The global cannabis beverage market is estimated to reach $2.8 billion by 2025 and is projected to see a growth rate of 17.8% from 2019 to 2025. As consumer behavior shifts from carbonated soft drinks to health sodas and legalization gains more footholds across the country, the cannabis beverage market pivots to offer consumers potent and flavor-forward beverages that offer a fresh take on the time-honored ritual of “kicking back with a cold one”. Innovative technologies are likewise flourishing, a development that both drives and responds to growth in the cannabis beverages market.
Liposomal and nanoemulsion delivery systems, clean, water-soluble nanotechnology, and ionization technology are just some of the ways that companies are raising the bar on absorption and therapeutic benefit when it comes to cannabis drinks. Bioavailability has been an ongoing problem in the cannabis beverage market along with ascribing a specific potency or benefit to cannabis drinks. Nanoemulsion in particular seems to be a promising technological advancement, with a global market value that could rise to $14.91 billion by 2025. Nanoemulsions are “fine oil/water dispersions stabilized by an interfacial film of surfactant molecule”, which gives them an edge over products requiring external oils or fats since they can be brought into the brain more quickly.
Quicksilver Scientific has refined their nanoemulsion process for use by heavy hitters in the cannabis industry such as Truss CBD USA, a joint venture between Molson Coors and HEXO Cannabisnew to create a U.S. line of non-alcoholic hemp beverages. ECS Brands employs biomimicry in its hemp water, which naturally replicates the way the body absorbs fat-soluble compounds. A combination of stabilized gold hemp seed oil and bioactive saponins from green tea provides enhanced bioavailability of oil-soluble cannabinoids and other nutrients by a purported factor of 500-1000%. Ionization technology, used by companies like LifeTonic (maker of “socially empowering” CBD and CBG beverages), converts cannabinoids from neutrally-charged oils into electrically-charged ions capable of dissolving in water. This means that the molecules can be absorbed directly into the mouth before even entering the digestive tract.
Converting cannabinoids and other fat-soluble nutrients into water-soluble constituents has turned a lingering problem into big business and big science for cannabis companies, and it seems like everyday businesses are claiming the fastest rate of absorption or the purest formulation. Consumers are demanding and getting, more bang for their buck as cannabis delivery systems are refined to deliver on the promised benefits of adding a little cannabis to their beverage equation.