A Guide to THC Beverages
As cannabis becomes more accessible and acceptable throughout North America, corporations are starting to pay attention. Every investor is asking themselves, “What’s next in cannabis?” What trends are going to make the most money? What CBD- or THC-infused products are going to be flying off the shelves next year?
Overwhelmingly, the answer has been: THC beverages.
THC beverages still have to wait a few years before the take over the Canadian market – legal issues still have to be sorted out and research still has to take place. But before you know it, weed beer and weed coffee will be all the rage. Use this guide to learn just how big the industry is going to be, what products you can expect to see on the market, and how you can make your own at home.
The Numbers Say It All
How big will cannabis-infused beverages be?
Well, it’s already pretty big. In 2018, THC beverages were expected to rake in over $100 million. Experts predict that in just four years, cannabis beverages will grow to be a $600 million industry. Further predictions state that by 2023, it will double, becoming a $1.4 billion market. That’s right. We said billions.
These numbers are only talking about the United States, where recreational weed is legal in less than half the country. The entire weed industry in Canada is set to rake in $6 billion by 2022, and experts predict that cannabis-infused beverages are going to take up 20-30% of the industry within the next few years.
Big companies have already pledged hundreds of millions of dollars to start working on cannabis beverages. Keep an eye out on the following companies, who may be the leaders in cannabis-infused beverages throughout Canada:
- Molson Coors Brewing (who is partnering up with Truss beverages)
- Tilray (who is partnering with Anheuser-Busch InBev)
- Constellation (aka the brand behind Modelo and Corona, who is partnering up with Canopy Growth)
Coca-Cola has been in talks to create cannabis-infused beverages, but has shelved those plans for now. We won’t be surprised to see cannabis-infused Cokes on the market by the end of the 2020s.
There’s even a Cannabis Drinks Expo taking place in San Francisco this July. While exhibitors cannot give out products that contain THC, participants can network and chat about the future of the industry. Keep an eye out for news about the expo and what key players in the industry are saying about the future of THC beverages.
Types of THC Beverages On the Market
Maybe you’re not looking to invest in THC beverages – maybe you just want to consume them. Now is the part where we talk about what THC beverages you can expect to see on the market and which ones are worth a try.
(In addition to THC beverages, CBD-infused beverages are making themselves known all over North America. CBD-infused sparkling water and coffee are already big in shops around the country. The industry is posed to rake in $260 million by 2022.)
CBD beverages won’t give you the giggles or the munchies. Let’s talk about getting high through a straw. What cannabis beverages can you expect to see in the future?
Weed Beer and Wine
These products are generating a lot of talk, but the ones on the market aren’t exactly what you think. Many weed beer and wine products have THC – but no alcohol. Lagunitas, for example, has two different “IPA-inspired” drinks with THC. Technically, this bad boy is a “sparkling beverage,” but has the hops to satisfy any beer drinker’s cravings. The drink comes with 5mg THC and 5mg CBD or 10mg THC and no CBD.
Call it soda, fruit juice, or sparkling water – either way, many companies are starting to develop drinks made simply with cannabis and carbonated fruit juice. These products are essentially the same as the “IPA-inspired” drink produced by Lagunitas, so it will be interesting to see what labels and marketing language generate the most interest among cannabis consumers.
Tequila and THC? You don’t have to ask us twice. Tinley Beverage Co. already sells this product in the United States, and they have plans to expand to Canada once the law gives them a green light. We will be anxiously awaiting the day this product crosses the border.
Weed Energy Drinks
Even Monster is positioning themselves to become players in the cannabis beverages industry. They are just one energy drink company in talks to bring THC into energy shots and drinks. Monster probably won’t have their drinks out for a few years due to an agreement with Coca-Cola, but other companies have already started selling their products in the United States.
How Much THC Will Be in Cannabis Beverages?
Ten milligrams of THC won’t leave you soaring – at most, you’ll get a nice buzz from a THC-infused beverage. At this point in time, that’s as much as you can expect.
One of the most interesting aspects of the cannabis beverage industry is its marketing tactics. Rather than advertising these drinks as a way to get stoned or a way to party, THC-infused beverages are more likely to be advertised as a healthy beverage.
Take the Lagunitas Hi-Fi Hops. Sure, you can get high while drinking a few of these bad boys. But marketers want you to know that you won’t gain any weight. They
So if you’re looking to be knocked on your butt from a THC beverage, it’s probably best to make them on your own. (Here’s where we should tell you to be responsible and cautious while experimenting with edibles and THC beverages.)
Can I Buy THC Beverages In Canada Today?
As of June 2019, you won’t be able to drive over to a local dispensary and find THC-infused margaritas or weed coffee. Edibles of any kind are still not embraced under the law. Lawmakers are set to make some changes in October 2019, so keep a lookout on the news for information about legal edibles and legal THC beverages.
