Imagine meeting up with your friends for a beer and selecting your beverage based on the effect it will have on your body and mind rather than the style or taste. Now, take this further and imagine selecting a beer based on whether it makes you calmer, happier or more energetic. This could be the future, thanks to more and more brewers experimenting with cannabis and hemp in their beer styles. Could marijuana really be the future for beer?
Cannabis and hemp beer is experiencing an all-time high (pun intended) in the beer community right now, so we thought we would introduce you to the concept, dispel a few myths and give you some reasons to seek out this unique variety. As we write, cannabis, hemp, and marijuana beers are flooding the market. But what are they like, how do they taste and more importantly, how do they make you feel? In this article, we’ll give you the lowdown on cannabis and hemp-infused beers and give you some of your recommendations of legal brews to try.
What is Cannabis and Hemp Infused Beer?
There are several products on the market that contain cannabis or hemp derivatives. To get a better idea of the different varieties out there, let’s break them down one by one. There are more and more varieties hitting the shelves and being made available online, so it should be easy to find one you like after a little experimentation.
CBD-infused beer is an alcohol-free beer that has been brewed using cannabidiol (CBD). CBD is the non-psychoactive component present in marijuana. In other words, it does not get you high. In fact, it does the complete opposite, creating a calming effect on the drinker. You might get a little bit of a body buzz, but you won’t experience any effect on your cognitive function.
THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol to give it its full name, is the psychoactive component in marijuana that produces the high. Due to the current federal law, it is illegal to add THC to any drink containing alcohol.
Hemp beer is brewed using terpenes, the aromatic compounds that are found in both hops and cannabis. These beers contain the aromas and flavors found in marijuana, but not the CBD or THC.
So, why brew cannabis or hemp infused beer? What’s the attraction? Well, there are plenty of reasons that brewers are doing it – novelty factor, an alternative way to consume cannabis for non-smokers, self-medication and the challenge of adding something brand new that pushes the boundaries and gets people talking. No matter what the reason, the decriminalization, and legalization of cannabis for both recreational and medical use in various countries around the world has opened the market up for new brewing opportunities. What’s more, cannabis and hemp are close cousins to hops, so lend themselves naturally to the brewing process.
Does Cannabis Beer Get You High?
That’s the question on everybody’s lips and the answer is, well, it depends. If the cannabis beer you are drinking contains THC, it has the potential to get you high. If not, the only buzz you’ll get is from the alcohol.
What Does Cannabis and Hemp Beer Taste Like?
As with all beers, the taste of cannabis beers will differ from brewery to brewery, but most will have an almost savory, dry flavor that is less sweet than traditional beers. As for hemp beers, some people describe them of smelling like “bong water”, but tasting sweet and hoppy.
5 Cannabis-Infused and Hemp-Infused Beers to Try
Two Flowers IPA – CBD-Infused Beer
Brewed by the Coalition Brewing Company, Two Flowers IPA is infused with CBD and delivers the flavor of a west coast IPA. The result is a crisp, light, refreshing and bitter taste with a medium hoppy aroma. And the effects? Well, reviewers have described it as being similar as having a few beers while sitting in a hot tub. Others have used the words “naturally calming” and “elevating” when describing Two Flowers.
Grainwave Belgian-Style White Ale – De-alcoholized Cannabis Beer
This Belgian-style white ale has been infused with THC, and so contains no alcohol. However, it still delivers a medium-bodied and refreshing taste with notes of coriander and blood orange.
Hi-Fi Hops – IPA-Inspired Cannabis Beer
If you want a new spin to your normal IPA. try a Hi-Fi Hops cannabis beer. This sparkling beverage might be zero alcohol, zero carbs, and zero calories, but it comes back with THC extracted from the finest, sun-grown cannabis. It’s a refreshing no-alcoholic alternative that is sure to be a talking point.
Hop Chronic – THC-Infused India Pale Ale
Hop Chronic provides a feel-good alternative for people who don’t want to smoke or vape. The brewers. Flying Dog Brewery describes it as a low-alcohol beer with strong hop characteristics.
Bubba Kush Root Beer – THC-Infused Root Beer
Okay, so it might not be a beer exactly, but THC-infused root beer is well worth a try. Sip it on its own or try it poured over ice cream to create the ultimate root beer float.
So, Could Cannabis Beer Be the Future?
The great thing about most cannabis-infused beers is that they are alcohol-free. That potentially means a clearer head the next day and none of the other hangover effects you can expect with normal beers. They also contain fewer calories than traditional beers. Oh, and there is the social aspect. You wouldn’t consider toasting a bride and groom at a wedding with a joint or vape pen, but you can do that with a de-alcoholized beer containing THC.
While cannabis-infused beers may not be a threat to traditional beers just yet, there may be some health and social benefits to considering “weed beer” over an alcoholic beverage. It’s going to be interesting to see what happens across the industry in the next few months. We will, of course, keep you posted on the latest news relating to cannabis-infused and hemp-infused beers, so stay tuned.