Break out the Lucky Charms, salute your shamrock and sing classic folk songs about the “aul country” while wiping away a tear—St. Patrick’s Day is here. If you’re not au fait with the meaning behind the March 17 holiday, here’s a quick Cliff’s Notes version. The day commemorates the famed patron Saint of Ireland, Patrick, who notably brought Christianity to Ireland and, according to legend, drove the snakes out of Ireland.
Even if you’re not from the Emerald Isle by birthright, you can still embrace the Irish spirit and celebrate all things Irish, which basically means drinking Guinness, green beer, or whiskey shooters. But if your vibe is more Emerald Triangle than Emerald Isle, you might want to skip the booze and try a cannabis-infused beverage instead.
The cannabis-infused beverages category is surging: according to Brightfield Group, the THC-infused beverages market will account for $1 billion in US sales by 2025. It’s easy to see why the relatively nascent vertical is experiencing such growth. Infused drinks offer a delicious replacement for alcohol and the associated adverse effects while still having access to the same social experience as popping a few cold ones—without the concern of over-consuming. They bridge the gap between the expected and the unexpected, offering precise doses to give consistent, predictable effects instead of surprise drunkenness. The best part? No hangover.
Whatever your tipple taste preference, be it flavored seltzers, mocktails, or tonics, why not swap for the sauce for these five deliciously effective, effervescent and better-for-you beverages this St Paddy’s Day.
Pure Beauty: Little Strong Drink
First up, it’s a beverage that really packs a punch. Little in name only, the Little Strong Drink is made from live resin and squeezes 100mg of THC into only 2oz. The preserved terpene profile of the extracts and Concord grapes grown in the Yakima Valley make this deliciously aromatic drink perfect for sipping straight or mixing into other beverages like soda or mocktails. Other ingredients of note include sustainably grown Ashwagandha root, which helps to relieve stress and strengthen adrenal wellness. It’s also free from nasty artificial colors, flavors, preservatives and added sweeteners.
Cann Social Tonics
With a slew of celebrity fans, including Kate Hudson, Rosario Dawson and Gwyneth Paltrow, Cann social tonics offer the perfect dose to get you in the mood for fun, without altering your mind. Cann has relaunched its delicious Ginger Lemongrass seasonal flavor just in time for St Patrick’s Day. With a microdose of 2mg of THC and 4mg of CBD to give you a relaxed-yet-sociable buzz plus only 35 calories, Cann’s lightly carbonated beverages are also available in Cranberry Sage, Lemon Lavender, Grapefruit Rosemary, and Blood Orange Cardamom flavors and are made with all-natural ingredients.
The phrase “drink to good health” takes on a new meaning with Flora Hemp Spirits, the world’s first alcohol-free, cannabinoid-based spirits made using all-natural ingredients while containing zero sugar and zero calories. This innovative range provides a delicious alternative to booze while letting you unwind with a mild buzz. Perfect for the “sober curious,” Flora Spirits are available in three options: Essence (CBD), delta-8, and pre-mixed Passion Fruit “Margarita,” which contains 5MG of delta-8 THC and 10MG of CBD in each can. Simply swap out gin or vodka with Flora’s Essence or delta-8 spirits to create delicious mocktails.
Brought to you by the Stanley Brothers, the Colorado-based family known for their game-changing Charlotte’s Web CBD oil, ReCreate beverages are among the most advanced highs you can buy. The fast-acting formulations include full-spectrum extracts and efficacious botanical adaptogens like Yerba Mate to help uplift your energy levels. There are three flavor options available as a 2.5 mg CBD/2.5 mg THC microdose formula: Blueberry Mint Acai, Cucumber Mint, and Mango Hibiscus. For those wanting a heavier-hitting dose, Cucumber Mint and Mango Hibiscus are available in an extra-strength 10 mg CBD/10 mg THC option that will uplift you in a delicious, refreshing way.
Combining a stimulating buzz with a soothing calm to sharpen focus while reducing anxiety, Psychedelic Water is truly perfect for people engaged in creative or stressful work where energy and a positive mentality are essential. The non-alcoholic psychedelic beverage is made from kava, damiana leaf extract and green tea leaf extract, a trio of ingredients chosen to replicate the euphoria-inducing effects of psychedelics without the hallucinations. Available in for Blackberry + Yuzu, Hibiscus + Lime, Oolong + Orange Blossom and Prickly Pear, Psychedelic Water produces a clean and healthy buzz that’s Kosher, non-alcoholic, free of added sugars and low in calories.
All it takes is four steps. You’re only four steps away from making a Rick Simpson Oil-infused syrup that you’ll want to keep on hand to easily make cannabis beverages at home. No alcohol, no fuss, and you have total control over dosage and ingredients. Sounds pretty great, no?
RSO in the Kitchen
If you’re looking for a potent, relatively inexpensive, full-spectrum extract to incorporate in the kitchen, Rick Simpson Oil (RSO) is the perfect choice. It has a concentrated cannabis-flower taste that adds depth and bitterness to a drink or dish (it even boasts a floral sweetness, depending on the strain), with a powerful dosage that’s convenient to work with when making therapeutic foods.
