The Best Of Both Worlds: A Company In Canada Is Making Cannabis Beer

May 29, 2018
Carl Velasco

Why choose between cannabis and beer when you can have both? At the Canadian Brewing Awards in Halifax, brewers from all over Canada gathered to show off their best brews, but one in particular stood out, and it doesn't even exist yet.

Expert brewers know that to get a good kick out of beer, the key ingredient is hops, but hops are relatives of the marijuana plant, so why not use it to brew beer if cannabis is going to get legalized in the country anyway?

One company in Toronto is currently developing a type of beer that, instead of hops, will contain cannabis. Surprisingly, it will be non-alcoholic.

"Cannabis is by far a safer and healthier alternative to alcohol, and this is the first time in any of our lifetimes that we're able to bring a product like that to market," says Dooma Wendschuh, CEO of Province Brands of Canada.

A Beer Made From Marijuana

The cannabis beer will contain a small amount of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC — just 6.5 milligrams. Wendschuh says the ultimate goal is to make a product that can't get a person drunk more than a beer could, something that would feel familiar to those who've already drank beer in the past. Also, creating something close to actual beer would make it easier to regulate, but all this would require extensive development and research. Right now, the initial goal is to create a cannabis-based drink that will affect the consumer and leave their system in a similar amount of time as alcohol would.

With this idea in mind he created his firm, Province Brands, and started experimenting, trying to turn waste byproducts from cannabis farms into beer. Right now he's working on two methods — adding cannabis oil to non-alcoholic beer brewed from barley and making one completely from the notorious plant.

According to Wendschuh, the production is complicated by the peculiarities of metabolizing cannabis- it is absorbed slower than alcohol, but sustains its effect longer, while the brewer is trying to bring his product as close to ordinary beer as possible in terms of its effects.

Wendschuh is confident, that if he succeeds, the invention will revolutionize the alcohol market. He has also expressed a hope that his experiment will eventually lead to governments and regulators rethinking their views on substance policies, legalizing more of them.