Why choose CBD drinks?

by Laura Howarth August 19, 2023

Why choose CBD drinks?

You might be surprised to learn that the fastest-growing drinks brand in the UK in 2022 was Trip CBD. The company experienced an incredible 522% growth in sales, spurred on by growing demand for CBD in a variety of forms. CBD drinks are certainly enjoying their moment in the spotlight, with one study suggesting that one in two Gen Z drinkers have tried a CBD drink.

Attitudes towards drinking are changing, with many young people looking for low and no-alcohol alternatives. But CBD is not only added to drinks as an alternative to cocktails and beer; it is also perfect with hot drinks such as tea and coffee.

Whether you purchase pre-made CBD drinks, or make your own drinks at home, you’ll enjoy all of the benefits of CBD in a more accessible format. Rather than using drops under the tongue, or eating a gummy or capsule, you can enjoy your daily serving of CBD in a drink that you would already enjoy throughout the day.

If you’re curious, but have questions about safety, legality or effectiveness, read on to discover more in our CBD drinks guide for beginners.

Fast facts

  • Demand for CBD drinks is on the rise.
  • CBD is now available in tea, coffee, fizzy drinks and more.
  • CBD drinks contain a precise serving size of CBD, which could make it ideal for first-time users.
  • CBD drinks offer low bioavailability, so they might not be as effective as other sources.

What are CBD drinks?

CBD drinks are simply drinks infused with CBD. There are a wide range of pre-packaged offerings available, including cold brew coffee, fizzy drinks and hemp tea bags. They are often sold as an alternative to alcoholic drinks, or as a way to help you to relax. They could also contain other herbal ingredients to enhance your sense of well-being.

CBD has been growing in popularity as a supplement that is thought to provide a balancing effect to counteract our increasingly hectic lifestyles. CBD is a compound extracted from the cannabis or hemp plant. And you needn’t worry about it being illegal or addictive, since CBD actually has a very different impact on the body to illegal substances like THC.

Organic hemp teas collection

While THC is known for its psychoactive properties – and for being a controlled substance – CBD does not affect the body in the same way. It is non-intoxicating and non-habit forming, so you can enjoy it throughout the day without worrying about how it will impact your alertness.

The biggest obstacle to creating CBD drinks is that CBD is hydrophobic, which means it does not mix with water. To get around this, manufacturers might add a fat source to their drinks, such as coconut milk or cream. Emulsification is also used to make it possible to mix CBD into water.

You can also infuse CBD into other substances, which is how cold brew CBD coffee and hemp tea are made. With hemp tea, a tea bag or loose tea containing cannabinoid-rich hemp flowers, leaves and seeds is brewed in hot water to create a delicious tea.

With cold brew coffee, it’s possible to infuse the beans with CBD before soaking them in cold water for 24 hours or more. This results in a CBD-rich and mellow coffee drink.

Types of CBD drinks

There are many pre-packaged CBD drinks available, including cold brew coffee, fizzy drinks, mocktails and teabags.

Hemp tea

Hemp tea is growing in popularity as an alternative to herbal teas like green tea. It offers a pleasant, earthy flavour and is very easy to add to your daily routine. It is commonly enjoyed in the morning to help manage stress and in the evening to help you wind down. Unlike most CBD products, hemp tea is rich in CBDa, the precursor to CBD.

CBD coffee

Coffee shops have started offering CBD drops as an optional extra. You can also purchase pre-packaged CBD coffee, usually a cold brew variety. Cold brew is weaker than conventionally brewed coffee and is usually made with coffee beans coated in CBD oil, or CBD may be added at the end. Cold brewing coffee containing CBD is thought to be better, as the heat associated with traditional coffee brewing methods could destroy the cannabinoids. 

CBD fizzy drinks

Often sold as an alternative to alcoholic drinks, CBD fizzy drinks or CBD soda offers consumers something to sip on a night out that won’t leave them with a hangover the next day. If you suffer from social anxiety but don’t want to turn to alcohol to help you to get over this, then CBD fizzy drinks could offer an ideal solution.

CBD drinks effects

The effects of a CBD drink should be the same as any other method of CBD consumption. When ingesting CBD, it typically takes between 30 minutes and 2 hours before you’ll notice the effects.

Other ingredients in the drink may also have an impact. For example, if your CBD drink also contains magnesium, you might notice a calming effect which makes it perfect for use before bed.

