Bottled Yoga: What could a CBD-infused drink do to the American psyche?

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Canada’s Canopy Growth Corporation, the world’s largest cannabis company, has just entered the US beverage market with its CBD-infused sparkling water, called Quatreau. Each 12 oz. can will sell for $3.99 and contain 25 calories, zero sugar – and 25 mg of hemp-derived CBD.

Canopy’s cross-border move is grounded on their research which told them:

… consumers are looking for a product that helps relieve stress and gives them a chance to relax. We also found that they want to feel confident that CBD is causing the effects … and so we decided to go with a CBD isolate because it lets us be very specific with consumers.

Their high-stakes gamble therefore rests on whether or not 20 mg of CBD can deliver that coveted state of relaxation.

The science says it can. One of the better papers describing the effects of CBD says it relieves stress in two ways: directly, because of its anti-anxiety effect; and indirectly, because it reduces pain and inflammation. Crucially, it does so at oral dosages of 5 – 20 mg day. Moreover, it’s non-intoxicating and has no adverse effects.

A word of caution: Both Canopy and the 2018 paper advise us to “start low and go slow.” In other words, don’t sit down at a meeting and chug the 12 oz. can on your first outing – you won’t be stoned but you might be just a little too relaxed for the occasion.

There’s something else. Canopy will sell Quatreau in 32 states on its e-commerce platform – but this is just the start. The idea is to eventually distribute to stores through Constellation Brands, the largest beer importer in the US who, in 2018, invested more than $4 billion in Canopy, giving it a 38% stake in the company.

Why bet billions? Humanity has forever been trying to relax and dull the pain of life. Trouble is, every alcohol and drug we’ve tried has also dulled the brain, or worse. Now there’s something that relaxes you and leaves your mind sharp – kind of like bottled yoga.

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