October 1, 2021
New cannabis-infused “drinkables” are hitting the market all the time: we’re taking a look at this trend, and sharing some of our favorite products.
Cannabis and beverages — at first, it was literally oil and water. You see, THC is fat-soluble — so infusing liquid beverages with an oil/fat-based extract resulted in something that really just… didn’t mix! And tinctures, perfect for sublingual use or dropping into your own drink at home, aren’t an option for manufacturers or retailers — they are alcohol-based, and it is illegal to combine alcohol and cannabis in the United States.
With an increase in legal states every election cycle (18 at the time of this writing) comes an influx of manufacturers and, in recent years, the smart minds in cannabis laboratories everywhere have figured out how to form a more perfect union between cannabis and water-based beverages with advanced emulsion technology. So, how’d they do it? We asked our own Extractions Process Specialist, Joe Rosenthal, for his expert explanation.
Using a process called ‘nano-emulsification,’ cannabis oil is broken down into tiny particles. These tiny particles are then introduced to and mixed with an emulsifier, a substance that helps THC dissolve in water.
This process is normally done using a Sonicator which uses sound energy to agitate the particles and blend them into the desired liquid. A few examples of commonly used emulsifiers are Sunflower Lecithin and Polysorbate 80. Both help aid cannabis oil to dissolve into water.
Another option some companies choose to take is infusing the sugar that will be used to flavor/sweeten a beverage. This is the case here at Temescal Wellness!
To create our award winning DRENCH powdered drink mixes, available only to medical patients at this time, we first infuse the sugar that will be used to create the drink mix.
Each company uses different emulsifiers to achieve a similar product outcome. Most, if not all of the companies producing infused beverages will not disclose what they use specifically as an emulsifier. Beverage companies often outsource to other labs specializing in emulsification processes or bring in a specialized chemist to develop a specific process for an individual product. Many companies will spend close to a year or more developing and fine tuning their emulsion process before introducing any products into the market.
These advancements mean great things for people looking to explore drinkables — and those numbers are rising. In fact, according to an article on the website of the Cannabis Beverage Association (CBA), while the sale of alcoholic beverages increased dramatically at the beginning of the COVID pandemic, those numbers are shifting as more and more people are looking for non-alcoholic beverages that fit into their lifestyle. In fact, new data from New Evergi Consumers shows 60% of American alcohol consumers are using less alcohol than in the past!
Infused drink mixes or beverages offer a delicious and effortless way to experience cannabis. Cannabis-infused drinks are refreshingly potent... And they’re perfect for social consumption — while friends and family sip their beverages of choice, the cannabis-inclined have an increasing variety of choices, perfect for all of your social gatherings and holiday parties.
In 2020, we saw a lot of new cannabis beverages hitting the market. Here are a few of our favorites, and some info on why we think you should grab one the next time you visit us.
Levia makes yummy cannabis-infused seltzers with natural flavors, zero sugar, zero calories and just 5 mg of THC in each 12 oz can. Sold at all three of our stores, Levia seltzers come in three flavors to choose from:
Cantrip is another locally produced option, sold exclusively at our Framingham store, promising “a hangout without a hangover” (LOVE that line). Each 12 oz can of Cantrip is 8 calories and includes 3mg of THC and 2mg of CBD. Their tasty cannabis-infused seltzers also come in three cool flavors:
More and more people are looking for alternatives to alcohol, and with innovations in technology, there are now options for those looking to unwind differently. And with lab measured and tested products like these, you’re able to moderate your dosage and really enjoy the experience. Ask one of our associates for recommendations for a cannabis infused beverage the next time you visit one of our locations!