As CBD products are rapidly becoming ubiquitous in the OTC mainstream market and the number of legal cannabis dispensaries rises across the nation, hemp-derived cannabidiol, CBD, is finding its way into more ingestible products, especially beverages.
CBD drinks are common at CBD specialty stores and making their way into grocery and convenience stores. But, since the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill which legalized hemp and hemp-derived cannabinoids, it’s just a matter of time before CBD-infused beverages are as common as any other health-focused soft drinks, juices, and vitamin waters.
When it comes to purchasing CBD beverages, there are a plethora of options. In this post, we will discuss what makes up a good CBD drink. We will also review some of the high-quality products made by our favorite brands.
What are CBD Drinks?
Any beverage containing CBD can be considered a CBD drink. The trend of CBD-infused drinks is relatively new. However, these products are quickly gaining popularity. CBD-infused soda, cocoa, coffee, tea, and energy drinks are becoming a favorite way to consume cannabidiol.
These CBD beverages come in a range of different formulas depending on the amount of CBD per serving or the type of CBD utilized such as: full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, CBD-isolate, and nano-encapsulated CBD. Some CBD infused drinks come in a selection of flavors, while the ones that only contain CBD isolate are virtually tasteless. CBD drinks can be one of the best methods to efficiently ingest the healing properties of cannabinoids.
What is CBD water?
CBD water is water compounded with an infusion of CBD particles. It is relatively new to the market. CBD water is a good choice for individuals who don’t enjoy the taste of hemp as the method of CBD infusion makes the water tasteless. Aficionados claim that CBD water is an expedient way to obtain the healing properties of CBD.
Check out CBD Living Nano Hemp-infused Water listed in this article.
What is CBD soda?
CBD sodas come in two categories: CBD isolate-infused sodas, and full-spectrum CBD sodas. Those containing isolates are generally made with water-soluble nano-encapsulated CBD. CBD sodas with full-spectrum CBD oil, on the other hand, take on the earthy flavor of hemp.
What is CBD coffee?
CBD coffee is quite simply coffee that has been infused with CBD isolate (or sometimes full-spectrum CBD) during the roasting process. This drink tastes like coffee and not hemp. Coffee infused with CBD is known to offset the normal side-effects associated with regular coffee, such as insomnia, upset stomach, anxiety, and energy slumps. CBD coffee is known to produce a relaxed, highly aware state without the jitters.
Check out Green Roads Hemp-flower coffee mentioned in this article for more information.
What is CBD tea?
CBD teas blends CBD oil or CBD isolate with tea beverages or tea leaves. As with CBD water, CBD tea beverages are generally infused with flavorless nano-encapsulated water-soluble CBD. However, some fans of CBD tea enjoy the natural hemp flavor that comes with full-spectrum infusions.
Interestingly, one of the companies on our list, CBD American Shaman, makes sparkling CBD tea.
What are CBD shots?
Energy shots have become quite popular over the past few decades. Often, CBD shots contain other active ingredients such as caffeine, B vitamins, and herbal extracts.
Nirvana and Tribe, are the two companies in our list of best CBD drinks below that offer CBD shots. CBD-shots are convenient and generally come in single serving sizes and a variety of flavors.
What are CBD energy drinks?
CBD energy drinks, like CBD shots, are becoming quite popular. And, like CBD shots, CBD energy drinks contain additional active ingredients such as caffeine, taurine, guarana, ginseng, ginkgo biloba, B vitamins, and l-carnitine.
Joy Organics offers a powdered energy drink mix that can be added to any beverage.
How are CBD drinks made?
The concept of CBD drinks sounds pretty straightforward, however, the process involved is a little more complex than simply blending CBD tincture into a beverage. Some forward-thinking coffee shops and bars are adding CBD into their beverages at the counter. However, the commercial, mass-produced CBD drinks that are available online and at dispensaries are blended using a more sophisticated process.
It’s a widely known fact that “oil and water don’t mix,” and since many CBD extracts come as oil, it makes sense that beverages and waters produced for mass consumption must be made with easily-dissolvable, water-soluble CBD. With this cutting-edge technology, CBD particles are broken down into microscopic nanodroplets and then encapsulated in an emulsifier which is then easily infused into the liquids.
