Sober October Spurs Some Folks to Drink Differently

Anyone who regularly consumes alcohol will likely admit it has some serious downsides. It can be addictive, unhealthy, expensive, and fattening… and let’s not forget those horrible hangovers! Yet, largely due to the coronavirus and the subsequent economic and political fallout, people are drinking more. 

In a study published in the JAMA Network Open last month, adults reported drinking 14 percent more during the pandemic than they did the year before. This increase was more pronounced among women (with 17 percent saying they drank more) and those in the 30 to 59 age group (with 19 percent reporting an increase in drinking).

So in the spirit of Sober October, a social challenge started a few years ago in which people swear off alcohol for a month to improve health, lose weight, or tackle other health issues, we’re spotlighting an alcohol alternative and another growing trend: cannabis-infused beverages. 

According to market intelligence and consultancy firm Prohibition Partners, one in four consumers or would-be consumers of other cannabinoid-based products would be willing to try cannabis-infused drinks. And 28% of people who have already tried infused beverages say they intend to buy more in the coming months.

Helping fuel this growth in the past few years is a technological/manufacturing process called nano-emulsification. The process enables the breakdown of cannabis oil into microscopic particles. Then, when mixed with an emulsifier — a substance that helps oil dissolve in water — it creates a more consistent and appealing end product. CANN is one such product. 

Each 8-ounce CANN contains 2 mg of THC and 4 mg of CBD and comes in several flavors, including Lemon Lavender, Blood Orange Cardamom, and Grapefruit Rosemary. Each tastes and feels more like a seltzer than a marijuana drink. And CANN just released Roadies, a twist on their current social tonics in which consumers pour liquid packets into their own sparkling water for an instantly infused beverage. 

If sparkling water isn’t your thing. Sespe Creek carries a variety of other infused beverages, including cannabis-infused teas from Kikoko, that come in four varieties: Tranquili-Tea for sleep, Sympa-Tea for pain relief/ relaxation, Positivi-Tea for creative/mental stimulation, and Sensuali-Tea for sexual arousal. Enjoy hot or iced depending on your mood!

One of the industry’s more established cannabis beverage makers is Keef Cola. Since 2010, the company’s been combining just the right amount of carbonation to deliver a smooth and refreshing finish. The CO2-extracted cannabis beverage infusion is surprisingly powerful with 100mg of THC. Sespe Creek currently stocks four unique flavored sodas: Fruit Punch, Lemonade, Pineapple, and Strawberry Kiwi

Lastly, if you’re looking for a playful and potent take on the staple half-lemonade, half-iced tea known as an Arnold Palmer, try Uncle Arnies. This newcomer to the scene packs a powerful punch, although you’d never know from the delightful taste. Drink wisely; each 8 oz bottle contains 100 mg of THC.

Whichever cannabis-infused beverage you choose, always start slow and use a low dose. Unlike edibles, beverages are absorbed through the stomach lining rather than the liver. This greatly accelerates the time it takes to feel its effects. In fact, most cannabis beverages can be felt in as little as 10 to 15 minutes. So have fun, be safe, and cheers!

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