Everything You Need to Know About CBD Infused Drinks (+ 3 CBD Infused Drink Recipes to Try)
CBD-infused drinks are becoming increasingly popular and available for purchase, thanks to the legalization of CBD and hemp-based products as detailed in the 2018 Farm Bill. And they can include coffee, tea, water, and soft drinks.
There are several ways to consume CBD through a variety of premium CBD products. But mixing CBD with food and beverages is becoming the most straightforward method of implementing CBD daily. And with CBD getting added to just about everything, its culinary uses are becoming the next big thing.
Meanwhile, as the market expands, the making of CBD drinks is getting more sophisticated. While CBD is usually taken in oil, since that’s the easiest way to dissolve it into an edible substance, new technologies are enabling the creation of water-soluble CBD that provides a range of benefits – including a wider variety of drinks!
In this article, we’ll cover:
- What CBD drinks are
- How CBD-infused drinks are made
- The benefits of water-soluble CBD vs. CBD oil
- cbdMD’s new water-soluble CBD tinctures!
- A few CBD drink recipes you can make at home
What Are CBD-Infused Drinks?
CBD-infused drinks are exactly what their name says – drinks containing cannabidiol (CBD). CBD is a non-intoxicating compound that comes from Cannabis sativa. The type of CBD that the Farm Bill made legal comes from industrial hemp, which contains a negligible amount of the intoxicating tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC.
CBD molecules typically interact with the cannabinoid receptors that comprise the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in our bodies. By supporting the ECS, CBD can help it perform its beneficial functions of maintaining the body’s balance and overall wellness.
These benefits are what make CBD so appealing to consumers. And by infusing it into drinks, CBD companies have created one of the most popular options available that won’t cause euphoric effects or get consumers high.
How Are CBD-Infused Drinks Made?
You may think that making a CBD drink consists of stirring a few drops of CBD oil in liquids. And you’ve probably seen it done that way at bars and lounges, but large-scale CBD drinks are put together quite differently.
If you’ve ever tried to mix oil with water, you see how the oil typically sits on top of the water. Even if you vigorously shake or stir both together, the oil does not dissolve entirely and, within a few moments, will rise back on top of the water.
The reason that CBD normally comes in oils, however, is that CBD in its natural state is a crystal that is not especially friendly to human consumption. And that crystal is oil-soluble but not water-soluble, so the easiest thing for manufacturers to do is infuse it in edible oil. So if you get a CBD oil tincture, gummy, or capsule, it’s probably made with oil that has been infused with CBD and then blended with other ingredients.
But drinks that truly infuse CBD oil have to use water-soluble CBD.
What Is Water-Soluble CBD?
Similar to the simple definition of CBD-infused drinks, water-soluble CBD is CBD that is made to dissolve efficiently in water. However, creating it is anything but simple. The process consists of dissolving CBD into a naturally derived oil that typically has no flavor or color.
And then nanotechnology creates nanoscopic droplets from that oil, resulting in a stabilized additive that won’t affect the taste, color, or consistency of whatever it blends into completely.
cbdMD’s water-soluble CBD products, such as our CBD drink mixes, deploy a type of nanotechnology that encases incredibly small amounts of hemp extract in a tiny shell. The inner surface of the shell can bond with fat-soluble substances like CBD, while the outer side is water-soluble. That way, the CBD molecules can disperse when you mix them up with water or a water-based beverage.
Those little capsules are made of a substance derived from the South American soapbark tree, Quillaja saponaria. It’s not the source of the soap you’d buy at the store, but it has the same quality as all soaps that it can both break down oil and dissolve in water. So you can see why it’s useful for this purpose.
Are There Any Benefits of Using Water-Soluble CBD for Drinks?
Other than the fact that oil-based CBD is a hydrophobic substance – meaning it cannot mix well with water – another significant benefit is the increase of bioavailability.
“Bioavailability” is the technical term for the percentage of an ingredient in a product that makes it to your bloodstream. This will vary depending on how you take it and what other substances you take it with.
Among the methods of CBD delivery, ingested CBD usually has the lowest level of bioavailability because the CBD compounds must go through “first-pass metabolism” and get broken down before entering the bloodstream.
That’s why the directions on cbdMD’s CBD oil tinctures recommend that you hold it under your tongue for 30 to 60 seconds before swallowing. If you absorb the CBD through the mucous membrane of your mouth, it can bypass the digestive system and get to the bloodstream in about 30 minutes.
Water and substances that dissolve in water are different. The human body is about 60 percent water, so your body doesn’t have to break it down to extract the useful bits the way it does with food. So a water-based CBD solution would tend to work better than an oil-based one, right?