Another popular form known for high CBD content and bioavailability is CBD isolate which comes in a crystalline form. CBD isolate offers one of the highest bioavailabilities that is linked to how much CBD is absorbed into the bloodstream. CBD drinks can be made using CBD isolate. However, when compared to this crystalline form of CBD, water-soluble CBD is superior for making CBD drinks and CBD water as the product will have a better shelf life. Oils in drinks made with non-soluble CBD will eventually separate from the water.
What is the difference between CBD-beverages and CBD-water?
The only difference between typical CBD drinks and CBD water is the list of ingredients. Along with typical beverage ingredients, CBD drinks, in addition to flavorings, carbonation, colors, and others can sometimes contain herbs or supplements such as kava, passionflower, valerian, chamomile, vitamins, and minerals. These added ingredients help promote relaxation, energy, or other health benefits.
CBD water, on the other hand, is simply water infused with CBD using the aforementioned nanoencapsulation technology.
What are the benefits of drinking CBD-drinks?
The benefits of water-soluble CBD drinks surpass those of oil-based CBD products. That’s because the bioavailability of water-soluble CBD is much higher. Oil-based CBD is often trapped in the body’s fatty tissues, whereas the water-soluble CBD in CBD drinks and CBD water are more readily absorbed into the bloodstream, greatly increasing the onset time and duration of the effects.
More and more healthcare professionals are now coming to believe that CBD has comparable health benefits to many types of modern medicine. This is because research is showing the abundant advantages of CBD. The whole topic is not recent as hemp and its extracts have been used for their health benefits, for thousands of years now.
The human body has the ability to produce its own natural cannabinoids. These molecules regulate and modulate a wide array of bodily functions by interacting with receptors on the surface of cells throughout the body relaying instructions for cells to change their behavior at a cellular level. This system is known as the human endocannabinoid system or ECS1. Technically, the cannabinoids produced by the human body are known as endocannabinoids while those produced in plants, such as hemp, are known as phytocannabinoids. Cannabinoids such as CBD have the ability to mimic some of the effects of our own body's cannabinoids; thus, imparting many of the same health benefits2.
Because hemp and CBD are now legal in the U.S., more attention is expected to be given to these wonderful ingredients. Large studies are expected to be done on CBD, unveiling more evidence about the benefits of CBD in general. For example, some studies have linked CBD to anticancer properties3.
CBD Drinks Quick Guide
Our Product Selection Methodology
There are a variety of CBD drink products available now on the market; but, you need to know that not all are as transparent in terms of quality and safety as they claim to be.
When choosing a CBD drink, or any other CBD product, it’s imperative to keep the following requirements in mind:
Reputable CBD Brands
Always choose products from transparent CBD brands that have a guaranteed reputation in the industry. The right manufacturers are dedicated to providing high-quality products. We, at CBD school, make sure we include only these in our lists.
The most reliable products are undoubtedly those that are made using all-natural, non-GMO hemp (produced without genetic engineering) grown in the US4. Using natural ingredients limits the amount of processing required, facilitates the extraction of the final product, and yields a safe product with minimal or no side-effects.
Third-Party Lab Test Results
To ensure authenticity and reliability, always choose products that have undergone third-party lab tests and made the results available on their websites. These tests make sure that the cannabinoid levels in the product match those claimed on the product label, and guarantee that there are no heavy metals, molds, or pesticides present in the final product.
Active and Inactive Ingredients
Always look at all active (an ingredient that contains CBD) and inactive ingredients on the label to ensure you’re choosing the highest quality CBD product. When possible, choose an all-natural product made without any artificial ingredients.
Look for products with different potencies to meet your specific needs. Certain brands offer a wider selection of different strength products, while others offer only one or two potencies. When making our recommendations, we try to mention brands and products that offer multiple potencies.
Variety of Price
We try to include products at various prices to meet the needs of everyone’s budget. When evaluating the price of a product, keep in mind that it varies depending on the strength, serving size, volume, and any added ingredients.
