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Cannabis Drinks: Your Guide to Enjoying THC-Infused Beverages

Novel, thirst-quenching, and above all fun, drinks are some of the newest and most exciting product offerings to hit the world of cannabis. Instead of accessing cannabinoids by smoking or vaping, THC-infused drinks let you enjoy all the benefits of cannabis in liquid form.

But if this is your first time sipping on a THC soda, tea, or other cannabis-infused beverage, there are a few things you should know. In today’s post, we’ll share everything we know about THC-infused drinks.

Ready? Let’s get sipping!

What Are Cannabis Drinks?

At the simplest level, cannabis-infused beverages are exactly what they sound like: Hot or cold drinks infused with cannabinoids such as THC and CBD.

THC, of course, is the most abundant cannabinoid in cannabis and the one most directly responsible for the plant’s characteristic euphoric “high.” The second most prevalent cannabinoid is CBD, and while it doesn’t get you high, that’s not to say it isn’t entirely psychoactive. Some people describe a gentle cerebral “buzzing” sensation that’s not terribly different from caffeine.

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While THC-infused drinks may sound cutting-edge, they actually have a long and storied history. In India, for example, cannabis has been made into a sort of smoothie called bhang for centuries. That said, most cannabis drinks on the market today will take the form of familiar favorites such as seltzer waters, iced tea, and other drinks. Some popular formats include:

  • Infused coffees and teas: The world’s favorite hot beverages are now available with the power of cannabis! Some are even offered in the convenient K-Cup format.
  • Infused syrups and elixirs: These convenient concentrates offer easy dosing and application options that allow you to flavor your liquid of choice to your preference. Pro tip: They’re especially good for making non-alcoholic mocktails.
  • Infused lemonades and diet sodas: If you’re keeping an eye on your calories or sugar intake, many cannabis-infused drinks are available in low-sugar options as well.

How Are THC-Infused Drinks Made?

There are a number of ways to infuse beverages with the power of cannabinoids. But because the assertive aroma and flavor of the cannabis plant can clash with more delicate flavors, THC-infused drinks often rely on cannabis distillates, a highly refined form of cannabis that allows beverage-makers to add just the right amount of cannabinoids to delicious drinks without overpowering them.

Sometimes, the flavor of cannabis is just what the doctor ordered! If you’re mixing up a batch of infused drinks at home, you can add a dose of cannabis tincture or oil to the pitcher until your beverage is as potent as you desire (we’ll return to this topic in just a moment).

Speaking of which, this is a good time to turn to two very important topics: How THC beverages interact with our bodies, and how to stay on top of proper dosing.

Consuming Cannabis-Infused Beverages

If you’ve ever tried cannabis-infused edibles, you know that their effects take a good deal longer than when smoking or vaping cannabis. You can expect a similar experience with cannabis-infused beverages because—like solid edibles—cannabis-infused beverages are absorbed through the digestive tract.

Like edibles, the effects of a cannabis beverage can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours to really kick in, though most people find they tend to work a little quicker than solid edibles. Once they do, you can expect the effects to last anywhere from two to four hours.

Here’s another thing to consider. Because THC is considered an intoxicant, some first-timers make the mistake of expecting an experience similar to that of drinking alcohol. But drinking cannabis is much different; on top of the longer onset time and duration of effects, the effects are typically a bit more intense than they are with smoked or vaped cannabis.

Why? When THC is processed in the stomach and liver rather than the lungs, a by-product called 11-hydroxy-THC is created by the breakdown of THC in our GI tract. As one study found, when test subjects were given 11-hydroxy-THC, the psychoactive effects were rated as more intense.

Before downing your cannabis beverage, take a moment to check out the dosing information on the label. Cannabis beverages will contain a set amount of cannabinoids. Think about your personal tolerance and how you might react to that amount of THC or CBD before diving in. For most people, an “average dose” of THC is between 5 – 10 mg and there are many THC drinks that fall into that range.

Cannabis Beverage 2

But some cannabis-infused beverages can contain over 100 mg of THC per bottle. If your beverage contains a large dose of THC, it’s important that you divide it up carefully before ingesting any of it. As with edibles, it’s recommended that newcomers to cannabis beverages start with a low dose and move up slowly if they need to.

And again, it’s important to wait for the effects of a cannabis beverage to kick in before ingesting another one. Drinking too much too quickly can lead to overconsumption, leaving you feeling some of THC’s unwanted side effects such as anxiety and paranoia.

Crafting Your Own Cannabis Beverages At Home

If you don’t have any cannabis beverages on hand right now, you may still have options! Tinctures and other infused oils can act as a simple substitute. While tinctures are typically applied sublingually, or under the tongue, they can also be swallowed to produce the same effects as cannabis beverages and edibles.

How can you substitute oil or tincture for an infused beverage? Easy. Just add a dose of tincture or oil to your hot or cold beverage of your choice. When you drink the mixture, it will be processed in the same way that any other cannabis beverage or edible would. For instance, many people find that adding some cannabis tincture to their morning tea or coffee can be a great way to start the day.

Explore Tasty THC Beverages with Green Goods

We hope today’s post gets you inspired to access the benefits of cannabis in this fun and refreshing way. If you have any other questions about cannabis beverages, we’re here for you. Reach out anytime.

If you’re looking for tasty THC-infused beverages in Maryland or Minnesota, check out the Green Goods location nearest you or shop online for a wide selection of infused drinks, cannabis edibles, and other products available today!