At the Canadian Brewing Awards, Halifax, brewers from all over Canada have gathered to show off their finest brews. But this year’s conference has been eclipsed by a beer that doesn’t yet exist.
How is that possible? Well, we have two words for you: cannabis beer.
Beer experts know that a good beer needs great hops, being the main component in it. But here’s the thing: hops are relatives of the marijuana plant, so why not use it to make beer, if it’s going to be legalized?
Not Just the Flavour, But Also the High
Emily Tipton is the President of the Craft Brewers Association of Nova Scotia. She explains that:
“There are some aromas or flavours that come from hemp or cannabis that do pair nicely into beer, and that is something that people have been working on. So without any of the effects of cannabis, just the flavours and aromas of it.”
However, a company in Toronto has a different idea. They want to make the beer alcohol free and replace the hops with the marijuana plant. Dooma Wendschuch is the co-founder and CEO of Province Brands of Canada. She explains their idea on cannabis beer without alcohol:
“Cannabis is by far a safer and healthier alternative to alcohol, and this is the first time in any of our lifetimes that we’re able to bring a product like that to market.”
Wendschuch said that each bottle of beer would have a very small amount of THC – 6.5 mg. It hits the system quick like a normal beer, so whoever consumes it can know how much beer to drink and regulate it accordingly:
“Our goal is to make a product that is only as intoxicating as a standard beer would be for someone who has drank beer before.”
At the moment, this beer is in the testing phase. At the moment, it is not legal to be consumed.
Waiting For the Food and Drug Administration Approval
Jason Stranak is the Head Judge at the Canadian Brewing Awards. He confirmed that beer could be made without hops and it’s getting popular. He likes fruit ales and said that unhoped beers like the one with cannabis would have potential:
“A passion of mine is gruit ales, completely unhopped beers, so using cannabis is potentially one. I think the market is potentially huge for different varieties of it, whether it’s non-alcoholic with cannabis effects, or alcoholic beer with cannabis flavours, or something in between where you’re doubling up on cannabis and alcohol. There’s potential.”
Gruit ale is a type of beer that uses both hops and many other herbs to created different flavours.
We already have cannabis candies, cannabis bath bombs, so beer with cannabis in it shouldn’t be a weird thing. However, anyone who wants to drink it will have to wait until September 2019, until the food and drug administration will approve of it.
Andre Blair s is the lead editor for Advocator.ca. He holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Toronto, and a Master of Science in Public Health (M.S.P.H.) from the School of Public Health, Department of Health Administration, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Andre specializes in environmental health, but writes on a variety of issues.