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Maxwell Reis, beverage director serves a drink containing Cannabidol CBD extract with a marijuana leaf motif at the Gracias Madre restaurant in West Hollywood, Calif. The hemp-derived CBD extract is popping up in everything, from cosmetics to chocolate bars to bottled water to bath bombs to pet treats
Marijuana to Hemp CBD Boom, West Hollywood, USA - 19 Apr 2018
Edibles have been the breakout star of cannabis legalization — but drinkables could offer a whole new kind of high.
About a year ago, when Lyden Henderson took a sip of a nonalcoholic, cannabis-infused beer, he discovered something was amiss: The beverage was chunky — bits of cannabis floated throughout the beer, creating an unpleasant consistency. “It tasted kind of like I was drinking milk that had been sitting in the refrigerator for two or three months,” Henderson says. “It had the worst texture. It was one of the grossest things I had ever tried in my life.”
Just call that negative experience research. Henderson and his colleagues at Outbound Brewing, the nonalcoholic THC- and CBD-infused-beer company he co-founded in 2018, spent more than a year and a half making sure their nonalcoholic cannabis beer wasn’t chunky or lumpy. When the beverage line launched earlier this year, Henderson was sure each 12-ounce bottle maintained a smooth drink infused with 10 mg of THC or 20 mg of CBD. It felt like they’d cracked a code.
Cannabis is notoriously difficult to effectively infuse into beverages. Cannabinoids, the compounds in the cannabis plant, such as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), are fat-soluble and not easily mixed with water. (Another liquid product, tinctures, use alcohol as a base in which to mix cannabinoids, though the consumption experience of placing an eyedropper under your tongue to dispense the solution is a far cry from sipping a drink.) For oral-ingestion purposes, edibles and baked goods have long been the standard, since cannabinoids are easily mixed with fatty butters and oils. While THC is soluble in alcohol, it is illegal to combine alcohol and cannabis in the United States — so water-based drinks prevail.