In January, consumer research company BDS Analytics produced a report looking at the state of the cannabis industry in 2019. According to the report, the cannabis beverage market is on the rise and that trend will continue throughout the year.
BDS Analytics indicates that from the start of 2018 to November, beverages made up 5 percent of the annual U.S. edibles market. Sales in the sector totaled more than $30 million last year.
According to the report, by 2022, the overall edibles market is expected to reach $3.4 billion. Additionally, by 2020, beverage sales are expected to increase to $374 million, and cannabis-infused beverages are expected to take market share from other edibles in the industry.
Among the new concoctions are those enhanced with cannabidiol, a component of the cannabis plant that does not produce psychoactive effects in users. CBD is currently being added to a wide range of beverage products from kombucha, tea and coffee to beer and wine.
A survey from the National Restaurant Association found that 77 percent of chefs predict cannabis/CBD-infused drinks will be the No. 1 trend for 2019. Cannabis/CBD-infused food was ranked second.
CBD has a number of purported health benefits and these drinks are believed to promote wellness by reducing inflammation and anxiety. Here are a few ways bars and coffee shops can integrate CBD into their offerings.
Bars and restaurants around the country are rolling out new cocktail menus with CBD concoctions. The substance has no aftertaste and can be easily dissolved into drinks, making for a wide variety of cocktail combinations.
Cocktails can be made with CBD oil or seltzer water to give patrons a unique experience. Bars can create new CBD-infused cocktail recipes or give patrons the option of including CBD in the drinks they already offer. These drinks can contain liquor or CBD alone. When combined, the intoxicating effects of alcohol is amplified. This means that much like any other alcoholic drinks, CBD-infused cocktails will increase feelings of relaxation and lower inhibitions.
The craft beer movement has swept the nation ushering in an era where drinkers are constantly on the lookout for new varietals to imbibe. Microbreweries have turned the beer world upside down. Beer tastings now rival wine tastings and brewers are always on the hunt for innovative ingredients to wow customers.
Now, craft breweries are experimenting with CBD. Oregon’s first commercially produced CBD-infused beer was released by Coalition Brewing in 2016. This year, a brewery in Virginia announced it was releasing a hemp-flower hopped beer.
While beers around the country are adding these CBD options from breweries to their taps, other bars are adding the component to drinks in house. A bar in Arizona lets patrons add CBD extract to their beer.
CBD-infused cold brew is a great alternative for people who enjoy the taste of coffee and need a caffeine boost without the jittery feeling that can often come with drinking caffeinated beverages. Adding CBD to a cold brew beverage can produce a more mellow coffee drinking experience.
Coffee shops looking to add these products to their offerings have different options to choose from. Manufacturers are bringing new coffee-infused drinks to market at an increasing rate. Additionally, shops looking to introduce their clients to the substance can purchase CBD oil directly and experiment with adding it to some of the drinks on their menu.
Kombucha + Cannabidiol
Kombucha is a fermented, slightly-alcoholic tea drink often sold at both bars and coffee shops. The drink itself has a number of health benefits. It is rich in probiotics that can help with digestion and antioxidants.
When combined with CBD, the positive effects of kombucha tea can be amplified. CBD-infused kombucha promises to help relieve muscle tension and create feelings of relaxation. Beverage providers can brew their own kombucha and add CBD water or buy CBD-infused kombucha products. These beverages provide a nice alternative for patrons looking to unwind without alcohol.
Despite the current trend, regulations on CBD-infused foods and drinks remain murky. The beverages are legal and widely available in states which have legalized marijuana. However, in some states bar and coffee shop owners may experience push back.
In February, the New York City health department issued a ban on the use of CBD in food and drinks. According to the health department, restaurants are barred from adding anything to food or drink that has not been approved as a safe additive. But, it is legal to buy and sell CBD in NYC.
Not all officials are against adding CBD to food and beverages. February also saw two U.S. senators in Oregon praising donut makers who have added a CBD-infused option to their offerings.
For now, restaurant owners should consult local laws and regulations before adding cannabidiol options to their menu, but where allowed these concoctions give customers something new to enjoy.