Once seen as a trend, craft beer is now firmly entrenched in pub culture – from older establishments to newer gastropubs. Similarly, CBD has cemented its place as a wellness must-have and high-street favourite. It was only a matter of time before CBD and beer met, resulting in an… interesting combination.
This is also a fairly new form of CBD. We've long embraced tinctures, gummies, e-liquids, and even CBD bath bombs. While CBD cocktails are popping up in bars across the UK and EU, is there room for CBD beers? We're certain that beer enthusiasts everywhere have more than a few questions.
What does CBD beer taste like? Are they any good? What styles are they brewed in? Well, thankfully, at Candid, we're here to explore this phenomenon.
Here's everything you need to know about cannabidiol-infused beers.
What Styles Do CBD Beers Come In?
Given that these beers are so new, they mostly come in IPAs. By far the most popular craft beer, CBD-infused IPAs are still few and far between. However, you can also opt for CBD ales or CBD lagers.
Craft breweries have played around with interesting flavours and ingredients for years now. Look no further Omnipollo's Bianca range, as a testament to this. That being said, CBD – and hemp, in general – are fairly new additions to the craft beer industry.
Therefore, many cannabidiol-infused beers are also free from alcohol. This is primarily for two reasons:
- To allow people to enjoy the taste of hemp or CBD in their beers, without strong flavours from hops or fermented wheat.
- Because we don't really know how CBD and alcohol interact. So far, there are limited studies regarding how these two compounds interact. In fact, the most notable study about cannabis and alcohol took place in 1976.
However, alcohol-free CBD beer might not necessarily be a bad thing. After all, it means that people who don't drink alcohol, or who want to stay off the booze, can still enjoy a tasty beverage. Therefore, the next time you're the designated driver, pick up an alcohol-free pack of cannabidiol-infused beer.
What Does CBD Beer Taste Like?
There's no one answer to this question. In fact, cannabidiol-infused beer often adopts the flavour profiles of however it's been brewed. For example, a CBD IPA could smell and taste quite hoppy – true to its brewing style. Conversely, a CBD lager will taste lighter, which could allow the hemp flavour to shine a little brighter.
When breweries make a CBD beer, it's important to come up with a style that works with the hemp itself. Therefore, most CBD-infused options feature lighter brewing styles, that almost lean towards a certain fruitiness. Earlier, we mentioned that cannabidiol-infused beer options usually comprise of IPAs, ales, or lagers.
Generally, these beer styles are fairly light and drinkable. This means that there's room for the hemp to shine – as an individual product, or as part of a larger flavour cocktail. In fact, some breweries use specific hemp strains, in an attempt to flavour their beer with these terpenes.
A good example of this is the Pineapple Express High PA from Blacks Brewing. A CBD-infused take on an IPA, Blacks brewed this with terpenes from the Pineapple Express strain. Therefore, you can expect tropical notes, inspired by terpenes from the Pineapple Express strain.
Ultimately, a CBD beer's flavour entirely depends on its brewers, and on its style. As with every other beer, once a brewer decides on a style, they can then infuse it with whatever fruits, spices, or other flavour profiles that they desire.
Do CBD Beers Have Any Health Benefits?
Whether or not a CBD beer can benefit you depends on several different factors. These include:
- CBD strength: Naturally, when it comes to edibles, CBD works better in higher doses. This means that a low-strength CBD beer might not actually give you the same benefits as a tincture or capsule.
- Its alcohol percentage: Earlier, we mentioned that there are limited studies on CBD and alcohol. However, most scientists hypothesise that CBD can help your body regulate alcohol much faster. In fact, a 1979 study explored this very phenomenon. Results showed that subjects who consumed CBD and alcohol had significantly lower blood alcohol levels than their counterparts, who exclusively consumed alcohol. Therefore, CBD might actually help metabolise a high-strength beer, instead of giving you the full benefits of its effects.
- Whether it actually contains CBD: Some brewers come up with punny, cannabis-related names for their beers. However, sometimes, these beers don't contain CBD at all. In fact, these beers are often inspired by the terpenes in CBD, instead of actual CBD. This means that while these beers might contain all the tastes and flavours from your favourite strain, they're actually completely CBD-free.
Based on these facts, it's important to do your homework before buying and trying a CBD beer. Establish whether it actually contains CBD – and if so, how much it contains. You should also explore whether it's a low-ABV option, an alcohol-free option, or if it contains a normal amount of alcohol.
To avail of these benefits, we'd recommend selecting an alcohol-free, high-CBD beer. With the array of cannabidiol-infused beer in the UK clocking in at just 0.5% ABV or under, finding an option shouldn't be difficult at all!
Can I Drink CBD Beer and Drive?
Again, this completely depends on the type of CBD beer you're drinking. Opting for an alcohol-free version means that you can drive after a few cans. However, if you've opted for a full-strength option, we'd recommend assigning a designated driver, or getting a taxi home.
While CBD could help metabolise the alcohol in your beer faster, this doesn't mean that you aren't at all impaired. Therefore, after a couple of cans, you could still feel the effects. Choosing to drive after a full-strength CBD beer or two could be considered drink-driving, both in the UK and Ireland.
To safely get behind the wheel, opt for an alcohol-free CBD option. You'll stay under the legal limit, and therefore, can fulfil your designated driver duties!
However, it's absolutely crucial to ensure that you're sinking a few alcohol-free cans. We'd also like to say that if you feel even the slightest bit inebriated, it's best to steer clear of your keys. After all, this means that you're staying safe to indulge in yet another CBD beer!
So, Is It CBD Beer Summer?
In a nutshell? Yes, it's undoubtedly CBD beer summer. We're resuming normalcy, and cannabidiol-infused beers could help ease anxiety about the whole situation. Plus, with alcohol-free options, you can enjoy an ice-cold pint without fear of intoxication.
However, in the UK and Ireland, CBD beers are few and far between. Therefore, sourcing a few cases, bottles, or even cans, could take some effort. This is especially true if you're at your local pub with a group of friends.
That being said, you can always source your own CBD beer, and have a cheeky drink before heading out. Both Hop & Hemp Brewing and Green Times Brewing offer alcohol-free, CBD-infused options. Green Times Brewing also offers stronger CBD beers, for the more adventurous enthusiast.
Furthermore, both these breweries are smaller, UK-based breweries, so technically, you're supporting local businesses! Why not pick up a CBD beer, and bring some chill to the summer heat?