CBD HAS SPARKED in popularity in the last decade, showing up in everything from topical lotions to bath salts to dog treats. It’s claimed to help ease pain from arthritis, settle insomnia, and alleviate anxiety. The latest trend in CBD is beverages of all kinds, including juices, sparkling water, and lemonades.
There’s still air of mystery surrounding the supplement as its popularity grows. But don’t worry—we did the research so you don’t have to.
What Is CBD?
Cannabidiol, better known as CBD, is one of more than 500 chemicals found in the marijuana plant.
It is the second most known after THC, the chemical that produces the high. While CBD does not produce a high, it has been noted to help with other aches and pains.
Though more hardcore research still needs to be done, general studies surrounding the benefits of CBD are quite promising. It’s been seen to potentially relieve anxiety, better insomnia, and relieve in chronic pain.
“It’s hard to imagine that one drug could do so many different things, but the answer to how that’s the case is that CBD interacts with like 70 different receptors,” says Peter Grinspoon, M.D., primary care doctor at Massachusetts General Hospital and instructor at Harvard Medical School. He has been a cannabis specialist for over 25 years. “It’s very what’s called ‘promiscuous’. So, CBD just has a lot of potential to help with these different things.”
With little scientific research means little government regulation, unfortunately. Luckily, CBD has minor side effects and is not as dangerous as some substances gracing the market. Reported side effects include dry mouth, fatigue, and digestion issues, but are not commonly seen. In the anecdotal cases that side effects have been reported, the side effects typically stem from the taken product having a low-quality strand of CBD, says Erin Kenney, R.D., CEO of Nutrition Rewired.
Since CBD products are not regulated, marketing may not always line up with what’s actually in the product.
“It’s in the supplement realm now, which means anybody can say anything,” Grinspoon says.
How Do I Find Quality CBD?
The best (and only) way to know if you’re getting what is being marketed to you is to buy a product that utilizes a third-party laboratory to test their products. These labs produce a Certificate of Analysis, or COA, that determines cannabis chemicals purity and potency. It also tests to ensure the product is free of heavy metals, pesticides, and microbial contamination.
Many CBD companies keep their COAs hidden, if they have them at all. It can take a lot of research to confirm what you’re getting. So, we did the dirty work for you. Here are 7 of the top CBD drinks on the market right now with clean COAs.
These sparkling waters taste refreshingly clean, with a perfect 25mg of broad-spectrum CBD. If you’re a fan of light, classic flavors, these are for you!
Flavor explorers rejoice: Recess is serving up a strong dose of creativity with flavors like blueberry chai and coconut lime. Each can has only 10mg of CBD, a great place to start for beginners.
If you have a sweet tooth, Cloud Water offers a dark chocolate and strawberry flavor … just saying.
These vibey (we had to) drinks blend organic juices with 25mg of CBD.
If you’re an on-the-go kind of person, Zolt’s CBD infused drink mixes are great to stash into your backpack.
Another great beginner option, Kickback’s CBD lemonades and teas pack an easy 10mg CBD punch.
Miraflora has a drink for every occasion, from your yoga class to your afternoon nap.
What Should I Consider Before Trying CBD?
Always consult with your primary practitioner before trying any CBD products. They do have the potential to interact with certain prescriptions, so it’s important to clear it by your doctor first.
Dosage is person dependent. Some people can handle more than others.
“The thing that’s tricky about it is that it there is no one size fits all. It’s similar to nutrition in that sense, in that, you know, some of it is just an experimentation,” says Kenney. “I can’t tell a client, hey, you need 300 milligrams twice a day for the rest of your life. It’s not that simple.”
Both Kenney and Grinspoon suggest starting ‘low and slow’ and keeping a journal to mark down how the dosage and product make you feel before upping to the next level.
CBD has great potential with limited side effects, and these seven drinks are a great place to start.
Cori Ritchey, NASM-CPT is an Associate Health & Fitness Editor at Men’s Health and a certified personal trainer and group fitness instructor. You can find more of her work in HealthCentral, Livestrong, Self, and others.