Are We Ready for Beer-Flavored Hash Pen Cartridges?

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Ever hear the saying "Rappers want to be ball players, and ball players want to be rappers"? In the business of getting us fucked up, cannabis and alcohol companies appear to go through similar yearnings.

Dispensary shelves already feature beers, hard seltzers and wines infused with pot instead of alcohol, while liquor stores hope that CBD-containing, rebranded non-alcoholic beers will appeal to increasing numbers of canna-curious customers.

Now a cannabis concentrate company wants to zig where drink makers have been zagging, releasing a hash pen cartridge that is supposed to taste like an India Pale Ale — or as my Midwestern uncle likes to call them, "pine cone beers."

As part of its new "experimental series," Colorado cannabis extractor Northern Standard says that it has mixed THC distillate (a purified, clear form of THC) with extracted terpenes — plant compounds responsible for smell and flavor — from hops used to brew IPAs.

Cannabis and hops are actually related to each other and carry many of the same terpenes, such as myrcene, which is found in relatively high amounts in both plants (as well as in mangos, lemongrass, thyme and cardamom). In fact, so much myrcene can be drawn from hops that Odell Brewing Company's double IPA is named Myrcenary in honor of the versatile terpene.

However, Northern Standard says that these terpenes are special, extracted from Mosaic hops.

Mosaic hops get their name from their aromas and flavors, which change depending on their growing conditions. As with cannabis, those conditions can heavily influence the final product, making the taste of an IPA, traditionally known as bitter, to mirror citrus, pine, soil, herbs, mint, bubblegum, blueberry, lime peel and even black pepper.

Those words probably sound familiar to anyone who reads cannabis strain reviews, so it makes us wonder: Do we really even need this latest innovation?