Rick Simpson Oil/RSO is a super-concentrated cannabis oil that’s also full spectrum, meaning it contains all of the cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids of the plant. It’s made with a high-octane solvent, such as ethanol, then left unrefined beyond extraction, resulting in a high percentage of original chemical compounds and chlorophyll left in the final product.
Heat gently applied during the extraction process burns off the solvent and decarboxylates the cannabinoids, so the oil is ready to be applied as a potent topical or eaten as-is. The catch: It tastes terrible. However, this actually makes it ideal for infusing foods that make the most of its fiercely bitter, herbal flavors, and allows for the creation of heavy-hitting edibles that fully maximize the entourage effect (the idea that the specific chemical compounds and oils found naturally in cannabis strains are amplified in strength when left together).
Who’s Rick Simpson?
The eponymous creator and advocate of the dark, sticky cannabis oil recommends making the extract from your own plants so you know precisely what has and hasn’t gone into the final product. He first published his DIY recipe for Rick Simpson Oil—a name first coined by Jack Herer—on the internet in 2004. Simpson himself poetically calls the oil “Phoenix Tears” and has never patented his method, ensuring the information remains freely available to literally anyone who wants it.
For years, he made RSO personally from his home grow and gave it away for medicinal use, but a 2009 raid by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police put a full and final stop to that effort. He and his wife Danijela now live in Croatia, where they continue to be tremendous cannabis activists and educators, despite Simpson suffering a paralyzing stroke in 2018. They currently sell the authoritative books on RSO from their websiteand offer instructions on how to produce the oil.
1/8 tsp. Liquid Sunflower Lecithin** (found in health food stores or online; do not sub powder)
1 cup Sugar
2 cups Water
Immersion or High-speed Blender
Change the math to correlate to your specific percentages of THC or CBD in your RSO, but as an example: The average RSO contains about 60-80% THC per gram. So, if the gram of RSO used in this recipe had 60% THC, it would come out to 600mg THC in the final bottle of syrup. Divide that total by the number of servings (which in this case is 19), so 19 servings equal roughly 30mg per drink.
**Liquid sunflower lecithin is the key to creating a stable suspension of oil in liquid/emulsification here, accept no substitutes.
RSO-infused Simple Syrup
1. Bring water to a boil in the saucepan;
2. Turn off heat and whisk sugar into the hot water until sugar is dissolved completely;
3. Let cool slightly, then carefully pour the syrup into a heat-tolerant container safe for blending with an immersion blender. If using a high-speed blender, pour into the blender pitcher;
4. Blend RSO and 1/8th tsp. of liquid sunflower lecithin into the hot syrup until most of the oil specks dissolve. If the oil specks remain stubborn, you can add it back to the saucepan and heat it slightly (the gentlest warmth and stirring should do the trick);
5. Once hot, it’ll foam like crazy which means the sunflower lecithin is creating a stable suspension/emulsion;
6. Scrape down the oil that sticks to the sides of the container as you blend;
7. When most of the oil specks have dissipated, use the glass stirring rod to break up the foam;
8. Let the syrup cool fully. Label clearly as containing cannabis and at what dosage
1. Put ice in a Collins or rocks glass;
2. Fill the glass with sparkling water;
3. Top with 1 oz. RSO-infused simple syrup;
4. Garnish and enjoy
This story was originally published in the print edition of Cannabis Now.
In California, it’s called Cali sober, but all over the world people are switching from alcohol to cannabis-infused beverages, purposefully doing away with drunkenness, cognitive fumbling, and stumbling—and possibly that walk of shame the next morning—along with the hangovers. Harm reduction is the new buzzword for switching to weed, with people across the country choosing the plant over booze, stating it makes them better people, parents, and partners.
“Cannabis drinks are a fantastic alternative to alcohol,” Evans said. “With the new low-dose options that are now available, these beverages can offer a similar experience to drinking one glass of wine or a beer, but without the hangover. Market trends are also showing that more consumers are seeking alternatives to alcoholic beverages for health reasons, which has been driving new curious consumers to the cannabis drinks category.”
In 2021, Evans launched Herbacée, a cannabis-infused beverage company, “celebrating flower and vine.” Evans said the iconic wine regions of France inspired Herbacée. The non-alcoholic cannabis beverage blends phytocannabinoids (cannabinoids derived from plants), terpenes (aromatic compounds which contribute to taste and smell), tannins (a bitter, astringent compound found in things like wine), and terroir (characteristic tastes imparted by the natural environment).
“In researching cannabis, I came across many similarities between the plant and wine, including farming practices and sensory evaluation techniques,” Evans said. “Mixology is defined as the skill of mixing cocktails and other drinks, but at its core, it’s the extensive study of the art and craft of combining flavors.”
