


I guess if you’re going to get sloshed (or drink moderately), might as well do it on an alcohol that provides a benefit. Gin is not the only one, by the way, so if that’s your thing, you’ve got options. On the other hand, if what you want is something that’s specific to juniper’s medical benefits; you’re better off nixing the alcohol, and just using the plant.

Welcome drug aficionados; cool that you joined us at We’re an independent publication in the drugs space, here to bring you the most interesting stories going on today. Come by regularly to get all relevant updates; and subscribe to our Cannadelics Weekly Newsletter; so you always know the top new stories.

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Key Things To Know About Hemp And Marijuana Drinks




Hemp and marijuana beverages represent about $4 billion in sales and are only going to get bigger.  Tasty, intoxicating, and available in most states, here are some key things to know about hemp and marijuana drinks. You might enjoy either or both, but where, how and what happens varies between the two.

RELATED: Are CBD Drinks Legal?

Hemp or CBD drinks are created by infusing hemp extract, derived from the cannabis plant, into a liquid base. The most popular hemp-infused drinks include water, juice, tea, and coffee. One of the big differences between marijuana and hemp drinks is the “high”. With  Delta-9 hemp, consumers tend to have a more intense experience and comes on faster than THC.  It is a euphoric high when altered sensory perception and a sense of relaxation.

study proves that cbd reduces some of the mental impairment caused by thc
Photo by MysteryShot/Getty Images

THC or marijuana drinks require digestion (like an edible) for the THC to hit the bloodstream. It takes between 15-20 minutes to kick in, with the effects peaking after approximately 45 minutes. The high from marijuana beverage can be unpredictable, and potentially more intense.

Another big difference is 47 of the 50 U.S. states and DC have legalized the sale and use of hemp-derived CBD products. Bayou City in Texas is a huge brand which sales in mainstream retailers.  Cannabis drinks, a growing market but still way behind gummies, can only be purchased in the 24 legal recreational states.

RELATED: Do CBD Gummies Actually Work?

Additional scientists determined liners inside aluminum cans cause the drinks to lose their potency. These liners are used for different reasons, among them extending the product’s shelf life, preventing the corrosion of the can and, most importantly, protecting the flavor of the drinks themselves. Without these liners, the natural metallic taste of aluminum would seep into the drinks.

“Our theory is the cannabis material, the droplets, will stick to the liner and cling on it. When you open the can to take a drink, it will lose its potency,” said Vertosa founder, Harold Han.

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DIY Cannabis Infused Champagne Recipes for New Years




It’s time to celebrate the end of the year with good friends and a glass of bubbly. This year, try out a cannabis infused champagne recipe, to really get the party started.

Can you infuse cannabis into alcohol?

For some reason, which is generally not made clear, cannabis industries are nearly 100% non-alcoholic. Any place you can legally use or buy weed, generally won’t sell alcohol, and places that sell alcohol, don’t allow cannabis use. Something could certainly be said for simply not wanting people to get too intoxicated by mixing substances; but for the most part, there isn’t much reasoning attached to this segregation.

I will say it is true that after drinking a lot, a few hits off a joint truly can spell disaster in the form of a spinning room and intense nausea. However, rarely in my own experience has this happened, and for the most part, I rather like mixing the two. As of yet, I’ve never actually tried a product that contained both, but these basic cannabis infused champagne recipes will change that this year.

As it happens, alcohol is one of the best products to infuse with cannabis. In fact, alcohol is used to make cannabis tinctures – alcoholic extractions, because alcohol is so good at leaching out the active compounds of the plant, without destroying them. Every time you take a few drops of a tincture, you’re consuming some high proof alcohol at the same time (unless it’s a glycerin tincture). So it automatically suffices to say that the two can go together, and one does not ruin the other.

Cannabis infused sparkling champagne recipe

This first recipe requires just a few ingredients, and can be made with or without cannabis. For those who want just the champagne recipe, simply leave out the green. The recipe consists of these four ingredients:

  • 1 oz. simple syrup (sugar and water solution)
  • 1 oz. lemon juice
  • 1 oz. cannabis-infused gin 
  • 4–5 oz. champagne or sparkling wine
  1. Simply combine the simple syrup, lemon juice, and cannabis infused gin.
  2. Shake it hard for around 10 seconds, and strain into glass of your choice.
  3. Top it off with the champagne or sparkling wine. And add a lemon twist garnish if you really want to get fancy. That’s it, you’re done!
Shake drink
Shake drink

Cannabis infused mimosa

Are you a mimosa lover? The standard mimosa is a combination of champagne and citrus juice, generally orange juice. For those who want to toast to the new year holding one of these, you can use the following recipe for a weed-enhanced version. Plus, this recipe gives the basis for making many other infused drinks. All you need are the following ingredients:

  • 1/8th of weed (3.5 grams)
  • 1 bottle of vodka
  • Citrus juice of your choice
  • Banana liqueur
  1. First you’ll decarboxylate your weed. As there are different ways to do this, and everyone has their own preferences, I won’t go further into specific instructions.
  2. Take the weed, wrap it in cheese cloth (or alternatively panty hose if cheese cloth cannot be found), and place the weed into the bottle of alcohol. Leave the weed to soak for 24 hours.
  3. This particular recipe calls for juicing four oranges, but you can use store bought juice, and generally any citrus juice is accepted. Pour it halfway up your champagne flutes.
  4. Add a tablespoon of the cannabis-infused vodka to each glass.
  5. Fill the glass the rest of the way with champagne.
  6. Top off with banana liqueur.
  7. The recipe also calls for rimming the glass with a mix of sugar and banana liqueur. To do so, put sugar in one bowl, the liqueur in the other, and do a standard glass rim job. Add garnish.

