Is Marijuana The Future Of Beer?

Disclaimer: I’m not advocating the use of combining alcohol and marijuana use. This is just a post speculating about combining marijuana and alcohol. So don’t blame me if you do something really stupid.

It was only a matter of time until we got to this point: marijuana and beer.

Every state that I’ve ever lived in has legalized recreational marijuana use. Curiously enough, every state I’ve lived in also has legalized alcohol consumption.

Beer, as we’re discovering, can apparently be made with just about anything as long as you use water. The lines of beer are getting blurred more and more each day (something I’ll be covering more of in the future *coughalcoholicselterwatercough*), so I’m begging the question:

When will I get weed beer?

Before we continue, let’s just get this straight. I don’t want to talk about how marijuana is healthier than alcohol, or how alcohol is more addictive than most drugs, or how marijuana is non-habit forming, blah, blah, blah.

I just want to know if we can make weed beer.

The science of a marijuana brew

By now you should know that hops are one of the main ingredients of beer. Hops are what gives beer most of its flavor, and it’s integral to the brewing process. Unless you use fake hops to make an absolutely terrible beer, but I digress.

Hops, scientifically referred to as Humulus lupulus, are part of the plant family Cannabaceae.

Also part of the Cannabaceae family? Cannabis sativa, also known as weed, reefer, marijuana, pot, etc.

The relation between the two becomes even more apparent when you look at them – side by side, the plants look like they could be cousins (mostly because they are).

Images via Wiki Commons

So, what would the process of brewing a beer with weed look like? I imagine a complete disaster. Replacing hops with weed is, I assume, the culinary equivalent of replacing the marshmallow spread in fudge with Peeps. That’s right, a guaranteed disaster.

I’m not a science person, so there are probably plenty of reasons why you can’t just replace hops with weed. Unless you can – I really have no idea.

But with all the strange brews AND due to the fact that they’re related, we should be able to have beer with weed in it, right?

Current beer and marijuana uses

Ok, so let’s just skip past the “replacing hops with weed” part. How about using both?

As some of you have probably already noticed, the worlds of beer and marijuana are already blended.

Lagunitas Brewing Company has a well-documented history with weed. Hailing out of Petalumas, California, they have no reason to be apologetic – marijuana use carries almost no stigma in the state, especially since weed was legalized on January 1, 2018.

In fact, California’s biggest hurdle with marijuana isn’t convincing people that it’s ok to use, but convincing them that they should buy weed legally from state-sponsored shops instead of from their favorite dealer.

The point is that weed and California are like bread and butter, and Lagunitas has taken that a step further. The innovative brewing company has released multiple products using THC and other marijuana byproducts, including their Hi-Fi Hops drink.

“We’ve often dreamed of hops and their cannabis cousin partying together at the family reunion,” says Jeremy Marshall, the “Brewmonster” of Lagunitas. The fit is natural – cannabis and hops have so much in common that making a THC drink that doesn’t suck is completely doable.

While Hi-Fi Hops uses THC, the drink is non-alcoholic, instead boasting the flavor of an IPA but with no calories or alcoholic content.

While Lagunitas is continuing to innovate with their beer-inspired THC drinks, they haven’t used cannabis to make an alcoholic drink.

Will anyone ever?

Hurdles of boozy weed

If at any point during this article you thought to yourself, “hey, it seems like mixing alcohol and weed in the same drink is basically a legal nightmare waiting to happen,” then you’ll love this next part.

Mixing alcohol and weed in the same drink is basically a legal nightmare waiting to happen.

Consider this: how do your city’s finest measure how much weed you’ve consumed? That’s right, they can’t because it’s not really a measurable thing. That’s one of the biggest hurdles with regulating marijuana.

Now, consider a brewing/marijuana company wants to can both at the same time. We can measure the alcohol content, but how can you measure the weed content? That’s right, we can’t, largely because there hasn’t been enough research to understand the complete effects of marijuana.

Also consider that the alcohol industry is already incredibly strict. Hell, I can’t even run Google Ads on this site because it “promotes alcohol use,” whatever that means.

If we’re ever going to have an alcoholic marijuana drink that you can buy over the counter, we’ll first need huge strides to be made in the marijuana industry. While things seem to be trending that way, there’s no telling how long that will take.

Until we do get that immaculate weed-beer mix, it looks like we’ll have to settle with them individually.

Thomas Short

Thomas Short is a freelance writer based in Seattle, WA. His work has appeared in Entrepreneur, Huffington Post, The Mortgage Reports, and more. You can reach Thomas at tshortwriting.com.

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