Cannabis Beverages

I wasn’t too impressed with cannabis beverages when I first tried them in 2020. This was “cannabis 2.0,” a time when the industry was allowed to move past simply offering dried flowers and pre-rolled joints. Charging into edibles full tilt, I found the first products released were… interesting. As an edible alternative, beverages worked fine—after about a half-hour lag period, I was in a fairly happy place. Where the beverages failed, however, was in terms of taste, which had me gagging down soda water with hints of grass clippings, hoping to find some “refreshment.” None was forthcoming, so I quickly went back to my usual methods of ingesting.

Since the cannabis industry refuses to stay still, though, I had a feeling that I’d be looking at beverages again. The methods for infusing beverages haven’t changed: cannabis, once reduced to an oil or a concentrate, is combined with an emulsifier that allows it to dissolve in the liquid. What has changed is the techniques available. After a few years of research and testing, we’ve arrived at a point where cannabis beverages are doing exactly what they should do: provide a tasty experience. 

There are now dozens of beverages on the market that are worth your time, and here are some that we’ve tried recently:


XMG Mango Pineapple $6.95/236ml (THC 10.00 mg, CBD 0.00 mg)

XMG is a Hexo brand, one of the bigger licensed producers operating in Canada. This fruit juice has been infused with nano cannabinoids, which are smaller molecules than regular cannabinoids. The advantage of reducing the size of the cannabinoids is that they become water-soluble and can be metabolized quicker. This allows XMG juices to bypass the need for an emulsifier, but it seems in this case they’ve replaced it with sugar—15 grams for this tiny can! Gently carbonated, amazingly sweet with a slightly bitter undercurrent, and with a maxed-out THC level, one can goes great (and hits hard) on a hot afternoon in the backyard. 


Bubble Kush Root Beer $5.95 / 355ml (THC 10.00 mg, CBD 0.00 mg)

Keef Cola, a Canadian company, really delivered with this take on probably my favourite traditional soda. And if I didn’t feel the euphoric effects shortly after finishing my can, I might’ve guessed that it was just a regular root beer. There’s absolutely no difference in taste between the Bubble Kush version and what’s on the shelf at the grocery store. This is an award-winning edible, and I can taste why. Perfect for drinking ice cold or pouring over ice cream for the ultimate float!


Tweed Iced Tea Lemon $4.95 / 355ml  (THC 5.00 mg, CBD 1.00 mg)

Ah, Tweed. As this was one of the first producers of cannabis beverages on the market and responsible for my initial aversion, I was hesitant. Happily, Tweed seems to have sorted out their issues. Using a sativa strain instead of a generic blend, this iced tea really packs a punch, despite being at a lower THC level than other beverages. Most importantly, it tasted good, too. The strong black tea flavour has a mouth-watering current of lemon running through it, which means that this beverage is the most refreshing out of the three we sampled. If you were going to stock anything in a cooler, this would be my pick.


Story by Justin Allec