Cocktails help to enjoy a rich mix of alcoholic and plant-based ingredients and relax. With the rise in popularity of CBD products, many brands have begun offering CBD-infused spirits, and bartenders offer CBD-infused cocktails in the bars. Depending on CBD type, it may complement the taste of the cocktail or just add some CBD-related benefits. CBD-infused cocktails provide a soothing and relaxing effect. CBD oils and tinctures blend well in the cocktail and may intensify the effect of alcohol. Although CBD is well-tolerated, it may cause some side effects. CBD cocktails may also cause some alcohol-related effects; therefore, we recommend mindful consumption. If you want to avoid alcohol, you may try CBD soft drinks or mocktails.
Cocktails are a great way to relax and unwind after a busy day. With the latest trend on wellness and all-natural supplements, no wonder that cannabidiol, a compound found in hemp and hemp-derived products, has been creeping its way onto cocktail menus and behind the bar. Since many countries began legalising cannabis, mixing alcohol and cannabis is a growing trend. There are many ways to enjoy cannabis-infused liquor, ranging from CBD-infused cocktails to alcohol-free cannabis-infused beer. According to a report by Grand View Research, Inc., the global cannabis beverages market size aims to reach USD 2.8 billion by 2025 with a prevalence of non-alcoholic drinks. This means that the CBD beverage industry is skyrocketing.
CBD virgin and alcoholic cocktails are a fun and easy way to experiment with a popular cannabis chemical and offer your guests a unique beverage. Besides its potential to alleviate discomfort, CBD may promote relaxation and calm the mind. Let’s dive deeper into the relaxing world of cocktails and mocktails, but first, we need to know why to add CBD.
What is CBD?
CBD is a phytocannabinoid found in some strains of cannabis. This compound accounts for up to 40 per cent of the cannabis plant, which makes it one of the most prevalent chemical compounds. Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), another cannabis compound, CBD cannot get you high. Studies show that CBD can impact physiological processes in our body through interaction with cannabinoid receptors of the endocannabinoid system (ECS). This system is responsible for the inner balance. By interacting with the endocannabinoid system, CBD may benefit our well-being. Due to its potentially nutritious properties and non-intoxicating effect, CBD is a popular wellness ingredient that may help keep our bodies balanced and running efficiently. This is one of the reasons for the popularity of CBD beverages and CBD cocktails.
What are CBD Cocktails?
CBD cocktails contain CBD oil or tincture mixed with alcohol, such as gin, bourbon, or rum. Alternatively, it may also combine well with non-alcoholic juices and extracts. Pure CBD has a grassy or earthy taste that allows CBD oil to blend in cocktails with a bold aroma. Bartenders can mix CBD products with other cocktail’s ingredients with a cocktail shaker or stir in the CBD product. They may also add a couple of CBD tincture or oil drops to the top of a completed beverage as an aromatic garnish.
Can Water and CBD Mix?
Cannabinoids are hydrophobic, which means they do not dissolve in water. That may be confusing. How, in this case, does CBD infuse in liquid? What’s more, is there any real effect?
Considering that it doesn’t mix well in water, CBD may need another agent to help it dissolve. Additionally, the effectiveness of CBD oils and tinctures depends on how one consumes them. To absorb the most CBD, experts recommend keeping these products under the tongue for 30-60 seconds. If you consume it like water or food, most of it will be metabolised in your gut and then processed by liver enzymes, breaking down most CBD.
Infused beverages may improve this consumption method by adding water-soluble CBD. Alternatively, you may see an improvement using emulsion techniques present in the culinary and pharmaceutical industries, such as nanoemulsion.
Does CBD Have Any Side Effects?
Cannabis experts consider CBD a safe and well-tolerated compound. However, some people may report side effects, especially if they take CBD in high doses. Some common symptoms include appetite changes, dry mouth, diarrhoea, changes in mood, dizziness, drowsiness and nausea.
If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you should avoid CBD as the potential risks to a baby’s development are unclear. CBD may also get through the placental barrier. CBD may interact with some medications, including drugs used to treat epilepsy, antidepressants, and migraine. If you are considering taking CBD products and have any concerns, consult with your healthcare provider to ensure that it is the right option for you.
CBD Beverage Benefits
If not over drinking, a mix of CBD and alcohol may be beneficial. Besides pleasing your taste buds, here are some other benefits of CBD cocktails.
May Promote Relaxation
Indeed, cocktails help to unwind after a tedious day. An addition of CBD to cocktails may promote relaxation and calm your mind.
May Improve Rest
A couple of cocktails may impact your ability to rest, including disturbing your dreams. A bit of CBD drink might regulate your rest patterns and promote nighttime relaxation.
