Everything you need to know about cannabis beverages in Canada: how to choose them, what to expect, CBD vs THC, and new and favourite brands.
Joints may be the most prolific cannabis consumption method, but others are quickly gaining popularity. Since being legalized in the early 2020s, cannabis beverages have become one of the frontrunners. In this article, we’re breaking down everything you need to know about cannabis beverages in Canada: how to choose them, what to expect, CBD vs THC, and some of our favourite brands.
Cannabis beverages are drinks that have been infused with cannabis oils – CBD-dominant, THC-dominant, or a mix of both. They come as sparkling waters, tonics, hot chocolates and many other tasty drinks. They’re used recreationally and are growing in popularity in the health and wellness community.
We all know that oil and water don’t mix. So how do cannabis beverage companies mix cannabis oils into water without the two separating? They use nanoemulsions. In this process, large oil droplets are broken down into super tiny particles that can mix with water, and actually enhance the bioavailability – or efficacy – of the cannabis.
Potency of cannabis beverages varies by brand. Some, like Houseplant’s 2.5 mg sparkling grapefruit drink, are more ideal for beginners and micro-dosers. Others, like XMG’s 10 mg mango pineapple drink, are popular choices for more seasoned users. If you’re new to cannabis drinks, we’d recommend choosing a much lower dose – or sharing a single serving with friends.
The enjoyment factor of cannabis beverages really comes down to the recipe. Some are bright and citrusy, others are hoppy and beer-like. Some are cool and refreshing, others are served warm.
A common question we get is – do cannabis beverages taste like weed? Our answer: it depends, not really. Some have a slight scent and others are barely recognizable. We haven’t encountered a cannabis beverage that’s overwhelmingly skunky or dank. You’re more likely to taste the other flavour notes in the drink.
There are a few reasons why more and more people are turning to cannabis beverages. The most obvious is that they’re easy. You don’t need to roll a joint. You just pop it and enjoy.
Another reason cannabis beverages are gaining traction is because of their therapeutic benefits. They’re not just for recreation. Many Canadians are adding cannabis beverages to their wellness routine. THC can help with sleep, among other things, and CBD has a ton of other benefits, like stress reduction and anti-inflammation.
Some users choose cannabis beverages because there’s no smoking involved. There’s no need to inhale – and the lack of smoke makes them a more discrete choice.
Maybe it’s a cold winter night, or maybe you’re already in your pajamas. Cannabis beverages can be a nice alternative to lighting up. And, the more companies experiment with them, the more delicious they get. We’ve rounded up some of our favourites further down in this article.
In Canada, cannabis beverages range from $6 – $10 per serving. They’re comparable to a craft pint at a local pub.
So what type of beverage will you reach for? It all depends on the occasion and the desired effects you’re going for.
If you just want to chill out, relax, or relieve tension, you’ll probably want to reach for a CBD beverage. It’s the perfect pairing to your self-care session.
Researchers have found that CBD may actually increase day-time alertness, so CBD could also be a nice choice for a mid-day beverage. Some users find CBD can help enhance focus.
If you want to socialize, expand your mind, relax, or get sleepy, a THC beverage could be the right choice. THC will bring on the head high, so keep that in mind. The higher the THC content, the more you’ll feel it.
Balanced drinks have a blend of THC and CBD. Researchers have found that when CBD is mixed with THC, it can lessen THC’s impact. With THC-CBD mixes, you may experience a milder high than a pure THC drink.
Remember, everyone’s different. We each have our own unique biology. We recommend starting low and slow to learn which types and doses are right for you.
The industry considers a single dose of THC to be 10 mg. That said, for a newbie, 10 mg of THC is a lot. We recommend starting with 2.5 mg, or even lower if you’re totally new to weed.
You can always increase the dose next time, but you don’t want to dive in the deep end if you’ve never gone swimming before. You have to learn how to doggy paddle first.
THC-dominant cannabis beverages tend to be a more popular recreational choice, however, many users enjoy them before bed to help with sleep.
Knowing how to choose your dose will improve your experience.
It seems like there’s a new cannabis beverage company hitting the market every other week. There’s a lot of exciting innovation going on. While the growing selection of choices can be overwhelming, more choice also allows us to tailor our experiences to the occasion and mood.
