Most of the drinks hover around the $5-$7 mark which might seem expensive but it’s cheaper than three cocktails or a bottle of wine and the freedom from hangovers is free

I have fallen in love with THC infused beverages this summer and because I’m a giver, I took it upon myself to try as many as I could find and I am ready to share my favourites. There are a million drinks on the market and I am sure I missed some great drinks.I am  going to talk about the ones that are always in my fridge at the moment but please let me know if you have one we should try in the comments.

Cannabis infused beverages have a quick onset (my #1 reason for preferring drinks over edibles), some as quick as 10 or 15 minutes, with effects lasting as long as 8 hrs so this means you can be in a group of friends, sip your drink and not have to wait an hour or more to start feeling anything. It also reduces the temptation to take too much because of impatience like people often do with edibles, at their own peril. They are also largely low calorie, sugar free or close to it, making them preferable to sugary cocktails, wine and beer AND, the added bonus is the lack of hangover, so you can still hang out with your friends on a work night and feel fresh as a daisy in the morning.

This is the grown up of the bunch – closer to a non alcoholic THC infused sparkling rose

Drinks are made using nanoemulsions and without going into all kinds science hooey , THC naturally binds to fats so in order to make THC water soluble,  all sorts of extra steps are needed to end up with nanoemulsions that allow for infused, water based products. Nano-sized droplets can penetrate the mouth, throat, and stomach and enter the bloodstream without having to go through the entire digestive tract, like edibles. Since it’s more completely absorbed into the body you feel the effects quickly and even a bit more intensely so don’t think that 2.5 mg is going to feel like nothing. You will also know in a short period of time whether you have had enough or want to take a little bit more – makes the whole low and slow technique easy to accomplish.

I am not a smoker and although I do enjoy to eat my own infused food, I was looking for something convenient that I could throw in my backpack and take to the cottage, to an outdoor bbq or, say, on my three week road trip to the east coast. The only problem I have found is that most of them make me sleepy and relaxed but aren’t really conducive to a party atmosphere, but that might just be me.


If I had to buy only one beverage, it would be this baby right here

After a couple months of testing, the one drink that leaves me feeling relaxed but happy to chat and remain seated upright is HousePlant, a joint endeavour between Seth Rogan and Canopy. Coming in at a nice, light 2.5mg of TCH with a very quick onset, no sugar and 4 calories, its perfect for a late afternoon or early evening and leaves me feeling like I have had a couple glasses of wine but without the hangover. I prefer the pink grapefruit and my husband likes the citrus so we don’t have to fight over them, so they also contribute to our marital harmony. At this time, Houseplant is my beverage of choice to drink in a social situation.


Our next favourite is the Little Victory Sparkling Black Cherry. It’s perfectly balanced blend of 2.5mg of both THC and CBD, tastes great and also is just strong enough to feel great but not enough to make me want to find a lounge chair to curl up and totally check out. A close runner up is their Sparkling Blood Orange. These Hexo drinks come in at 35 calories and 6g of sugar.


 

The next category, for us older folks, was a stronger beverage that would help us sleep. We drink these an hour or so before bed so we can flop on the couch, binge watch some tv and then fall asleep like wee babies and sleep through the night. The absolute winner is another Hexo sparkling beverage,  XMG in Mango Pineapple. This smaller, 236 ml can packs in 10mg of TCH. This one has 60 calories with 15g of sugar and although we usually share one and cut it with a bit of sparkling water, you can chug it straight out of the can too.


Last, but not least is Hill Street Beverage Company’s drink, which is a little bit different as they are makers of award winning non alcoholic beers and wines.

Via Pink Grape Sparkler is Canada’s first grape-based cannabis infused beverage, made from a base of non alcoholic red wine, it is unlike anything I have seen on the market. It’s the most “grown up” as far as flavour profile and at 10mg of THC and 90 calories per can, it is also a lighter option to drinking half a bottle of wine.

Craig Binkley, interim co-chief executive officer of Hill Street Beverage Company says “The end result delivers tasting notes that build on the rich alcohol-free red wine base and include blackberries, currants, pomegranates, and grapefruit, for a flavour forward, unique beverage experience.”

all these drinks are available through the provincial site as well as most private cannabis dispensaries