TRIP is the UK's most trusted CBD Oils and CBD Drinks Supplier. Shop the UK's best CBD oils available online with FREE UK Shipping. CBD-infused drinks may go down easy—but do they actually work? Here's what experts have to say, and 7 top brands to look into.
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Spilling The Tea On CBD Drinks: Pros, Cons & 6 Top Brands
Ashley Jordan Ferira, Ph.D., RDN is Vice President of Scientific Affairs at mindbodygreen. She received her bachelor’s degree in Biological Basis of Behavior from the University of Pennsylvania and Ph.D. in Foods and Nutrition from the University of Georgia.
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Of all the ways to consume hemp-derived CBD, drinking it has to be one of the tastiest. You can now find the plant compound (which has a pretty neutral, earthy flavor on its own) tucked into sweet teas, fizzy sodas, and smooth cold brews. These CBD-infused drinks may go down easy—but do they actually deliver any benefits? Here’s what experts have to say.
In This Article
What are CBD-infused drinks?
By now, most people have heard talk of hemp-derived CBD. Of the many plant compounds found in hemp, it’s been the most widely researched for its ability to ease stress and promote a steadier mood.* Once extracted from the hemp plant, a spectrum of cannabinoids like CBD can be incorporated into any number of functional oils, tinctures, capsules, gummies, and—yes—beverages.
June Chin, D.O., an integrative doctor based in New York who specializes in Cannabis sativa and health, isn’t surprised by the uptick of CBD-infused drinks on the market. She sees lots of people enjoying them as (hangover-free) alternatives to social lubricants like alcohol.
By U.S. law, hemp plants must contain negligible (less than 0.3%) amounts of THC per serving, meaning hemp-derived CBD beverages will not make you feel high. Instead, the sips are marketed to quickly lead to a calm, relaxed feeling and overall sense of ease.*
So, do they really work?
CBD is a naturally fat-soluble molecule, meaning that it needs to be specially emulsified before it can be properly incorporated into liquid beverages, explains Chin.
Through this process, there is a chance that the plant compound loses some of its potency and absorbability. “[CBD] is going to be more easily absorbed by the body when it is found in, for example, a tincture with a fat-based carrier oil such as MCT (medium-chain triglyceride) or olive oil,” says Sasha Kalcheff-Korn, executive director of the cannabinoid research nonprofit Realm of Caring.
Echoing this preference for lipid-soluble delivery, mbg’s vice president of scientific affairs Ashley Jordan Ferira, Ph.D., RDN, shares that “In addition to a traditional tincture, CBD-containing hemp extract found in a gelcap that contains a fat-based carrier oil, such as organic virgin hemp seed oil, is readily bioavailable for the body.”*
For these reasons, there are better ways (than drinks) to reap the benefits of hemp cannabinoid compounds (more on those below). That’s not to say that beverages containing CBD won’t do anything to calm you down.* While there’s no scientific proof to point to, plenty of people anecdotally find them helpful for unwinding and managing stress.*
Whether or not they work for you will likely depend on the amount of hemp extract and CBD in the product, how it is prepared, and how your body responds to this particular plant.
How we picked
We chose drinks that incorporate full- or broad-spectrum hemp extracts, as they contain a wider array of beneficial plant compounds than CBD isolates do.
The drinks on our list contain at least 10mg of hemp extracts, so they should all deliver a noticeable feeling of calm.
From bubbly sparkling waters to refreshing teas, we included a beverage for every palette and occasion.
We prioritized brands that use certified organic hemp to concoct delicious drinks that are light on sugars and other additives.
6 brands to try.
When it comes to what to look for in a drink, we’d recommend opting for one that uses full- or broad-spectrum hemp extracts. Unlike CBD isolate, these contain a wide array of hemp plant compounds—beyond just CBD—and tend to be more soothing to the body.* It should be clear how much of these extracts are present in each serving. Kalcheff-Korn also recommends doing your research to find a company you trust to produce a high-quality hemp product. Organic and non-GMO varieties tend to be best.
These seven brands are all brewing up high-quality hemp beverages that go down easy. From coffees to spirits, there’s something on this list to help you chill morning, noon, and night.*