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Do CBD-Infused Drinks Taste Good?

Do CBD-Infused Drinks Taste Good?
Cannabidiol (CBD) drinks were recently “put on the map,” so to speak, when big companies like Coca-Cola Co. and Canadian Aurora Cannabis Inc. flirted with each other in the media. At this point, collaboration is only talk, but this Big Business interest has seen Aurora's stock rise by 17 percent in the Canadian stock market in September. Yet what exactly are CBD-infused drinks, how do they taste, and are they good for you? [1][2]

    The Taste of CBD Drinks

    Unfiltered CBD oil has a characteristic cannabis or hemp palate that some say is an acquired taste. One way to somewhat mask its earthy flavor is by ingesting it as an edible or in a drink. It's difficult to say what CBD drinks taste like, though—that would depend on the manufacturer. Yet technology has advanced, and it will be possible soon to mask the taste completely.

    What Are CBD-Infused Drinks?

    As the name explains, beverages can be enhanced with the non-psychotropic cannabinoid CBD. The idea is that all the good, healthful properties of CBD are conferred to the drink while also making hemp CBD easy and tasty to ingest. This is just one way to take a cannabinoid extract.

    Healthful properties of CBD are conferred to the drink while also making hemp CBD easy and tasty to ingest.

    Yet cannabinoids are lipophilic compounds, meaning that they're best absorbed by the body when taken with oils. Simply adding CBD extract to cool drink or tea, which is largely water-based, might mean that not much of the CBD gets taken up by the cells.

    Science may have the solution for this in the form of liposomal CBD.

    Liposomes and How They May Enhance CBD Drinks

    The word “liposome” is derived from the Greek words “lipo” (meaning fat) and “soma” (meaning body). Very simply put—they are tiny vesicles or bubbles comprising the same substance as cell membranes.

    As described by News Medical Life Sciences, membranes are usually made of phospholipids, which are molecules that have a head group and a tail group.

    "The head is attracted to water, and the tail, which is made of a long hydrocarbon chain, is repelled by water."

    Because of their composition, liposomes allow for oil-based substances to “mix” or interact well with water-based substances, like cool drinks. Therefore, they can be effective carriers of therapeutic material such as drugs or CBD. It also means that liposomal CBD in any watery substance will make for better bioavailability or enhanced cellular absorption in the intestines. [3]

    And when more CBD is absorbed, it will make for enhanced results.

    RELATED: What Is CBD?

    Potential Health Benefits of CBD Drinks

    Against Anxiety

    Cannabidiol is lauded by many for its anxiolytic effect, relaxing any overstressed mind without the “high” marijuana is known for.

      Research is also suggesting that it might even have therapeutic benefits against serious conditions such as anxiety disorders.

      In a fairly recent review of the literature, published in the Journal of the American Society for Experimental NeuroTherapeutics, the authors concluded:

      "We found that existing preclinical evidence strongly supports CBD as a treatment for generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and posttraumatic stress disorder when administered acutely..." [4]

      They also mention that a more robust, clinically significant study is needed, especially in regard to the chronic use of CBD for anxiety.

      RELATED: Doing It Wrong? How to Dose CBD Oil for Anxiety

      Against Insomnia 

      CBD is also popularly used to help with insomnia and other sleep disorders. What's more, it has been found, in a small study, not to alter normal sleep architecture. This means that it did not disrupt patients' normal sleep-wake cycle, which is often the case with pharmaceutical sleep medicine. [5]

      CBD relaxes overstressed minds without the “high” marijuana is known for.

      RELATED: Using CBD for Insomnia: What You Need to Know

      Against Severe Pain

      Other data also suggest that cannabinoids, especially CBD, may be the answer to severe and chronic pain. Published in 2006, authors of one review note:

        "Chronic pain often requires a polypharmaceutical approach to management, and cannabinoids are a potential addition to the arsenal of treatment options."

        They furthermore noted that CBD and other cannabinoids have a positive side-effect profile, with fewer systemic adverse effects than tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. The latter binds to receptors in the brain that can cause hallucinations and other unpleasant psychotropic symptoms. [6]

        Against Viruses

        Laboratory tests also suggest that CBD may have an antiviral function, as was demonstrated in a recent study called "Potential of Cannabidiol for the Treatment of Viral Hepatitis." The researchers concluded:

          "Preliminary screening of cannabidiol (CBD) revealed that CBD is active against HCV [hepatitis C virus] but not against HBV [hepatitis B virus] in vitro. CBD inhibited HCV replication by 86.4% at a single concentration of 10 μM with EC50 of 3.163 μM in a dose-response assay. These findings suggest that CBD could be further developed and used therapeutically against HCV."

          Paraphrased, this simply means that a CBD extract showed activity against hepatitis C viruses in a petri dish, but not hepatitis B viruses. These findings are promising, but of course, a lot more research and clinical study are needed before CBD can be therapeutically prescribed as an anti-viral. [7]

          Laboratory tests suggest that CBD may have an antiviral function.

          Against Inflammation 

          In an article published in Nature Review Immunology, the author explored cannabidiol's anti-inflammatory properties via a variety of mechanisms. For instance, CBD and other cannabinoids have been shown to suppress pro-inflammatory cytokines in both human and animal models.

            The author also notes that cannabinoids and endocannabinoids regulate some of the inflammatory aspects of brain injury.

            "It is possible that these [cannabinoid-based] drugs reduce brain edema and other aspects of neuroinflammation by inhibiting NMDA receptors, by functioning as antioxidants and by reducing the levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines in the brain." [8]

            Again, more study is needed, but the evidence so far is very favorable.

            Conclusion

            CBD-infused drinks could be, via liposomal therapy, a palatable and refreshing way to ingest bioavailable cannabidiol, undoubtedly to be targeted by Big Business. However, be sure to invest in healthy drinks, as sugary, carbonated varieties are known to be unhealthy.

            Sources:

            1. https://www.forbes.com/sites/janetwburns/2018/09/17/coca-cola-is-considering-cbd-for-its-infused-beverages/#188161ff1aab
            2. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-09-17/coca-cola-eyes-cannabis-market-in-push-beyond-sluggish-sodas
            3. https://www.news-medical.net/life-sciences/What-is-a-Liposome.aspx
            4. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/281511079_Cannabidiol_as_a_Potential_Treatment_for_Anxiety_Disorders
            5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5895650/
            6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16449552/
            7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5330095/
            8. https://www.nature.com/articles/nri1602

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