With her new drinks guide, Evans offers recipes, tips, and tricks in making cannabis-infused craft cocktails, smoothies, lattes, and spirit-free mixed drinks at home. Basic infusions include making age-old bitters, honey, sour mix, simple syrups, and alcohol-based tinctures. Using a technique she calls “infused mixology,” the book teaches the basic building blocks of crafting marijuana mocktails.
“One of the most important things to making a good cocktail is balance,” Evans said. “As with all drinks, we must evaluate whether the drink is too sweet or too sour? Is it complex or simple? What’s the texture like? How can you make this drink more intriguing and palatable? Once you can achieve balance, you’ve created a good cocktail. Also, remember that every ingredient that goes into the beverage is meant to enhance the complexity, structure, mouthfeel, and backbone.”
The Future is Fluid
Evans is excited for more people to try their hand at making cannabis cocktails.
“I am enthusiastic about the future of cannabis cuisine, cannabis restaurants, and cannabis-infused beverage bars,” she said. “In my opinion, making your own infusions, such as cannabis-infused simple syrup or cannabis-infused bitters, is the best method to use since it allows you to customize the infusion based on your personal preferences.”
Cannabis infusions will also combine into drinks seamlessly versus using a commercially-made oil tincture. Evans said the only downside with making your own infusions is calculating the dosage. With homemade creations, the milligram count will never be as precise as using a professionally-made product.
If you don’t have time to create your own infusions, Evans suggests adding an alcohol or oil tincture to infuse drinks.
“Dosing in this way is easy when using a measured tincture or water-soluble formulations that have already been tested with protocols,” she said. “CBD isolates using just one compound from the plant, cannabidiol, are another way to infuse a beverage. They are typically flavorless, odorless and are a fast and potent way to integrate CBD into your regime.”
Evans noted consumers can also utilize beverages already infused with THC or CBD right off the shelf, adding the pre-made infusions to their mocktails for another quick mix. She said the most important thing is to make sure everything used can be well blended, mixed, stirred, shaken, or muddled (mashing plants, such as mint or fruit in the bottom of a glass).
Evans said those interested in crafting their own cannabis cocktails can begin by making tasting notes for each ingredient and should not shy away from the herbaceous taste of weed.
“When working with cannabis in a cocktail, don’t mask the flavor of cannabis, complement it,” she said. “A lot of producers add a ton of sugar to drinks that cover the flavors of cannabis. Instead, if you focus on using terpene-inspired ingredients, they will play well with cannabis flavors and your drinks will taste delicious!”
Evans’ book Cannabis Drinks: Secrets to Crafting CBD and THC Beverages at Home contains a wealth of knowledge regarding how to take the guesswork out of making quality homemade cannabis beverages. Here are two recipes from the book.
Packed with nutrients, vitamins, and minerals, fresh carrot juice adds delicious flavors to drinks and can help improve your immune system, increase your metabolism, and help lower cholesterol. Carrot juice also pairs well with many other fruits, vegetables, roots, and herbs, making it a wonderful item to mix with. Introducing the ginger rabbit: Give this recipe a try when you’re in need of some extra nutrients to help support your immune system or anytime you’re in the mood for an incredibly refreshing drink!
Yield: 1 serving Target Dose: 8 mg CBD | 2 mg THC per drink (using infused ginger simple syrup), or your preferred dose (using a commercially made CBD or THC tincture of your choice)
Equipment: Muddler Shaker tin Fine-mesh strainer Collins glass Bar spoon Reusable straw
Ingredients: 1 (1-inch or 2.5-cm) piece fresh ginger, peeled and sliced 2 ounces (60 ml) fresh-pressed apple juice 4 ounces (118 ml) fresh-pressed carrot juice 1 1/2 ounces (45 ml) fresh lemon juice 1/2 ounce (15 ml) infused ginger simple syrup Ice Splash of ginger beer Carrot greens, edible flowers, and a slice of lemon for garnish
Directions: Muddle the ginger and apple juice at the bottom of a shaker tin. Muddle well to extract as much ginger flavor as possible. Add the carrot juice, lemon juice, and infused ginger simple syrup. Add ice, cover, then shake for 15 seconds or until very cold.
Using a fine-mesh strainer, separate the solids from the liquids over a Collins glass filled three-quarters with fresh ice. Top with a splash of ginger beer, give it a good stir with a bar spoon, then garnish with a sprig of carrot greens, edible flowers, and a slice of lemon. This drink is best enjoyed with a reusable straw.
Note: When making spirit-free mixed drinks, it’s best to stick with healthier options and avoid extra sugar. I always recommend using fresh-pressed juices over concentrates and to source seasonal ingredients so that you’re working with the freshest produce possible. The same goes for ginger beer—the quality matters. I recommend using Q Ginger Beer because of its extra carbonation and spicy but not overly sweet flavor. Avoid using mixers that contain high fructose corn syrup or a ton of added sugar. These additives can drastically change the drink’s profile. If you don’t have the supplies to infuse the ginger simple syrup, simply substitute for regular simple syrup, then add your favorite unflavored tincture (at your preferred dose) into the shaker tin before muddling. Follow the directions as written.
