From beer to energy drinks and even gin, CBD infused beverages is taking the wellness world by storm.
CBD, a legal hemp extract that won’t get you high, is widely being used in food and drinks and even cosmetics.
And according to market analysts Prohibition Partners, the global cannabis drinks market will treble in value by 2024.
In its recently published Disrupting Drinks report, cannabis is fast growing in every segment of the drinks industry, from alcoholic drinks to wellness beverages and everyday boosters like tea and coffee.
“We are on the cusp of a drinks revolution,” says Stephen Murphy, co-founder & managing director of Prohibition Partners.
“For centuries, legal socialising has either involved alcohol, or sobriety; outside of caffeine and nicotine, ultimately you either consumed alcohol in varying qualities, or you didn’t.
“Cannabis infusions bring a third choice to leisure consumerism, and consumer research from Prohibition Partners finds that it’s a choice a lot of people plan to make.”
Strangeways Beers and Spirits
In Cheshire, Paul Hesketh, founder of Strangeways Beers and Spirits, has recently created CBD infused gin.
The Hazy Dry and Hazy Strawberry Gin – which have been handcrafted and distilled in Manchester and infused with CBD from authorised and regulated suppliers.
Strangeways is aiming to be recognised as pioneers of CBD infused alcoholic beverages, with future plans to expand beyond gin.
Paul explains: “Having your gin cocktail infused with CBD is exciting and we think it adds a little more spice to your night than a wedge of lemon or stuffed olive.
“CBD is known to promote feelings of calmness and self confidence, and with the recent boom in gin sales we thought there was no better partner for it.
“We’ve aimed for our spirits to be a cacophony of botanical flavours, delicate tastes and complex aromas. Our simple desire is to establish ourselves as purveyors of fine spirits, producing beverages of distinction and superiority for all to enjoy.”
Serial entrepreneur Paul has an eye on emerging trends and noted that gin sales in the UK soared past the £2bn mark for the first time in the 12 months to March 2019 and more recently, products containing CBD have been rapidly increasing in popularity due to its anecdotal health benefits for a variety of conditions.
Hesketh continues: “There is a great deal of confusion around CBD oil and UK law, with a lot of people assuming that it is illegal. However, that is not the case. CBD is legal in the UK.
“Any non-alcoholic or alcoholic beverage claiming to contain CBD should have a ‘Certificate of Analysis’ that can be used to evidence that the product and its packaging does not contain more than trace amounts of THC, which is a controlled substance.
“Our gins are infused with CBD from authorised and regulated suppliers in the UK. We have placed all our certificates on our website for all to see as a sign of trust.”
The Prohibition Partners report also found that currently CBD and cannabis infused drinks are benefiting from ‘the lipstick effect’, whereby consumers seek out small luxuries, during Covid-19 lockdown and beyond.
Consumers are also looking for products to help them relax and de-stress.
Tom Curle is founder of Calm Drinks, which produces coffee and other beverages infused with CBD, and says customers have been looking to try CBD drinks to help ease anxiety and insomnia during the Covid-19 lockdown.
The businessman says online sales surged by 200 percent as people searched for stress-reducing blends during lockdown.
And now he’s added Calm Water to his ever-expanding range, which is loaded with vitamins and minerals “designed to boost health and mood.”
The new product has already proved a hit, with the first 3,000 units selling out within 48 hours.
Tom said: “CBD products are getting a massive boost and we are the first people to do a multivitamin drink with CBD in it.
“This first year has been all go and online sales have utterly exceeded our expectations. But in the past couple of months sales have gone through the roof.
“They were up 200 per cent during lockdown, compared to February and early March.
“It’s been a time when people are struggling with mental health issues that the current situation can cause.”
He added: “I’ve had feedback from customers telling me they’ve been stressed, feeling anxious about their jobs and life in general, including their relationships, and they’re looking for something to ease the tension.”