When you’re checking out cannabis beverages, think about when you’ll be drinking them. Will you be socializing with friends? Will you be solo at home? Do you want something with big flavour, or something lighter and more refreshing like sparkling water? Do you want the head high? Or just the therapeutic highlights?
When you know what you’re going for, you can filter your choices.
If you’re going for euphoric effects, try a THC-dominant choice. If you don’t want the head high, go with CBD. Looking for something more balanced and mild? Consider a mix.
Newbie users will experience more intense effects – even with a small dose – compared to a more regular user. A more seasoned user may not feel anything after enjoying a 2.5 mg THC beverage. A first-time user may feel it much more intensely.
We’ve listed some of our favourite brands below.
Make you feel: Calm, Happy, Relaxed
Everie set out to help make CBD a part of everyday wellness. Their teas and sparkling drinks are available in a variety of delicious flavours.
Try: Everie CBD Mint Tea – 3 Pack
This caffeine-free, whole-leaf peppermint and spearmint tea comes in single-serving sachets. Each serving has 10 mg CBD and a small amount of THC. Steep for 3-4 minutes and enjoy.
Try: Everie CBD Mango Passionfruit Sparkling Beverage
It balances tart fruit flavours with a touch of sweetness. Enjoy it chilled or over ice. Each serving is infused with 10mg of CBD and a small amount of THC.
Veryvell cannabis beverages are designed with self-care in mind. Their products include sparkling waters, iced teas, and drops.
Try: Veryvell Strawberry Hibiscus High CBD Sparkling Water Beverage
This lightly carbonated sparkling water has floral hints, subtle notes of strawberry and 15 mg CBD + 0.5 mg THC. Unpop, pour, and enjoy.
Make you feel: Calm, Happy, Relaxed, Energetic
Houseplant is a lifestyle brand rooted in cannabis. Drinks are just one of their offerings. The founders, Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, are just as committed to de-stigmatizing cannabis as they are to crafting delicious high quality beverages.
This refreshing cannabis-infused sparkling water comes in natural grapefruit or lemon flavour and 2.5 mg of THC. They’re great for any occasion. With 2.5 mg of THC, it’s a great choice for newbies, microdosers, or anyone who wants to feel a little more chill.
XMG offers high flavour, high intensity THC beverages that pack a big punch. Speaking of punch, remember the fruit punch you used to drink as a kid? Well, XMG is like the grown-up version. They’re not quite as sweet, but they’re just as big in taste.
No messing around with these fruity, high-intensity flavoured potions. Choose from tropical fruit or mango pineapple flavour. Each flavour contains 10 mg of THC. Enjoy straight up, right from the can.
SUMMIT believes the best cannabis products start with the best grow. Everything begins with high-quality flower, which then gets formulated into flavourful iced teas and waters.
This bright and fresh uncarbonated blend of lemonade and iced tea is infused with 10 mg of THC. The bottle comes with a resealable lid, so you can control your dose. Serve it on ice.
Proper sources their weed from the Thousand Islands region. Their crafty sparkling waters are bright, refreshing, and hard-hitting.
This refreshing lemon lime flavoured sparkling water is the perfect drink to reach for when you’re chilling out at the cottage. With 10 mg of THC, it might chill you out, expand your mind, or give you a sense of euphoria.
Deep Space is a big brand with big taste and big impact. Their instagram feed is as intriguing as the name. They currently have one product, but we’re hoping they come out with more soon.
It’s been compared to RC Cola, Dr. Pepper, root beer, and Jagermeister. Each can contains 10 mg of THC, but in a 222 mL can compared to the more common 355 mL standard can. Enjoy straight from the can or over ice. Or get creative by making an ice cream float with it.
Make you feel: Calm, Energetic, Happy, Relaxed
Budtenders across Canada voted Little Victory as the 2020 kind Beverage of the Year.
Available in four flavours: dark cherry, blood orange, dry grapefruit and dry lemon, these vibrant naturally flavoured sparkling beverages are light, refreshing, and just delightful. They’re perfect for summer hangs or evening strolls in the park.
Try: Little Victory Sparkling Blood Orange Low Dose 1:1 Sparkling Beverage
This fruit-forward sparkly drink is made with the juice of blood oranges. Each bottle has 2.5 mg CBD + 2.5 mg THC. Try it over ice and garnished with a slice of blood orange.
