The Rising Trend of CBD-Infused Cocktails
By Mallory Ambrose | September 29, 2022
Within the last three years, as the world continues to emerge from the grips of the COVID-19 Pandemic, many have adopted wellness-centric mindsets centered around fueling both physical as well as mental health through exercise, meditative practices, and the products they consume. This trend of health and wellness has extended into the realm of cocktails and mixology with the popular addition of CBD-infused drinks.
So, what exactly is it about this hemp-derived drink combination that is so intriguing to the beverage industry?
CBD, what is it?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a naturally occurring non-psychoactive chemical derived from the Cannabis Sativa plant, commonly known as marijuana or hemp. While the use of CBD seems to be that of a new trend, it has been present for centuries. The use of CBD to treat various ailments was documented in Central Asia around 12,000 years ago.
CBD does not contain the psychoactive chemical found in Marijuana, THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), therefore it does not result in the high associated with cannabis. It instead has the potential to counter the somewhat negative effects of THC, such as anxiety and paranoia.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), CBD is known to have several health benefits like pain relief, sleep, and general wellness that have drawn consumers to include it in products like lotions, foods, oils, and cosmetics and of course, cocktails.
Huh? It’s healthy?
That’s right, CBD has a surprisingly overwhelming list of amazing healthy benefits making it somewhat of a miracle ingredient.
CBD, applied topically or consumed, interacts with the neuroreceptors in the body’s endocannabinoid system. Yes, our bodies have naturally occurring cannabinoids, weird right?  This system regulates our movement, homeostasis, mood, and immune system response. There is a growing volume of research evidence supporting the claims of CBD’s many health benefits.
These benefits include its offset in depression and anxiety symptoms, anti-nausea, natural sleep aid, reduction in PTSD symptoms, ALS symptoms, symptoms of epileptic seizures, pain related to cancer, and so much more. 
CBD’s calming properties are by far the most popular effect and is the main reason for it’s widespread use in products around the world.  When consuming CBD, benefits can also include improved heart health and reduced risk of diabetes, anti-inflammatory pain relieving properties, skin health as CBD is rich in antioxidants, help reduce acne and other skin diseases, and can lower social anxiety.
Let’s breakdown CBD-infused cocktails
Many questions continue to loom over the subject of CBD cocktails from both the restaurant sipper, as well as those who mix tasty libations at home. So, what is the hype around CBD-infused cocktails and why am I dying to try one?
As CBD and marijuana become legal in more and more states across the United States, mixologists are experimenting with it in exciting new ways. This “better for you” beverage trend has grown tremendously within the last few years.
CBD-infused cocktails are typically mixed with two different forms of CBD: bitters, and tinctures as well as oils. CBD oils act as a topper floating above the dense liquids within a cocktail whereas tinctures and bitters mix into the cocktail.
Though CBD does not get you high, it instead aids in calming and relaxation effects when mixed into a cocktail enhancing the feel-good effects of the drink. CBD’s inclusion in alcoholic beverages has found a space amongst low-ABV drink selections as the perfect boost to elevate one’s mood and cognitive function while enjoying a night out. A cocktail spiked with CBD is high in antioxidants and holds anti-inflammatory properties making it not only a relaxation filled drink, but also a healthy one. CBD enhances the flavor profile and texture elements when mixed into a cocktail. It fosters a neutral earthy taste with similar chlorophyll-like green notes of color.
Where can I try this mystical concoction?
For those that are looking to get creative and go beyond the typical cocktail experience here are a few places that you can visit to try CBD-infused drinks and cocktails.
The Standard, East Village, NYC:
If you find yourself in New York’s East Village, The Standard Hotel’s narcbar serves a CBD-infused cocktail called, ‘Matcha Haze.’ This green cocktail is hand-crafted with gin, mezcal, green tea, egg white, lemon and a half-dropper of CBD tincture.
Kimpton Blythswood Square Hotel:
Visit the Kimpton Blythswood Square Hotel in Glasgow, UK, to enjoy their La Chambre Verte Retreat. The retreat package includes a one-night stay where guests will enjoy breakfast, a welcome cocktail infused with La Rue Verte CBD oil, as well as a luxurious La Rue Verte bath experience.
Hotel Saint Cecilia, Austin Motel, and Hotel San José – Austin, Texas:
Within all three of Liz Lambert’s Austin-based Bunkhouse hotels, guests can peruse and shop an assortment of her personally curated CBD product favorites.
Guests who stay at the Hotel Saint Cecilia will find Lord Jones gumdrops in their minibar as well as in the hotel’s lobby shop for purchase. One will find Dazey tinctures, Recess sparkling water, and The Good Patch by La Mend at the Austin Motel. Hotel San José offers Bang Candy Co.’s Dream Drops and Dram CBD’s sparkling waters and tinctures for purchase. Guests can travel next door to Jo’s Coffee to sip on a delicious Flora + Fortitude CBD-infused cold brew.
The emergence of CBD cocktails in the beverage industry has skyrocketed in popularity. The addition of cannabidiol in the beverage realm has created the perfect mix of both fun and wellness with an endless list of science-backed benefits packed into this wonder ingredient. With both CBD and THC becoming legal in more and more states across the U.S., people and places are taking things a step further from lotions and supplements and experimenting with it’s many beneficial properties in exciting ways. If you have never tried a CBD-infused cocktail, take advantage of this unique trend and experience the wonder behind these exciting new libations.
 Crocq M. A. (2020). History of cannabis and the endocannabinoid system . Dialogues in clinical neuroscience, 22(3), 223–228. https://doi.org/10.31887/DCNS.2020.22.3/mcrocq.
National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, (2022). CBD: What You Need to Know. https://www.cdc.gov/marijuana/featured-topics/CBD.html.
 Open Access Government, (2020). A World Health Organization Perspective on Cannabidiol (CBD) https://www.openaccessgovernment.org/who-perspective-on-cannabidiol/80838/
 Donald I. Abrams, The therapeutic effects of Cannabis and cannabinoids: An update from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine report, European Journal of Internal Medicine, Volume 49, 2018, Pages 7-11, ISSN 0953-6205, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejim.2018.01.003.
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 Abrams D. I. (2018). The therapeutic effects of Cannabis and cannabinoids: An update from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine report. European journal of internal medicine, 49, 7–11. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejim.2018.01.003.