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CBD-infused drinks represent a burgeoning sector within the beverage industry, capitalizing on the growing popularity of cannabidiol (CBD) and its perceived health benefits. When combined with CBD extract derived from hemp plants and other health ingredients, these beverages create a refreshing and therapeutic CBD beverage formulation. CBD, a non-psychoactive compound, is believed to offer various wellness advantages, including stress relief, pain management, and relaxation, making it an attractive addition to beverages targeting health-conscious consumers. The top growing CBD beverage categories are:

  1. Sparkling & seltzer waters 
  2. Iced teas
  3. Soft drinks
  4. Fruit drinks
  5. Energy beverages 

Which shows that the market for CBD drinks continues to expand, driven by consumer interest in alternative wellness solutions and the increasing legalization of cannabis-related products. 


CBD, or cannabidiol, is the second most prevalent active ingredient in cannabis (marijuana). While CBD is an essential component of medical marijuana, it is derived directly from the hemp plant, a cousin of marijuana, or extracted from high CBD strains that are low in THC – the psychoactive component of cannabis. CBD does not cause a “high” by itself. THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD are both cannabinoids. They have distinct properties and effects due to their different chemical structures and interactions with the body’s cannabinoid receptors.

Chemical Structure:

CBD and THC have similar chemical formulas (C21H30O2), but their molecular structures differ. THC has a cyclic ring structure, while CBD has a hydroxyl group attached to its molecular chain.

Chemical Structure

Psychoactive Effects:

THC is the psychoactive component responsible for the “high” or euphoric sensation typically associated with marijuana use. It achieves this by binding to cannabinoid receptors in the brain, particularly the CB1 receptors. CBD, on the other hand, is non-psychoactive and does not produce these effects. It does not bind strongly with CB1 receptors and does not directly activate them, which is why it does not cause a high.

From nature CBD is oil soluble which can be challenging when using it in a beverage. There are a few different ways of making CBD water-soluble for example by nano-emulsification. For this, often lecithin is used or even ultra-high-pressure homogenisation. There are also powdered forms of CBD made by spray-drying technology, which could be suitable for powdered drink applications. It is important that the water-soluble CBD dissolves easily in any soluble base, does not separate, float or settle. 


The legal landscape surrounding CBD products remains dynamic and subject to change as regulations evolve at the federal and state levels in the USA and per country in the EU. Consumers and businesses must stay informed about the latest developments in CBD laws and regulations.

Would you like to launch your CBD drink and be informed about the latest news regarding its legality? Feel free to contact us. We at Food Scientist For Hire are here to answer your queries regarding your CBD beverage.