If your drink also contains ingredients like caffeine, taurine or ashwagandha, this could make you feel more alert, making it an ideal choice for the morning.

Are CBD-infused drinks legal?

The rules around the world are very different. Some countries take a zero-tolerance stance towards cannabis-derived products, and therefore CBD drinks would be illegal. Here in the UK, CBD drinks are legal provided the seller is willing to jump through a few hoops and follow a few specific rules.

First, you should check that the seller has applied for Novel Foods authorisation. This tells us that they are registered with the Food Standards Agency and are on-board with the UK regulations for selling CBD products.

For CBD products to be sold in the UK, they must contain less than 1mg of THC per container. To check the CBD and THC contents of your drink, you can ask for a certificate of analysis (CoA). This will show you the compositional analysis of your product to prove that it is safe and meets the legal requirements.

Are CBD drinks safe?

Different colorful flower drinks

CBD is typically considered safe to enjoy, provided you do not exceed more than 70 mg per day. These are the guidelines from the Food Standards Agency. However, CBD isn’t the only ingredient you should think about when considering the safety of your CBD drink.

  • Caffeine should be limited to 400mg per day, which is the equivalent of around 4-5 cups of coffee.
  • Sugar is another ingredient you should look out for. Adults are recommended to have no more than 30g of sugar per day.
  • Taurine is commonly added to energy drinks. There are no official guidelines on this supplement, but it is thought to be safe to consume up to 6g per day.
  • Ashwagandha is another common herbal supplement added to CBD drinks. Current advice suggests that you should limit this to around 1000 mg per day for up to 8 weeks.
  • Magnesium is thought to enhance the relaxing effects of CBD, but this should be limited to 400-420 mg daily for men and 310-320 mg for women.

Before you choose any CBD drink to add to your daily routine, check the ingredients list and make sure you are aware of any potential daily limits for supplements and other compounds.

Do CBD drinks work?

For a CBD drink to be effective, it needs to contain sufficient levels of CBD, and this needs to be in a readily available format. Less reputable brands may have inconsistent CBD levels in their products, so there’s no way to know if you’re getting the advertised amount of CBD.

Green fizzy bubbles molecules

To confirm if your CBD drink will have any impact on your endocannabinoid system, you first need to know exactly how much CBD is in the product. You can do this by checking the packaging, or asking to see the certificate of analysis (CoA). The CoA is obtained by third-party lab testing and outlines the cannabinoid content of a product batch. It’s an essential part of responsible CBD selling.

You also need to consider the bioavailability of your CBD drink. Bioavailability refers to the percentage of the compound that is made available to your body based on the method of consumption. CBD is commonly taken as oil drops placed under the tongue. This offers a bioavailability of around 35%. When swallowed or ingested, it can offer a bioavailability of between 4-20%.

Many CBD drinks have small amounts of CBD, typically around 15-25mg. Coupled with the low bioavailability, this means your body won’t get to utilise very much CBD. If you are new to CBD and want to dip a toe in with a very mild product, this could be ideal. However, there is the risk that you won’t experience the full benefits and might wrongly assume that CBD doesn't work for you.

How many CBD drinks can you have per day?

According to the Food Standards Agency, healthy adults should not exceed more than 70 mg of CBD per day. If you have any other health considerations, or if you are taking medications, you should consult with your doctor before adding CBD to your daily routine.

If your chosen CBD drink contains 15mg of CBD, you would want to avoid drinking more than 4 per day. You will also need to consider other sources of CBD you might be taking. For example, if you also take CBD capsules or if you use a CBD vape, make sure you are keeping track of the total amount of CBD you are ingesting per day.

You’ll also need to keep an eye on other ingredients in your CBD drinks, including caffeine, taurine and herbal supplements like ashwagandha. 

Key takeaway

CBD drinks offer a simple way to add CBD to your daily routine. You can make CBD drinks yourself by simply adding CBD oil to your favourite beverages, or you can rely on pre-packaged products. With pre-packaged CBD drinks, you’ll enjoy a reliable and consistent serving size when you choose your product carefully.

As with all CBD products, we recommend researching the brand before parting with your money. You want to ensure that the CBD drinks contain the advertised amount of CBD, and not just hemp oil. You also want to ensure that your CBD drink doesn’t contain unsafe or illegal amounts of THC.

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Laura Howarth
Laura Howarth


Laura Howarth is a specialist CBD author based in Manchester, UK. She is passionate about sharing her love for CBD through educational articles and in-depth guides.

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