Yet another reason to celebrate 4/20: the rise of CBD means there are a ton of ways to relax with everyone's favorite cannabidiol—especially in the beauty and wellness industries. Aside from CBD-infused beauty products dominating our vanities, there are a variety of options for the CBD devotees (and the CBD-curious). From sports drinks, powdered drink mixes, and even hot chocolate, there's now an infused drink for every taste profile.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol—better known as CBD—is a naturally occurring chemical compound derived from hemp. It is one of the 60+ ingredients found in cannabis. Unlike THC, cannabidiol is non-psychoactive, which allows you to utilize the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits without the "high."
Most commonly an ingredient in sparkling water, flavored seltzer, and sodas, CBD drinks attract consumers looking to get in on the ingredient's calming properties. Nutritionist and certified holistic cannabis practitioner Brooke Alpert claims that, for many people, CBD drinks are a viable alternative to alcoholic beverages. "The hardest part of not drinking [alcohol] during a social event is the concern that it will make others uncomfortable," she explains.
Admittedly, CBD drinks are not social "miracle workers." However, Alpert notes that having a CBD cocktail is a great social lubricant to help reduce anxiety and stress. "It is similar to the effect you would get with an alcoholic beverage," she adds.
Not all CBD infusions are equally effective, so if you're searching for a drink with relaxing benefits, look no further. De-stress (and commemorate 4/20) with a cool, refreshing beverage loaded with relaxing benefits. Ahead, see the best CBD drinks according to an expert.
Cann prides itself in giving you a pleasant buzz without the side effects of alcohol. Crafted with just five ingredients, this THC and CBD-infused drink has become a go-to for celebrities such as Gwyneth Paltrow and Rebel Wilson. The brand promises a social tonic without feeling sluggish the next day, but CBD drinkers should be aware the brand is micro-dosed with THC to elicit a psychoactive reaction.
Our Expert Says: "I have some unanswered questions about how the cannabis is grown, the strain, and whether or not it’s organic. However, I like this option because it doesn’t contain any added sugars," Alpert explains.
She adds, "I also love that this is truly marketed as an alcohol alternative. It contains more than 0.3% THC, and while it only has 2mg of THC, it will still give you a vibe. "
Our Suggestion: Try Lemon Lavender ($18/6 pack) for a refreshing spring flavor. Because this product combines CBD and THC, the brand is only available in Los Angeles for now.
Mad Tasty is sparkling water that fuses strong flavor with the soothing, healing properties of CBD. Infused with 20mg pure broad-spectrum hemp extract, the Los Angeles-based brand aims to be the perfect beverage for unwinding after a long day.
Our Expert Says: "This one I'm looking forward to trying!" Alpert tells us. "It's basically sparkling water with broad-spectrum CBD—nearly all of the cannabinoids found in the hemp plant except for THC."
Also, Alpert says ingredient transparency is key. "I personally love that I could find the COA (Certificate of Analysis) easily. That's my number one request when reviewing any product containing CBD."
Our Suggestion: Try the Unicorn Tears ($30/6 pack), a mystery flavor best described as a magical elixir.
Recess prides itself in creating sparkling water that is specially formulated to help you unleash your creative side. With 10 mg of cannabidiol and tension-releasing adaptogens, the fruity flavors offered by the brand have become a household staple for those looking for a positive way to unwind after a stressful day.
Our Expert Says: "Recess has been around for a while, and it makes me so happy to see the brand at the forefront of getting people more comfortable with CBD products," Alpert tells us. "I love the nutrition addition of adaptogens and magnesium— it's a great complement to CBD."
Our Suggestion: Get your hands on the island-inspired Coconut Lime ($40/8 pack). It is the perfect way to decompress after a long day at the office (even if you WFH!).
Quatreau is newer to the CBD scene, but the brand’s launch in Canada has received rave reviews. Now, just in time for summer, the CBD-infused sparkling water is making its way to the United States. Quatreau's product can play a major role in managing anxiety. The sparkling water contains 20 mg of premium CBD and is a potent zero-sugar drink with relaxation benefits.
Our Expert Says: "What is different about Quatreau compared to the others is that they use sucrose as a non-caloric sweetener, which balances out the flavor of the bitter CBD," Alpert shares.
Our Suggestion: The Passion Fruit + Guava ($48/12 pack) flavor is a must-have for your post-pandemic backyard party.
Cloud Water insists that health begins on the inside and that everything we put into our bodies should be purposeful. Cloud Water's sparkling beverages contain 25 mg of pure bioavailable CBD made with quality botanicals and natural ingredients that have been deliberately formulated to bring harmony to your daily life.
Our Expert Says: "I love the functional element of the drinks and the fact that it is sweetened with organic honey. Cloud Water’s CBD is the highest amount that I’ve seen so far."
Our Suggestion: Try the Aztec Chocolate and Strawberry ($59/12 pack). In fact, this drink was named a fan-favorite by members of our News Team.
When it comes to CBD, there isn’t a set standard of mg that works for everyone. A good rule of thumb for the average serving size of CBD is "between 15-25mg per serving," says Robyn Haywood, lead formulator and co-founder of Kamu.
Bimble is an all-natural sparkling beverage sweetened with raw honey sourced from beekeepers who follow sustainable beekeeping practices.
The Expert Says: "The COA is in bold letters at the bottom of the website, which makes me very happy," Alpert exclaims. "There’s also immediate mention of using broad-spectrum CBD, which the analysis completely supports. I like this transparency a lot."
Our Suggestion: For your next kickback, get your hands on Blueberry Lemon Ginger ($75/12 pack). It’s fresh, fruity, and filled with CBD deliciousness.
Remember, You Have Options
For those who may not be interested in sparkling beverages, there are plenty of other options. When looking for complete control over the amount of CBD in your drink, try Daily Habit Full-Spectrum CBD Powder ($39) and Kamu Vitality ($40), which are water-soluble formulas that can be used to make smoothies, tea, coffee, and much more.
Also, if flavored drinks, in general, aren’t your thing, indulge in some CBD Cookies ($15/3 pack) loaded with 20 mg of broad-spectrum CBD.
The Future Of CBD
Whether you're getting CBD through a cookie, a drink, or a tincture, Alpert wants you to remember that despite stigmas associated with cannabis, using cannabis and cannabis byproducts have vast health benefits that include better sleep, less anxiety, reduced pain, and improved focus.
And for those worried about trying a CBD product, she explains, "While one of the drinks [Cann] on the list contains adequate amounts of THC for that psychoactive reaction, the rest of them will not have any influence over you in that way at all."