Bubbly Blue Dream cocktail

Yet another cannabis infused champagne recipe will have you seeing blue…at least in your glass. For this recipe you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • 1 oz. cannabis-infused blueberry syrup (separate instructions below)
  • 2 oz. vodka
  • 1/2 oz. blue curaçao
  • 1/2 oz. fresh lemon juice
  • Champagne or sparkling wine

To make the infused blueberry syrup, you’ll need the following:

  • 1 cup blueberries – either frozen or fresh
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 gram ground and decarboxylated cannabis
Blueberry cannabis infused champagne
Blueberry cannabis infused champagne

Combine the blueberries, water, and sugar in a saucepan and put on medium heat. The blueberries will burst in the heat and the whole mixture thickens. At this point add in the weed and simmer for 15 minutes. Strain out the weed particles with mesh sieve or cheesecloth, and allow to cool. Now you’re ready for the real recipe.

  1. Use a shaker filled with ice, and put in the infused blueberry syrup, vodka, blue curaçao, and lemon juice.
  2. Shake it all, and then strain directly into cup (champagne flute or otherwise).
  3. Top it off with champagne or sparkling wine. And if you like, add some blueberries as a garnish for a finishing touch.

As with any form of edible making, its best to start with a lower dose of infused syrup to ensure you don’t overdo it. Raise the amount as you see fit for your own needs.

Sonoma Style champagne cocktail

I’m adding in this final recipe, but it certainly requires a bit more than the others. The reason is because you must first make cannabis bitters, before you can get to the actual recipe. However, once that part is done, there’s not too much to it. To make the bitters, you need several things. However, if you already have a recipe for this, or want something simpler, do that instead. You’ll need the following:

  • ¼ cup dried cherries
  • 2 tbsp dried orange peel
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 5 cardamom pods, cracked
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 star anise
  • ¼ tsp cloves
  • ¼ gentian root
  • ¼ tsp orris root
  • ¼ tsp horehound
  • ¼ tsp angelica root
  • ¼ tsp dandelion leaf
  • 7 grams decarboxylated cannabis
  • 2 cups high-proof rye
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tbsp simple syrup

Put all ingredients in mason jar except for last three. Pour rye over it, and cover everything. Then store it in a cool, dark place for two weeks (yup, got to do some planning for this one.) Make sure to shake your jar daily. Strain after two weeks, and cover.

Take the rest and put in saucepan, cover with water, and heat to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes. This is also put in a mason jar and stored for one week, with daily shaking. Strain with cheesecloth after one week, and add to other mixture. Then add in simple syrup, and shake. Three more days of waiting come next, then strain, and you’re good to go. Luckily this produces quite a bit, so it doesn’t have to be done frequently.

The regular recipe is quite simple in comparison. It requires three ingredients, including the cannabis bitters; with the option of a lemon twist garnish:

  • 1 sugar cube
  • 2-4 dashes of bitters
  • Champagne or sparkling wine
  • Garnish: lemon twist
  1. Cover the sugar cube with the bitters
  2. Put in champagne flute and top it off with sparkling wine.
  3. Add garnish


If you’re going at it without alcohol, here are some tips for getting through the holiday season sober. However, if alcohol and weed are both your things, these recipes can help you put the two together to create an extra smooth ride, for when you raise your glass to ‘Cheers!’

Thanks for joining us and welcome to, an independent drugs publication focusing on the worlds of cannabis, psychedelics, and beyond. Head our way regularly to stay up on what’s going on; and get singed up to the Cannadelics Weekly Newsletter, for access to awesome product promos as well.

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Flavor Affects What Marijuana Edible You Buy




Everyone has a favorite flavor. Instinctually you know what that is whether it’s candy, soda, or popsicles. However, that may change with cannabis edibles and beverages, as sales data shows certain flavors rise above the rest for consumer wallets.

The company identified 73 different flavors currently sold on the market, which can range from hibiscus to red velvet. By a large margin, customers purchase citrus-flavored cannabis beverages and unspecified flavored gummy edibles more than any competing flavored product, according to Headset Analytics data.

Chart courtesy of Headset Analytics

Raspberry and watermelon are also popular with customers. But citrus and lemonade flavored beverages constituted approximately 24.2% of beverage sales over the past month for a reason.

“Citrus flavors are a great way to mask any residual flavor from the cannabis without making the product overwhelmingly sweet,” Liz Connors, Headset’s Director of Analytics, told The Fresh Toast. “Additionally, I think citrus likely just pairs better with the herbal taste from the THC than other flavors might.”

RELATED: Solving For CBD’s Funky Taste Before Beverages Can Go Mainstream

These flavor preferences change with the market, although for reasons that appear unclear. Canadian markets gravitate to milk chocolate edibles far more than American markets do. Milk chocolate commands more than 50% of all edible sales in British Columbia, Alberta, and Ontario provinces. But legal state markets mostly gravitate to cannabis gummies and candies, with different flavor preferences depending on the state.

Chart courtesy of Headset Analytics

Connors hopes retailers and producers use this data to find area of opportunity in the marketplace. “For example, if Berry flavors are common in Gummies but not in Candies this could be a space for a producer to innovate on flavors,” she said.

RELATED: Why You Need To Be Careful Using Edibles The First Time

Fruity flavors like melon, pomegranate, and blueberry were generally more expensive than dessert flavors like chocolate, peanut butter, or snickerdoodle. But neither the cheapest flavor, honey, or the most expensive, eucalyptus, were top choices for consumers.

Chart courtesy of Headset Analytics

So what do customers care about more: price or flavor?

“I suspect that price is the primary driver over flavor,” Connors said. “This is mostly due to the fact that unlike a package of Haribo gummy bears you’re likely only eating one or two cannabis gummies. Even if it’s not your favorite flavor you won’t likely be consuming very many.”

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