A New Era of Water-Soluble Cannabis:

Cannabis connoisseurs are continually on the hunt for new ways to enjoy botanicals and water solubles are the next big thing. Over the past few years, they’ve made a big splash in the cannabis sector, with the market for CBD-infused beverages booming. Pegged as the next spiked-seltzer trend, Brightfield Group research agency predicts the market for CBD-infused beverages will hit a huge US$2.5 billion by 2025. THC-infused beverage sales are also set to skyrocket to US$1 billion, meaning there will be options for whatever kind of high you’re chasing. 

Water-soluble cannabis is fundamental to the boom, allowing manufacturers to literally bottle the therapeutic benefits of botanicals. As well as offering seasoned users a novel medium for enjoying botanicals, CBD and THC-infused drinks open the benefits of cannabis whole new demographic. 

Want to know more about the water-soluble movement? Read on as we explore how the industry has evolved over the past few years and what’s next for cannabis-infused beverages.

From Hydrophobic to Hydro Friendly 

Cannabinoid molecules are naturally hydrophobic, making it impossible to dissolve them in H20. If you’ve ever baked with cannabis, you’ll know the importance of incorporating ingredients like butter and oil into your recipe. More than just flavor, these fatty substances readily bind to cannabis molecules and activate the psychoactive properties we all know and love. 

So how can you turn hydrophobic cannabinoid molecules into a water-friendly substance? Creating a powder is one of the best methods, with a spray dryer used to transform raw, full-spectrum cannabis oil into a water-soluble powder. Oils should be as pure and contaminant-free as possible, with no traces of wax, terpenes, and plant chlorophyll. This results in a flavorless powder that’s perfect for infusing into beverages. 

H20 and Bioavailability

Pharmaceutical companies have tunnel-vision focus when it comes to bioavailability, aka how a drug is absorbed by the body. Inhalation is traditionally the fastest method of delivery for cannabis, with bioavailability averaging around 30%. Edibles can be much slower and less intense, with bioavailability as low as 4%. Water-soluble cannabis pushes the boundaries of bioavailability by bypassing the digestive tract and offering impressive absorption rates. 

The Cannabis vs Alcohol Debate 

Even in countries like Canada where cannabis has been legalized, botanicals still don’t enjoy the same status as alcohol. Sure, you’ll find marijuana stores on every corner in Downtown Vancouver. But you probably won’t see adults lighting up a joint at a family Thanksgiving lunch or puffing away on a CBD vape at a work windup. A few glasses of wine or champagne on the other hand are completely acceptable. 

So, what makes cannabis so different from alcohol? Yes, they’re completely different substances. But ultimately, both are mood-altering drugs that have been enjoyed by humans for thousands of years. That said, alcohol is the far more socially accepted of the two, even though the CDC reports more than 85,000 alcohol-related deaths every year in the United States. 

Sipping Past the Stigma

Could it have something to do with the fact that alcohol is water soluble and can be easily mixed into sippable drinks, while cannabis needs to be smoked, vaped, or eaten to enjoy? For us, the answer is a resounding yes. We’re not the only ones that think so, with some of the biggest names in global beverage manufacturing getting onboard.

Plain and simple, sipping a can of beer or a glass of wine is far more socially acceptable than puffing on a joint. But it doesn’t have to be. This is where water soluble cannabis has big potential. Already, we’re seeing huge international beverage brands start to incorporate cannabinoid molecules into sodas and energy drinks. Pabst Blue Ribbon and Molson Coors are at the forefront of the movement, though there are also legions of independent companies spearheading the revolution. It’s these types of innovations that will help cannabis overcome its social stigma and emerge as a recreational substance that’s on-par with a six-pack of craft beer or a bottle of Napa Valley wine. 

The Benefits of CBD and THC-infused Beverages

Dosage has always been an issue in the cannabis sector, with effects varying wildly depending on variables like strain, method of consumption, and the experience level of the consumer. Cannabis-infused beverages overcome this issue and allow consumers to carefully measure and monitor dosages. This makes them ideal for both experienced connoisseurs and canna-curious users alike. 

Consumers in the US have been quick to cotton on, with the Cannabis Beverage Association reporting a 40% surge in sales in 2020. This bought the market value of cannabis-infused beverages up to an impressive US$95.2 million. The latest stats from Forbes also reveal an upwards trend in cannabis-infused beverages, with data suggesting 6.5% of consumers in weed-friendly states like California and Oregon purchased a THC-infused drink in 2020. This marks a 10% increase on 2019 figures and confirms water-soluble cannabis is here to stay.

Introducing Delta-8 Beverage

So, what do we have to offer here at Cannessentials? Quickly emerging as a bestseller, we can’t restock our Delta-8 Beverage bottles fast enough. Made with our inhouse D8 powder blend derived from legally compliant hemp oil made from food-grade organic emulsifiers, these colorful bottles showcase just how diverse cannabis can be. 

Every bottle packs a serious punch, with 100mg of Delta-8. Perfect for sipping by the pool, beach or BBQ. We recommend starting with half the bottle, then allowing up to 30 minutes for the effects to kick in. Like all good thirst quenchers, our Delta-8 Beverage is available in a rainbow of flavours. Get fruity with flavours like blueberry and green apple or sip your way to a watermelon sugar high that even Harry Styles would approve of. Be sure to give the bottle a good shake before you start sipping. 

We’re just getting started with our range of water-soluble CBD products, so watch this space for new developments.