Theories suggest that water-soluble CBD allows for more absorption of the cannabinoid compound. And it does so at a much faster rate, which means it won’t take as long to feel the CBD drink effects.
And because the body absorbs more CBD this way, less CBD is needed in the product for the user to obtain the desired results. So you can swallow a CBD drink without holding it under your tongue and still feel it in about half an hour.
Water-soluble CBD can also make mixing homemade CBD drinks more efficient than stirring drops from an oil tincture. Because the CBD already binds the water molecule, it becomes a matter of quickly pouring water-soluble CBD into your drinks or regular water at home.
Introducing cbdMD’s Water-Soluble CBD Tinctures
Because water-soluble CBD has so many benefits for the consumer, cbdMD will soon launch a new line of water-soluble CBD tinctures. These tinctures use similar nanotechnology as the powdered drink mixes, but with a new medium. While our traditional tinctures are made with MCT oil, which is derived from coconut or palm kernel oil, the water-soluble tinctures are based on glycerin.
Glycerin, also known as glycerol, is a slightly sweet substance derived from plant and animal fats (ours is plant-based), though it is not itself an oil. It’s used as a thickener in liqueurs, and you’ll find that the new water-soluble tinctures are indeed thicker than the MCT oil version – like honey in consistency. But it nonetheless dissolves quite readily in water, and your mouth. So you don’t have to hold it under your tongue before swallowing.
Water-soluble CBD tinctures are also more versatile than oils when it comes to making drinks. Ours will be available in unflavored and lemon-flavored versions, and as mentioned, the glycerin is naturally mildly sweet. In other words, perfect for making delicious drinks! We’ve got a whole portal of CBD recipes on this site, but here are a few CBD drinks that can work especially well with water-soluble CBD.
3 CBD Infused Drink Recipes You Can Try at Home
Now that you have a better understanding of what CBD-infused drinks are and why they’re so popular, it’s time to learn a little CBD mixology of your own.
CBD Cos-faux (Cosmopolitan mocktail)
The official mocktail of Stress and the City, this CBD-infused cos-faux is perfect for relaxing alone or sharing with friends (especially if their names are Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte, and Miranda).
Makes one drink
- 3 oz. cranberry juice
- ¼ oz. water-soluble CBD tincture (lemon or unflavored)
- ¾ oz. fresh lime juice
- ¾ oz. fresh orange juice
- Orange twist, for garnish
- Combine all ingredients (except orange twist) in a cocktail shaker over ice.
- Shake vigorously for 20-30 seconds then strain into a chilled martini glass.
- Garnish with the orange twist and enjoy!
No-Fat CBD Latte
A regular latte is normally a good drink for CBD oil because the oil and the milkfat blend together. But suppose you’re watching your fat intake, or you want to use a fat-free milk substitute? That’s where water-soluble CBD comes in handy.
Makes one drink
- 1-2 scoops of your favorite ground coffee
- 1 cup skim milk or milk substitute
- Water-soluble CBD tincture (unflavored)
- Honey, vanilla extract, or other sweeteners of your choosing (remember that the glycerin is sweet so you might need less than normal)
- Brew coffee and pour into cup.
- Over low heat, combine milk, CBD tincture, and sweeteners in a saucepan (including your desired serving of CBD tincture).
- Whisk ingredients together and heat until warm.
- Pour combined ingredients into your cup of brewed coffee.
- Pour over ice or enjoy warm.
For a seasonal variant, try a CBD pumpkin spice latte!
Nothing beats the classics when it comes to summertime sipping. Infusing your lemonade with CBD can make a warm afternoon on the patio even more relaxing!
- 2 cups fresh-squeezed lemon juice
- 1½ to 2 cups sugar
- 10 cups water
- 10-30 mL water-soluble CBD tincture (lemon flavor)
- In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar and 2 cups water. Use less sugar if you prefer your lemonade less sweet.
- Bring the mixture to a boil and gently stir until all sugar is dissolved. Allow the mixture to cool at room temperature and then refrigerate until chilled in a sealed container or glass. (This is your simple syrup.)
- Juice your lemons and remove the seeds, leaving the pulp if you’d like.
- In a large glass or pitcher, combine your chilled simple syrup with the lemon juice. Add the remaining 8 cups of water and stir to combine.
- Add the CBD tincture and stir to combine.
- Refrigerate until ready to serve. Putting lemon slices and mint springs in the glasses or punch bowl adds extra flavor and pizzazz!
Tell Us About Your CBD Drink Experience!
How did your CBD-infused recipe turn out? Did you put your own spin on it? Do you have a recipe of your own you want to share? We want to hear it all! Share your CBD drink recipes and experiences with us and the Team cbdMD community on social media!
Originally written by: Tayler Newman