Infused Ginger Simple Syrup
Yield: about 15 to 16 ounces (465 to 480 ml) Target Dose: 16 mg CBD | 4 mg THC per ounce (using a flower infusion)
Equipment: Digital scale Peeler Measuring cups Measuring spoons Small saucepan Thermometer One 16-ounce (480-ml) sterilized Mason jar Cheesecloth Fine-mesh strainer
Ingredients: 3 grams decarboxylated flower of your choice 2 cups (480 ml) water 1 cup (340 g) honey 1 1/2 heaping tablespoons fresh ginger, peeled and sliced into pieces 1 tablespoon (15 ml) food-grade vegetable glycerin
Directions: Weigh out 3 grams of decarboxylated flower. Set aside.
Combine the water, honey, and ginger in a small saucepan. Bring to a soft boil, stirring until the honey dissolves into the water. Reduce the heat to around 160°F to 180°F (71°C to 82°C) and add the decarboxylated cannabis.
Simmer over low heat for 50 minutes, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat and add the vegetable glycerin—this will give the CBD (and THC) something to bind to. Continue to heat and stir for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat.
Pour the infused simple syrup into a 16-ounce (480-ml) Mason jar through cheesecloth placed in a fine-mesh strainer to remove the solids. Let cool and shake before serving.
The Boston Beer Company, Inc.—the company behind hard drinks such as Samuel Adams, Angry Orchard, Truly Hard Seltzer, and Twisted Tea Original Hard Iced Tea—today announced the launch of TeaPot, a new line of cannabis-infused iced teas.
According to a May 23 press release, TeaPot is the company’s first infused beverage offering and will be available to the public in select Canadian provinces beginning in July.
The brand’s first release is a Good Day Iced Tea, made with real lemon black tea and infused with Pedro’s Sweet Sativa, a cultivar grown in Strathroy, Ontario in Canada by licensed producer Entourage Health Corp. Each can contains 5mg of THC, ideal for daytime or nighttime use.
Given the popularity of hard iced tea drinks, ciders, and other variations, the forward-thinking move mirrors a seismic shift in social drinking.
“TeaPot is meant to be very inviting as a brand,” Director, Head of Cannabis at The Boston Beer Company Paul Weaver, told High Times. “Cannabis beverages are the most social form of cannabis consumption. And it’s really about bucking the trends as a solitary stoner—you no longer have to leave outside and come back to join the party.”
Weaver says that while there is a great deal of current hype around full-spectrum terp profiles and effects—notably in the flower space—the herbal taste is not necessarily what beverage makers are after.
“It’s a nice balance between black tea and lemon and a little bit of sweetness with virtually no cannabis taste or aroma,” Weaver said, adding “we know how to make a really great tasting iced tea.” Leaving out the cannabis aroma makes it ideal for a layer of discreteness.
The expansion into the cannabis area shows “the continued progress of Boston Beer’s product development capabilities,” Weaver continued. “Our CEO, Dave Burwick likes to kind of challenge us to be the most innovative beverage company in the world, which is kind of a lofty ambition. But for him that means not only how we took craft beer and then evolved with the hard cider with the Angry Orchard brand or evolved into flavored malt beverages with Twisted Tea, and hard seltzers.”
The TeaPot Strain, Pedro’s Sweet Sativa
Pedro’s Sweet Sativa is a sativa-dominant hybrid, rich in terps like its dominant beta-caryophyllene, pinene, and reportedly smells sweet with undertones of spice. There are also notes of myrcene, according to Leafly. The cultivar is a cross of a Dominican sativa, White Russian, and an unknown indica to boost its THC potential.
“You can get Pedro’s in carts, you can get pre-rolls … you can get whole flower Pedro’s,” Weaver said. “Pedro’s is like a Canadian legend in terms of the strain. It was around from the early days of medical cannabis. And I remember when legalization occurred, you know, wherever that is now three or four years ago, it was [one of] the first strains that people sought out by name, because it has such a rich history. It’s a very uplifting strain. It’s a strain that is notorious for its sativa qualities, if you believe in those qualities, and for us, you know our partner is the exclusive grower of Pedro’s Sweet Sativa. And so it was kind of a no-brainer for us to pick what we felt was their crown jewel strain, and infuse it into a daytime iced tea.”
According to Headset retail data, since 2020, Canada’s infused beverage market share soared by nearly 850%—making it approximately twice the size of the U.S. cannabis beverage market thanks to fewer restrictions at the federal level.
“Our goal is to be the most innovative consumer-focused beverage company on the planet,” said Dave Burwick, CEO of The Boston Beer Company. “While beer is our middle name, we’ve also introduced successful hard teas, hard ciders, hard seltzers, and canned cocktails. We’re encouraged by the continued growth of the cannabis beverage category and we believe it’s one of the next innovation frontiers. As we await further progress on U.S. regulations, we’ll continue to develop an exciting product pipeline in the federally regulated market of Canada.”
