People love mixing drinks, alcoholic or nonalcoholic. There is something about beverages that bring people together–coffee in the mornings, hot chocolate at Christmas time, lemonade in the summer or your favorite drink at the local corner bar. Now there is a new drink option to feel buzzed about: CBD.

Even without FDA regulations, CBD has grown in the beverage space, and there’s a great opportunity for manufacturers to make a profit and consumers to benefit. According to Brent Willis, CEO of New Age Beverages and a former Coca-Cola and Anheuser-Busch InBev executive, CBD is “one of the biggest opportunities to hit the consumer goods industry in years.”

Here are three things you need to know about CBD in beverages as a consumer or manufacturer today:

1. It’s Complicated:

Cannabinoids are naturally hydrophobic, or insoluble in water. This makes it difficult for consumers to add CBD to drinks without another chemically binding agent. Insoluble CBD is not readily bioavailable, and a consumer will metabolize most of the CBD in such a way that they will not absorb its benefits.

According to Dr. Yasmin Hurd, professor of neuroscience, pharmacological sciences and psychiatry at the Icahn School of Medicine in New York City, “For compounds like CBD that don’t really mix well with water, usually you have to put another agent with it to help it dissolve.”

Luckily, many cannabinoid companies are already working to create soluble CBD offerings.

2. It’s Legal:

CBD with 0.3% or less THC is legal across the states, however, each state differs on specific regulations regarding CBD in beverages because the FDA has not made CBD GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe). The important thing to know: if you are manufacturing CBD-infused beverages, you cannot ship your product across state lines unless you are pursuant to federal laws.

3. It’s Available:

CBD-infused beverages already exist in the market and on shelves and are growing in popularity! Some of the most common CBD drinks include teas, water and even coffee. Products like CBD Living Water, Hakuna Coffee, Two Flowers IPA, Naked CBD Coffee, SteepFuze CBD Coffee, Zakti CBD Teas and Cannawine are among the up-and-coming companies in the CBD beverage market.

One stand-out company that is spearheading the CBD Beverage market is New Age Beverages. According to Forbes, New Age Beverages in just two years has become one of the 40 largest non-alcoholic beverage companies, one of the largest healthy beverage companies, and the fastest-growing one worldwide, with its stock recently rising from a market cap of $50 million to over $400 million.

Brent Willis was the youngest Coca-Cola president in 120 years. Now he is proud to lead New Age Beverages into the CBD market, including Marley Natural, the official cannabis brand of Bob Marley. This Colorado and Utah-based company creates healthy beverages and is currently sold in all 50 states and over 60 countries internationally.

If you are a retailer looking to sell products containing 0.00% THC, contact us today at [email protected]. We would love to chat with you!