There's good reason for regulators to be cautious about weed beer.
I'm no nanny-state prohibitionist who wants to put limits on cannabis, but infused ales are—well, they're a little dangerous. I've always been conservative in my own sippage, but we once had an intern who drank one-third of a bottle of delicious Belgian weed beer and spent the afternoon in silence. She later revealed she was too anxious to speak.
Perhaps you've had the experience of eating too much of a tasty infused dessert—I've overdosed and experienced visual hallucinations along with an intense body hum. OK, now picture what could happen if you had two proper pints? So maybe there's a reason to restrict the intermingling of booze and weed in shelf stock.
But I sure hope the feds don't crack down on CBD beer.
Cannabidiol (can-na-buh-DYE-all) is the unscheduled cousin compound to THC that doesn't provide the cocktail of psychoactive effects generally referred to as "getting baked," but that does lessen anxiety and reduce tissue inflammation.
CBD-infused beer is a brand-new concept. Your first chance to try it in Oregon will be at Saturday's Portland Pro/Am beer competition, where there will be small noncommercial samples of Barely Legal, a beer I made in conjunction with Sammy Sklover and Dean Pottle of homebrew speakeasy Dean's Scene on Northeast Fremont Street. (Slover, Dean's Scene's brewmaster, did all the work.)
Barely Legal is a hazy, New England-style IPA infused with CBD and terpenes we bought through Slover's friend "Alex the Inventor" of Santa Cruz CBD. We aimed for 10 milligrams of CBD per serving, which should be enough to chillax you right up.
Though our CBD beer is new to Oregon, there is a Colorado company called Dad & Dudes that released a hemp-derived CBD beer last year. CBD beer is, I think, a great idea, and something a commercial Oregon brewery should follow up on.
Down the line, maybe there will even be a THC-infused beer with the right dosage for commercial sale. Something with 5 milligrams per pint, maybe—super-sessionable, with all the advantages of both alcohol and weed, but which won't leave you in stoned silence.
GO: The Portland Pro/Am beer festival is at the North Warehouse, 723 N Tillamook St., on Saturday, Oct. 15. Noon-6:30 pm. $25. Tickets at wweek.com/beerproam.