For many people, after hours spent lawn mowing or playing in the park with their kids, grabbing a cold, refreshing beer or a fruit-flavored La Croix is the highlight of the day. Now that cannabis products have hit the mainstream, however, you might reach for cannabis infused sparkling water instead. In June, Lagunitas Brewing Co. announced their new product, HiFi Hops.
“We’ve often dreamed of hops and their cannabis cousin partying together at the family reunion. We wanted to bring this party to life in a beverage. It’s high-time that good beer inspired a provocative, yet refreshing non-alcoholic alternative. With a smidge of California sun-grown cannabis in every sip,” says Jeremy Marshall, Lagunita’s ‘Brewmonster’ in a quote on the Lagunitas website.
The beverage is said to be “IPA-inspired” and even has a healthy subtext: it’s got zero carbs, zero alcohol and zero calories. What it does have is an infusion of THC from “the finest sun-grown cannabis” turned into an infusion by a company called Absolute Extracts. The beverage is available in two “doses” containing either 0 milligrams of CBD and 10 milligrams of THC, or 5 milligrams of CBD and 5 milligrams of THC. CBD is short for cannabidiol, a component of cannabis that is purported to have medical and health benefits but does not leave you stoned. The THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, however, is the primary psychoactive component in pot.
According to the cannabis-centric website, Leafly, 10 mg of THC is considered a “standard dose,” but someone new to edibles, new to pot in general or someone who already knows they have a low tolerance should start with half of that dosage.
As of now, HiFi Hops is available in licensed dispensaries in California. The FAQs on the Absolute Extracts website says that while 10 mg or 5 mg may seem like a low dose, “rest assured that you will feel the effects of this fizzy wonder beverage.”
But what does it taste like? With no alcohol in it, it’s not like a typical beer. Instead, think of it as a hops-flavored La Croix. If your favorite flavor is pampelmousse or tangerine, this might take a little getting used to.
Lagunitas’ brew is just one entry into this emerging beverage market. The founder of Blue Moon Brewery, Keith Villa, started his own brewery in Colorado called Ceria, where he’s working with a cannabinoid research firm called Ebbu to develop a THC-infused beer that hits the system within the same time period that alcohol does.
In October 2017, Constellation Brands, the company behind such mainstream beers as Corona and Modelo, announced that they bought a stake in a $2 billion dollar Canadian medical marijuana company.