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Monday, September 19, 2016

Feds Approve Cannabis Beer

This is a pretty remarkable bit of news:

Dad and Dudes Breweria of Aurora, Colorado, has received approval from the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau to sell its General Washington's Secret Stash IPA brew, which contains cannabinoids (CBDs) — but no THC — in all 50 states. “Cannabinoids are a miracle compound, and I thought it would be a responsible choice to put them into beer,” explains Dad and Dudes co-owner Mason Hembree. “They are an antioxidant and neuro-protectant that have a lot of health benefits.”
CBD is actually an acronym for cannabidiol (cannabinoid is a general term), one of the two active ingredients in cannabis. The other, THC, is psychoactive (it gets you high), unlike CBD, which has been promoted as the ingredient responsible for many of cannabis' medical benefits. Among other things, proponents say it is beneficial for treating seizures, nausea, inflammation, and anxiety. Although the evidence is still sketchy--because the government has had a ban on research--at least some of the claims seem quite solid.

This appears to be one of those classic "innovation" gimmicks. Cannabis is expensive, and high-CBD strains are even more so. There's no mention of how much of this goes in the beer--if indeed any does at all (it's mostly insoluble in water, so if they just floated a few flowers in the conditioning tank, it's merely a gesture). No one's going to buy this beer for its potential medical properties (since we have no idea what dosage, if any, it delivers), and the talk of "responsible choice" seems about as sincere as the average politician's claims this time of year.

What interests me is that the federal government has approved its use in the beer, which means they regard it at the very least as benign. For reasons that mystify me, most politicians and much of the federal bureaucracy have a massive investment in denying cannabis' health benefits. It looks as if they're beginning to give a little bit on the idea that this is such a dangerous drug it must be banned in all forms.

It is therefore a gimmick I can get behind.

1 comment:

  1. Actually, if they put CBD-containing flowers in the fermentation tank post-primary fermentation, the alcohol created (even the modest 4.5%) will remove the oils from the hemp, and can even accentuate their bioavailability. Even using hemp in the boil can result in some extraction through the process of isomerization; that is how hops make beer bitter, as their oils are water-soluble as well (being a related species).