Beer is the most popular alcoholic beverage globally, and it’s getting even better with the introduction of CBD beer! Every since 2018, when hemp-derived CBD gained legal status nationwide, brewers have been hard at work experimenting on cannabis-infused brews. Is it worth the hype?
In this article, we’ll don our brewers’ aprons and journey into the world of CBD beer. We’ll explain what it is, how it works, and where to find it. In the end, we’ll send you off with instructions on how to make your very own CBD brew at home. Join us!
What Is CBD Beer?
CBD beer is very similar to conventional beer. They generally look alike, smell alike, and even taste alike. However, CBD beer stands out because it contains – you guessed it – CBD. It also has a low alcohol content compared to traditional beer, which we will discuss in greater detail later on.
But first, what is CBD? CBD (cannabidiol) is a natural chemical compound found in hemp plants. It interacts with receptors in your body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS regulates many essential bodily functions, including immune response, mood, memory, sleep, appetite, digestion, and cognitive development. CBD gives this system a boost, leading to its famous beneficial effects.
What’s The Difference Between CBD Infused and THC Infused Beer?
There are two types of cannabis-infused beers – CBD beer and THC beer. To understand the difference between THC and CBD, you need to know a bit of basic botany. Let’s jump right in!
There are two types of cannabis: the hemp plant and the marijuana plant. Hemp contains high levels of CBD, as we already discussed. Marijuana contains high levels of THC (technically known as delta 9 tetrahydrocannabinol), which may influence feelings of euphoria to the mind and body upon consumption.
CBD is non-intoxicating, and CBD-infused beer should not affect you differently from other, non-CBD- infused beer. THC-infused beers are a different story. THC- infused beers come with more potential side effects than CBD brews, including increased relaxation and euphoria with some negative downsides like drowsiness and potential paranoia. Though the reaction to THC is different for everyone, while some consumers will have a great experience, others may not.
Does CBD Beer Have Alcohol?
Cannabis-infused beer tends to have much less alcohol than traditional beer. While conventional brews average 5% ABV (alcohol by volume), CBD beers hover around 0.5% ABV. THC beer tends to have zero alcohol whatsoever since studies show that combining THC and alcohol leads to more serious cognitive impairment than drinking alcohol alone.
Consuming THC and alcohol together is not recommended, but what about CBD? Cannabidiol is not intoxicating, and research suggests that it may help to lower blood-alcohol content. However, more studies are necessary to fully understand the relationship between alcohol and cannabinoids.
We recommend sticking to CBD-infused beers that have 0.5% ABV or less. It shouldn’t be hard to find options that fit this description. Most brewers of cannabis beer implement a process called dealcoholization to distill their brew and remove some or all of the alcohol.
Can You Add CBD To Beer?
Yes, you can put CBD in beer to make a quick and simple homemade drink. Just pick your favorite beer and add a single dose of CBD oil or isolate powder. How much CBD is in one dose? It depends on your body weight, but we generally recommend 0.25 mg/lb (regular dose) and 0.50 mg/lb (strong dose). For more detailed guidelines, check out our handy CBD Dosage Chart.
Conventional wisdom tells us that oil and water don’t mix. Unfortunately, oil and beer don’t mix well, so you need to stir the heck out of your drink to incorporate the CBD. Professional brewers use nano-emulsification techniques to shrink CBD molecules, making them easier to absorb in the final product. Homebrewers can’t access this technology, but you could incorporate CBD isolate powder instead of hemp oil for easier absorption.
Make Your Own CBD Beer
We just told you the easiest way to make CBD beer at home. Add a dose of CBD oil to your favorite drink or beer, and you’re good to go. Now, we’ve got something more challenging for you – CBD beer from scratch!
You can replicate the brewing process in your very own kitchen with a few simple tools. Homebrewing allows you to exercise greater control over the final product. You can adjust the alcohol and CBD content to your liking and add flavorful additions like berries or blood orange peel. Today, we’re keeping it simple with a basic CBD beer.
The beer-making process happens in four stages. This recipe breaks down each one in order. Ready to get started? Come on!
Stage 1: Brewing the Wort
Wort is a liquid made from dried grains (also known as malt). It forms the basis for nearly every beer on Earth. Traditionally, making wort is a complex process that starts by mashing up many grains. We’ve got a simpler method here that uses malt syrup for faster results.
- 2 gallons of water
- 6 pounds malt syrup
- 1.5 ounces of hop pellets
- Add the water to a large pot (one that can hold at least 4 gallons). Bring to a rolling boil.
- Add the malt syrup and stir to combine. We recommend adding a little bit of syrup at a time. If you dump it all in at once, it can stick to the bottom of the pot and burn.
