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THC drinks are the next big thing?

As cannabis becomes more mainstream, the ways in which it can be consumed will only become more varied. One of the latest trends is THC-infused beverages.

They’re being touted as a new and casual way to consume – offering precise dosing in a form that is more socially adaptable than smoking, and more predictable than a batch of brownies.

The drinks are also a natural progression of cannabis products in the culinary and mixology space, and the growing popularity of non-alcoholic alternatives.

THC drinks come in many forms, including seltzers, ciders, wines, aperitifs, and ready-to-drink canned cocktails – so if you enjoy THC, they might be worth a try [in places where they’re legal, that is.]

By 2025, cannabis beverages are expected to exceed $1bn in annual sales, according to Brightfield Group, a trade group for CBD, cannabis, and wellness products.

The nexus of development for the new beverage category is California for now. But Massachusetts, Illinois, Arizona, Michigan, Nevada, Colorado, Washington, Rhode Island, and New York are all states where the sector is expected to take off in coming years.

“People have no idea these products exist, but in five-to-ten years they’re going to be a massive part of the cannabis market,” says Aaron Silverstein, President of the Cannabis Beverage Association (CBA), and VP of Production & Business Development at the cannabis-infused wine producer, House of Saka.

Alexi Chialtas, co-founder of the THC-infused beverage brand, WUNDER, sees cannabis beverage growth as part of a larger movement of being more conscious of what you’re putting into your body.

“It’s about creating a world where people can have more choices of alternatives to alcohol,” said Chialtas, who plans to expand distribution beyond California this year.

What makes THC drinks particularly primed for growth is their intuitive method of delivery.

“Drinks have been our most familiar mode of consumption for centuries,” said Chialtas. “And by the numbers, across the country, people view beverages as the most socially-acceptable way to consume cannabis.”

Sipping a THC drink may look and feel like the process of drinking alcohol, but it’s obviously quite a different outcome…..

“With alcohol, it numbs you rather than tunes you in,” Chialtas said.

Another benefit of THC drinks is that you’re not hungover the next day, and there’s roughly five-times fewer calories in a THC/Cannabis beverage than there is in a beer.

Producers have also been able to tweak the onset, the duration, and the offset of the beverages so that it can be similar to that experienced with alcohol.

The industry term used to describe beverages that can be consumed more like alcoholic beverages is “sessionable”, which means the intention is one can have a few low-dose drinks over the course of a few hours the way one might have a few beers, and regulate effects as they go.

Now, when dealing with THC of any kind, it’s important to go slow at first and understand your limits. 

“Drinking a beverage containing THC in the correct dose is unlikely to cause any health issues,” said Bonni S Goldstein MD, Medical Director of Canna-Centers and author of Cannabis is Medicine, stressing the importance of the correct dosage. 

She pointed out that it is always important to read the label and understand how many milligrams of THC you’re taking.

“THC dosing is very important, and can make the difference between a pleasant experience and a terrible one,” said Goldstein. Anyone new to cannabis, she says, should ‘start low and go slow,’ meaning start with a low dose of THC (1 mg – 2.5 mg) and wait at least one to two hours to see the effects of this dose before taking more.”…. Read the full article

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