In the last decade or so, cannabis has transitioned from the fringes of society to position itself firmly in center stage.
It hasn’t been a completely smooth journey. After decades of criminalization, persecution, and misinformation about the humble plant, activists and campaigners have fought fiercely for acceptance.
But nowadays (depending on what state you live in) you don’t have to look far to find cannabis dispensaries and marijuana farms. Public perception of the plant is slowly shifting, and in recent years CBD has played a massive part in the new found acceptance of cannabis.
CBD has had its own meteoric rise to prominence. Once the little-known and unappreciated sister of THC, CBD is now a household name in its own right. You can find it infused in everything from gummies, chocolate bars, shower gels, moisturizing creams, and of course drinks.
Cannabis drinks are a relatively new craze, and they have come out of nowhere to be a huge player both within the cannabis industry and the drinks industry. Across the country, people are switching out beer and wine in favor of cannabis-infused drinks to unwind and relax after a hard day’s work.
But what exactly are CBD drinks? And which CBD drinks are hot in 2021?
Cannabis Drink….where did they come from?
20 years ago the cannabis industry was almost entirely in the hands of the black market. Worth an estimated $50 billion, the illicit trade of cannabis has been serving America’s potheads ever since the plant was outlawed in the 20th century.
But this market is now in the hands of businesses, investors, and the stock exchange. And the transfer of wealth into legitimate business has released millions of dollars for the research and development of innovative products.
It wasn’t too long ago that cannabis consumption methods were limited to smoking a joint, blunt, bong, or pipe. In 2021 the options are almost endless. You can get your kicks by vaping, dabbing, eating cakes or gummies, dropping infused oil under your tongue, and of course, by cracking open a cold one with the boys.
Is CBD the same as cannabis?
Yes and no.
This takes a little bit of explaining so bear with me here…
CBD is an extract from the cannabis plant, but it doesn’t cause the mind-altering ‘high’ that is traditionally associated with weed.
CBD is short for cannabidiol, a plant compound that is found in many different sources and especially high concentrations in the cannabis plant. Another compound found in cannabis is THC, and it is this compound that is responsible for the psychoactive effects of weed.
Most of the CBD products you can buy today are made from hemp, a subspecies of the cannabis family that contains naturally low levels of THC. During the manufacturing process, CBD is stripped away from the rest of the hemp plant and then infused into the products you see on the shelves or in online stores.
What does CBD do?
You’re probably thinking, ‘if CBD doesn’t get me high, then what’s the point?’
Well, the relationship between humans and the cannabis plant dates back thousands of years, and it runs much deeper than simply rolling up buds to get blazed.
For centuries, humans have used hemp and cannabis for a wide range of purposes. We’ve been utilized to make clothing, rope, paper, and building material. Ancient civilizations in Asia used hemp seed oil for cooking, and (here’s the key part) the flowers for medicine.
It is this centuries-old therapeutic tradition of cannabis that has pushed CBD into the mainstream and even had a large role to play in the legalization we enjoy today.
The secret lies inside our bodies, in a complex network of biochemical receptors and transmitters knows as the endocannabinoid system or ECS. Every human has an ECS. In fact, all animals have an ECS of some form.
The endocannabinoid system acts like our body’s regulator. It plays an important role in regulating our mood, hunger, fertility, hormones, sleep, and a lot of other day-to-day processes of the body. It does this using compounds known as cannabinoids. And guess what? CBD and THC are both members of the cannabinoid family, and more than 140 of these compounds are found in the cannabis plant.
By taking CBD we can help our body regain balance and proper regulation of many vital functions. It is these effects that are at the forefront of cannabis research and they have paved the way for the legalization of medicinal and recreational cannabis, as well as FDA-approved, CBD-based drugs.
Although research is still underway and not yet conclusive, the signs are pointing in the right direction that CBD can have a huge positive effect on people suffering from a wide range of illnesses and disorders.
Millions of people across America and around the world are taking CBD to help combat stress, anxiety, depression, epilepsy, chronic pain, inflammation, sleep problems, dietary disorders, ance, and more.
And while the vast majority of CBD products cannot be classified as a medicine, the FDA has approved Epidiolex, a CBD-based drug, which reduces the effects of seizures in epilepsy sufferers. It seems like it’s only going to be a matter of time before more approved, prescription CBD drugs become available.
The hottest CBD drinks in 2021
Without further ado, let’s get into the hottest and most sought-after CBD beverages that are making big waves in 2021.
Miraflora Sparkling CBD Beverage +Relax
Miraflora has a backstory that would make even the wokest of hipsters weak at the knees. They make all of their products from hemp they grow organically on their own farm. Add to the mix that they water their plants with fresh snowmelt from the rocky mountains and fertilize their soil with manure made from their very own herd of alpacas, and you have the perfect storm of warm marketing fluff.
Miraflora’s +Relax is infused with stress-busting full-spectrum hemp extract, ashwagandha root, L-theanine, and chamomile tea. It also contains antioxidants to boost your immunity and GABA to ease anxiety—all with zero added sugar and only 5 calories.
