And now? “These low calorie, low sugar beverages are becoming more and more popular,” Cannacraft founder Dennis Hunter told Thrillist. “They are starting to take market share from some of the other [cannabis] beverages.”
Hunter says that since HiFi Hops has zero carbs and calories, it’s appealing to a wide range of consumers. But some discerning palates are finding a special kind of affection for its hoppy flavor, especially since it's produced in the heart of California Wine Country’s booming craft beer scene.
It’s the new technology around nanoemulsions that makes THC extremely bioavailable, he says. The easier it is for your body to absorb the cannabis, the faster you feel the effects. In addition to that fast onset, Hunter says the effects from water-soluble THC don’t really linger like they do from edibles. “It’s clean. It doesn't feel so sedative,” he says.
The team at Cannacraft spent about six months developing the nanoemulsion process. A lot of the test batches came out too bitter. They eventually dialed it in and have begun transferring the tech over to more traditional products like gummies and chocolate too.
Lagunitas is right down the road from Cannacraft, and Hunter believes the companies share a very similar culture. The collaboration originally started with Cannacraft extracting the flavor profiles from hops. They’d eventually put cannabis terpenes in beer, but got a firm telling off from federal regulators.
“Then we were like, let's get the alcohol out,” Hunter said, “They were already working on their hop water, because they were looking at that same thing, that low-calorie option.”
From there both companies pondered how they could infuse the hop water without throwing off the flavor. What they eventually came up with became the best selling ready-to-drink beverage in California.