May Improve CBD Absorption
If you take CBD capsules or edibles, it may take time to feel the effect as it goes through the gut. However, CBD mixed with liquid starts absorbing in your mouth, giving you quick relief.
Are CBD Cocktails Legal?
The legality of CBD products varies per country. In the US, the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill reclassified hemp as an industrial crop. This means that hemp and its derivatives are legal to make, transport, sell and consume, providing the THC content does not exceed 0.3%.
In the EU and the UK, the legal amount of THC is 0.2%. However, when it comes to CBD foods and drinks, things become trickier. For example, in some areas of the US, CBD is illegal in beverages, foods, and any other form of consumable product. As each country and state has its own rules, you should check local regulations before buying CBD oil or CBD-infused drinks.
Will CBD Cocktails Get Me High?
CBD products do not cause a “high” effect. They are free from the intoxicating and psychotropic compound known as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Some CBD types, such as full-spectrum, contain THC traces in amounts that are not enough to cause “high”.
Is CBD a Remedy for Hangovers?
Being an all-natural and non-toxic compound, some people assume CBD may alleviate the symptoms of a hangover caused by drinking too much alcohol. However, there is no evidence that CBD may ease hangover-related symptoms. Still, the best way to prevent hangovers is to drink alcoholic beverages mindfully or avoid them. The best remedies include rehydration and proper rest.
CBD products may provide relaxing effects when taken daily. Although CBD infused cocktails may not cause all the alleged well-being properties of CBD, it is a fun way to enjoy a new taste of your favourite cocktails.
Tailor Your Perfect CBD Cocktail
Now you know the CBD may be a valuable and tasty ingredient in a cocktail. However, there are some rules on unleashing its potential to enjoy all its benefits. Keep reading and tailor your perfect CBD drink.
Should I Use CBD Oil or CBD Tincture for My Cocktails?
The good news is that you can use both products for different tasting experiences. CBD oil is oil-based, while CBD tinctures are alcohol-based. This means that they mix into the cocktail differently and provide different flavours.
CBD oil is the dense and thick botanical extract that mixes CBD with a carrier, such as a coconut or hemp oil. As oil is less dense than water, it tends to stay on top of the cocktail, which can be great if you don’t mind seeing and smelling the oil while taking a sip. However, in this case, some oil can stay at the bottom of your glass when you finish the drink. It may also integrate into the upper layer of a cocktail with foam or head on it, such as a whiskey sour.
CBD tinctures come in a liquefied form by diluting CBD oil into alcohol. Tincture mixes in a drink seamlessly, just like alcohol, which means you get every drop of it. For that reason, bartenders and mixologists prefer using CBD tinctures for CBD cocktails. CBD oils and tinctures may also contain different types of CBD and other ingredients, such as peppermint or orange oil, that will affect the flavour and taste of the drink.
What’s the Right Dose of CBD for a Cocktail?
The CBD dosage differs from one person to another, and there is no universal dosage of CBD as it depends on personal needs and preferences. Usually, CBD brands recommend adding 15-25 mg of CBD and increasing or decreasing this dose as you try it. You should remember that combining cannabis and alcohol can intensify their effects. Therefore, when mixing your first cocktail, you should “start low and go slow” with a dosage rule to be on the safe side. A CBD drink does not cause an immediate effect. However, if you go too easy with CBD content, you may end up feeling too sleepy.
You may also want to consider the dosage of other CBD products that you may take regularly. The general recommendation is not to exceed 70 mg of CBD a day.
How Does CBD Affect the Taste of the Cocktail?
CBD tincture or oil may change the taste of the cocktail depending on:
- the type of CBD (isolate, broad-spectrum or full-spectrum);
- additional ingredients in the product, such as flavourings.
Oils may have varying intensities of cannabis flavour, ranging from no taste to a nutty and earthy flavour associated with the plant. The flavour also depends on the CBD type. Some brands make CBD-rich cocktails with CBD isolate, which is flavourless and does not affect the taste or flavour. Also, CBD isolate is free from THC and other plant compounds. That’s an easy way to infuse the cocktail with the power of CBD without changing its taste. Broad-spectrum or full-spectrum CBD are aromatic due to the presence of terpenes. However, terpenes can be added to any CBD oil or tincture regardless of CBD type or directly to the spirit through infusion.
CBD may also enhance flavours of ingredients with similar qualities like basil, hops, mint, and matcha, or just provide a unique flavour to a cocktail with vegetal notes. It pairs well with flavour-rich seasonal ingredients, such as apples, pumpkin, and herbs, including mint and rosemary.
You can experiment with different CBD products to find the perfect match. For example, when mixing the iconic Cosmopolitan, you can add orange CBD tincture to cranberry and lime juice for an ideal citrus kick.
What Spirits Work Better with CBD than Others?
