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6 Alcohol-Free THC Drinks for a Chill Evening

March 6, 2024
Beth Lipton

As cannabis becomes legal in more places, functional foods and beverages gain popularity, and adults are cutting back on alcohol, a new way to enjoy cannabis has joined the chat: THC-infused seltzers. 

These drinks are different from CBD-infused beverages in one important way: Because they contain THC, the substance within the cannabis plant that makes you high, they’re only intended for adults 21 and older. Also, since THC is not legal everywhere, you need to check your local laws before seeking them out. 

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What’s good about THC drinks

Though edibles containing CBD, THC, or both are popular ways to take in cannabinoids, beverages offer an advantage: They work quickly and require less commitment. Edibles can take between 30 minutes and two hours to kick in, the peak occurs in about four hours, and it stays in your system for up to 12 hours. With beverages, you’re more likely to feel the effects within 15 to 30 minutes and it lasts only a few hours (though your experience may vary). 

Another advantage to cannabis beverages: You can socialize with friends who are drinking alcohol in a seamless way. Rather than going outside to smoke or trying to time an edible, you can sip your drink alongside your wine-, or cocktail-imbibing friends and blend right in.

What to consider about THC drinks

Before trying these drinks, there are a few things to think about:

  • Dosage. Just as different types of alcohol have varying proof levels, THC seltzers vary in terms of dosage. Luckily, it’s marked on the cans. It’s a good idea to start with a lower-dosage seltzer (2.5 milligrams or fewer) and see how it affects you. For a stronger effect, try a drink with a higher dosage–or split a second small-dose one with a friend. 
  • Balance. Some THC-infused seltzers also contain CBD. Some research suggests that these two cannabinoids can work together to give you a more balanced result. For example, if THC tends to make you anxious or paranoid, CBD may smooth those edges. But other research indicates that CBD can intensify THC’s effects. Your mileage may vary. Some beverages also have other ingredients, such as caffeine, which can affect the experience.
  • Sugar. There are many THC drinks that have little or no added sugar–but there are also plenty of super-sweet sodas. Check the labels carefully if you want to avoid added sugar.
  • Flavor. Along with the different flavorings in the seltzers, some have a more pronounced, slightly bitter “weedy” taste from the cannabis. Having tried several of these drinks and shared them with others, it seems like different people are more or less sensitive to that flavor. 

6 THC seltzers we love

We sipped our way through several THC-infused beverages (#journalism) to bring you some of the best. 

  1. Cann

With sophisticated flavors and a few options for dosage, Cann’s cans are perfect to take to a party. Choose from flavors like Grapefruit Rosemary (my fave), Lemon Lavender, or Blood Orange Cardamom–they’re all refreshing, lightly sweet (thanks to organic agave) but not overly so, and very sippable. The 8-ounce cans have 2 milligrams THC and 4 milligrams CBD. If you prefer more THC, Cann also offers Hi Boys, with 5 milligrams THC and 10 milligrams CBD, in 12-ounce cans. Or, go for a Lo-Boy, with 1 milligram THC and 15 milligrams CBD per 12-ounce can (really nice to take the edge off on a weeknight).

2. Cycling Frog

Cycling Frog offers a couple of different THC-CBD combinations in their 12-ounce seltzers, so you can choose your own adventure. Most are fruit-juice sweetened (we avoid the Black Currant flavor, made with granulated sugar). Go for a lighter Lemon or Passionfruit flavor, with 2 milligrams THC and 4 milligrams CBD–or, if you prefer a stronger drink, opt for Ruby Grapefruit or Wild Cherry, with 5 milligrams THC and 10 milligrams CBD. They’re all fruity and bright, and not overly sweet.

3. Happi

Shop around among Happi’s cans to find just the flavor and experience you want. For any time, there’s Lemon Elderflower or Pomegranate Hibiscus (a fave around here), both with 2.5 milligrams of THC. Or, if you like it stronger, try Raspberry Honeysuckle or Lime Wild Mint, both with 5 milligrams THC. The brand also offers one called Nightcap, in a spiced Turkish Apple Tea flavor, featuring 5 milligrams THC, as well as reishi mushroom and 5 milligrams CBN (similar to CBD), both of which may help promote sleep. All are lightly sweetened with agave and fruit juice (except the apple tea, which has honey).

4. Wynk

With Wynk seltzers, you get to choose the dose of THC, no matter which flavor. All four–Lime Twist, Black Cherry Fizz, Juicy Mango, and Tangerine–are available in either 2.5-milligram, 7.5-ounce cans, or 5-milligram, 12-ounce cans. All have a 1:1 THC to CBD ratio. Plus, Wynk seltzers are unsweetened, so the flavor is especially crisp, light, and refreshing. 

5. Levia

Levia offers three flavors, all free of sugar and artificial sweeteners, and all calorie-free as well. There’s Achieve, a raspberry-lime seltzer with a blend of the sativa strain of cannabis, which is meant to be uplifting and boost creativity. Berry-flavored Dream has an indica blend, meant to confer a calming high more suited to a quiet night in. Celebrate, with a lemon-lime flavor, is a hybrid of the two, formulated for feeling relaxed, happy, and confident when socializing. All have 5 milligrams of THC. I didn’t feel a huge difference between the three (remember though that everyone’s experiences vary), but all of them tasted good and worked quickly and well.

6. Crescent 9

Crescent 9 offers something for everyone: different potencies ranging from 5 to 50 milligrams per can, flavors like ginger lemonade, sour watermelon, and tropical, and even a syrup that lets you dose how you like and turn any drink into a THC beverage. The 5 milligram ginger lemonade, which also has 4 milligrams of CBD in the 12-ounce can, has a bright, sweet flavor, thanks to real lemon juice and ginger. Because of the sweetness from cane sugar in these drinks, there isn’t any underlying weedy taste. (But check the label if sugar is an issue for you.)

Read next: 7 Cannabis Mocktail Recipes for a Zero-Proof Buzz

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