If you love a dank nug of cannabis, chances are you also love a good beer. So when some of our favorite breweries like New Belgium and Lagunitas started coming out with cannabis-infused beverages, we were left wondering, what is the deal with THC beer? Is it an actual beer? Is it an edible? Tell us more!
Whatever question you might have about this intriguing new beverage in town, Wikileaf has got your back. In this article, we’ll cover all of your burning beer questions like how these beers are made and what to expect.
What is cannabis-infused beer?
As you can guess from the name, cannabis beer essentially describes any non-alcoholic beer that has been infused with cannabis — sorry guys, no getting drunk off of a six-pack of these beers. These beers have to be non-alcoholic because it is currently illegal to combine the two mind-altering substances in one package.
With those restrictions in mind, the cannabis-infused beer market is filled with beer-like beverages that are designed to taste and be consumed like beer but swap the alcohol for THC. Most of the products that fall under the weed beer umbrella are dealcoholized beers, though there are products like Pabst Labs Lemon Seltzer, which are purposefully not branding themselves as beer, but rather serve as a bridge between the infused water and beer realms.
How are weed beers infused?
Currently, the industry standard is to use a flavorless and colorless THC isolate in liquid form, like AbsoluteXtracts found Lagunitas Hi-Fi Hops. These compounds are generally nano-emulsified, which breaks down the particles small enough to be water-soluble and relatively stable once mixed with the dealcoholized beer. It is this same nano-emulsification that also makes the THC more bioavailable, which essentially means that psychoactive effects come on faster and feel stronger — we like the sound of that.
What are the effects of THC-infused beer?
This nano-technology is a big deal for cannabis-infused beverages and is designed to mimic the mood-enhancing effects of alcohol in a similar time-frame. While each product has its own signature recipe and each of us has our own tolerance level, you can generally expect to feel an elevated mood in about 15 minutes and the effects wear off in about 90 minutes. So while you may not get drunk off of these beers, you will get jolly.
What do these beers taste like?
Many of them are beer-inspired flavors but they may not directly remind you of your favorite brewski. For example, Lagunitas Hi-Fi Hops describes itself as “hoppy sparkling water”. Most cannabis-infused beers have a hoppy flavoring, similar to an IPA, because many of the terpenes found in cannabis are also the same terpenes found in hops.
Others, like Pabst Labs Lemon Seltzer, choose to go for a more shandy-inspired route. These lemony beverages have just enough citrus and just enough to hop to convince you that you are indeed drinking a shandy on a summer day — but is it exactly the same? Not quite.
However, if you’re looking for something that looks and tastes more like a beer, you may want something like New Belgium’s Hemperor. Despite its name, this beer does not actually contain any cannabinoids, including CBD or THC. They simply use hemp-inspired terpenes in the mix to give their beer a dank aroma and taste. But again, it is important to note that this beer will not get you high. However, it does scratch that itch if you’re craving both cannabis and beer at the same time.
Is there THC-wine?
As a wise man once said, where there is beer there is wine — or maybe no one has ever said that, but yet there is THC-infused wine. Similar to the beers on the market, these beverages do not include any alcohol but they will get you high.
Also like their beer-inspired counterparts, cannabis-infused wine often tastes similar to wine, but not exactly the same. That being said, if you love wine and weed brands like Rebel Coast Winery have everything from rose to sparkling to wet your whistle.
While cannabis-infused beer may not be exactly like the real thing, it is pretty dang close and it will get you high. So what’s not to love? As the market continues to grow and more of our favorite breweries hop on board the cannabis train, it can only bring positive things to the realm of weed. We hope this guide answered all of your immediate pressing questions and helped guide you to weed beer success. Cheers, friends!