The CBD Beverage Industry: We’ll Drink To That!

Muscular shirtless man chugging energy drink in gym
Shirtless muscular man drinking energy drink in gym

Expo! Expo! Read All About It!

At the 2018 Natural Products Expo, which took place last March in Anaheim, California, the latest and most innovative trends in holistic health were showcased. There it became clear how quickly the cannabidiol craze is taking hold of the beverage industry. From CBD soda, coffee blends, matcha and tea, the public demand for CBD has not gone unnoticed, and beverage makers have answered their call. As marijuana restrictions slowly fade with every election, the market for consumable cannabinoids of any variety is rising. In fact, in 2017 alone, the legal weed industry raked in more than $9 BILLION dollars in revenue. Since recreational weed became legal in the state of California, those blazing-high profits have skyrocketed further still. Hemp-based CBD is far more accessible than THC – in fact, its consumption is now legal (for some or all users) in 47 U.S. States (sorry Idaho, Nebraska, and South Dakota). Better yet, for anyone near 710 Pipes in Northglenn or our D.U. head shop location, wide varieties of CBD products are available right now.

The bulk of the cannabidiol market offers tinctures, oils, and pills. At last year’s showcase, respected brands like BLK Water and Buddha Teas showcased newly developed beverages. Companies with a central focus on CBD production is a relatively new development in the cannabis industry, but given its relatively recent start, the market is booming. User data from Leafly.com shows a 521 percent spike in user activity relating to CBD between August of 2014 and July of 2015. L.A. Libations Partner David Meniane noted that he couldn’t recall a single vendor offering CBD just eighteen months prior to the expo, whereas in 2018, more than 20 had cannabidiol products to offer. He’s such a fan by now that he consumes CBD on a daily basis. Whether he’s vaping his CBD from a JUUL pen, using tinctures, smoking, or drinking it, we’re happy to have him on board.

Well, well, well…

Contenders in this up-and-coming market have chosen different tactics when crafting their respective brands. Some, like the Canadian brand Phivida, have chosen a wellness angle to market their CBD drinks. Health-conscious, enlightened consumers may be drawn to this approach. By marketing in states where recreational weed has been legalized, and advertising the hemp oil found within, the brand has found its niche in the holistic health market. Natural sodas, waters, and other drinkable products are gluten-free, vegan, all natural and contain no GMOs – an impressive roster that doesn’t go unnoticed. CBD has rightfully gained recognition in this community as a beneficial product without adverse or psychoactive effects. In fact, the World Anti-Doping Agency has lifted its ban on CBD, acknowledging it as both safe and free of performance-enhancing elements. Not only is this good news for those in the industry, but athletes can breathe (or vape) easier knowing that they’re free from the infamous addictive propensity of opioid painkiller alternatives. Furthermore, cannabidiol offers a therapeutic dose of relief to athletes in sports with a heightened risk of brain injury (like football players).

The recent surge in cold cannabidiol brews is a timely response to rising interest. Kickback Cold Brew released a CBD coffee drink last year, but its success was worse than expected. Their CEO attributes this to the use of a marijuana leaf in the product’s design – it seems that consumers mistakenly believed that the product was intoxicating, and were reticent to partake as such. Familiar users know that, unlike THC, CBD won’t get you high. In fact, it can reduce and balance the effects of its psychoactive counterpart. The removal of the pot leaf, and the emphasis on CBD on the label, earned the interest that’d originally hoped for. Other brands have followed suit, highlighting “THC free!” on the packaging to prevent similar misinterpretations. This shows that increasing consumer awareness about CBD is integral for those looking to market CBD infused coffees, CBD sodas and other infused beverages. Despite this, many sellers excitedly embraced the opportunity to market Kickback’s products, allowing their total accounts to double within two short months.

Cocktails, anyone?

Behold the Cannabis cocktail – yet another alternative for those intrigued by the concept of drinkables. Canna-tail? Canna-cock? Cock-abis? There must be a cooler name, maybe we’ll discover one while drinking them. The key to making cannabis infused cocktails is something called simple syrup. This is a very popular commodity in cocktail recipes and is composed only of two ingredients: one-part water and one-part sugar. By combining the two under medium heat (and stirring) you create simple syrup. The active ingredients in Cannabis, known as cannabinoids, are fat soluble, which means they like to attach themselves too fat – making simple syrup a perfect solution to infuse these cannabinoids into. Stay tuned to our blog for some of my favorite cannabis cocktail recipes and foolproof instructions for making them from the comfort of your own kitchen. The American CBD beverage industry is still in its early days. Still, it’s clear that the growing variety of CBD consumption methods – from CBD sodas and coffees, to your favorite alcoholic hybrid, the rise of CBD beverages is certainly worth toasting to.

Come on down to 710 Pipes’ Northglenn location or our Denver smoke shop – just a few short blocks from Denver University. Our smoke shop team is here to help you find exactly what you’ve been searching for!