Cannabis drinks or ‘drinkables’ are a new way of enjoying a cannabis plant that doesn’t involve smoking. Depending on the experience you want to achieve, you can choose from different beverage types, form factors and dosages, so there’s something for everyone. If have never come across a drinkable before, here’s what you need to know about cannabis drinks:
What is a cannabis drink?
It’s just what the name says for this one. Cannabis drinks are beverages that contain cannabis and its active ingredients. This doesn’t sound revolutionary at all—it’s just a drink that will get you tipsy, high or drowsy, right? Well, it’s kind of a big deal because, in the past, cannabis beverages needed something fatty to allow the body to dissolve cannabis efficiently. For that reason, we had a bunch of dairy-based weed cocktails which wasn’t an appealing flavor profile at all. But, thanks to advancements in emulsification and formulation, today we have a wide variety of beverages that contain this magical plant.
What’s in a cannabis drink?
The main ingredient of cannabis drinks are various compounds found in the cannabis plant(a shocker, we know). Most drinks contain THC, CBD, terpenes and other cannabinoids. Depending on the type of fun you want to have, the dosage level of THC and CBD can greatly vary. This is often referred to as the dosage and THC dosage levels can range from 2mg to 100mg in a single serve beverage. Other ingredients are there to enhance the flavor or to provide secondary effects or to balance the final taste profile. Since terpenes, THC and CBD have a strong bitter flavor, most cannabis drinks have added ingredients like sugar, artificial flavoring and others to balance the flavor of the drink.
THC and CBD?
If you’re a regular cannabis user, you probably know everything about THC and CBD, the two primary compounds found in cannabis. THC is a chemical that produces that recognizable “high” while CBD promotes various medical benefits and deep relaxation. Cannabis plants contain both of these chemicals (and hundreds of others) and the value of each depends on the strand. CBD can also be derived from hemp which doesn’t contain THC at all. Some cannabis drinks contain both compounds, some have CBD with traces of THC while some have only CBD.
Types of cannabis drinks
If you’re not into cannabis dairy cocktails, don’t worry, there are many ways you can enjoy drinkables. The best and most popular is probably cannabis sodas or pops. This type of tasty and refreshing cannabis soda comes in many different flavors such as orange, raspberry, mango and guava. Thanks to careful formulation and patented technology which removes all terpenes, these sodas will have no cannabis aroma or flavor impact—they taste just like carbonated tropical juices–with a kick!
If you prefer your beverages hot, you can find tea bags filled with cannabis and tea leaves that release their flavor and potency in boiling water. This type of drinkable is great for dose control since the longer you steep it the stronger it will get. Another hot beverage option is cannabis coffees. They often primarily contain CBD, but can also include low doses of THC.
There are also dry mixes or baggies filled with dissolvable powder that can be put in water to create a cannabis-infused drink. Also great for dose control, dry mixes are also better for storing and transport than pops, but are not as carbonated, blended or balanced in formulation.
What about the taste?
There are cannabis drinks made for every palate. From strong fruity flavors over ginger ale and citrus flavors to relaxing lavender and chamomile tea flavors, there’s really something for every consumer. The taste of the beverage depends on these components; base formulation, THC/CBD content, terpenes, carbonation and other added ingredients. Sugar and artificial flavoring will make cannabis drinks taste more like store-bought sodas, while terpenes give it that natural bitter cannabis flavor. If both THC and CBD are in abundance, the drink can have a pronounced earthy flavor and will taste more like weed in general. If you like conventional sodas, teas, coffees or waters a more subtle cannabis flavor is often desired.
Without a doubt, the cannabis-infused drink market will continue to grow and evolve. There are many ongoing investments in the industry aimed at research and improvement of cannabis drinks, and as the legalization of cannabis continues to spread all over the world, we will see this potent market evolve to include every imaginable type of drink. For now you can only buy the products which contain THC in licensed cannabis retail stores, but expect a drink in your local supermarket or coffee shop very soon.