All types of CBD products are on the rise, including CBD-infused beverages. As the CBD industry skyrockets, we see a wide assortment of different CBD drinks on the market now – the only issue is, CBD isn’t naturally water-soluble as a molecule; it’s too big to absorb into water, so it’s only fat-soluble like all other cannabinoids.
If CBD is naturally just fat-soluble, then how are brands infusing it into beverages? We’re hoping to answer that question today. Then, we’ll provide some of our favorite recipes for putting together your very own DIY CBD drink.
How to Make CBD More Soluble
The answer to getting a fat-soluble molecule into beverages is by emulsifying the fat-soluble molecule. Through nano-emulsion technology, CBD brands have found a way to make a cannabidiol molecule smaller – sometimes even significantly smaller than the industry standard.
Multiplying the number of molecules as you shrink them in size increases their bioavailability, which is just fancy for saying it increases your ability to absorb the molecules into your body easier. After all, you’re not consuming all of the 15mg CBD serving you took – depending on its bioavailability, your body is only able to absorb a certain fraction of that number.
With a water-base instead of an oil-base through nano-emulsion technology, CBD becomes far easier for us to absorb. Not every brand is using the same technology or methods to make their CBD water-soluble, though. In fact, there are some problems on the CBD-infused drinks side of the industry that we want to touch base on for you.
Minimal Amount of CBD
Though they’re labeled as CBD waters, beverages or CBD-infused drinks, what’s being sold across the market often doesn’t meet the standards consumers are looking for. Each serving fluctuates by brand, but many like to get away with just providing 2 to 5mg per drink or serving – an abysmal and negligible amount, virtually useless with no beneficial properties.
A brand justifying this low CBD content by stating it has a higher bioavailability because it’s water-soluble just means they believe that low content is enough to begin with. We’re glad to see as the market becomes better regulated and safer to do business in, this serving average has gone up to about 25mg per serving for CBD-infused drinks. We recommend anywhere from 15mg to 50mg per serving depending on your sensitivity to cannabinoids and familiarity with cannabidiol.
Air and light degrade CBD over time – so a clear beverage bottle with no insulation can degrade the cannabidiol inside very quickly.
In reality, CBD is a very high-maintenance, unstable compound. It requires meticulous storage and careful preparation to preserve any medicinal or beneficial properties. Exposure to air and light causes the careful balance of CBD preservation to break down, which rids it of its natural benefits.
Don’t just consider the packaging, either. Consider where you’re getting the CBD drink from. If it’s from a grocery shelf, gas station, or other physical location with bright lights or clear containers, the CBD content may have been sitting there degrading for days, weeks, or even months.
Look for brands that regularly update and keep up with their inventory; you can look at a product’s batch number to see when the lab report was performed on it. Choose a CBD drink that is well-packaged, in a dark or amber colored bottle that seals properly.
Let’s not pretend here: most CBD drinks are too expensive for most consumers. Some CBD products are becoming cost-effective, like CBD oils that you can get for less than $2 a serving, but CBD-infused beverages are still high up, possibly in part because they’re steadily trending as more consumers give them a try.
As it stands, even CBD creams, vape oils, gummies and capsules provide more cannabidiol per serving than CBD beverages – and at a lower cost.
Should You Drink CBD-Infused Beverages?
We’re not here to be the judge of that, but we hope we’ve given you some pros and cons to weigh out. Typically, CBD drinks are pricier and less effective than many alternatives on the market, though they may have a higher bioavailability depending on their refining process.
We’ll likely stick to more cost-effective, convenient alternatives to CBD water and other drinks, but we’re excited to see the future as they become more affordable and effective.
In the meantime, you can still make a CBD-infused drink that outshines the ones on the market, making it a superior option than the alternatives we mentioned. Let’s look at our favorite drink recipes that involve CBD – who knows, one of them might become your new favorite, too!
This is a nice pick-me-up in the morning when you have time to go the extra step for your daytime coffee break – you deserve it.
- 1+ dropper full of CBD tincture (mint or natural flavors are our favorite for this recipe)
- ½ cup of ice
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- 2 drops vanilla extract
- ½ cup milk (any kind; hemp milk, almond milk, etc.)
- 1 ½ cups coffee – your favorite blend!
- Place all ingredients except for your ice and CBD tincture into a blender. Alternatively, you can use a hand emulsion blender. Blend for about 60 seconds.
- Place CBD and ice into the blender or cup and blend for 30 more seconds.
- Serve chilled. Drizzle some caramel or chocolate syrup on top if you want to – no one’s stopping you, you can go wild.
Mint Chocolate Chip CBD Smoothie
This is a nice CBD snack when you also need a healthy kick. Use your favorite kind of chocolate chips or even dark cacao nibs for this treat.
- Fresh mint, for garnish
- 5 drops peppermint extract, to actually taste mint
- 1 tablespoon chocolate chips (we like to use dark but semisweet is also favorable)
- 1 frozen banana
- 1+ cup milk of your choice
- 1 small handful of fresh baby spinach – because it’s good for you (and you can’t taste it in this drink)
- 2+ droppers full of CBD tincture
- Excluding the chocolate chips and fresh mint, blend all ingredients together in a blender until smooth.
- Add chocolate chips. Blend for just a few more seconds – not until smooth again.
- Garnish with fresh mint, if you desire. Serve chilled.
Virgin Bloody Mary
The virgin part of this is optional; just add your favorite liquor for an evening or weekend beverage and you’re set.
- 1 pinch of sea salt, celery salt, and black pepper each
- 3 dashes of Worcestershire sauce
- ½ tbsp lemon juice
- 8 tbsp tomato juice
- 1+ dropper full of CBD tincture
- Lemon wedge, olives, pickles, or celery all ideas for garnish
- Combine all ingredients except garnish and CBD tincture.
- Shake over ice.
- Strain over ice in your preferred glass.
- Add garnish before topping the drink with CBD oil and stirring it in.
We hope you get to try one or more of our CBD drink recipes. Some of the best we’ve used, they really wash down the taste of a tincture even if it’s naturally hemp flavored. Through this guide we also hope we were able to cast more light on CBD-infused beverages and how to steer towards the right ones. Have you ever tried a CBD drink? Were you impressed, or do you think it had too low of a CBD content level? Let us know in the comments!