Our exclusive lists try to give you all the information you need to make an informed decision that suits your specific desires and needs.
Olive oil method of extraction
The olive oil method of extraction was the first method for extracting CBD from hemp. It is clean and cost-effective and involves heating the raw plant material to a temperature that activates the plant. However, the main issue with this method is that the activated olive oil/CBD mix must be strictly kept in a dark and cool place in order to keep it fresh.
Solvent extraction uses butane, propane, ethanol, isopropyl, or alcohol to extract the CBD from hemp. It is the cheapest and quickest method but is also the most dangerous.
Currently, the most common method of extracting CBD is the CO2 method, which is also the most expensive due to the cost of equipment. However, it provides a potent, safe, and chlorophyll-free product.
Top 8 CBD Drinks
15% off discount with code CBDSCHOOL
USA GROWN HEMP
- Each pack contains 20mg of CBD isolate and requires no measuring
- The powder dissolves quickly and provides an instant CBD beverage
- The powder can be dissolved in hot or cold liquid
- This product contains zero THC
- This CBD-powder is available in two sizes – a 30 pack and a 60 pack
The Brothers Apothecary
Chocodelic Trip Hot Cocoa
USA GROWN HEMP
35% off discount with code CBDSCHOOL
Premium CBD Energy Drink
USA GROWN HEMP
- These CBD drinks are fast-acting for a quick energy boost.
- This CBD beverage has a zero THC content
- This product comes in packages of five
- The powder comes in a delicious “Happy Berry” flavor
- Joy Organics offers free shipping for their orders
- The company also has a money-back guarantee
Hemp Flower Coffee
USA GROWN HEMP
- This CBD-infused coffee is an award-winner
- The coffee contains CBD, CBG, and other powerful cannabinoids
- This product comes in three delicious flavors
- It can be purchased in a 3-pack bundle, or 2.5 and 12 oz packs
- If you order more than $50 worth of products, shipping is free
20% off discount with code CBDSCHOOL
USA GROWN HEMP
20% off discount with code AMERICAN20
CBD Sparkling Tea
USA GROWN HEMP
CBD Sleep Shot
USA GROWN HEMP
- The CBD-sleep shots also contain sleep-inducing melatonin, lavender, valerian, 5-HTP, and Baikal skullcap flower
- These CBD-infused drinks are made with nano-emulsified CBD oil
- These CBD beverages are compounded to be fast-acting
- The CBD-sleep shots can be purchased individually or in 3 or 12 packs
- This CBD-infused drink contains zero THC
CBD Shots 4-Pack
USA GROWN HEMP
How much CBD drink should I consume?
Every individual metabolizes CBD differently. Moreover, everyone’s endocannabinoid system is different and scientists are still trying to understand the whole complexity of this cell-signaling system. We produce different amounts of endocannabinoids and our cells express cannabinoid receptors differently. What is well established is that this system is necessary to regulate our sleep, mood, appetite, memory and reproduction/fertility system6.
As a result, each person needs to experiment in order to determine their personal ideal serving size. Many factors come into play when deciding on the right dose such as the time of day CBD drinks are consumed, whether or not they are taken with food, and how active is the consumer at the time of use.
When using CBD drinks for medicinal purposes, it's best, to always start with the minimal dose and add up the amount, as desired to reach a minimum effective dosage. Surpassing that dosage is not recommended as it might not add any additional benefits or even diminish the desired effects. CBD is known to be a biphasic compound. When you exceed a certain dose, the sought for effects can change. Alcohol is another good example of a biphasic element. Used in moderation, alcohol can be relaxing and uplifting. However, surpassing the ideal dose of alcohol can be damaging to your health and lead to toxic effects.
Unlike alcohol, CBD is completely non-toxic, non-addictive, and non-intoxicating. However, if too much CBD hemp is consumed at once, the side effects may include drowsiness and lethargy. The ideal dosage should be just right: high enough to show some beneficial effect, but not too high leading to unwanted effects such as lethargy.
