The Definitive Guide to CBD Drinks

The world is teeming with CBD infusions and CBD drinks. While cannabis was once reserved for the humble joint, today it can be found laced in just about anything you can think of – bath bombs, pillowcases, beer and sportswear. And along with it comes a rash of misinformation to back up how all of these products will allegedly change your life.

Now that’s not to say that CBD, and the cannabis plant as a whole, isn’t utterly remarkable. It is. And there are over 41,000 studies to back up the benefits, enjoyed by millions across the globe. But it’s important to understand that, while a fun trend to get on board with, not all offerings with CBD emblazoned on the label are going to give you the results you desire. However, many do stand up to the test – CBD infused drinks included. And today, we’re going to explain how.

Quick links:

  1. How do CBD infused drinks enter the body?
  2. Bioavailability of CBD drinks
  3. How will CBD drinks make me feel?
  4. DO CBD drinks really ‘work’?
  5. Will CBD drinks get me high?

Despite the raft of CBD products available, it’s really the tried and tested sort that you’re better off spending your money on. CBD oils, CBD vapes and CBD ingestibles (drinks, chocolate, capsules and gummies) are the go-to for those in the know. And for people who prefer a slow, steady build up of cannabinoids in their system (as opposed to the fast acting, shorter lived effect of vapes and oils), CBD infused drinks are a popular choice.

How do CBD infused drinks enter the body?

Unlike CBD vapes and CBD oils, which enter the bloodstream quickly, bypassing the digestive process, CBD products that you ingest, like Pot Head Coffee, are metabolised by the liver first and start their journey in the gut. As a result, it takes a little longer for the balancing effects of CBD to get going (around 30 – 90 minutes, depending on how quickly your body metabolises the molecules) and bioavailability (the mg of cannabinoids that make it into your bloodstream) is lower – but these aren’t necessarily downsides.

Bioavailability of CBD drinks

Although bioavailability is lower, the amount you consume in CBD drinks or edibles is often quite a lot higher than a couple of sublingual drops, but this amount is broken down to such a degree that you’re usually only left with around 13 – 19% of the amount contained in the product (or as low as 6% in some studies). However, when taken in this way cannabinoids stay in your system for longer – often sticking around up to 12 hours, as opposed to 6 – 8 with oral drops and 2 hours with vapes.

With consistent use, this gradual accumulation enables you to slowly build up your cannabinoid intake and support the synthesis and release of your internally produced endocannabinoids, anandamide and 2-AG, too.

How will CBD infused drinks make me feel?

When you take a fast release CBD product, like a vape or oil, you’re more likely to feel it in a very apparent way – potentially resulting in slight headiness if you take a higher dose than ideal for your basic needs, which some users enjoy and others don’t. When you ingest CBD, as with a CBD infused drink, you will still be giving your body the support it needs to regain equilibrium and a sense of overall wellbeing, but in a far subtler way. Over time, you will notice all the same effects an oil can produce, but it will probably come about as a gentle shift, rather than an abrupt one!

Our 5 favourite CBD drinks available in the UK →

Do CBD drinks really ‘work’?

If bought from a trusted brand who uses high quality cannabis extract, there’s no reason they shouldn’t. More so if there are also terpenes present, as in Pot Head Coffee. In fact, there’s reason to believe that ingestible CBD products may even be more effective for certain needs.

Cannabinoids, like CBD, are fat-soluble – which is why CBD products are often suspended in some sort of oil formulation. And because of this, they tend not to fair well in the bloodstream, which has a high water content. As a result, when CBD oil enters your bloodstream, the cannabinoids attach to receptors in the body as quickly as possible, which often means they don’t make it to the gastrointestinal tract where so many vital functions, like the production of most neurotransmitters, take place. However, when cannabinoids are digested the receptors in the gut are the first target, which is why many people who choose to try CBD for gut issues, like IBS, or with the hope to increase serotonin levels (which are vital for sleep, mood, digestion, sexual function and more), will opt for ingestible CBD.

In addition to this, when cannabinoids go through the digestive process they can bind with a glucuronide compound. This makes them much more water soluble and gives them the ability to diffuse with ease across the blood-brain barrier and travel faster throughout the body. So although the mg percentage of cannabinoids that get through might be lower, they’re potentially able to do their job with increased efficiency.

Will CBD infused drinks get me high?

In the U.K, no. The THC molecule that gets you high isn’t legal, so you won’t find it above a nominal 0.2% in any CBD products legally sold in Britain.

In other countries where THC is legal, ingestible cannabis products can produce a more potent high as a larger amount of Delta-9-THC makes it to the liver where it is converted to 11-hydroxy-THC which produces intense psychoactivity.

Got a question about our CBD Infused Coffee? Get in touch – we’re always happy to hear from you!

CBD/cannabis journo. CBD columnist Top Sante. Founder of the Bylines: The Independent, The Mirror, Breathe, Stylist Daily Mail etc