Forget lime flavoring—the latest kind of infused seltzer involves a much, um, buzzier sort of green add-in.
Yes, cannabis-laced sparkling waters are officially a thing now, although it shouldn’t really come as a surprise. We predicted weed would be on a major popularity high this year, as its health benefits continue to come into focus. (Research shows it may bring relief to everything from depression to inflammation.) And so far, the plant’s proven to mix particularly well with beverages, popping up everywhere from cocktail glasses to coffee pods to superfood tonics. So why not cater to the LaCroix-swilling crowd, too?
“It’s great for people who don’t want to consume the empty calories found in sugary [cannabis] beverages and most edibles.”
Troy Meadows, co-founder of medicinal cannabis company The Legion of Bloom, says pot-infused drinks are trending for a few reasons. “I think that it comes down to convenience with most patients and consumers. People usually have some kind of beverage throughout the day,” he says. “Also, most of the [cannabis] beverages that I have seen are in a low dose—approximately 15 to 25 mg of THC—which is a manageable dose for daily activity.”
Sparkling water’s a particularly good vehicle for cannabis, he adds: “It’s great for people who don’t want to consume the empty calories found in sugary [cannabis] beverages and most edibles.”
So where can you score some cannabis-infused sparkling water, and what’s it like to drink one? Keep reading to find out.
The best cannabis-infused sparkling waters and where to find them
Just like straight-up seltzer, not all cannabis waters are necessarily healthy—as always, you’ll want to look out for added sugar and artificial colors and flavors. Mountjoy is perhaps the cleanest of the bunch. It’s sugar-free, handmade on a ranch in Sonoma County, CA, and infused with full-spectrum cannabis oil sourced from organic plants. Other no-sugar options include Keef Sparkling and Sprig—like Mountjoy, both come in a few fruity flavors and contain THC. (So they will get you high, and are only sold in dispensaries where pot is legal—recreationally or medicinally.)
DIY sparkling cannabis water is also taking hold thanks to Stillwater Brands’ award-winning Ripple, a flavorless, odorless, ultra-fast-acting THC powder. Ripple’s fans anecdotally love to mix it with LaCroix, although it can be dissolved in any beverage, hot or cold.
And what if you want to stay sober, but trick your taste buds into thinking you’re getting lit? For that, there’s Legion of Bloom’s Entourage, a sparkling water steeped with cannabis terpenes—the non-psychoactive essential oil compounds that give the plant its scent and flavor and help to activate the body’s naturally-produced cannabinoids. (Not to be confused with CBD, which is what gets credit for many of marijuana’s medicinal benefits.) It’s currently available for special order only, but don’t be surprised if you see it at a music festival or weed wedding sometime soon.
What happens when you drink cannabis-infused sparkling water?
Mountjoy sent me a few bottles to try, but before I started my fizzy experiment, I hopped on the phone with founder Alex Mountjoy to find out what to expect.
In his brand’s case, drinking a bottle has about the same impact as taking a single bong hit. (In other words, it’s a subtle high that comes on quickly and lingers for a few hours.) He says it’s good for all sorts of situations, whether you’re trying to focus on a creative project, hydrating pre- or post-workout, or going to a party. (Especially if you’re one of the many who are starting to turn down booze in the name of wellness.)
“There’s nothing more natural than pulling a bottle out of the refrigerator and sipping on it.”
I decided to try Mountjoy—the orange one, though it also comes in peach and plain varieties— while relaxing with a book on a lazy Sunday. Its citrus flavor was refreshing and subtle, and though I wouldn’t say I “got high,” exactly, the drink did make me feel more present and connected with what I was reading. I could see myself taking Mountjoy to a dinner party or swapping it out for an evening glass of Merlot—those times when I want to unwind, but still feel 100 percent in control of my faculties.
And perhaps the best part? No bowls, rolling papers, or vaporizers are required to catch this buzz. “[Cannabis drinks] don’t require any paraphernalia, and they relieve you from the anxiety of thinking about dosage,” says Mountjoy. “There’s nothing more natural than pulling a bottle out of the refrigerator and sipping on it. It’s something you’ve been doing all your life.” Bottoms up.
If you can’t legally buy cannabis seltzer in your town, you can always pick up a bottle of Trader Joe’s new healthy, flavored H2O. Just don’t opt for this popular brand of bubbles, which could be worse for you than diet soda.