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  • Writer's pictureOlympia Team

All About Cannabis Drinkables

What the heck is a "Drinkable"? is a cannabis beverage?

Simply put, a drinkable is a cannabis beverage, ie. a form of edible that comes in liquid form. Technically, any food or beverage that is infused with activated cannabis concentrate is considered a “cannabis edible”. (Learn more about how to get started with edibles here.) That said, Health Canada differentiates between edible such as chocolates or gummies and “edible” cannabis beverages (or drinkables).

From infused coffees, colas, juices and seltzers, cannabis beverages have taken the nation by storm. And it’s easy to see why.

These tasty, easy to drink cannabis-infused beverages are really changing the way people consume cannabis. And for people who don’t like the idea of smoking or vaping, cannabis beverage an an accessible, appealing option.

Cannabis beverages are:

  • Great for people who use medical marijuana but who have difficulty using inhaled medical cannabis formats

  • Convenient to consume and offer precise dosing

  • Made in a wide variety of unique and easy-to-drink flavours

  • Available in a range of formulations that include THC-dominant, CBD-dominant, or a balance of each to suit individual medical needs. (Want to learn more about the differences between THC and CBD? Read our blog post.)

As with traditional edibles, cannabis beverages differ from inhaled products in the way that the cannabinoids in the product are activated. When you smoke or vape cannabis, you activate the cannabinoids by heating or combusting it. But with beverages containing cannabis extract, the compounds have already been activated, meaning they’re ready to consume when needed, without any additional preparation.

How do cannabis beverages work?

When you ingest cannabis, either in an edible form or as a beverage, it is processed differently in your body than it would be if you inhale it. When you inhale cannabis, the active compounds are absorbed into your bloodstream through the lungs, and onset of effects could begin within seconds to minutes. But ingested cannabis must be processed by your digestive system before it enters your bloodstream; and as a result, it may take from 30 minutes to 2 hours for you to begin feeling the effects.

How are cannabis beverages made?

The manufacturing of cannabis beverages is actually a fairly complex process, especially when compared to some other cannabis products. In most cases, the process is done through three fundamental steps:

1. CO2 extraction. A cannabis extract is created using a process involving liquid-state carbon dioxide.

2. Distillation. Once the concentrated cannabis extract is collected, it is refined through a distillation process whereby the concentrated extract is turned into a refined extract—or cannabis distillate—which is ready to be added to beverages.

3. Emulsification. Since the refined cannabis distillate is not water soluble, you can’t simply add cannabis extract to your favourite drink and call it a day. After all, oil and water simply do not mix, so a blending agent is needed to allow the distillate to dissolve in water and create a consistent, pleasant-tasting drink.

This process of production leads to a cannabis beverage to is ready to drink straight out of the can - no preparation needed. Most consumers find these beverages more enjoyable when served chilled, so we recommend refrigerating before drinking.

How long does it take to feel the effects of a "Drinkable"?

Like other edibles, the onset of effects can take quite a while in comparison to smoking or vaping cannabis. After ingestion, it may take anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours to begin feeling the effects of a cannabis-infused beverage, and the effects may last and last - for up to 12 hours.

As with other edibles, always start slow and low dose with cannabis beverages to ensure you have a good experience. And since these drinks can look enticing, be sure to store cannabis beverages away from children and pets.

What’s your favourite cannabis beverage? We'd love to hear about it!

Check out some of our favourite cannabis beverages here at Olympia Cannabis here.

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