Cannabis has been around for a long time. As there are plenty of ways to consume the herb, manufacturers are innovating and devising new methods to enjoy it. The latest trend that has popped up in the industry is a beverage infused with the cannabis plant. From tea to beer, cannabis manufacturers are trying to add the herb to everything from your favorite pint of beer to hot a cup of tea.
Are you wondering what cannabis beverages are and how do they work? If you are, then keep reading to find out how these beverages are becoming a favorite among cannabis users.
What are Cannabis Beverages?
Cannabis originated from the Asian subcontinent centuries ago and people have been smoking the herb ever since. Besides rolling the plant into a joint or blunt, there are many new consumption methods available today. Tinctures, oil, edibles, topicals, and vaping are some of the more popular ways to consume cannabis.
With the increasing popularity of edibles or alternative food infused with cannabis, manufacturers are now coming up with beverages. They infuse the cannabinoids like THC and CBD and terpenes into drinks to let people enjoy all of the effects of the herb. Terpenes are responsible for adding a distinct aroma and the cannabinoids determine how cannabis will affect you. While CBD is a therapeutic compound, THC can induce a mind-altering high. Tea, coffee, beer, smoothies, and shakes are some of the cannabis-infused drinks that are either being developed or have already come to the shelves in your nearest dispensary.
If you like experimenting, you try to make your own cannabis tea at home. All you need is some high-grade cannabis from High Supplies and some basic knowledge of cooking.
What are the Challenges Faced by Manufacturers?
In 2019, Lyden Henderson decided to try a non-alcoholic cannabis-infused beer, but it turned out to be quite disappointing. The texture was uneven and weird, with chunks of cannabis floating in it. The manufacturers at Outbound Brewing, including Henderson and his colleagues, realized that it was extremely difficult to infuse cannabis with beverages. But why was it so difficult?
Well, the chemical compounds or cannabinoids like CBD and THC are soluble with fat and not water. When it comes to edibles, be it cookies or brownies, it is easy to infuse cannabis as they can mix well with oil and butter. Tinctures, the most common cannabis-based product, has a base of alcohol because CBD can easily mix with it. However, U.S. manufacturers cannot combine THC and alcohol for cannabis beverages as it is illegal.
Hence, manufacturers have to make water-based drinks. But, due to the difference in the consistency of water and cannabis oil, they usually separate and form an uneven texture. It has been affecting the growth of the cannabis beverage market.
How Cannabis Beverages are Now Making Their Mark
After having struggled with this problem for years, the pioneers of the cannabis beverage industry have managed to create a revolutionizing solution. It is called nanotechnology or nano emulsification. In this process, the cannabis oil is broken down into smaller particles and then mixed with an emulsifier, which helps the oil to dissolve in water. It allows the product to be very stable and consistent. While many companies are outsourcing the process of emulsification to professionals at a lab and then using it for their products, some are hiring full-time chemists to devise unique nano-emulsion for its drinks.
Another challenge with cannabis-based drinks is the lack of evidence about the onset time. For example, the onset time is the time taken for the consumer to feel the effects of the drug. When you consume edibles, it goes straight to your stomach, where it is digested. The cannabinoids travel through the liver, which slows down the effects.
Nano-emulsifiers have helped solve this problem. The nanotechnology breaks down the cannabinoids into smaller particles, which can get absorbed through the lining of your stomach and not the liver. It ensures the users can feel the effects of cannabis beverages within minutes of consuming it, but the effects may also subside as quickly. But it is helping the manufactures to make it possible for consumers to have cannabis drinks in a social setting without getting too intoxicated. The consumers can have a few drinks and still be able to get home safely. It also helps to measure the right dosage of CBD and THC that must go in every drink and when it will induce the effects on the consumer.
While the cannabis industry is now a multi-billion dollar global market, the beverages only amount to a small portion of it. But with the introduction of nanotechnology, there is potential for the growth of cannabis-infused beverages. People are gradually opening up to the idea of consuming these beverages to enjoy the high in addition to the wide array of health benefits that they can offer. It is becoming a go-to drink for many, and some have even made the holistic shift from alcohol to drinking weed. It isn’t wrong when people say that weed is the new beer.