As cannabis grows in popularity, alcohol companies are adapting to the changing tide. The cannabis plant is closely related genetically to hops, so infused beers are a natural entrance for alcohol companies into the cannabis market. Several larger brands are making their own formulation of cannabis beverages, while others are investing in existing cannabis companies to meet the demands of adults who prefer to consume cannabis over alcohol in a social setting. This is a wonderful development for public health and safety, as cannabis holds none of the potential significant health risks that alcohol does.
The inventor of Blue Moon beer will be launching three cannabis infused “beers” this fall in Colorado at his newly formed company Ceria. Keith Villa, who developed their famous Belgian wheat, has partnered with extracts company Ebbu to create a line of THC-infused drinks that have all the flavor of a beer, but none of the alcohol. They plan to release a spectrum of beers: a lager (with the lowest amount of THC), an ale (5-10mg THC) and an IPA (10-15mg THC). The president of Ebbu claims that they have refined their extraction process to deliver precise sensations that mimic alcohol, and hit the user at the same rate that beer does. Most edibles take 30 minutes to an hour for users to feel the effects, which can often lead to overconsumption and an unpleasant experience. A fast-acting beverage would help users accurately identify their tolerances and have a safe and pleasurable experience. These drinks should be launching between Thanksgiving and Christmas, just in time for the holidays. Available in Colorado
Long time advocates of cannabis use, the team over at Lagunitas has recently come out with two cannabis-infused drinks. Their history with cannabis began in 1999, when they started hosting weekly brewery parties at 4:20pm. Later in 2001, they attempted to label one of their ales “Kronik,” which was censored by the Alcohol Tax and Trade Bueau (TTB), and aptly renamed “Censored.” Fast forward to 2014, when they came out with a two-part line named Night-time and Day-time, modeled after Indica and Sativa strains. In 2017, Lagunitas partnered with extraction company Absolute Xtracts and made two different products in a project called Supercritical: a hoppy beer infused with cannabis terpenes (which contain no cannabinoids), and a vape cartridge that contains hop terpenes extracted from their beer. Their most recent collaboration is a hoppy sparkling water named HiFi Hops, their first product containing actual cannabinoids. They have created two different formulations, one with 10mg THC and the other with 5mg THC and 5mg CBD. A balanced THC/CBD option is great for patients who have a lower edibles tolerance, but still prefer the relaxing effects of cannabis over the intoxicating effects of alcohol. Available in Colorado
Colorado based company New Belgium has recently come out with the Hemperor IPA, or as they have nicknamed it, the HPA. Brewed with hemp hearts and dry hops, the developers of this beer have recreated the flavor profile of hemp terpenes without the terpenes themselves. It also contains no cannabinoids, which means that this beer is available for sale everywhere in the US! New Belgium is a dedicated advocate for the fight for hemp legalization, and donates to the national hemp legalization effort with every barrel of Hemperor sold. Check out their efforts by visiting thehemperor.com! Available nationwide (except Kansas)