The cannabis industry is always looking to innovate, and this summer, cannabis drinks are on the rise. For those that don’t enjoy smoking cannabis and are anxious about lag-time and dosage of edibles, cannabis beverages are an attractive alternative. Cannabis drinks, whether they come in pouch form or canned, are a convenient way to elevate your summer activities. They’re certainly trending and are available at cannabis dispensaries across the nation, so let’s take a look at how they’re affecting the industry.
Cannabis Beverages Sales Trends
It’s not too surprising that cannabis brands are looking to capture new customers through familiar forms of consumption. Cannabis in beverage form seems like a definite winner on paper. Cannabis-infused beverages are easy to consume, portable, and refreshing. According to Headset, cannabis-infused beverage sales went up 40% last year. In the almighty dollar perspective, 2019 saw cannabis drinks raking in $67.8 million. In 2020, the total number of cannabis drinks generated was $95.2 million. Although that growth in sales is healthy, cannabis beverages still make up a small part of the fleet of cannabis products out there. However, with people looking for healthier alternatives to alcohol and the canna-curious looking for a way to consume cannabis in a familiar way, the sales look like they’ll continue to rise steadily. They’re very approachable products and speak to health enthusiasts, which may lead to more revenue.
Cannabis-infused Beverages Get You High Faster
Yes, that’s right, you don’t have to wait 45 minutes to 1 hour to experience a high when drinking a cannabis-infused beverage. Edibles are amazing, but they can sometimes be unpredictable, as you can go from 0 to 100 in what seems like no time after waiting a while for things to kick in. An edible will be metabolized in the liver, turning THC into a compound called 11-hydroxy-THC, which takes a long time. However, taking cannabis in as a water-soluble liquid, THC will absorb into your bloodstream via your mouth, esophagus, and stomach. The process is much faster, and many will feel the euphoric effects immediately. And since it’s considered micro-dosing, as you’re not drinking it all at once, you can control how high you want to be. Some may enjoy sipping on one can for the night to stay relaxed, and others may go through five cans. It all depends on how high you want to be and your cannabis tolerance.
Collaborations with Established Brands
Others in the beverage industry are looking to tap into the cannabis industry. Dale Katechis of Dale’s Pale Ale, which revolutionized canned beers, is teaming up with Veritas Fine Cannabis, a boutique cannabis wholesaler. Some of the biggest names in the beer industry are staking their claim on cannabis, which could lead to the creation of new cannabis beverages. There are also companies outside of the beer industry that are more directly looking to produce cannabis drinks. One big example is Jones Soda, a company looking to expand its business by producing cannabis-infused beverages, edibles, and other related products. The original craft soda brand is planning to run its cannabis operations through a few separate subsidiaries. As the US is seemingly nearing federal legalization, established brands will continue to look toward cannabis to expand their business footprint. And cannabis beverages are a convenient and novel product, yet familiar enough for those who are non-cannabis users yet are curious to experience the euphoric, relaxing feelings the popular plant brings.
Cannabis Beverage Brands to Watch
There are several cannabis brands out there making cannabis-infused beverages, but some are gaining more traction than others, securing precious shelf space at dispensaries. Here are two of our favorite cannabis beverage brands:
The queer-owned CANN jumped into the industry last year, during a tumultuous 2020. Co-founders Jake Bullock and Luke Anderson created something refreshing in both style and taste. They also wanted to provide an option for people to cut down on alcohol, as they want to themselves. The regular CANN drinks, held in aesthetically pleasing designs, contain 2 mg of THC and 4 mg of CBD. However, they also provide Hi Boy versions, which are taller 12 oz drinks with 5 mg of THC for those who have a higher tolerance or want to experience a higher buzz.
Gem + Jane
Gem + Jane comes from CannaCraft, and the cannabis beverage line is sparkling new. They are tapping into the recent seltzer craze and come in a variety of delicious flavors like Yuzu Raspberry Rose and Strawberry Hibiscus. Some of their flavors feature THCV, which is a cannabinoid that provides a boost of energy. On the other hand, some of their cannabis beverages contain delta-8 THC for a more relaxing vibe. Although these come in low-dose packages, they do allow you to feel a distinct high.