For generations in every corner of the Earth, countless elixirs have come in the form of a syrup that goes down easy and provides relief from what ails you, a powerful high, and oftentimes both. The same principle applies to THC syrup, a unique and potent way of ingesting cannabis that you may have heard of lately.
But what is THC syrup? First off, let’s look at what it isn’t.
What exactly is THC syrup?
This liquid marijuana (not to be confused with the cocktail) is made by infusing vegetable glycerine with cannabis concentrate or oil and adding sugar or other sweeteners during preparation. Recipes abound on the internet for THC syrup, and many of them vow to create a syrup that mimics the viscosity and sugary sweetness of cough syrups, just without that medicine flavor. It can also be purchased at dispensaries in legal cannabis jurisdictions, though it can be expensive and hard to find.
Unless you added any antihistamines and the like (which you shouldn’t), don’t expect any of those sorts of medicinal effects, though.
What can you use THC syrup for?
You already have several grams of premium flour, some THC gummies, and a pipe or some papers within arms reach, why bother with THC syrup?
THC syrup is popular with users because it has all the same effects as marijuana edibles, but with an onset that users say can be far quicker. While a hash brownie or a THC gummy can take well over an hour to kick in, the internet is abound with people swearing you can feel the effects of THC syrup in around a half hour or so, possibly even sooner, although there is no scientific evidence of rapid onset.
Like any edible or oral method of taking cannabis, one might choose to use THC syrup as an alternative to smoking or simply because it is more discrete.
How THC syrup is different than smoking
Edibles in general are popular because they produce a high that is far different than that of smoking or vaping. When cannabis is smoked, the THC enters the bloodstream almost immediately, producing a very rapid onset of the high. With edibles, THC must first travel through the digestive tract to the liver, where it is metabolized into 11-hydroxy-THC. This is not the only reason why edibles take longer to kick in, but it’s why they produce a different high than smoking.
Studies have shown that 11-hydroxy-THC is stronger than THC, and anyone who has taken edibles (especially a large dose) can tell you that the high lasts longer and can be more intense, producing both a strong body high and a powerful cerebral effect.
If mixed into a soft drink, THC syrup can create a cannabis beverage of sorts, though THC syrup is very different in terms of consistency. Cannabis beverages involve emulsifying THC directly into beverages (like fruit juices or soft drinks). And while the technology has improved in recent years, the consistency can be rather hit or miss, and it has even been likened to spoiled milk because chunks or lumps will sometimes appear in the beverage.
Cannabis beverages can also have a long onset time like standard edibles — well over an hour — though this has begun to improve as the industry has invested more time and effort (read: money and research) into producing rapid onset beverages.
How To Make Weed Syrup
There is another way to easily infuse your cuisine with cannabis. Canna-syrup. It is super easy to make at home and once made, it is the perfect compliment to many edibles. It is also the perfect additive to canna-beverages.
One of the greatest things about cannabis is that there are literally so many things you can do with it. When it comes to edibles, in particular, this is still wide-open territory. Part of that is the pace of legalization. However part of this is also the fact that people just do not know how to cook with cannabis.
One of the easier ways to infuse your edibles with cannabinoid goodness is to create either cannabutter or oil. However, there are other options. Cannabis syrup is an often overlooked but highly tasty one. It is also super easy to make. Once made, it can be used as the basis for THC-infused beverages from teas and lemonade to a killer canna-cocktail.
WHAT YOU NEED
- 3 cups of filtered water
- 3 cups fine granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons vegetable glycerine (found at most health food stores)
- 2g finely chopped/ground cannabis
- 1 jar or bottle
- 1 saucepan
- Strainer or cheesecloth
HOW TO MAKE
Add the sugar and water in the saucepan. Bring to a boil.
Stir until sugar is completely dissolved then add the cannabis. Cover the pot and allow it to boil gently for another 20 minutes. This is the most important step as the heat will decarboxylate the cannabis. This is also when the THC will be transferred into the syrup.
To prevent the liquid from getting too hot, keep the liquid at a low roiling boil.
At the 20 minute mark, reduce the temperature. Add the glycerine.
Let the mixture simmer for another 5-6 minutes, keepign a close eye on the pot. Remove the lid and stir quickly every minute.
Remove the pot from the heat. Carefully pour the hot syrup through the strainer or cheesecloth into your container. Go slowly. The idea is to remove all plant matter from the syrup – plus, you don’t want to risk burning yourself.
Let the mixture cool. It will have reduced slightly in this process. However, you should have about 3 cups of syrup.
There are many, many uses for this delicious syrup. That includes as toppings on foods ranging from pancakes to ice cream. Remember that you do not want to eat more than 10 mg per serving.
Then, of course, there is the range of canna-cocktails you can create. Canna-syrup is the perfect addition to non-alcoholic but tasty concoctions that can make you travel over the moon. Who needs alcohol?
For a super tasty, refreshing summer treat, just add sparkling water, a little fruit juice and a dash of your canna-syrup.
Difference between THC syrup and Lean
While THC syrup has its roots in hip hop culture, it should not be confused with “lean”—a term that refers to prescription codeine-promethazine cough syrup mixed with soda and often alcohol.
Also known as purple drank, sizzurp, dirty Sprite, and many other names, different forms of lean have been used since at least the 1960s, when blues singers would mix cough syrup with alcohol for more profound effects.
Less than a year after Three Six Mafia’s “Sippin on Some Sizzurp” exploded on the charts, DJ Screw was found dead in his studio bathroom after suffering a heart attack at only 29 years old.
In 2007, Pimp C of the rap duo UGK was also found dead as a result of a deadly combination of codeine-promethazine and sleep apnea.
THC syrup is also different from “weed lean,” which is simply cannabis-infused purple drank. The THC syrups found in reputable dispensaries are not mixed with cough medicine or opiates like codeine, and therefore do not have the same devastating impacts.
While some producers of THC syrup hope to avoid associations with more dangerous substances, others market their products as viable alternatives to the potentially lethal practice of leanin’.