Colorado Cannabis Lifestyle

Andrew Mieure How to Offer Cannabis to Your Guests

Andrew Mieure

Andrew Mieure founder of Top Shelf Budtending was featured in a December 21st article by Michelle Janikian.  He is a leader in responsible cannabis consumption. Andrew has been an innovator in moving consumption into mainstream events. He is a creative mixologist who creates a variety of mocktails infused with THC. Top Shelf Budtending mixes the mocktails for Sweet Jane’s Sunday Brunch and Sweet Jane’s Sativa Soiree. Top Shelf Budtending serves more than mocktails.  Andrew and his staff offer insights into responsible consumption and dosage to keep your party lively and your guests safe.

It’s been a great couple of years for legal cannabis. Now that a total of eight states voted to make it 100 percent lawful for adults to consume, one in five Americans will have access to totally legal weed come 2018. Subsequently, attitudes toward the plant are also changing; it’s becoming more sociably acceptable with 45 percent of Americans saying they’ve tried cannabis at least once. The industry is creating jobs, weed social events and weddings are gaining in popularity, even my family is proud I’m a cannabis writer. It’s the perfect year to finally serve cannabis at your family holiday party, but the question is: How?

Before supplying a tray of joints with the appetizers, it’s important to create an open dialogue about the plant with your loved ones. Talk to your parents, aunts, uncles, even your grandparents about why you use cannabis and how it can help them too. Kill any old-fashioned stereotypes they might have about “funny cigarettes” with a frank and honest conversation. The main thing is, you want everyone to feel comfortable around cannabis use. That means removing any stigma and judgement first.

So, you’ve had “the talk”, now it’s time to plan the party. My number one piece of advice is to “micro-serve” everything. Micro-serving is the practice of consuming very small amounts of cannabis to feel relaxed but not too high.

According to Andrew Mieure, Social Consumption Consultant and Founder of Top Shelf Budtending in Colorado, a micro-serving will only contain 2.5 to 5 milligrams (mg) of THC. “Micro-serving is crucial to a positive guest experience,” said Mieure. “It’s making a conscious effort to bypass or minimize the unwanted side effects commonly associated with larger servings of cannabis, like anxiety, short term memory loss and sedation.” Consider Dr. Norm’s single-serving cookies, only 5 mg each.

The next thing to consider: sativa, indica, hybrid or CBD? These refer to the types of cannabis plants which produce different kinds of highs or experiences. Sativas are known for their uplifting and energetic effects, while indicas are known for their sedative effects. Hybrids are a cross between the two, and CBD is a cannabinoid that has all the medical and de-stressing properties of cannabis without any psychoactive effects. “If you’d like everyone to be clear headed, engaged, and talkative, stick to a sativa,” said Catherine Goldberg, Founder and CEO of WeedBar LA, a cannabis event planning service. “If you need your guests to chill out a little bit, a sativa dominant hybrid might be more appropriate. I stay away from serving indicas at parties because someone always falls asleep on the couch.”

“High-CBD options are great for two reasons,” Goldberg added. “The first is that it’s non-psychoactive, making it a great introduction to cannabis. Second, if anyone accidentally gets too high, a high-CBD strain {like Breez Mints’ Cinnamon tins} will bring them down.” If you live in a state where cannabis is legal, you can always ask your local budtender for a recommendation for the perfect party pot, just be honest with them who your guests are!

As far as particular strains go, Goldberg told me her go-to party strain is Jack Herer. “It’s very sociable and clear headed so you can have meaningful conversations with your family,” said Goldberg. Mieure told me, more important than strain name, it’s crucial to serve low-THC, high-CBD varieties with 8 percent THC or less to inexperienced users. “Also look for cannabis that smells floral, spicy, and woody. For new consumers, avoid scents that smell like hops, diesel, and citrus,” Mieure added.

The next thing you have to decide is how to serve cannabis at your party. Joints, edibles, “mocktails”, vaporizers? It will definitely depend on the family and their level of experience. “The most important thing for at home holiday cannabis parties is to be mindful of all of the varying tolerances, guest types, and consumption methods,” said Mieure. “This might seem like a stretch, but even Grandma and Grandpa could enjoy a cannabis party if presented to them properly.”

If your crowd is mostly first-time or inexperienced users, an easy introduction to the world of weed are cannabis mocktails. “Mocktails are the perfect way to bridge the gap between the social feel that having an alcoholic drink in your hand brings and the positive health aspects that cannabis brings to social settings,” said Mieure. In legal states, making cannabis mocktails is easy. Prepare your family’s favorite festive cocktail–sans booze–and add a cannabis tincture instead. Mieure recommended to keep the dose low (2 mg to 5 mg per serving) and cap everyone at 10 mg to 20 mg to avoid over-consumption. Another benefit of mocktails is that they take effect faster than more traditional edibles (like brownies) and they wear off more quickly as well.

To smoke or not to smoke? That is the question. Mocktails are definitely the easiest way to introduce cannabis to your family – but if they’re already well-versed in weed or they’ve been dropping hints that they’re curious, have some pre-rolled joints and a nice vape pen or two handy for an opportune moment.

Again, it’s important to be transparent about cannabis use to make everyone feel comfortable. That being said, if there are kids or those bothered by smoke at your party, keep it separate but not secretive. Passing around a joint can bring people together, and I would recommend it over bowls, bongs, and other smoking devices. “Novice users prefer vaporizers and joints as opposed to bongs because bongs can be viewed as cumbersome with a “process” required to use them properly,” said Mieure.

Guests with little experience smoking (anything) might not be interested in hitting a joint, so don’t pressure them. However, if you have an elegant vape pen handy, chances are they’ll give it a shot, so offer it as an alternative. “Be respectful of members of your family who might not like the smell of cannabis. Vaporizers will provide a healthier, cleaner experience compared to smoking,” said Goldberg.

Lastly, when it comes to edibles, I’d recommend skipping them this year. They’re hard to predict and easy to go overboard. There’s a fine line with edibles between not feeling it at all and feeling it way too much. Keep your holiday party light, fun, and upbeat by sticking to mocktails and possibly joints and vapes. And save those brownies for your New Year’s Day recovery.