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What to Know Before You Drink THC

The canna beverages of 2021 are nothing like those of two years ago or more.

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This story originally appeared on Cannabis.net

If you live in a cannabis-friendly state, chances are, you’ve already come across a variety of THC-infused beverages (also known as drinkables or liquid edibles) in dispensaries and online. From juices to health shots, coffee, sparkling water, wine, and other infused alcoholic beverages and everything else in between, the cannabis beverage industry is growing into a promising niche of its own.

You’ve probably already tried a few of them. And the canna beverages of 2021 are nothing like those of two years ago or more. The earliest cannabis beverages weren’t much to write home about: they lacked taste, were likely chunky because of bits of pot floating around it, and had strange consistencies. Thanks to science and technology, the drinks around today have evolved and are so much more pleasant to drink.

If you didn’t know, cannabis is extremely hard to infuse into liquid, beverage form. That’s because cannabinoids – THC and CBD included – can’t mix well with water because they are fat-soluble. That’s why baked goods such as brownies and other edibles have been the standard for so long because THC bonds really well with oils and other fatty butters.

After all, for anyone who loves cannabis and is looking for a fun, interesting new way to consume it, these beverage options are truly nothing short of exciting. But just like with any other method of consumption, there are certain things you should know before you indulge.

RELATED: Cannabis-Infused Beverages Will Be Big Business In 2021

Dosing

If it’s your first time to try cannabis drinkables, the same rule with dosing applies as with cannabis edibles and other products: start slow. Various THC doses are available in drinks; anything under 2.5mg THC is ideal for microdosing or beginners. You’ll hardly feel any psychoactive effects, but if you want more, you can try a drink with anywhere from 2.5 to 10mg of THC.

Anything above 10mg can have strong psychoactive effects and for inexperienced consumers, this might be too strong. However, this dosage is suitable for those with intense chronic pain or those who struggle with insomnia. Then there are also drinks with 30mg of THC, which will have strong psychoactive effects an

Be careful mixing with alcohol

If you live in a legal state, some fine establishments offer cannabis cocktails and other ready-to-drink alcoholic, cannabis-infused beverages. Remember that both weed and booze will sedate you, as they will both relax you by setting off different reactions inside you.

Alcoholic beverages can affect people pretty quickly but when you consume THC in liquid form, it can take longer to hit you just like with edibles, depending on the technology that was used to make them. There are many factors that come into play such as your metabolism, weight, tolerance, and how often you already consume THC. Depending on these, you can expect to feel hit anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours when consuming a marijuana infused beverage. In addition, once you do feel the effect, it could also be more intense than expected – and it could last pretty long.

Newer technologies such as nanoemulsions allow cannabis drinks to hit you faster these days. Sometimes, you can feel the hit from a beverage in 30 minutes or under.

In some occasions, you can feel high for as long as 6 hours, and even feel the effects through a lingering hangover the following day. However, there’s no way to reliably predict how a cannabis beverage will hit you; some people only feel drowsiness.

Because of this, bars that serve up recreational cannabis typically use CBD oil. But the laws continuously change, and in many countries, it remains illegal to mix THC and booze both in public settings like a bar, or even in a drink. That’s why hemp-based cannabis, which is high in CBD instead of THC, are more commonly used for flavoring.

RELATED: Women Are the Biggest Buyers of Cannabis Drinks

Storage matters

While the industry is still new, there are many things we are learning along the way. One of those is storage, and it’s known that the type of container THC beverages are kept in matters, as well as the fact that potency can be reduced when using aluminum cans. For this reason, you are better off looking for THC drinks that are stored in glass bottles and jars.

Good option for consumers

If you’re able to find a well-established brand of cannabis drinks near you, especially those that are made with modern technologies including nanoemulsions that hit you quicker, it could be a good option for new consumers because you can evaluate its effects much faster.

When you get high quicker, you can avoid getting too high or consuming too much because you didn’t have to wait too long.

It’s also a great option for new consumers because of the flexibility offered by cannabis drinks. You can consume them in so many ways like pouring it over ice, or mixing it with juice and other non-alcoholic beverages.

Making it at home

Because the technology required to successfully make THC drinks can be complicated, expensive, and technical, it’s not recommended to do so at home. There are certain regulations placed on brands that make their own cannabis drinks to make sure that they are safe to consume. When you try to make these drinks at home, there may be some risks involved.

The best way to DIY a THC drink at home is to already have a THC tincture or oil ready – and simply add some of it into your favorite drink whether it’s water, coffee, or juice.