How to Make Your Own THC Beverages
Itching to try THC beverages before they go on sale? Like other types of edibles, you can make your own at home! Not all of these beverages are easy to make, but some just require a few drops of a tincture or some decarbed bud to get you soaring from a few sips.
Take tea, for example. What’s more relaxing than sipping a hot cup of indica-infused tea before bed?
We have a whole guide on how to make cannabis tea at home. Our recipes include a chai latte made with fresh bud and even a keto-friendly recipe (if you’re into that.) Even just a few drops of a tincture in your tea can set you up with a few milliliters of THC. We’re already more calm just thinking about it.
Another way to enjoy cannabis-infused tea is to make regular (ok, boring) tea and add in cannabis-infused milk. If you enjoy milk in lattes, teas, or in your cereal, this recipe might just come in handy.
This process is pretty easy, although you will need to be around for an occasional stir.
All you need to do is grab a gram of weed, a quart of milk, and a double boiler.
Bring the water in the bottom pot to a boil, then add the milk and ground cannabis to the top pot. Let everything simmer on medium heat for a few hours, stirring occasionally. At the end of the day, strain the milk through a cheesecloth. Voila! Cannabis-infused milk, our favourite part of a nutritious breakfast.
If you don’t want to go through the process of infusing cannabis and alcohol, make a cocktail with weed-infused simple syrup!
Here’s what you need to make the simple syrup:
- 3 cups of water
- 3 cups of sugar
- 4 grams of cannabis
- 3 tablespoons of vegetable glycerin
Here’s what you need to do to make the simple syrup:
- Add water to a pot and bring it to a slow and gentle boil.
- Once the water is boiling, add the sugar and stir. Cover the mixture and wait 20 minutes until the sugar has dissolved completely. Stir occasionally.
- Once the sugar has completely dissolved, remove the cover and add glycerin.
- Continue to stir for the next few minutes until the mixture has thickened.
- Remove the pot from heat and cool for 10 minutes.
- Strain the mixture through a cheesecloth.
And now you have a cannabis simple syrup for all of your cocktails. Our favourite cocktails to make with this recipe include:
- Strawberry Daiquiri
- Lemon Drop
- Whiskey sour
Of course, you can also use cannabis simple syrup to enhance your favourite non-alcoholic beverages. Nothing is more refreshing on a hot summer’s day than a weed lemonade.
If you prefer the gym to the bar, you might enjoy a cannabis-infused protein shake more than a mojito. We like making shakes with cannabis-infused coconut oil. Check out our recipe for making cannabis-infused coconut oil on our website. You can use this oil to cook food, but also give this a try in your next morning protein shake. Adding a tablespoon or two to any shake will put you in a stellar mood before or after your workout.
Vodka (Or Other Spirits)
Cut to the chase by adding cannabis to your booze. We like this cannabis-infused vodka recipe – it’s simple, although you do need to keep a close eye on your mixture to make sure that you don’t burn off any alcohol. You can also use this recipe for other types of spirits, just so long as they are 80 proof or higher.
Here’s what you need to infuse cannabis into vodka:
- 250 mL of vodka
- Three grams (or less) of decarbed, dry cannabis
- Double boiler
Here’s what you need to do to infuse cannabis into vodka:
- Put a few inches of water into the bottom pot and boil on the lowest possible setting.
- Wrap your weed in a cheesecloth.
- Put the vodka and cheesecloth into the top pot and let sit for two hours. If you want a higher concentration of weed over alcohol, keep the mixture in the boiler for another hour or two.
- Check the temperature of the vodka during this time. If the temperature exceeds 60ºC, the alcohol will start to burn off.
- Take out the cheesecloth and remove the boiler from heat. Transfer the vodka into a glass container and let cool before transferring into any other container.
The final product may have some bits of cannabis that made its way out of the cheesecloth. To remove these, strain the vodka through a coffee filter.
Of course, you can skip all of these steps by just adding a few drops of your favourite tincture into any drink that you are set to imbibe. It definitely takes the fun out of mixing and making your own concoction, but it also takes the work and uncertainty out of it.
When we talk about adding tinctures to a drink, we mean any drink. Want cannabis-infused water? Tinctures don’t have a flavour, so you can add a few drops to your water bottle and stay hy…drated.
Where can you buy tinctures? We’ve got a few varieties up on our website – including products with solely THC, solely CBD, and a 1:1 mix of both cannabinoids.
Where To Buy Cannabis-Infused Edibles
THC beverages haven’t taken over the market yet. For now, your best bet for buying edibles is to shop for the kind that you can chew. Weed chocolates, gummies, and other treats are available online and can be shipped discreetly right to your door.
It is exciting to see where the cannabis industry is moving in both Canada and the United States. Stay tuned for more information about developments, and keep experimenting to find the drinks, foods, and cannabis consumption methods that you like best. We are approaching one year of cannabis legalization in Canada, and things have already changed so much. Who knows what will happen by 2022?