According to VinePair, part of Boston Beer Company’s success is its ability to adapt, expanding to craft brews and hard iced teas and ciders. Twisted Tea’s unparalleled success flourished during the thick of the COVID-19 pandemic. Part of this of course was due to an unexpected chain of events.
In 2020, Twisted Tea stock surged in popularity despite being in one of the most volatile markets in history. A man named Barry Allen became a viral phenomenon after knocking out a racist, drunk man who was out of control and practically asking for it. Allen, father of five, became known as “TeaKO” or the “Twisted Tea Guy,” who did what many people would call handling the situation. However, Boston Beer Company did not sponsor the man, nor is there any connection to him, according to Allen’s wife. In other words, it was just a man who happened to be wielding a Twisted Tea can.
Visit TeaPot’s website to learn more about where to find the drink in upcoming months.
You know things have really gone mainstream when major corporations start getting in on something. And such is the case with Pepsi and the growing cannabis industry. What did the company do? It just announced the release of its new Pepsi infused Rockstar Unplugged Energy Drinks.
Pepsi is jumping in the weed game with its new infused Rockstar Unplugged Energy Drinks which contain a nice dose of hemp seed oil. Will this start a race between large drink manufacturers to get more cannabis products out? Stay tuned to life to find out. We’re all about covering this emerging field, and work hard to get you the best news possible. To keep up, sign up for The THC Weekly Newsletter for all the best news items as they happen, as well as access to premium deals on products like flowers, vapes, edibles, and more!We also offer great deals on cannabinoid compounds like HHC-O, Delta 8, Delta 9 THC, Delta-10 THC, THCO, THCV, THCP & HHC . Head over to our “Best-of” lists to find them!
A little on Pepsi
Originally founded in 1902, PepsiCo is a multinational corporation based out of America that manufactures and sells food and beverage products. The current version of PepsiCo came into existence in 1965, when its previous entity of Pepsi-Cola merged with Frito-Lay to form PepsiCo. How big is PepsiCo? As of the beginning of 2021, the corporation had 23 brands, which each bring in over $1 billion in sales yearly, and has products sold in over 200 countries. In 2020 alone, PepsiCo’s net revenue topped $70 billion.
While we are familiar with all of PepsiCo’s varied brands, the most well-known is the company’s namesake, Pepsi-Cola, or just Pepsi. First developed in 1893, and introduced as Brad’s Drink (as it was first developed by a guy named Caleb Bradham), it received it’s new – and ongoing – name of Pepsi-Cola in 1898, which became simply Pepsi in 1961.
Pepsi’s main rival has always been Coca-Cola, which debuted slightly earlier in 1886. Coca-Cola employed the actual use of cocaine in its drinks, hence the name of the beverage that still remains today. In contrast, Pepsi never had any narcotic substance in any of its beverages. These days Coke relies on its addictive sugary sweetness, much like Pepsi, with both sodas being two of the most popular beverages in the world today.
Pepsi infused Rockstar Unplugged Energy Drinks
The cannabis industry has really taken off in the last several years, with legalizations in many states spurring on the growth of the industry. Tons of new products come out every day, including cannabis-infused foods and beverages, like energy drinks. Though the majority of these products are being put out by smaller companies, the popularity of cannabis-infused products has certainly reached a fever pitch, and we know this because Pepsi just launched its first cannabis infused product in the form of an energy drink.
On Tuesday February 8th, the company unveiled its line of hemp seed oil infused Rockstar Unplugged Energy Drinks. The drinks contain other natural extracts besides hemp seed oil, and are also infused with spearmint and lemon balm. Each can contains 80mg of caffeine.
Says PepsiCo’s general manager and chief marketing officer for its energy line, Fabiola Torres, “It’s a combination of herbals that can help us to relax, but not to sleep.” These Rockstar drinks have less caffeine than other Rockstar offerings which contain as much as 160mg to 300mg of caffeine. Said Torres in an interview with the New York Post, this product came around because about 91% of Pepsi drinkers have indicated that they “wanted a beverage that lifts their mood.”
These Rockstar drinks, dubbed Rockstar Unplugged, are now available in 12oz cans, and come in the following flavors: blueberry, passion fruit, and raspberry cucumber. Prices are $1.99+ a can nationwide. This is not the first appearance of infused energy drinks by Pepsi though. In April of last year, Pepsi released its infused Rockstar Energy + Hemp drink in Germany, which was similar, except for containing double the caffeine of the US product.
To be clear on the product being put out, the Pepsi infused Rockstar Unplugged Energy Drink is not a CBD-infused drink, but only uses hemp oil. This is at least party because its illegal to market CBD in food products since its an active ingredient in an FDA-approved medication. Hemp seed oil is not, and is simply the oil taken out of hemp seeds.
Why the new Pepsi infused Rockstar Unplugged Energy Drink is a big deal
If everything about the PepsiCo company stated above seems like unnecessary background information, the reason for it, is to simply show the scale that PepsiCo (and the Coca-Cola company) operates on in the world. There are tons of smaller companies out there as well, of course, but they are often under the general radar because of size, and are often not known about widely. When companies like PepsiCo or Coca-Cola start doing something, it’s certainly noticeable.
