U.S. sales of cannabis-infused drinks jumped to $86 million in 2018, according to the new 2019 U.S. CBD Drinks Report from food and drink experts Zenith Global and the Beverage Digest newsletter. The market is expected to rapidly achieve mass market appeal, surging to over $1.4 billion in 2023, even with some regulatory restrictions remaining.
“Key growth drivers for CBD drinks include loosening regulatory implementation, investment by major brewers and innovation by numerous start-ups,” commented Zenith Global Chairman Richard Hall. “This has led to far greater awareness and availability.”
Additionally, consumers seeking natural products with health benefits look to CBD drinks and other CBD products for muscle pain and other ailments.
The U.S. in particular has been a hot spot for CBD drink innovation. The category received a potential boost last December with passage of the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, which removed hemp from Schedule 1 of the Controlled Substances Act.
Cannabis has two main active constituents, CBD and THC. THC is the element that gives an emotional high and has not been licensed for consumer products. CBD, which is an abbreviation of cannabidiol, has some reported benefits and is in the process of gaining the necessary approvals for consumer products.
The quantity of CBD in beverages varies from 2 mg to 100 mg per liter. The report profiles more than 20 brands which span numerous segments such as soda, tea, cold brew coffee, shots, energy drinks, water (still, sparkling and flavored) and beer.