The cannabis industry has seen an exponential increase in demand as more states have launched legal markets, allowing the sale of medical or recreational cannabis. For the past couple of years, the edible and concentrate segments have reigned supreme as consumers have been looking for consumption methods other than smoking flower. These methods are healthier than smoking and allow for more product variety; in addition, their effects kick in differently. Cannabis-infused beverages are another segment poised to take over the market in the next few years.
Relatively new to the market, these are alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages infused with cannabinoids. Much like edibles and concentrates, they are less risky because they don’t involve smoking. Beverages also present producers with the opportunity for variety, resulting in formulations with different levels and combinations of cannabinoids such as THC and CBD, not to mention alcoholic and nonalcoholic varieties. Generally, a cannabis-infused beverage will act as a milder edible depending on the dosage of the cannabinoids within. Once consumed, the beverage goes through the digestive tract where the cannabinoids are absorbed and broken down by the liver.
But while edibles usually take at least 30 minutes to kick in, people report cannabis-infused beverages having a quicker onset, probably since the liquid is digested and absorbed faster. This makes them perfect for session drinking with alcohol because the effects kick in relatively quickly and aren’t as intense as those of edibles. Consequently, some people are turning to marijuana drinkables as a replacement for alcohol because they present reduced health risks as well as benefits, such as relieving anxiety and inducing relaxation, which makes the beverages superior to alcohol as a session drink.
Cannabis beverage space are hoping to bank on that fact that beverages are more mainstream and socially acceptable compared to smoking flower or vaping. While the segment still makes a fairly small percentage of the overall cannabis market, experts predict that the space will see exponential growth as the industry matures and people become more aware of cannabis beverages and their advantages. The fact that cannabis is a healthier alternative to alcohol will likely be its biggest draw as the past few years have seen people become incredibly invested in their health and the things they put into their bodies.
A September study by Global Industry Analysts Inc. projected that the global cannabis beverages market would be worth $2 billion by 2025. The segment will be aided by increasing cannabis demand in the mainstream market as well as marijuana’s changing legal status. With major brands such as BevCanna Enterprises Inc. (CSE: BEV) (OTCQB: BVNNF) (FSE: 7BC) raising the bar of the quality of cannabis-infused drinks, it may just be a matter of time before drinks are the top selling cannabis products.
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