Forget edibles—drinkables are the next big thing in cannabis

Illustration for article titled Forget edibles—drinkables are the next big thing in cannabis
Photo: Britta Pedersen (Getty Images)

How do you take your weed? Eaten, smoked, vaped, or sipped? Companies nationwide—okay, fine, they’re mostly in California—have cracked the code of making weed drinkable and tasty, yet still able to get you high. Weed tonics, teas, waters, cold brews, and boozes are infiltrating the cannabis market, per Rolling Stone. In fact, the canna-drink (that’s what they’re calling it, I guess) market has doubled in the past two years. But it still only makes up about 1.4% of the weed market, compared to edibles’ 12%.

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It’s illegal to mix alcohol and cannabis, so this isn’t booze plus weed. Instead, it’s non-alcoholic beers, wines, and aperitifs plus weed. I haven’t tasted any so I can’t testify to their palatableness, but the idea is that the drinks all taste like beer, wine, or an aperitif, but get you high rather than drunk. Outbound Brewing, a San Diego–based small batch brewery, makes drinkables infused with either 10mg of THC or 20mg of CBD in Blood Orange Haze, Grapefruit Haze, and Pale Haze flavors. They’re technically “craft malt beverages.” Then there’s Artet, which Food and Wine calls “a citrusy aperitif that only tastes a little bit like weed.” Artet has about 2.5mg of THC per shot, so while a cocktail might give you a little buzz, it won’t knock you out.

Generally speaking, that’s the benefit of drinkables over edibles. The chemistry is such that the THC gets into your system faster: it takes about 5-15 minutes, whereas an edible can take around 45 minutes to hit. But the faster it gets in your system, the faster it leaves, too. That means you can keep sipping throughout the evening, as opposed to eating one gummy and then riding that out. For canna-drink brewers, the added social element to sipping drinks gives their products real selling potential over other ways of ingesting marijuana. Cheers to that.

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DISCUSSION

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PedanticEditorType

Around here (Chicagoland) I see a product called “SURP” on various dispensaries’ menus. I am pretty sure this is a liquid and the name makes me kind of angry, but I can see the benefit.