Mollo cannabis beverages are often compared to light beer. Mollo currently offers three varieties: Mollo 5, Mollo 2.5, and Mollo Lime. They’re great for any occasion you’d typically reach for a beer.
Mollo 5 is crisp with an easy beer-like drinking taste. Each bottle has 5 mg CBD + 5 mg THC. Pour into a chilled glass and enjoy.
Field Trip currently focuses exclusively on elixirs. These are more like a shot than a drink you’d enjoy on ice. The company offers 3 formulas: Slumber (CBN-dominant), Summit (THC-dominant), and Retreat (CBD-dominant).
This one-of-a-kind elixir is formulated with chamomile, lavender and honey. Each bottle has 5 mg CBN + 1 mg THC. Remember, CBN is the cannabinoid gaining more popularity in the sleep therapy world. Take it 30 minutes before going to sleep.
If you’re talking about mixing pre-made cannabis beverages with juices, sparkling water, or garnish, yes, you can. Consider it like a cannabis cocktail, although we don’t recommend going over the 10 mg of THC in any single serving.
If you’re talking about adding cannabis oils to drinks, it’s not as simple. Remember how we said oil and water don’t mix? That’s the problem you’ll encounter when trying to formulate your own beverage.
The hangover may not be as rough as after a night drinking alcohol, but you can still get a hangover from weed. This isn’t unique to cannabis beverages, though. You can just as easily get a weed hangover from smoking as drinking cannabis.
If you just have one THC beverage without mixing, you’re not likely to get a hangover. If you have a couple THC heavy hitters, you might wake up feeling foggy headed, tired, have a headache, or dry eyes and mouth.
Treat it the same as you would a standard hangover – plenty of water, hearty breakfast, and tylenol. Or try CBD, like Everie CBD Mint Tea. CBD beverages don’t tend to cause any sort of hangover.
We love cannabis beverages. They’re tasty, refreshing, and a convenient way to enjoy weed. There are a few things you can do to make sure it remains an uplifting experience.
Cannabis beverages are like any other edible. They take between 30 – 90 minutes to kick-in. If you’re consuming a 10 mg drink of THC in addition to alcohol, you may find yourself on a trip you didn’t plan for.
Drink responsibly. Whether it’s a cannabis beverage, alcoholic beverage, or both. It’s easier to monitor your response to specific doses without adding any other variables to the mix. If you’re new to weed or cannabis beverages in general, we don’t recommend mixing.
You should not drink THC and drive. THC has been proven to negatively impact response time. You’ll face the same consequences driving high as you would driving drunk. If you plan on consuming THC beverages, treat it the same as planning to drink alcohol – plan for a designated driver or call a cab.
Store your cannabis beverages as you would your alcohol. If it’s meant to be enjoyed at a cool temperature, keep it in the fridge. If it’s tea or hot chocolate, keep it with the rest of your stash.
As with all edibles, it’s important to keep them in a designated area where people under the legal age limit won’t have access. And there’s also the chance a visiting in-law could reach for one instead of that sparkling water. That could also be a trip you didn’t plan for.
Keep them clearly marked in a separate space to avoid any mix-up.
Cannabis beverages became legal and have been available in Canada since the early 2020s. You can choose from CBD-dominant, THC-dominant, or balanced varieties.
CBD-dominant cannabis beverages with little or no THC won’t give you the head high. THC-dominant cannabis beverages can create a sense of euphoria and give you cannabis’ famous cerebral effects. Balanced blends can meet you somewhere in between.
It’s important to know your dosing. If you’re a newbie or microdosing, stick around the 2.5 mg THC range to start. If you’re more experienced, you can venture to the 10 mg THC serving. Always start low and slow with edibles. They take 30-90 minutes to set in, so it’s important to wait it out, especially as you’re just getting familiar with them.
There are a number of brands and flavours to choose from – from light sparkling sodas to powerful fruit punches. Try a few to get to know your faves.
Enjoy cannabis beverages responsibly. Know your limit, don’t drink and drive, and keep them out of reach of minors.
Need More Help Choosing Cannabis Beverages?
Want to learn more about our THC-dominant, CBD-dominant, or balanced cannabis beverages?
Our team of Budtenders is here to help. Come by for a visit, PM us on Instagram, or call us at 416-516-7250.
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