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Ditch the Alcohol: Three Cheers for CBD Sodas & Seltzers

Bryan McAllister

By Bryan McAllister

January 6, 2023

sparkling CBD soda can sitting on a table surrounded by pizza and Italian food

Courtesy of Sparkling CBD Beverage

The reasons for wanting to carry cannabinoids with you on-the-go can be many and varied, but breaking out the vape or a pipe can sometimes be… prohibitive. Thankfully, in our modern era, finding alternatives to smoking and vaping is easy, with a plethora of infused snacks, candies, tinctures and other assorted edibles readily available.

For those looking to add a bit of CBD into their daily routine, but want to explore beyond the gummy snack, cannabinoid-infused sodas can offer a whole new world of interesting flavor and experience.

In today’s article, we’ll be looking at CBD-infused sodas and seltzers, including a list of our favorites, plus vital information on how to make sure the products you purchase are both effective and safe. Let’s dive in!

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What Are CBD Sodas?

Much like the name implies, a CBD soda is a carbonated beverage that has been infused with cannabidiol, or CBD. Often referred to as a “kinder, gentler” cousin to its relative cannabinoid THC, CBD is a non-psychoactive compound that helps to promote relaxation of both the body and mind, easing tension in the muscles, reducing inflammation and contributing to an elevated mood.

Unlike other types of cannabis-infused snacks, though, infusing CBD into a drinkable form isn’t quite as simple as it may seem on the surface. While the oily nature of extracted cannabinoids works well in certain edibles, such as chocolates or baked goods, as the old saying goes, oil and water just don’t mix.

For crafting a CBD-infused soda, some fashion of emulsification must be used. We discuss the emulsification process in detail in our “

” article, but as a brief overview: For oils to combine with a substance they typically would not (IE: water), a medium must be used to join the two together. Much like making a salad dressing by combining oil and vinegar with a bit of prepared mustard, cannabinoids need some way to bind to the liquid they’re being infused to — otherwise you’ll end up with a separated layer of drink on the bottom, and CBD oil on the top… Leading to not a very tasty beverage, and it’s an issue that has plagued cannabinoid-infused drinks since their early inceptions.

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Early attempts at “emulsification” for CBD drinks often relied on mechanical methods, typically shaking or otherwise agitating (including via ultrasonic vibrations) the soda to force it to blend. This has its limitations, though, both in terms of manufacturing costs and long-term storage; particularly for items such as carbonated beverages, shaking and mixing can only go so far.

Advances in technology and research have more recently brought about the advent of “water-soluble” CBD, typically sold stand-alone in a powdered form. Derived through both mechanical and chemical processing, this form of CBD is typically either enrobed or otherwise bonded to another molecular substance that will then allow it to more thoroughly blend with the liquid of the drink in question. Though processes for creating these water-soluble cannabinoids vary, they tend to involve the sorts of heavy machinery and laboratory equipment that is unavailable to the home hobbyist — ultimately, making your own water-soluble CBD at home will likely be prohibitive, both in terms of cost and efficiency.

But that’s why pre-packaged and store-bought CBD sodas exist! Rather than faffing about with your own home laboratory just to get an infused cola, there are a plethora of options available on the market that make taking a sip of CBD a complete breeze. But with competition so stiff, how to know you’re getting a quality product?

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Choosing The Right CBD-Infused Soda

Though a lot of selecting the right CBD-infused soda for you will come down to personal preference and taste, with such a wide array of products becoming available on store shelves choosing between them all can feel like the sort of headache you’d like a CBD soda to help deal with in the first place.

While obviously considerations such as flavor will definitely come into play, the two biggest concerns should usually be (A) dosage size and (B) availability of COAs.

For (A), most products will have their dosage size proudly displayed somewhere on the individual packaging. Typically listed in milligrams, a good average CBD content for a soda will be somewhere between 10 and 25 milligrams (though outliers do exist, for those seeking either more or less CBD in their daily routine).

In regards to (B), any cannabinoid-related product that is worth taking will have reputable COAs, or “certificates of analysis” readily available, typically on their company’s website. If a hemp-infused product of any kind does not have easily-checked COAs available, it will always be our recommendation that said product does not make it’s way off store shelves and into your hands (or stomach!) — tales of unscrupulous and unregulated cannabinoid vendors abound, with serious health risks as a side effect from taking tainted, improperly manufactured cannabis goods. In general? Unless you know where your CBD is coming from, it’s best to stay away.

That said, our list of the best CBD-infused sodas below inlude what we think are not just the tastiest, but also the most reputable brands, with publicly available lab tests and well-labeled dosage amounts as standard features. Always remember: If a company doesn’t trust their lab results enough to post them? Neither should you.

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High There’s List of the Best CBD-Infused Sodas

Courtesy of Sparkling CBD Beverage

Sparkling CBD Soda

‘s 12oz can of Sparkling CBD Cola is great for anyone who is a fan of mainstream soda products. After all, we already know cola is a refreshing taste that pairs well with virtually anything — from pizza to burgers. Free from any medicinal taste, you’ll enjoy the taste experience of this soda’s spicy, sweet notes, while also benefitting from the 20mg of Broad Spectrum Hemp Extract in each can.

Another favorite from this brand is its Sparkling CBD Lemon Iced Tea. There’s little more refreshing than a nice Arnold Palmer on a warm day, but paired with the all-natural goodness of agave nectar and CBD takes this classic to a whole new level. The black tea and organic lemonaid contains a healthy 20mg dose of CBD and otherwise prides itself on it’s all-organic ingredient list. And though we like their Lemon Iced Tea, their other flavors — including Watermelon and Root Beer — are worth checking out, with both flavors available in the assorted 12 pack for sale via Sparkling CBD’s website.

