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August 24, 2011 News » Cover Story

Deep Thoughts 

What if beer got you high and pot made you drunk?

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B = PP2: The Science Behind Renting Beer
They say you don’t buy beer—you rent it. But does beer really produce more urine than water or other beverages? If so, how?

City Weekly set out to determine this via the Hypo-scientific Hyperbolic Testing Protocol (HHTP), with the help of two male subjects of roughly (read: not) the same size: “Participant R.” and “Participant J.” R. was given six 12-ounce glasses of water, while J. got a six-pack of Pabst. Before the test, each man was instructed to void his bladder in order to create a somewhat level playing field. R. and J. were then told to drink at least one glass every 10 minutes and notify CW when the urge struck.

At 30 minutes and three beers, Participant J. got up and pissed behind his truck. So much for that.

Participant R. made an appointment with his primary-care physician and paid a $20 co-payment in order to get expert advice. The good doctor, who asked to remain anonymous, said, “[Beer] opens up the tubules in the kidney and just goes right through you. It’s a natural diuretic, as are alfalfa and some other natural grains—the grain part of the beer, it functions that way.”

Alcohol itself is also a mild diuretic, according to Dr. Ed Blonz, who writes on AskDrBlonz.com. He says, “One of [alcohol’s] effects is to inhibit the release of anti-diuretic hormone (ADH), a hormone that limits the amount of urine produced in the body. When alcohol is around, less ADH is released, which translates to more urine leaving the body. The effects are present in about 20 minutes, which any beer drinker could affirm.”

So there you go: Grains and alcohol work together to increase flow.

High on Hops
OK, so City Weekly knows a beer aficionado who says, “When I eat [pot] cookies and drink really hoppy beers, it is my opinion that it makes me more high. Because the plants are closely related.”

What at first sounds like another tall stoner story is actually true. Here’s the real deal on the common hop (Humulus lupulus) from the International Substance Use Library (DrugText.org): “The plant … contains lupuline, a yellow resinous powder that is the closest chemical relative to THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. Not only is the hop plant a legal relative of cannabis, but it will get users reasonably stoned. If smoked in the form of a joint, the sweet-sour, flaky fruiting parts of the plant will produce a mild, grass-like high accompanied by a feeling of peace and serenity.”

Dude! Won’t that freak out the Lege? What if that starts “Prohibition II: The Weeding Out”? Epic’s Cole says probably not. “Hops do not contain cannabinoids, so the Legislature can sleep easy. But there have been a few studies that suggest the isohumulones from hops can help with insulin regulation, and other flavonoids in hops might help prevent cancer. But we use hops in the beer cause they taste and smell so damned good.”

Tom’s of Maine also uses hops extract to create a naturally antimicrobial deodorant, and, according to a study conducted by the Physiology Division of the School of Biomedical Sciences at London’s King’s College: “… a recurring suggestion has been that hops have a powerful estrogenic activity and that beer may also be estrogenic. … The presence of 8-prenylnaringenin in hops may provide an explanation for the accounts of menstrual disturbances in female hop workers. This phytoestrogen can also be detected in beer, but the levels are low and should not pose any cause for concern.”

Yeah, unless you happen to be (for whatever reason) predisposed to paranoia.

Maybe someday the saying will be, “Eat, drink and be merry—you’re in Utah.”


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