PepsiCo and Coca-Cola don’t have the option of being like smaller companies that can put out products like CBD-infused beverages, because they’re too big to get away with it. This explains the use of hemp seed oil, and no other part of the plant. What they can do, is what is being done now, capitalize on a new trend in the best way possible by legal means.
Though smaller companies can put out products that aren’t completely legal (or that are), without getting a lot of press, it’s a big deal when these big corporations pick up on a trend. This is because it shows there’s a mass appeal, and big corporations sure hate missing out on revenue for something that the masses will buy. So it says quite a bit about the climate of an industry when they do.
For example, when diet drinks came out, it was these companies responding to consumer desires to lose weight, or to simply not gain more from the beverage they’re drinking. And the fact that such products became so widespread, is because weight loss represents such a widespread idea among the masses. If it had only applied to a small percentage of the population, diet drinks probably never would’ve become a thing, but because it’s such a ubiquitous issue, its reflected by all the diet options these companies put out.
This seems to be the same concept with this new entrance into the weed industry that Pepsi is making by releasing its infused Rockstar Unplugged Energy Drinks. Enough consumers have been jumping on the cannabis bandwagon of late, that this new desire of consumers is now being reflected by large corporations incorporating cannabis into their products.
What to expect in the future
The first thing to expect is that since Pepsi just released a cannabis product via its infused Rockstar Unplugged Energy drinks, that Coca-Cola is sure to put out its own offering soon. In fact, back in 2018 Coca-Cola was in talks with Aurora Cannabis to form a partnership, which never transpired. In 2019, Coca-Cola’s Monster Beverages paired with Corona company Constellation Brands. While there was initial consideration for a CBD drink, because of the legalities, this proposed too many problems.
However, especially if sales are good for Pepsi’s new product, its nearly a sure thing that Coke will have its own version soon enough. And that’s just what works for current cannabis legislation in the States now. As regulations change federally, it can be fully expected that both of these corporate giants will be using whatever parts of the cannabis plant are deemed legal, to try to keep their cannabis-preferring drinking populations, from straying to other brands.
What I also personally wonder about, is why neither of these corporations have created products that can be sold specifically in legalized locations. Perhaps regulation currently prevents this, but other smaller companies do legally produce infused beverages with both THC and CBD, and are authorized, sometimes in more than one state. While I admit that I haven’t dug into why this is the case, I do find it interesting that neither of these corporations exist in that capacity at the moment. Assuming they legally can, I expect this to happen in the future soon too.
I also expect, quite sadly, that an industry built right now on mom-and-pop enterprises, will likely head more in a corporate direction with the entrance of large corporations into the mix. And products that are now often being produced with natural ingredients, and without as many harsh chemicals, will be replaced by the McDonaldized, low-quality versions that corporations like PepsiCo and Coca-Cola are known for.
I’m actually surprised it took this long for a major corporation like PepsiCo to make a move like this. Especially considering the products are infused with hemp seed oil only, which isn’t as controversial as CBD and THC. Kind of seems like the second these trends started blowing up, that these corporations would be taking advantage. Even so, slow-with-the-pick-up or not, this signals the beginning of a corporate weed industry, and in my opinion, a horrible direction to go in. But that’s just me, you are welcome to form your own opinion.
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Disclaimer: Hi, I’m a researcher and writer. I’m not a doctor, lawyer, or businessperson. All information in my articles is sourced and referenced, and all opinions stated are mine. I am not giving anyone advice, and though I am more than happy to discuss topics, should someone have a further question or concern, they should seek guidance from a relevant professional.
Regulations around cannabis drinks will likely start changing soon. Recently, cannabis companies and advocates are pushing Health Canada to reshape regulations. Cannabis beverages have become a new trend, but you might have noticed some annoyances when buying them. For example, have you ever tried buying CBD-infused beer? These drinks usually come in single cans and […]
The Cannabis Drinks Expo is a unique opportunity to get in on the ground floor of one of the fastest-growing industries in the world.
For anyone curious about the future direction of the cannabis beverages industry in the United States, the place to be in 2021 will be the second annual Cannabis Drinks Expo hosted by the Beverage Trade Network. This event is taking place November 11, 2021 in San Francisco, and November 15 in Chicago.
This year’s Cannabis Drinks Expo is expected to be the largest global gathering of cannabis drinks professionals ever, bringing together drinks producers, manufacturers, dispensaries, cannabis distributors, brand owners, distilleries and brewers all in one place for a spectacular one-day expo in both San Francisco and Chicago.
The major theme of the Cannabis Drinks Expo will be on growing your business and growing your bottom line. So, if you’re a brand owner, or a distillery or brewery looking for an on-ramp to the very aggressively growing U.S. cannabis industry, this event will provide the perfect platform for growth.
If you are a cannabis distributor or a dispensary, you can expect to discover fast-growing cannabis beverage brands.
