Cannabis beverages 101
What’s the buzz about cannabis-infused beverages? Drinkable cannabis products come in a variety of flavours and formats, varying from tea and drink drops to powders and pre-mixed beverages that can be consumed straight from the can. All of these products contain activated cannabis (THC, CBD, or a mixture of both) that doesn’t need to be combusted or heated before you consume it.
What do cannabis beverages taste like?
While cannabis beverages contain cannabinoids, such as the intoxicating THC and non-intoxicating CBD, they typically come in a distilled format so there is no ‘cannabis’ taste or aroma.
Some beverage-based cannabis products come in the form of odourless and tasteless powders or drops, whereas others are part of an herbal/fruit tea combination, or are ready-to-drink options that might feature a carbonated base that are flavoured with a natural fruit.
You might see a ‘terpene blend’ listed on the ingredients of some ready-to-drink beverages. Terpenes are aromatic compounds found in plants, including cannabis, and they may influence the taste of some beverages. For example, limonene is a terpene naturally found in plants (including cannabis) and it has a citrusy lemon aroma. Added terpenes may be derived from the cannabis plant used to create the beverage, or may be derived from other botanical sources. Always refer to the label and ingredients to get an idea of the taste of the product and to see if there are any potential allergens such as nuts, milk, or soy in the product.
How potent are cannabis beverages?
Take a look at our selection to see how much THC or CBD each beverage contains—this information can be found on product pages online and on the price labels in-store. Beverages and drink products can legally contain up to 10mg of THC per product, with many ready-to-drink options containing between 2 to 2.5mg of THC. There is no limit on CBD content in beverages.
As with any cannabis product, it’s important to start low and go slow. Health Canada suggests that people who are new to consuming cannabis start with no more than 2.5mg of THC and wait several hours to feel the effects before consuming more.
How long does it take to feel effects?
While the effects of most edible cannabis products, including beverages, may be felt within 30 minutes to two hours, it can take up to four hours for the full effects to be felt. The effects of cannabis beverages may be felt within an even shorter time span, in as little as 10-15 minutes.
Typically, beverages contain lower amounts of THC than inhalable products such as concentrates, but even experienced consumers of dried flower and other inhalable forms of cannabis may find that edibles (including beverages) affect them in a different way. This is because the body processes the THC differently when it is ingested, turning it into a more potent form.
How many beverages can I buy?
Cannabis beverages count towards the 30g limit of cannabis products that you can legally possess in public or buy in one transaction from BC Cannabis Stores. Your online shopping cart will automatically tell you when you surpass this limit and cannabis consultants can help you with this in-store to ensure that you stay within the legal public possession limit. Equivalency factors are based on volume and so some ready-to-drink beverage products tend to be relatively high in equivalency, despite containing less than 10mg of THC. Refer to individual product labels and product pages on our website for more information about equivalency factors.
How do I store cannabis beverages?
All of our beverage products are shelf-stable, which means that they do not need to be refrigerated. However, like any drink, you may prefer to keep ready-to-drink cans cool before consuming. If you do choose to refrigerate them, it’s essential to make sure that they are kept securely and safely stored away from anywhere that children, minors or pets may be able to access.
As with any cannabis product, it’s important to start low and go slow when consuming cannabis-infused beverages. Consult a medical professional if you have any health concerns about consuming cannabis and be sure to read the label of each product as ingredients and potencies may vary.