Each can contains 35 mg of cannabinoids. They use full-spectrum extract, meaning you get the benefits of the whole range of cannabinoids, as well as terpenes and essential oils, for that elusive and thoroughly unproven ‘entourage effect.’
Miraflora also produces two other lines, +Sport and +Balance.
+Sport also has 35 mg of cannabinoids, plus amino acids, and coconut water. This refreshing low-calorie post-workout beverage will help your muscles and joints recover faster so you can get stronger, last longer, and go further.
+Balance is somewhere in between the sport and relax beverages, providing a delicious dose of calm, focus, and bliss with no sugar and very few calories.
CBD American Shaman Sparkling Water
CBD American Shaman is one of the top CBD brands in North America. They have a sparkling reputation (see what I did there?) as a manufacturer of reliable, consistent, and high-quality CBD products.
They put a strong emphasis on high concentration, terpene-rich CBD, meaning they squeeze every possible drop of the natural goodness from the hemp plants when they’re concocting their products.
American Shaman is a truly compassionate CBD company, providing a discount to low-income families and veterans, ensuring that price isn’t a barrier for those who need the therapeutic benefits of cannabis.
Their sparkling water comes in two varieties, Watermelon/Strawberry Lime and Coconut/Grapefruit. Each can contains 10mg of CBD, which is considerably less than Miraflora’s offering, but this reduced dosage is reflected in the lower price.
Each drop delivers a punch of flavor that is sure to make your taste buds tingle. Like summer in a can, this sparkling water beverage is the perfect refreshment on a sunny day.
CBDfx Chill Shots
CBDfx is a behemoth of the CBD game and a testament to how large and widespread the industry has become in just a few short years.
Launched in 2014 with the belief that everyone should have access to the remarkable wellness benefits found in CBD, CBDfx has grown from its San Fernando Valley roots to become the fifth-largest privately held CBD company in the world with more than 100 employees.
Moving away from traditional beverages, this pick is a shot. Just like slamming back tequila at the bar, these shots get the job done in an instant with no time to spare. Perfect if you’re on the move or in a situation where you’re not keen on advertising your cannabis consumption.
With 20mg of CBD in each serving, Chill Shots are packing a mean punch and a boatload of flavor. Each shot also contains 200 mg of L-Theanine; a calming amino acid, B6, magnesium, and zinc. They are available in Lemonade & Berry flavors.
Zolt Mixie Sticks
As the cannabis and CBD industries grow, companies are bridging the gaps and constantly coming up with new, versatile ways of getting nature’s goodness into our systems.
Zolt has done exactly that with their sachets of CBD Mixie Sticks. Carry a few of these in your bag and you know you’ve always got some CBD ready if the occasion calls for it. Simply mix with 16oz of water, or get inventive and add it to your smoothie, juices, or teas.
Each Mixie Stick contains 20 mg of full-spectrum hemp and its antioxidant and adaptogen-rich formula helps your immune system perform at its best and it keeps you energized thanks to the 100 mg of natural caffeine and 10 mg of guarana.
Joy Organics CBD Energy Drink
It might seem counterintuitive to make a CBD energy drink when CBD products are mainly marketed as calming and relaxing. But there is growing evidence that CBD can increase focus and there is a growing trend towards using it as a performance enhancer.
Whether you’re preparing for a physically demanding performance or are needing to concentrate on your work or studies, CBD energy drinks will help you stay focused on the task at hand.
Joy are firmly targeting a lot of their products at athletes, championing its ability to aid workout recovery and ease aches and pains. In fact, even the World Anti-Doping Agency acknowledged CBD’s benefits and removed it from its banned substances list in 2018.
Joy Organics packs in more nutrients, vitamins, and plant medicine into each of their energy mixes than we can even begin to list here, but just rest assured you’re essentially taking a multivitamin as well as 75mg of caffeine and 12.5mg of CBD when you throw down one of these drinks.
How much CBD is right for me?
This is the eternal question uttered by anyone and everyone who’s ever considered using CBD to take the jagged off of day-to-day life.
The problem is that CBD currently exists in a grey area, somewhere in between medicinal regulation and recreation enjoyment. There is no medical standard of how much CBD you should use. And because people are taking CBD to help them overcome a whole host of ailments, there is no hard and fast rule.
It very much comes down to trial and error. The staff in the dispensaries near me always have sound advice on dosage, so you can always ask when you’re picking up your product. The good news is that the side effects of CBD are extremely mild and pass very quickly. It’s also non-addictive, so there are no worries there. The only way to find out is to crack open a can of your CBD-infused beverage and see what happens.
If you’re extra cautious, you can always drink half a portion and see how you feel. Everybody is different, and you can always adjust your daily dose once you have a better idea of how CBD affects you.
Crack open a cold one
So there you have it. You’re now armed with everything you need to know to enjoy CBD-infused drinks safely and responsibly. The CBD world is full of options and it’s growing every day!