The first Cannabis Drinks Expo took place July 25, 2019, and was a huge success that gave the worldwide drinks industry — and North America, in particular — the chance to come together and look at ways it can address legalized cannabis.
Hosted by the Beverage Trade Network, this expo shined a spotlight on the skyrocketing legal cannabis market and provided insight into a future brimming with opportunity. A must-attend event for those curiously eying the future of the burgeoning U.S. cannabis industry, it also covered key issues surrounding the likelihood and timescale for legalization in other countries, as well as the impact of legalized cannabis on the traditional alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks markets. Read on for more info about the 2021 show and how to get your tickets.
When and Where
Visitor registration is now open. Get your passes now and save with early bird tickets before pricing goes up on Sept. 1. Learn all about the cannabis drinks industry and source fast-growing brands. Note that these are trade-only events, meaning cannabis consumption and samples are prohibited.
Now that edibles are becoming a primary way to consume cannabis, the market of available products has been spiraling out of control. It’s not just about brownies anymore, no the offerings today encompass way more than a little chocolate and flower mixed with your marijuana. These days, it’s all about gummies, chocolates, sucking candy…and drinks. Yup, in this day and age, it is now possible to drink your cannabis.
There are a million edible cannabis products on the market. You can drink your cannabis, eat it, or smoke it. Some products have CBD only, some have delta-9 THC, and some are with delta-8 THC. If you’re not yet familiar with delta-8 THC, its an alternate version of THC that produces a more clear-headed high, and doesn’t cause the same anxiety as delta-9. This makes it preferable for many people, maybe even you. Give it a shot with our great delta-8 THCdeals to find out for yourself.
Cannabis edibles in history
Though it might seem like a new invention, eating cannabis to gain effects from it, is not a recently started activity. Some of the oldest available records date back to as early as 1,500 BC in China, where cannabis tea was consumed. In these texts, writing was done in the past tense, leading researchers to question if the practice was going on even longer. Around about 1,000 BC, cannabis is mentioned in many texts coming out of Hindu culture, where the cannabis drink ‘bhang’ became – and remains – popular.
In terms of the edibles we know and love today, the modern practice of consuming cannabis by extracting compounds from it and putting them in food, gained popularity in 1954 when Alice B. Toklas, the life partner of American author Gertrude Stein, published a cookbook that contained a recipe for brownies that she made a lot (though it wasn’t technically a recipe she created herself). The Alice B. Toklas Cookbook is still available for purchase today, and still has a recipe for ‘Haschisch Fudge’, though the recipe explicitly calls for ground cannabis, not hash, and the final product, while often referred to as a brownie, isn’t exactly that.
What really popularized the brownies wasn’t the cookbook itself, but a movie put out in 1968 by Peter Sellers, called I Love You Alice B. Toklas. The movie features an uptight lawyer who likes the pot brownies, and helped launch the ‘pot brownie’ as a principal part of the 60’s counter-culture movement.
Why edibles in the first place?
What is it about edibles that make them such a popular choice? After all, they take a long time to kick in, it’s hard to know beforehand exactly what effect an individual will get each time, and the effect isn’t quite the same as smoking or vaping. Of course the latter is one of the main benefits – it might not feel exactly the same, but it doesn’t come with the risks of smoking and vaping either. However, there’s more to it than that.
For one thing, edibles are technically way stronger than cannabis consumed in other ways. When smoking or vaping cannabis, the THCA – C22H30O4 (which is the only abundant form of THC in a cannabis flower), decarboxylates to create delta-9 THC in this chemical structure: C₂₁H₃₀O₂. In the decarboxylation process, a carboxyl group is dropped from the compound (COOH) to create the new molecule. The next question is, how do different ingestion methods effect this compound.
When this new THC is smoked or vaped, it goes straight to the lungs where the active compounds are nearly immediately transferred to the bloodstream, and then to the brain. This explains why the high is almost instantaneous when cannabis is smoked. In the brain, THC binds with CB1 receptors in the endocannabinoid system, producing the feeling of getting high.
However when eaten, the THC goes through the digestive tract, and is then absorbed by the stomach. The active compounds are metabolized in the liver, and in that process the delta-9 THC (C₂₁H₃₀O₂) is converted to 11-hydroxy-THC (C21H30O3). This slightly altered compound is stronger than its predecessor, and lasts significantly longer, generally between 4-6+ hours, rather than the one-two from smoking. This longer process also explains why the effects take longer to feel, since the THC must go through the stomach and liver, in order to get processed into its new form. It can take anywhere from 45 minutes to three hours to really feel effects with edibles.
One of the main negative issues with edibles is that its easy to overdose on THC, an occurrence that won’t lead to real injury, but can sure make a person feel pretty bad. The necessity of waiting hours can confuse a person as to whether they actually took enough, and sometimes leads to over-consumption. This is far less likely (though not impossible) with smoking and vaping, since the effects occur so much more quickly after ingestion. For this reason, edibles in dispensaries are clearly marked with THC content, with instructions to start with a small amount, and increase the dosage very slowly as needed.