When consuming CBD drinks for non-medical use, personal preference comes to place. It is up to every user to decide what dose is helping them get the desired effects. Most CBD drinks contain between 10mg and 100mg of CBD. Drinking an entire CBD beverage that normally contains 50mg to 100mg of CBD could cause drowsiness or lethargy.
How long do the effects of CBD infused drinks last?
When consumed as a beverage, CBD is generally metabolized within 4 hours, depending on every person's metabolism and body. However, the effects are strongest 45 minutes to 1.5 hours after consumption; then, the effect starts to taper off after a couple of hours.
How much CBD is usually in CBD drinks?
The amount will vary depending on the product and manufacturer of the CBD products. For example, a 16oz bottle of CBD water contains 10-25mg of CBD, and sometimes more. Market research indicates a range of products that contain 4-30mg per serving. So, when planning your budget, a large bottle of 500ml would then be little more expensive, most likely around $10 (on average) due to the higher CBD content.
Looking at 12 oz. CBD sodas, it shows that it contains 20 mg of CBD. On the other hand, CBD-infused coffee and tea appear to have similar doses, averaging around 20mg of CBD for an 11oz container.
One interesting product available on the market is lavender sparkling water containing 15mg of CBD.
Some people prefer to blend their own CBD drinks and have control over the CBD content. In that case, the best option is to purchase water-soluble CBD and concoct the beverage at home. Also, some companies make powdered CBD formulas that can be added to any drink as an instant CBD-infused beverage.
If hemp-derived CBD meets certain requirements and contains less than 0.3% THC on a dry weight basis, it is considered legal under federal law, according to the 2018 Farm Bill. All of the CBD drinks available for purchase on the market must adhere to the regulations of the state in which they are produced7.
CBD safety and side effects
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), naturally occurring CBD is considered safe and well-tolerated in both humans and animals8. Potential side effects of over-consumption of CBD beverages include possible drowsiness, lethargy, dry mouth, and changes in appetite. It’s always recommended to read the ingredient list of CBD drinks, especially if you're prone to digestive sensitivities. Many are made with active ingredients that some individuals might not tolerate well.
There is no doubt that CBD drinks are on an exponentially increasing popularity. Many are discovering the multiple health benefits of this naturally-occurring natural product. In time, CBD drinks, in all its forms, will be available nationwide whether in grocery stores, gas stations, and your local convenience store. But, for the time being, you can have access to the many CBD products online and in many dispensaries around the country!
Cheers! To your health!
1Human Endocannabinoid System. (n.d.). Retrieved January 05, 2021, from https://cannabis.semel.ucla.edu/endocannabinoid/
2Phytocannabinoid. (n.d.). Retrieved January 05, 2021, from https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/chemistry/phytocannabinoid
3Guzmán, M. (2003, December). Cannabinoids: Potential anticancer agents. Retrieved January 05, 2021, from https://www.nature.com/articles/nrc1188
4Hilderbrand R. L. (2018). Hemp & Cannabidiol: What is a Medicine?. Missouri medicine, 115(4), 306–309.
5Nuapia, Y., Tutu, H., Chimuka, L., & Cukrowska, E. (2020). Selective Extraction of Cannabinoid Compounds from Cannabis Seed Using Pressurized Hot Water Extraction. Molecules (Basel, Switzerland), 25(6), 1335. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25061335
6Ahn, K., McKinney, M. K., & Cravatt, B. F. (2008, April 23). Enzymatic Pathways That Regulate Endocannabinoid Signaling in the Nervous System. Retrieved January 05, 2021, from https://doi.org/10.1021/cr0782067
7Commissioner, O. (n.d.). FDA Regulation of Cannabis and Cannabis-Derived Products: Q&A. Retrieved January 05, 2021, from https://www.fda.gov/news-events/public-health-focus/fda-regulation-cannabis-and-cannabis-derived-products-including-cannabidiol-cbd
8White, P., Walsh, D., & Babalonis, D. (2018, June 7). CANNABIDIOL (CBD) – Critical Review Report (Rep.). Retrieved January 4, 2021, from World Health Organization website: https://www.who.int/medicines/access/controlled-substances/CannabidiolCriticalReview.pdf