There are different approaches to using alcohol for CBD cocktails. Some prefer mixing CBD with spirits of bold flavours, such as tequila and bourbon. A pure CBD oil, such as full-spectrum CBD, will be a great addition to gin and amaro-based cocktails due to its earthy and plant-like flavour. Also, it may add a viscous mouthfeel to a cocktail. You can think of mixing CBD into coffee liqueur, Campari, Chartreuse, as their intense flavours may complement cocktails with herbal notes and pair well with the earthiness of cannabis products.
It is also worth considering the ABV, or “alcohol by volume”, which indicates the amount of alcohol per given volume of an alcoholic beverage. The more alcohol in the drink, the more you’ll be affected by it, and the less you’ll feel the effects of the CBD. Therefore, some prefer mixing CBD with low-ABV spirits, such as vermouths and sherries, which complement calming effects of CBD. On the other hand, too much CBD may potentially make you a little sleepy.
In case you feel that the taste of CBD overpowers the other flavours, you may integrate it with a spirit with a dominant flavour, such as tequila, mezcal, or bourbon. Whiskey enthusiasts may also add CBD to the combination. The bold flavour of whiskey mixes well with a full-spectrum CBD.
What Do You Feel When You Mix CBD into a Cocktail?
Since CBD is free from THC, it will not cause any “high” or mind-altering effects. However, it may still provide some non-trippy effects, such as sedation and relaxation. Although the typical amount of CBD in cocktails is not enough to offer potent therapeutic benefits, it may elicit soothing and relaxing effects. It’s no surprise that CBD cocktails are becoming so popular. The result may vary depending on the strain of cannabis. Experts believe Cannabis sativa strains might have uplifting effects, while they often link cannabis indica to total relaxation.
Are There Any Vegan Cocktails?
Finding vegan cocktails and alcohol may be challenging. Many unflavored spirits are vegan. Among them are brandy, whiskey, gin, rum, tequila, and vodka. However, there may be exceptions. Unfortunately for people avoiding animal products, flavoured liquors may contain non-vegan ingredients, such as milk, cream, eggs and honey. Potential non-vegan cocktails are coffee cocktails, honey-flavoured spirits and dessert cocktails.
As for wines, if the beverage uses animal-based fining agents, then the wine is considered non-vegan. Some wineries use animal products for fining, such as casein, gelatin, or albumin. Additionally, carmine, a red dye produced from insects, may also be added to wine as a colourant. That said, there are vegan wines available which use clay-based fining agents, such as bentonite or proteins received from wheat, corn, or other plants.
As for beer, it contains just four ingredients, including water, barley or wheat, hops and yeast. All these ingredients are vegan. However, some breweries may use non-vegan ingredients to purify and add flavour or colour. These ingredients include gelatin as a fining agent or lactose, and honey added with the other ingredients.
Here is how to ensure that the spirits are vegan:
- Search for vegan symbols on the label. Some brands indicate that their alcohol is vegan-friendly.
- Look for allergen statements. Animal-based ingredients, such as milk or eggs, can be found on the label among potential allergens.
- Ask the producer. You can check the company websites to ensure their alcoholic products are vegan or contact the manufacturer via contact information.
How to Choose Good-Quality CBD Oils and Tinctures?
Choosing the best CBD products depends on several factors. Here is what is essential to keep in mind:
- Check for the certificate of analysis (COA). This document ensures that CBD products are free from harmful residues and THC. COA proves that the product is safe and pure.
- Search for the highest quality. It is worth buying from reputable brands and checking for customer reviews.
- Check the label to ensure there are no harmful additives or artificial flavourings.
Is Mixing CBD with Alcoholic Drinks Safe?
In multiple studies, CBD products seem to be safe and well-tolerated in humans, even if taken in high doses. Unlike THC, a psychoactive and intoxicating cannabis compound, CBD is non-toxic and doesn’t cause a “high” effect. CBD oil’s potential side effects are usually minor and may include dry mouth, low blood pressure, drowsiness, and lightheadedness.
However, alcoholic beverages can be harmful, especially if consumed in high amounts. It may affect heart and brain functions soon after intake. Also, alcohol use may slow reaction time and affect judgment and coordination.
There are some tips on how to be mindful with drinking CBD cocktails:
- Start with non-alcoholic beverages and low doses of CBD. You can also try CBD products with a low concentration, such as syrups and tinctures. Try adding a couple of drops of cannabis tincture to your favourite fizzy drink or coffee.
- Keep the balance with ingredients. You may use a proven recipe not to overuse the liquor or CBD until you know its effect.
- Be patient. CBD takes some time to absorb. So there is no need to hurry with the second cocktail. Give it some time and enjoy the results.
- Be mindful of the amount of cocktails. To be on the safe side, limit CBD drinks you enjoy daily.
