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Cannabis and Beer: How to Make Cannabis Drinks

Learn how to craft both alcoholic and non-alcoholic cannabis-infused drinks safely and enjoyably. Discover the art of infusion, from decarboxylation to choosing the right base.

Cannabis and Beer: How to Make Cannabis Drinks

The intersection of cannabis and traditional beverages like beer marks an exciting frontier in the world of artisanal and craft products. 

With the increasing legalization of cannabis in various forms across many regions, enthusiasts and connoisseurs alike are exploring innovative ways to combine the unique flavors and effects of cannabis with the rich, diverse world of beer and other drinks. Opting for premium strains is very important. Nowadays, people love to shop THCA pre-rolls premium strains and multiple cannabis strains as they have proved quite beneficial. Top brands you can buy premium strains include Budpop, Exhale, etc.

This article provides a comprehensive guide on how to make cannabis-infused drinks, focusing on both non-alcoholic and alcoholic options, ensuring safety, legality, and enjoyment.

Understanding Cannabis Infusion

Cannabis infusion involves incorporating cannabis or its derivatives (such as CBD or THC oils) into beverages. The goal is to combine the psychoactive or therapeutic effects of cannabis with the drink's flavors. This process can be applied to a wide range of beverages, including beers, teas, sodas, and cocktails.

Decarboxylation: The First Step

Before infusing cannabis into a drink, it's essential to activate its psychoactive components through a process called decarboxylation. 

This involves heating cannabis flowers or concentrates to convert THCA into THC, the compound responsible for cannabis's psychoactive effects.

  • Grind the cannabis finely to increase its surface area.
  • Spread the cannabis on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper.
  • Heat in an oven at 240°F (115°C) for about 30-40 minutes.
  • Cool before using it for infusion.

Choosing the Right Base for Infusion

  • Alcohol-based tinctures are effective for alcoholic drinks. They're made by soaking decarboxylated cannabis in high-proof alcohol, then straining out the plant material.
  • Oil infusions work well for non-alcoholic beverages. Cannabis-infused coconut oil or butter can be emulsified into coffee, tea, or smoothies.
  • Water-soluble extracts are a newer option that can mix easily with any drink, offering a versatile solution for both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.

Crafting Cannabis-Infused Beer

Cannabis-infused beer, particularly non-alcoholic versions, has gained popularity as a novel way to enjoy the flavors and effects of cannabis. Here’s how to make a basic non-alcoholic, cannabis-infused beer:

  • Brew the Beer: Start with a non-alcoholic beer recipe. You can either brew a batch from scratch using malt, hops, and water or start with a store-bought non-alcoholic beer as a base.
  • Infuse the Cannabis: Once you have your non-alcoholic beer, decide on your infusion method. For an alcohol-based tincture, carefully measure the dose to ensure each serving has a consistent and safe amount of THC or CBD. If using a water-soluble extract, mix it directly into the beer according to the product’s dosing recommendations.
  • Flavor Adjustments: Cannabis can add a bitter or earthy flavor to the beer. You may want to experiment with different strains or infusion methods to achieve the best taste profile. Adding citrus peels, herbs, or additional hops during the brewing process can help balance the flavors.

Safety and Legal Considerations

  • Dosage Control: It's crucial to accurately measure and control the dosage of THC or CBD in your infusions to prevent overconsumption. Start with low doses, especially if you are new to cannabis.
  • Legal Compliance: Ensure that your cannabis infusion activities comply with local laws regarding cannabis possession, consumption, and home brewing.
  • Responsible Consumption: Like alcohol, cannabis affects individuals differently. Encourage responsible consumption and ensure your guests are aware of the cannabis content in your drinks.

Advanced Techniques and Flavor Pairings

Expanding beyond the basics of cannabis-infused drinks opens up a world of culinary creativity and sensory exploration. Advanced techniques and thoughtful flavor pairings can elevate your cannabis beverages from simple concoctions to sophisticated drinks that tantalize the palate and complement the unique characteristics of different cannabis strains.

Carbonation and Fermentation

Incorporating carbonation or fermentation into your cannabis-infused drinks can add an exciting dimension of texture and taste. For homemade non-alcoholic cannabis beer, consider using a carbonation system or natural fermentation methods to introduce fizziness. 

This can enhance the drink's mouthfeel and bring out the aromatic compounds of both the hops and the cannabis.

Flavor Pairings with Cannabis Strains

Different cannabis strains possess distinct flavor profiles, ranging from earthy and piney to citrusy and sweet. These flavors can be paired or contrasted with the ingredients in your drink to create complex and harmonious blends. For instance:

Citrusy strains pair well with light, refreshing beverages like pale ales or lemonade-based cocktails.

Earthy strains complement darker, richer drinks such as stouts or ginger-heavy concoctions.

Sweet strains can enhance the flavors of dessert beverages, like chocolate stouts or fruity cocktails.

Utilizing Terpenes for Flavor Enhancement

Terpenes, the aromatic compounds found in cannabis, play a significant role in the flavor and aroma of your infusion. Isolating terpenes or using terpene-rich concentrates allows for precise flavor adjustments in your drinks. 

Adding limonene for a citrusy zest, myrcene for a mango-like sweetness, or pinene for a touch of pine can dramatically alter and enhance the sensory experience of your cannabis-infused beverages.

Hosting a Cannabis-Infused Drink Tasting

Creating an event around cannabis-infused drinks can be a delightful way to share your creations with friends and fellow enthusiasts. To ensure a successful tasting:

  • Variety is Key: Offer a range of drinks that showcase different cannabis strains, infusion methods, and flavor profiles. This allows guests to explore the wide spectrum of possibilities in cannabis beverages.
  • Education and Moderation: Educate your guests about the effects of cannabis, the importance of moderation, and how to consume responsibly. Providing detailed information about each drink, including its THC/CBD content and the strain used, can help guests make informed choices.
  • Pair with Food: Just like traditional wine or beer tastings, pairing your cannabis drinks with food can enhance the experience. Select foods that complement the flavors of your drinks and consider how the combined effects of cannabis and certain foods might interact.


Creating cannabis-infused drinks, whether beer or other beverages, combines the art of brewing with the nuanced effects of cannabis. 

By understanding the basics of cannabis infusion and applying careful crafting techniques, enthusiasts can explore this innovative fusion at the comfort of their homes. Always prioritize safety, legality, and moderation to ensure a pleasant and enjoyable experience with your homemade cannabis-infused drinks.