Just imagine yourself sitting outside enjoying a cold amber brew under the sun. Now, imagine yourself enjoying that same beer infused with savory flavors and aromas of your favorite cannabis-derived product. For the ‘cannathusiast’ this may seem like a dream, but pretty soon it won’t be all that hard to imagine. From powders that are capable of dissolving and pre-rolled joints to sparkling waters and disposable vape pens, the cannabis market has created many different ways to consume our cannabis. And, the closer we move towards the legalization of hemp, we can’t help but imagine what other new creations will spring up! In fact, right now hemp-infused beer is on the rise over all the world. But what exactly is in it? Well, really just the extracts of hemp plants with the exclusion of alcohol.
We understand if this might excite you enough to go and drench a 16 ounce of your favorite brew over a few hemp nuggets, but there’s a little more to the process than that. In this article, we will help you learn a thing or two about one healthy, alcohol-free way to enjoy a buzz from a beverage that’s hitting the shelves nearly everywhere.
The Craft Beer Industry Explores cannabis Extracts
Whether a novice or seasoned brewer, making beer, in general, requires a certain level of experience still not fully grasped by many — no matter how many Youtube videos you watch. We don’t mean to discourage you the least bit. However, if you want to make something really delicious-tasting, the challenges involved in the brewing process are many and leaves little room for error. And perhaps we can say the same for cultivating the hemp plant and creating different products, but we’ll save that process breakdown for a later article. So, how is this herbaceous alcoholic beverage made?
Well, one thing’s for sure, simply throwing in cannabis leaves into the brewing process will not work, as it can make the portion control quite challenging. This kind of infused beer requires professional extraction of compounds found inside the husk of the cannabis seed. Be it a lager, IPA (India Pale Ale), or Porter, every stout is made differently, and so will require a different brewing process. But, generally, cannabis-infused beer starts off with brewing it using standard brew-day procedures and at any point of the brewing process, cannabis extractions are added in. It all depends on the kind of ale, brew, hops, malt, amber brew or stout a brewer is looking to craft. Since its debut in the mid-’90s, many have tried their hand at combining the two substances as well as perfecting the flavor, consistency, and overall quality.
Contrary to popular belief, cannabis-infused beer is nothing new — at least in parts of Europe that is. It’s true that the Europeans know a thing or two about brewing up some good cannabis in glass bottles. The first-ever commercial hemp-infused beer called Turn made its entrance in the mainstream somewhere around 1996 by German brewers. Since then, beers infused with cannabis have spread all over, and we can thank the fading legal rigidity of cannabis for it. If you want to buy a cannabis-infused brew, they are for sale in California, Colorado, Oregon, Washington, Maryland, or Nevada.
Birthed from the same plant family called the cannabaceae, it’s little known that the hemp plant and the hop plant (Humulus Lupulus) are basically botanical sisters. However, downing several pints of beer while high usually doesn’t end very well, most times causing what’s known as a “green out”. This, of course, only happens unless THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) has been excluded from the mix. Otherwise, you may feel a special kind of terror when going through the motions in this motion. Luckily canna-beers are typically made with hemp and free of THC, so there’s little or nothing at all to fear.
Why It’s Something To Feel Bubbly About
The components of hemp such as therapeutic cannabinoids, terpenes, etc. not only help retain the rich flavors and aromatics of the hemp plant but also won’t produce and psychoactivity normally associated with marijuana’s THC. This is an especially great thing for hemp consumers, as they get the chance to relax and also enjoy the party responsibly without worrying about any legal consequence. Though, there are some makers of hemp-infused beer that feature THC in their products.
In terms of effect, cannabis and alcohol are not the same. Due to the addition of CBD (cannabidiol) — a non-psychoactive cannabinoid abundantly found in the hemp plant — the brew may be able to prevent the development of liver disease. Even more appealing is the fact that you won’t have to deal with a hangover at ungodly hours of the night from drinking one too many shots of vodka, compared to a 12-pack of cannabis beer that leads to a delightful nap.
After the president signed the 2018 Farm Bill and made industrial hemp legal, CBD-infused beer has also been growing in popularity and gaining the interest of investors from all over. Theoretically speaking, adding in CBD with alcohol isn’t as much of a quagmire, however, it’s still pretty tricky to approve of certain products.
Perhaps another amazing thing about cannabis-infused stout is the instant effect. To some, non-alcoholic ales may feel like it’s missing something, but because the cannabis in the beer has been formulated in liquid form, it’s able to be quickly absorbed as opposed to your standard edible — which can take up to an hour to be felt. Effects are almost immediate and can be felt in as little as 15 minutes, similarly to how fast alcohol works. The fact that you still get all the desired qualities of cannabis in one glass bottle without the psychoactive effects of THC makes the prospects for the world of cannabis (and beer) exciting indeed.
Combining the most famous alcoholic drink with components of cannabis is another of many great innovations that have opened the doors of the hemp world for more experimentation and we think beer is going to make hemp and cannabis more and more acceptable.
Other than financial gain, what’s even more, is that companies big and small within the beer industry will have the chance to put their own spin on things and open a conversation far more meaningful for hemp. Beer and hemp are both children of Prohibition. But, as the stigma and legal stance on hemp and cannabis, in general, continues to fade, it won’t be long until we see more than just beer on the grocery store shelves — say hemp wine or kombucha? As such a versatile, extraordinary plant, the possibilities are truly endless.