What Are CBD Drinks?

Written by

Mell Green

Mell is a cannabis connoisseur who has been published in nearly 50 online publications surrounding cannabis, including Cannabis Industry Association, Analytical Cannabis, Terpenes and Testing Magazine, Plant People, Byrdie, and...

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Edibles have been a staple within the cannabis community for decades. Infusing cannabinoids into foods makes it easier than ever to enjoy the cannabinoid without the hassle of smoking or placing drops under your tongue. But now, there’s something even easier on the market for you to enjoy: CBD-infused beverages.

CBD-infused drinks are still somewhat new to the world of cannabis, but these exciting drinks are quickly becoming many people’s go-to choice for enjoying their daily dose of CBD.

Key takeaways:

  • CBD-infused drinks are practically any type of drink that has been mixed with hemp CBD extract. 
  • CBD drinks (like edibles) can take longer and/or be less effective that sublingual (oils) due to the body breaking down most of the CBD before entering the bloodstream.
  • The most effective CBD-infused drinks include fat-soluble ingredients to allow for a better breakdown of the cannabidiol. 
  • These infused drinks are popular for a myriad of reasons, one of them being their accessibility: you don’t have to smoke, taste, or do anything fancy with these products. 
  • CBD-infused beverages also allow for full enjoyment of CBD’s medicinal benefits. 
  • You can choose to buy pre-made CBD beverages or add some CBD oil to your own drink–both are advantageous. They are easy to enjoy and taste delicious!

What Are CBD-Infused Drinks?

Photo: Recess

It may be a bit obvious, but CBD drinks are, quite simply, beverages that have been infused with cannabidiol

When it comes to CBD-infused drinks, you can find them in practically every flavor you can think of. Whether you’re in the mood for some CBD-infused sodas, juice, or even some super-strong cold brew, CBD brands have started producing drinks that appeal to practically every taste bud. Though some CBD drinks are easier to make than others, the idea in and of itself has proved incredibly appealing for almost all cannabis consumers.

How Are CBD Drinks Made?

To make CBD-infused drinks, the best manufacturers will mix a few drops of high-quality CBD oil into a fat-based beverage.

This may sound a little weird, but having drinks that have fat in them–think whole milk or even chocolate–allow for the cannabinoid to fully break down properly and have much more efficacious outcomes. 

The Popularity Behind CBD-Infused Drinks

CBD drinks stocked in a grocery store in Los Angeles
Photo: Vybes

But, why exactly are people choosing to infuse their drinks with CBD in the first place? There are a few reasons. 

For those who want their daily dose of CBD but do not want to smoke it, taste it, or bake it into a meal, CBD-infused drinks make an incredible option. In general, not everyone has the accessibility to enjoy complicated products like vapes, nor do they want to. CBD-infused drinks allow for the normality of enjoying your favorite drink all while seamlessly benefitting from CBD. 

With CBD drinks, you are allowed the full benefits of CBD practically without trying. While some methodologies, like topicals, only focus on targeted effects, CBD-infused beverages allow for the experience of full-body benefits.

What Are the Benefits of Drinking CBD?

People drinking CBD beverages to relax and socialize
Photo: Wyld

From stress relief to pain reduction to assisting with sleep and everything in between, CBD drinks can help you appreciate the comprehensive effects of CBD in an incredibly delicious way. 

Speaking of taste, CBD-infused drinks’ flavors are another reason this methodology is continuing to climb in popularity. With so many CBD products, even CBD edibles, tasting overwhelmingly like cannabis, this can completely turn people off to the experience of CBD as a whole. CBD-infused beverages, though, offer an experience that’s totally different. 

No matter what kind of drink you’re looking to enjoy, we can practically guarantee you’ll find a great-tasting CBD version. And, if you can’t, you can always add in some CBD yourself. The natural flavors of CBD mixed with sugars in your beverage or other plant-based ingredients make for an enjoyable experience that will hardly remind you of CBD at all. 

Are CBD Drinks as Effective as Oils and Edibles?

CBD beverage product
CBD drinks come in different flavors and potencies. Photo: Recess

Short answer: yes. But, all of it depends on the dose, quality and spectrum of the product itself. 

Technically, edibles actually demonstrate some of the lowest forms of bioavailability. This is because, when it is digested, the cannabinoids begin to degrade before actually reaching the bloodstream. Once it is able to actually penetrate the bloodstream, there simply isn’t the same concentration of CBD as there once was. Products like sublingual oils are absorbed almost directly into the bloodstream, making them a bit more efficacious overall. 

This degradation can also be the case with CBD drinks, unfortunately. However, some CBD drinks are made with specialized processes to allow for the better breakdown and absorption of CBD into the bloodstream. So, once again, it completely depends on the manufacturer: you just have to find the products that produce the results you’re looking for. 

RELATED: The Best Weed Drinks to Buy Now

Look for Quality and You’ll Get Results

Speaking of finding your perfect product, one of the best ways of doing so is through finding a company’s Certification of Analysis. A COA report can help demonstrate exactly where your product comes from, how it was made, and the ingredients it contains–including any potentially harmful ones. These reports are conducted from third-party labs to help ensure uninfluenced results.

Along with COA reports, you also want to make sure that your products are grown from sources that you trust. Look for labels like CO or CA-grown, or even US-grown, to ensure that your CBD is being cultivated in the states and from farmers you can rely on. 

When you take the time to look for quality CBD drinks, you’ll get the results you’re looking for. Not only that, but you’re ensuring a premium product and ingredients your mind and body will love. 

Enjoying Some for Yourself

Beverage with hemp extract
Ginger Lemonade drink with 25mg CBD extract. Photo: Vybes

If you’re enticed, that’s great: enjoying CBD beverages for yourself is the best part. 

Like we mentioned, you don’t have to purchase already infused beverages if you don’t want to. In the case that you have a CBD oil on hand that you enjoy, you can simply add your typical dosage straight into a drink itself. If possible, mix up your drink after doing so to blend the flavors and substances as best as possible. If you include fat-based ingredients, this will happen much easier. 

Once mixed, you enjoy just as you would normally. Then, you can expect to experience results in about an hour or so, depending on you and the dosage you took. 

But, of course, you can always purchase pre-made beverages for your ease and pleasure as well. Many companies offer CBD-infused beverages singularly or in big packs for you to enjoy over time. No matter what you choose, as soon as the drinks arrive, they’re ready for consumption. How easy is that?

Bimble, Vybes, and Zolt are personal favorites and highly recommended.

Final Thoughts

Though CBD beverages may sound a bit unconventional at first, people have been infusing herbs and compounds into their drinks for centuries. Now, we’re only finding more advanced, more efficient ways of doing so, helping to produce products that provide the cannabis community with everything they want out of their CBD. 

No matter what kind of drink is your go-to, try making it CBD-infused and see how it enhances your beverage-drinking experience. While this is something you should probably only do in moderation, the transformative properties of a CBD beverage will give you a whole new perspective on cannabidiol.

Editor’s note: This article was originally published on May 12, 2020, and updated on October 14, 2022.