Why are cannabis drinks so popular?

Liz Filmer
01 Mar 2024

Cannabis beverages are attractive because of: ease of consumption; discreetness; fewer health concerns; and less stigma, than smoking or vaping. 

The onset of effects with cannabis beverages is generally fast as cannabinoids are mainly absorbed into the bloodstream through the mouth and in the stomach. This means you feel the effects in real-time making it easier to find the correct dose and avoid over-consumption.

Drinks come in a combination of doses—2.5mg–25mg of THC or CBD are common, with the two often combined in one product. Consumers want drinks low in alcohol, sugar, and calories. companies that promote claims like “organic” are big hits with modern consumers.

Additionally, new technologies are appearing that help overcome processing and packaging challenges, and distribution pipelines such as pot shops, bars, and restaurants, have boosted consumer exposure to a spectrum of products.

While the stigma is lower for cannabis drinks than other cannabis products, it does still exist. Even in areas where cannabis is legal, there is still opposition to purchasing and consuming medical and recreational cannabis. As a result, it may be a long time before cannabis drinks compete with the sales of alcoholic drinks

A report by Headset shows that there has been slow and consistent growth for cannabis drinks in the US. They held a 1.1% share of the beverage market in January 2022, which is up from 0.9% in January 2020. Growth has been bigger in the Canadian market due to more recent legalization, with cannabis drinks starting 2020 with under 0.2% of the market and increasing to almost 2% at the start of 2022.

There are a few big names in the cannabis beverages industry, like Keef, Cann and Levia, among others, all of whom cater to different markets. For example, Keef’s bright packaging and sugary drinks appeal to a different audience than Levia’s low-sugar seltzers. 

Within the cannabis drinks market, there are always developments in terms of product inventions and new technology. The cannabis beverages industry is expected to continue to grow at a notable rate, although how fast is debatable. 

There are still obstacles to overcome including stringent rules and regulations, and remaining stigma, especially in regions where recreational cannabis use is still illegal. While it will probably be a long time until cannabis drinks can compete with the alcohol industry, it’s easy to see that THC and CBD-infused drinks are just going to grow in popularity.

More on this topic from Soft Secrets:

Cannabis Drinks can be Fun

Liz Filmer