Health & Wellness

A soda giant is stepping into CBD. That got us thinking about healthier options.

By Julia Rubin
Lightscape

The Coca-Cola Company has its sights set on CBD, and it’s no wonder, as the compound is currently one of the most popular health additions to food and beverages.

The world’s largest soda company is reportedly in serious talks to create a special cannabis-infused soda for their line, as the market for health-centered CBD products continues to expand and edibles continue to pose a threat to the food and beverage industry. Continuing scientific research into CBD–the acronym for Cannabidiol–demonstrates that the non-psychoactive compound may have a wide variety of potential health benefits, including pain relief, anti-seizure properties, reduced inflammation, treatment for anxiety and depression, and reduced risk of cancer and diabetes. More doctors are touting it as a safe and legitimate, non-addictive medicine that could provide a great alternative to opioids and even anti-depressants.

Unlike THC–the compound found in cannabis famous for its “high”–CBD does not produce a high or trigger a rush of euphoria. Instead, the non-psychoactive, non-intoxicating compound simply works on the body’s natural endocannabinoid system, which is made up of receptors that are responsible for everything from pain and tissue management to memory, mood, and hormones. While it can make you a little sleepy, taking CBD does not otherwise not prevent you from driving a car or operating heavy machinery, making it a great choice for on-the-go drinks and snacks.

Of course, there are issues to discuss when you think about a property like CBD, something with enormous health potential, being introduced into cola. But the news around Coca-Cola’s interest got us thinking about other beverage options.

From coffee and smoothies to ice cold lemonade, here are eight delicious canna-infused drinks to check out.

Smoothies

CBD-infused smoothies can make for a tasty and beneficial breakfast, post-workout snack or desert, and can be made at home using CBD oil and whatever ingredients tickle your fancy. Whether you’re having a high-protein meal replacement shake or a veggie-rich juice blend with mint and herbs, the taste of the CBD oil should not overwhelm your smoothie, plus brands like The Daily Hit offer oils that come in a variety of flavors to complement your palette. The Chalkboard recommends using just ½ teaspoon of The Daily Hit or an edible CBD oil of your choice, blended with nuts, oat milk, kale or spinach and a sprig of mint.

Coffee 

Craving a cup of coffee to perk you up and help calm your mind? In Denver, Colorado, find a local shop that sells Sträva Craft Coffee for a delicious, CBD-infused cup of Joe, or take home some beans to brew yourself. The company, founded in 2015, supports local businesses, sustainability, and cultivating positive relationships between coffee farmers and their communities. If you’re far from Colorado, Green Roads Coffee is a gem, offering a mail-order subscription for organic CBD-infused coffee, decaf coffee, and teas.

Cold Brew

Aside from hot coffee, cold brews are one of the most popular choices for enjoying CBD-infused beverages. Made with the highest quality hemp available, Kickback offers a variety of gluten free, vegan, lab tested CBD products in flavors ranging from matcha to golden cashew. Unlike regular coffee, cold brew is lower in acidity and generally tastes sweeter and smoother. Despite its name, you can enjoy it hot or cold!

Tea

If you’re more of a tea lover than a coffee drinker, then great news: there are quite a few tasty water-soluble CBD teas on the market. Buddha Teas offers an organic bundle that includes chamomile, mint, turmeric & ginger, and matcha, each including 5 mg of CBD per bag. Like many companies offering cannabis and hemp products, Buddha Teas “uses only fresh, pure organic or sustainably wild harvested ingredients,” and their boxes are made from 100% recycled materials. Green Roads also offers a calming chamomile blend with no THC. Keep in mind that some canna-infused tea brands do contain THC, so if you prefer not to consume the compound, be sure to check the ingredients.

Hemp Tea

Swap tea leaves for hemp leaves, and you’ll likely get the same tasty tea experience. Plus, you won’t have to worry about getting “high,” as hemp contains no more than 0.2% THC, meaning you won’t feel it if you drink it. Like an herbal tea, hemp tea has a pleasant, earthy taste, and can be adjusted with sugars, sweeteners, lemon and milk. 

Juice

If you’re planning on a juice cleanse or just want to add some CBD to your breakfast, canna-infused juices are a great place to start. Some companies, like Dirty Lemon, offer a calming, non-psychoactive CBD-infused juice blend that includes hemp oil, ocean minerals, and pink Himalayan seal salt (yum). If you prefer making your own juices, you can do it at home with a blender or juicer and just ½ a teaspoon of edible CBD oil in the flavor of your choice. Add ginseng for a boost of energy or ginger to help fight inflammation. 

Lemonade

There’s really nothing better than an ice-cold glass of lemonade on a hot summer’s day. Erewhon Organic Grocer & Café specializes in organic, raw, vegan produce, and has created a special CBD cold-pressed lemonade juice available for purchase in several California locations. In addition to lemonade, the company also offers a variety of other juice and smoothie flavors.

If you’re more on-the-go would prefer a quick drink to a big glass, you can try the CBD Chill Shot from CBDFX, a non-intoxicating shot rich in vitamins, minerals, Cannabinoids, Terpenes & 200 mg of L-Theanine, a powerful amino acid found in green and black teas that promotes relaxation and boosts your body’s natural defense system.

Milkshakes

If you’re ever in West Hollywood and up for a splurge, be sure to check out the Swissx Plant Pharmacy and Food Lab, a Los Angeles health and wellness bar that now offers $59 CBD milkshakes. Each shake contains organic hemp seeds processed from a field in Switzerland, along with a bevy of high-end vegan ingredients and supplements.

And like any of the beverages above, if you have your own CBD oils at home, you can work on making your own shakes, smoothies, juices, and coffee and tea drinks for a whole lot less! Be sure to check with your local dispensary to find the best oils to use for cooking and drink-making.

While cannabis products and edibles may have the reputation of being purely recreational, there are many ways to consume the compound that can boost your health and your mental well-being, all while staying hydrated. As cannabis and hemp continue to become legalized in the United States, hopefully we will see a growing marketplace for CBD-infused drinks and hemp products, as well as a decreasing stigmatization around the plants and their many medicinal uses and benefits.

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