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Do CBD Drinks Actually Calm Your Anxiety? We Tested Some to Find Out (Plus THC-Ones, Too)

3:27 PM PDT on July 14, 2022

CBD-infused drinks have been infiltrating the shelves of grocery shops and liquor stores. They're advertised as "calming" and "relaxing," but do they work?

In our quest to find an answer, we tested nearly a dozen CBD-infused and THC-infused drinks at our new studio near Lincoln Heights. 

As if getting high in the name of journalism isn't enough, though, we also spoke with Alexandra Harris, a cannabis scientist who grew up with two weed-loving parents.

Harris told us that research shows that CBD can positively impact medical conditions like anxiety and depression. "In recent years, there's been an explosion of cannabis research and with that an explosion of cannabis research in psychology."

But everyone is different, and to reap the benefits of CBD, you need to find the proper dosage. For some people, that's as little as 20mg, and for others, they need hundreds of milligrams of CBD to see a benefit.

During our interview, Harris cited a study that found that for some people, just 20mg of CBD is comparable to Prozac. But the same study also found that when treating anxiety taking too little CBD or too much can work against you. Scientists call this the "bell curve response." CBD can also be dangerous when combined with certain medications, Harris says.

"A few studies used a range of about 150 mg to 600 mg of CBD, and they found that the best results at 300mg. People that were taking 150mg or 600mg of CBD actually had their anxiety increased. So figuring out your ideal dose of CBD for reducing your anxiety is super important."

Considering most CBD-infused drinks contain about 10 to 15 mg of CBD, you'll likely have to drink at least a couple to calm your nerves. 

As far as THC-infused drinks go, we found that they hit fast and hard but do not last quite as long as an excellent old-fashioned weed brownie or traditional edible. After trying eight different THC and CBD-infused drinks, the reporter of this story was able to proceed with their work day and even conduct a phone interview.

One thing about the THC beverages that we noticed, most of them contained an unsavory amount of sugar. Harris told us that manufacturers add sugar to mask the taste of the THC extract, which can be off-putting to some consumers. 

We also learned that you have to be careful of overdoing it. Harris said 10 mg of THC should be the ceiling for most consumers. We found this out after trying multiple beverages containing roughly 100mg of THC, and Harris says those drinks are intended to be dosed out. This reminded us that it's always a good idea to read the directions. 

Check out our video below. 

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