In a first step towards federal cannabis legalization, a small beer producer from Aurora, CO has received federal formula approval for an extract-infused beer from the Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau. Dad and Dudes Breweria is still waiting for final label approval, but has been sitting on the federal approval of its recipe since June. While beer has been made using hemp seeds for years, this brew is different as it contains cannabinoids.
"However, being a very close relative to marijuana, industrial hemp does still contain minimal quantities of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the active ingredient in marijuana. This makes it a controlled substance and illegal to cultivate in the United States. The hemp seeds imported into the United States must be sterilized to render them nonviable. Although the seeds themselves do not contain any traceable THC, planting them produces a plant that contains THC. In fact the seeds must be thoroughly cleaned and free of virtually all — in government speak — "extraneous vegetative material." When the seeds are harvested, a bit of the leafy greens generally ends up among the seeds. If this is not properly cleaned out, traceable quantities of THC can exist in the seeds. This has never been a problem with Hempen Ale and Hempen Gold since our seeds are always thoroughly cleaned and THC is not water soluble, so it won’t carry forward into the finished product." source: Brewing Hempen Ale
Cannabinoids have surged in popularity in recent years. Cannabis plants contain up to 80 different cannabinoids and some are being used legally in the US for treatment of ailments inlcuding epilepsy and anti-inflamation. The most popular, cannabidoil, is popular among athletes as a recovery aid. UFC fighter Nate Diaz even took to his post fight press conference with a vape pen and suggested he uses CBD strains regularly when training.
So what is the difference? Beers have been made with hemp seeds for years, isn't this the same?
No, this brew is made using an extract from stalk and plant materials, which has trace amounts of certain cannabinoids, but no THC. The beer won't offer the typical smoking high, but you may feel some of the effects from the CBD and taste the terpenes which gives cannabis its flavor profile. While the actual beer recipe isn't changing the game, the fact that it will be distributed nationally is the real take home.
This is the first step into using many of the positive compounds found in cannabis plants in day to day products. Cannabis by-products have been largely ignored by national manufacturers due to reefer madness and legal issues, but as the cannabis community continues to push for legalization you may start to see major players jumping on board. See Scott's Miracle Grow article here.