Drink your cannabis – here are some of the best liquid cannabis edible options
In the A.M.
If you want to drink your cannabis, there are a myriad of companies and products in nearly every drink category imaginable. There are so many, that it’s hard to know where to begin. So, we’ll start with breakfast. What better way to start the day than with cannabis coffee? One option is Sträva Craft Coffee, a premium CBD infused, locally sourced Colombian coffee, or Canyon Cultivation Coffee, locally roasted Guatemalan coffee with 10 mg of THC per serving.
Of course, some people prefer tea to coffee, and there are plenty of options here as well. Like Kikoko’s Positivi-Tea, coming from an all-female run brand in California with cannabis teas made for sex, sleep, mood, and pain relief. The Venice Cookie Company also makes a great cannabis tea with its Subtle Tea, (as well as a line of Cannabis Quencher drinks for other times of day). For those that want to wake up without coffee or tea, there’s Nu-X’s Awake CBD Shot containing caffeine to get you up and moving, and Joy Organics’ CBD Energy Drink mix which contains no THC.
Let’s be honest, a lot of us have become hardcore soda drinkers in life, and as such, there are tons of soda-style ways to drink your cannabis. You can try Mad Lilly’s line of cannabis spritzers that come in Raspberry Hibiscus, Passion Fruit Mango, and Ginger Pear. There’s also Canna Cola, which offers low-sugar sparkling soda in Citron, Black Cherry, Mango-Peach, Wild Berry, Fruit Punch, and their Classic flavor. Another great option is Keef’s Classic Sodas, which come in the following flavors: Original Cola, Orange Kush, Purple Passion, Root Beer, and Blue Razz. Recreational drinks have 10 mg of THC, while medical drinks have 50-100 mg.
Some people like their soda to be a little lighter, like sparkling water. For this group we’ve got MiraFlora and its Sparkling CBD beverage in Peach-Ginger, and Tuscan Blood Orange. Or there’s Recess CBD Sparkling Water that comes as either drinks or drink mixes, with flavors like Coconut Lime, Pomegranate Hibiscus, and Blackberry Chai. CBD American Shaman also puts out Sparkling Water with 10 mg of hemp extract per serving, coming in Watermelon-Strawberry-Lime and Coconut Grapefruit.
Even American brewing company Pabst Blue Ribbon is in on it, producing its Cannabis-Infused Seltzer, with 5mg of THC per can in the non-alcoholic beverage. There’s even delta-8 THC Sparking Water by D8 Seltzer, which comes in Lime, with Mango and Berry flavors on the way.
Maybe soda isn’t your thing though. Maybe you like lemonade, or other juices. Well, there are even more options. Like Matt’s High Soda’s Uncle Arnies Iced Tea Lemonade with 100 mg of THC. Or Zasp, which puts out a line of cannabis infused drinks like Strawberry Lemonade, Tangerine, Tropical Punch, and Black Cherry, containing 30, 80, 120, or 240 mg of THC. If you’re not sure what kind of drink you want to make, there’s CannaPunch with its Original Colorado High, a CBD heavy multi-purpose additive that can be applied to any drink.
In the P.M.
In the evening, if you want your cannabis mixed into your alcoholic beverage, there are options for that too. Like Doran Brand’s Tomato Jane, perfect for making a buzz-inducing bloody Mary, or for those who just want a different kind of non-alcoholic beverage.
For people who want the feel of a classy wine, but with the buzz of cannabis, there’s House of Saka’s Infused Luxury drinks in both Pink and White, created out of grapes from the Napa Valley. Or Artet’s Cannabis Aperitif, non-alcoholic blends of botanicals and cannabis, in Flagship and Rosemary Jane flavors. If you prefer your non-alcoholic experience to be more beer-like, there’s Lagunita’s Hi-Fi Hops, coming in Unplugged with an 18:1 CBD:THC ratio, or Tuner with a 1:1 THC:CBD ratio. Of course, if you’re a shots person, then S*Shots Cannabis Infused Shots is probably more up your alley, combining THC and fruit juices to create flavors like Watermelon Punch and Lemon Crush, each with 100 mg of THC!
To finish the night
Last, but not least, as a great way to unwind at the end of the night, there’s Kefla Organics’ fair trade Hot Cocoa with 25 mg of organic CBD. Serenity Mountains is another great choice for CBD hot chocolate mix, with each bag containing 40 mg of CBD in the following flavors: Classic Blend, Spicy Aztec, and Madagascar Vanilla.
There are so many ways to drink your cannabis these days that its impossible to mention them all. This list should give a good start, though. For interested buyers, just remember to make sure you’re taking the correct dosage, and if you’re unsure of what that is for you, consult a professional first for further help, or simply start at low levels, and increase slowly as necessary.
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Disclaimer: Hi, I’m a researcher and writer. I’m not a doctor, lawyer, or businessperson. All information in my articles is sourced and referenced, and all opinions stated are mine. I am not giving anyone advise, and though I am more than happy to discuss topics, should someone have a further question or concern, they should seek guidance from a relevant professional.