Courtesy of Mad Tasty

Mad Tasty Yuzu Citrus

We’re suckers for a citrus soda here at the High There offices, and the

is easily one of our favorite CBD-infused treats. The can claims a “mash-up of grapefruit, lemon, and mandarin” flavors that leave behind a clean flavor greatly diminishing the impact of the 20mg of broad-spectrum hemp extract included. And though Mad Tasty’s other beverage options, such as the Watermelon Kiwi and uniquely-named “Unicorn Tears”, are quite tasty indeed, the bright, sugar-free, citrusy pop of their yuzu blend has kept us coming back for more.

Courtesy of Recess

Recess Sampler Pack

Tastebuds curious for a variety? We’ve discussed Recess sodas in other articles on our site before, such as the ridiculously good pomegranate hibiscus, but truthfully there are nothing but winners in the

. Available in either a six or 12-pack option, each comes with either one or two of Peach Ginger, Blackberry Chai, the aforementioned Pomegranate Hibiscus, Black Cherry, Coconut Lime, and Blood Orange (also a staff favorite). Including both broad-spectrum hemp extract and a variety of other herbal supplements (such as lemon balm and ginseng), Recess is devoted to crafting a tasty, relaxing beverage with a flavor to meet all moods.

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Cann

As one of the most prominent names in the CBD beverage space, we had to include

. While Cann’s products offer a kismet, balanced blend of both CBD and THC, it’s definitely a favorite, because each can delivers just a microdose of cannabinoids. This allows for multiple cans to be consumed in a social setting without rendering anyone couch-locked. It’s no wonder Cann’s drinks are coined the “social tonic.” The drinks are inspired by cocktails, with fun flavors like Lemon Lavender, Yuzu Elderflower, Blood Orange Cardamom and Grapefruit Rosemary. Further, all drinks are naturally sweetened and are never made from concentrate. Talk about quality you can taste and enjoy, both day and night.

Courtesy of Miraflora

Miraflora Sampler Pack

Another classic favorite among the HT staff, the

offers a selection of CBD-infused sparkling waters that fit a variety of occasions. Each has a full 35mg of full-spectrum CBD infuse with vitamins, minerals, herbs and other health-promoting supplements. Though it can be difficult to pick a favorite, the Berry Hibiscus Sport blend, with its included coconut water, is usually a hit, with a clean and fresh taste that leaves very little hint of the included cannabinoids behind.

Courtesy of Upstate Elevator Supply Company

Upstate Elevator Supply Company’s Brazilian Passion Fruit Sparkling Water

Though available in a wide variety of flavors (including the equally tempting Raspberry Hibiscus Lime and Black Cherry Lemon), the bright and sparkling taste of

is a unique, refreshing twist on the usual citrus-infused flavors of many other CBD soda brands. With a relatively low dose of 6mg cannibinoids in each brightly-colored can, Upstate’s on-can claims of “next level CBD” might be a bit short of other competetors on our list. But with the extra sweetened touch of agave gives the flavor of these sodas a punchy kick that helps keep us coming back for just one more sip.

Courtesy of Bible

Bimble Sparkling CBD Variety Pack

We always love it when a company offers a mixed pack of their wares, and with such a unique lineup on display, there’s no better way to get to find a new favorite CBD soda from the proudly all-natural Bimble. Unique to other products on our list,

are sweetened with raw, organic honey, and include a 25mg blend of CBD, CBG, CBC, CBD-A and CBN as well, offering a wide spectrum of cannabinoids in each bottle. Though all three available flavors are winners in our books, the Blueberry Lemon Ginger found itself edging out the competition from Grapefruit Basil Mint and Cucumber Melon Lime to take our top spot in this preservative-free sampler.

Courtesy of Sprig

Sprig Zero-Sugar Melon CBD Carbonated Water

If looking for a change from the usual citrus flavors,

has a few unique offerings on hand (including a few THC-infused sodas to boot), but our winner had to go to the refreshingly tasty Melon flavor. Each can is infused with 20mg of all-natural CBD. This zero-sugar beverage also packs a bright and noteworthy punch of melon, with no artificial sweeteners to mask the delicious melon flavor. And if your curious about doing more with your new-found CBD-infused soda fav, make sure to check out the recipes section on the drinksprig.com website — their summer fruit popsicles are a great way to beat the heat and get your daily regiment of CBD in at the same time.

Courtesy of Queen City

Queen City Hemp Seltzer Variety Pack

Not content to rest with just one delicious flavor, Queen City Hemp provides a sampler pack bursting with bright and tasty CBD-infused options. Including flavors such as Blood Orange, Guava, Lemon Lavender and Passion Fruit, our favorite is perhaps the one the company is best known for — their Pink Pineapple Ginger, a bright and refreshing soda that completely masks the 20mg of hemp extract included in every can. Though Queen City’s store presence mostly extends to the north-eastern parts of the US, their variety pack can be ordered online at their website,

.

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Wrapping Up

There are a wide variety of CBD sodas available on the market, and what we’ve listed above are just a few of our personal top picks. Though keeping good manufacturing practices in mind, and purchasing safe cannabinoid-related products, are both important, it can be worth taking a look at some of the new CBD-infused products hitting store shelves each day – you never know where a newly discovered favorite may lie.

We hope our list has helped narrow it down a bit, though, and provided you with some top-quality CBD-infused beverages to try. Until next time!

Bryan McAllister

About The Author

Bryan McAllister

HIGH THERE MISSION

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