- Add half an ounce of the hop pellets. The mixture should immediately foam up and release a pleasantly hoppy aroma. Lower the heat to avoid boiling over and cook for 55 minutes.
- Add the rest of the hops and boil for 5 minutes. The mixture should take on a pale haze. Remove from the heat and cool completely. It helps to set the pot in an ice bath for faster cooling.
Stage 2: Fermentation
You’ll need a fermentation vessel with an airlock for this stage. We know it sounds fancy, but many online retailers sell fermenting buckets for $20 or less.
- 3 gallons of cool water
- 1 packet of brewers’ dry yeast mixed with 1 cup room temp. water
- Pour the water into the fermenting bucket. Add the wort and gently stir to combine.
- Sprinkle the yeast solution on top of the wort/water mixture. Do not stir.
- Cover the bucket and follow the instructions for setting up the airlock. Store in a cool place (65-70° F) for 4-6 weeks
Stage 3: Dealcoholization
You could stop after the first two stages and have a plain beer, but we’re taking it to the next level. As we said, the best CBD beer has little to no alcohol, and we’re going to show you two ways to accomplish this.
- Oven Method: Preheat your oven to 180° F., Pour the beer into an oven-safe vessel with a lid, like a Dutch oven. Bake for 20-30 minutes.
- Stovetop Method: Pour the beer into a large pot and place over low heat. Then grab a thermometer and monitor the temperature. The mixture should stay around 173° F. Cook for 20-30 minutes.
You’ll know this stage is done when the mixture stops smelling like alcohol. We prefer the oven method because it heats the mixture more evenly and preserves its flavor.
Stage 4: Carbonate and Bottle
The dealcoholization process removes most of the natural fizz in the beer to add more CO2. This is also the stage when we add our CBD. We recommend CBD isolate powder since it has no flavor and dissolves better than CBD oil.
- 1.5 grams of Cheef Botanicals CBD Isolate Powder
- 40 CO2 carbonation tablets
- 40 glass beer bottles and caps (we recommend “swing-top” bottles because you can cap them by hand).
- Add the CBD Isolate Powder to your beer and stir thoroughly to combine. We recommend immediately after Stage 3 when the brew is still warm. After adding the CBD, let the mixture cool completely.
- Divide the brew into the glass bottles using a funnel to avoid spills.
- Add one carbonation tablet to each bottle and seal the lid.
- Store the bottles in a cool place for at least 3 days. Then, it’s ready to enjoy!
CBD Beer Taste
The taste of your CBD beer depends on whether it contains full spectrum, broad spectrum, or isolate CBD. Let’s define these terms:
- Full Spectrum CBD oil contains all of the compounds in hemp plants, including trace amounts of THC (0.3% or less, according to federal law). Full spectrum products also contain terpenes, which give each cannabis strain its flavor.
- Broad Spectrum CBD contains all of the compounds in hemp except for THC. However, broad spectrum products still contain all the terpenes naturally found in the plant.
- CBD Isolate is 99.99% pure CBD. It is tasteless and odorless and typically comes in a white powder or capsules.
Full spectrum and broad spectrum CBD products have a distinct cannabis flavor due to the terpenes they contain. Some people enjoy this flavor, commonly described as “earthy” and “grassy,” but it’s not for everyone. CBD isolate provides a flavorless alternative.
There’s an advantage to full and broad spectrum CBD. When all of the compounds in the hemp plant work together, their effects are greater than the sum of their parts. This synergistic amplification of benefits is known as the “entourage effect.” If you make beer with CBD isolate, you will have greater control of the flavor, and it will dissolve better, but you won’t get the entourage effect.
Benefits Of CBD
By interacting with the receptors in your ECS, CBD offers multiple beneficial effects, including:
- Relieving aches, muscle tension, and skin irritation
- Reducing nervousness and calming the mind
- Improving sleep
- Aiding appetite and digestion
- Promoting a positive mood and mindset
When Will I Feel The Effects?
The CBD in your beer takes about an hour to kick in. The effects typically last 6-8 hours, making beverages and edibles the longest-lasting delivery method for CBD.
Final Thoughts – CBD Beer
CBD beer is a great choice for beer lovers who want a break from the same-old and same-old. A cannabidiol brew can help alleviate distress and discomfort that plague our daily lives, and who doesn’t want that?
When you’re ready to make your own CBD beer, stop by the Cheef Botanicals shop to buy some CBD Isolate powder. While you’re at it, check out our other incredible CBD products. We have a flower, pre-rolls, edibles, topicals, and more! There’s something here for everyone.