- Stay in a safe environment. When starting experiments with CBDcocktails, you may not know the exact effect it takes on you. Therefore, partying at home may be a better option.
What Else Can I Add to CBD Cocktails?
There are so many CBD-infused products on the market that may perfectly complement your cocktail.
- Cannabis tinctures and oils usually contain high levels of CBD though concentrations may vary. It may be enough to add just a little CBD tincture to enjoy a cocktail.
- Cannabis bitters are usually highly concentrated and easy to dose. It may be a great starting point for those looking to experiment with CBD. CBD bitters may contain other ingredients, such as cacao, making them a perfect addition to aromatic CBD cocktails.
- Syrups are added to most cocktails and are usually flavoured. Besides, they can be added to your favourite dishes or taken before going to bed.
- Cannabis-infused liquors. These drinks replicate homemade liquor, though experts make infusions with heat.
- Cannabutter or cream. These are easy and tasty ways to improve the taste of any beverage. The ingredients allow your body to absorb the CBD more quickly.
- CBD-infused honey can replace regular honey in the classic cocktail.
- Non-alcoholic spirits. These beverages contain natural flavours and extracts that create a warming sensation. You can enjoy the same effect as alcohol does, but without intoxication. Some non-alcoholic spirits can even mimic the real taste of popular alcoholic drinks.
A CBD mocktail is a non-alcoholic drink that contains CBD. The liquid in this beverage may infuse well with a CBD tincture or CBD oil. Bartenders can be more creative, rimming the glass in sugar with CBD oil or adding a thin layer of CBD oil on top of the beverage. Besides, CBD tinctures, liquids, and CBD isolate can be added to various drinks, such as coffee, tea, or lemonade, making a tasty beverage that feels grown-up.
Anything Else Besides Cocktails?
Cannabis-infused wines and beers keep gaining attraction. In CBD Wine, manufacturers mix cannabidiol with spirits through nanoemulsion. This beverage offers you the intact flavour and aroma of wine and the benefits of CBD. On the other hand, wine infused with CBD contains lower amounts of alcohol. Individuals should monitor the dosage as experts do not recommend excessive consumption.
CBD beer may be a better hangover-free alternative to alcohol-based beers. These beers do not contain alcohol and are THC-free. CBD beer manufacturing follows the same steps as traditional alcoholic beers. But in this case, the manufacturer removes the alcoholic content and replaces it through CBD nanoemulsion. You cannot tell the difference when tasting it, as the manufacturing process remains the same.
Not Ready for Alcoholic Drinks? Try CBD Soft Drinks!
The market is full of different CBD-infused beverages, making your CBD journey more enjoyable. Let’s take a look.
- Sparkling water. This is one of the most popular CBD beverages that fuses strong flavour with the soothing properties of hemp extract. The drink may contain pure botanicals and fruity flavours, such as peach ginger, pomegranate or hibiscus, to restore harmony in your daily life and water-soluble CBD for better absorption. Among trendy drinks are CBD Kombucha, a naturally carbonated drink made from tea. CBD sparkling water is a perfect way to unwind after a long day and relieve stress. There are also zero-sugar and vegan beverage options, so users of different dietary preferences may enjoy these drinks.
- CBD tea and coffee. There are many options, such as CBD-rich teas, cold brews, hemp-infused ground coffees, and ready-made coffee powders. You can also add CBD oil to coffee at home. Coffee and tea may stimulate the nervous system, making us more focused. Some experts believe CBD may reduce the adverse effects of coffee, providing an energy boost without the jitters.
- CBD shots. It is an alternative to consuming a full-sized CBD-infused drink or taking CBD oil under the tongue. Many consumers prefer easy to use, concentrated, and portable shots that support overall well-being. There are shots designed for various effects. Some shots provide unwinding and soothing effects, while others have energising properties, helping to kick-start a day.
CBD drinks taste good, are low in calories and provide a sense of calm. Besides, these drinks may not have addictive qualities. Furthermore, water-soluble CBD powder is effective for making smoothies, tea, coffee, and many other drinks. You may pair flavoured drinks with CBD edibles, such as CBD cookies or crumble them on top of the drink.
Bottoms Up: Your New Cocktail Ingredient
If you are ready to extend your experience with CBD, then there is no better time than now to try CBD cocktails. Nothing beats relaxing after a stressful day with a tasty drink, and some CBD oil or tincture will help you this way. With a few drops of CBD tincture, you may be surprised with a new taste of CBD Gin & Tonic or CBD Mezcal Margarita. You can also try ready-made CBD alcoholic beverages or wines and beers where CBD replaces spirits. If you are more into soft drinks, the world of CBD sparkling water, smoothies, coffee and shots is available to you. Try out different options and enjoy new flavours and tastes.