While cannabis has been legal in many forms since October 2018, this fall will see the legalization of cannabis edibles, and with it a real interest in weed-infused beverages.
Constellation Brands invested billions in Canopy Growth as they move forward to producing a cannabis drink, and Coke briefly flirted with the idea of a CBD wellness concoction while others develop new technologies and methods to create them.
The largest issue facing many of these brewers is that cannabis drinks available in Canada through the black market don’t currently taste very good. Most are downright bad.
There are a collection of methods used to create drinkable THC, which is harder than it sounds. THC is not water soluble and home baking methods typically have it cooked into butter. This allows it to bind to the fats, but not something that lends itself easily to beverages.
There’s also the use of tinctures, a method where alcohol is used as a medium, however, this is likely to remain outside of legal products since no government north or south of the border is willing to allow cannabis to be served mixed in with booze.
The solution many companies are turning to is emulsion, a process in which the cannabis extract is coated in a substance that will mix with water. The same process is used in other food and beverage products. Nano-emulsion takes it a step further, using even smaller emulsifiers to coat the extract.
Technology in this process is progressing but doesn’t offer a quick fix for the problem of taste. The solution may be found from members of the alcohol industry.
“All of our flavourists have created national brand liquors. So there’s a lot of work that goes into making them taste just as bit as good,” says Jeff Maser, CEO and founder of Tinley, a California company that’s