CBD drinks have become increasingly popular in recent years as a way to consume cannabidiol (CBD) quickly and conveniently. However, the legality and availability of CBD drinks can vary depending on your location and the laws that regulate CBD products.
The Legality of CBD Drinks
In 2018, the Farm Bill legalized hemp and hemp-derived products, including CBD, on a federal level in the United States. However, CBD remains in a legal gray area in some states. While CBD sourced from hemp is legal at the federal level, some states have additional restrictions or regulations regarding CBD possession and use.
Most states allow CBD products that contain less than 0.3% THC, the psychoactive compound found in marijuana. However, some states only allow CBD access through medical marijuana programs. And a few states still consider all CBD products to be illegal.
It’s important to check your state’s specific laws to determine the legality of CBD drinks where you live before trying to purchase them in stores.
Are CBD Drinks Sold in Grocery Stores?
Currently, major grocery store chains do not sell CBD beverages in their stores. Brands like Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, Kroger, Publix, and Safeway do not stock CBD drinks on their shelves across any of their locations in the U.S.
There are a few reasons why CBD drinks are not sold at major grocery stores:
- Legal uncertainty – As mentioned, CBD remains in a legal gray area in some states, making major chains hesitant to sell CBD products.
- Regulations – The FDA prohibits adding CBD to food, beverages, and dietary supplements. Grocery chains follow these regulations.
- Store policy – Most chains have policies in place that prohibit the sale of CBD products.
While individual or independent grocery stores may occasionally sell CBD drinks, none of the major national supermarket chains currently offer CBD beverages for purchase in their stores.
Where Can You Buy CBD Drinks?
If you’re looking to buy CBD drinks, here are some options to find them:
- Online – You can find the widest selection of CBD drinks available for purchase online. There are many reputable online CBD retailers that offer a range of CBD beverages like waters, teas, coffees, sports drinks, and more. Just ensure the company provides third-party lab test results.
- Dispensaries – In states where recreational and medical marijuana is legal, licensed cannabis dispensaries often sell various CBD drinks. These include infused waters, juices, sodas, teas, and cold brew coffee drinks containing CBD.
- Specialty stores – Some specialty food stores, like health food stores, cafes, vape and smoke shops, may carry CBD beverages. However, availability can vary greatly by store.
- Pharmacies/drug stores – A limited selection of hemp-derived CBD drinks may be found at some pharmacies and drugstore chains. But again, products are not guaranteed to be available.
Factors to Consider When Buying CBD Drinks
If you plan to purchase CBD beverages online or locally, keep these factors in mind:
- Source – Only choose drinks made with hemp-derived CBD, not marijuana-derived.
- Third-party testing – Reputable companies will provide current Certificates of Analysis from independent labs showing the drink’s CBD content, safety, and purity.
- Ingredients – Read the ingredients list closely and avoid drinks with unnecessary fillers, sugars, and preservatives.
- Price – CBD drinks can range greatly in price. Find a product that fits your budget but don’t sacrifice on quality.
- Taste – If taste is a priority, look for flavored CBD drinks like fruit juices and coffees over plain CBD waters.
- Type of CBD – Some drinks use CBD isolate while others use full or broad spectrum CBD containing other cannabinoids.
- Potency – Pay attention to the amount of CBD per bottle/serving and choose a potency suitable for your needs.
Are CBD Drinks Legal?
The 2018 Farm Bill legalized the production and sale of hemp and hemp-derived products, including CBD drinks. However, some states impose additional restrictions on CBD possession and retail sales. It’s important to check your state’s CBD laws before purchasing CBD drinks locally or online.
Under the FDA’s rules, it is currently illegal to add CBD or THC to food, beverages, and dietary supplements transported across state lines. So while hemp-derived CBD drinks can be legally manufactured and sold within a given state, it becomes illegal once transported across state lines under FDA regulation.
Despite the FDA’s stance, hemp-derived CBD products including drinks continue to proliferate across the U.S. Still, there is some legal risk involved in purchasing CBD drinks until more concrete regulations are established.
Are CBD Drinks Safe?
Existing research indicates CBD is safe and has minimal side effects in humans, even at high doses. However, potential side effects of CBD drinks may include:
- Dry mouth
- Appetite changes
CBD drinks also carry some risks if not purchased carefully:
- Inaccurate labeling – Some drinks may contain more or less CBD than advertised.
- Contaminants – CBD extracts can contain heavy metals, pesticides, bacteria, and other dangerous contaminants if not properly manufactured.
- THC content – Drinks could contain excessive THC levels that cause impairment and fail drug tests.
To minimize risks, only buy CBD beverages from reputable brands that provide third-party testing showing purity and potency. Talk to your doctor before consuming CBD drinks, especially if taking any medications.
Do CBD Drinks Work?
Early research indicates CBD may offer certain benefits, including:
- Reducing anxiety and depression
- Relieving pain
- Improving sleep quality
- Reducing inflammation and acne
- Controlling seizures in epilepsy
However, more research is still needed. While some people report positive effects from CBD drinks, results can vary significantly. The FDA has not approved CBD drinks for medical use.
Factors that impact CBD drinks’ effectiveness include:
- Serving size
- Delivery method – absorption rates differ between drinks vs oils, edibles, etc.
- Frequency of use
- Quality and purity of the CBD
- Your body chemistry and why you’re taking it
The optimal serving size and schedule for CBD drinks depends on the individual. Work with a healthcare provider experienced in CBD to find a dosage and routine that meets your wellness goals.
Possible Side Effects of CBD Drinks
Most people tolerate CBD drinks well, but possible side effects include:
- Appetite changes – CBD may temporarily suppress or increase appetite in some cases.
- Diarrhea – High doses of CBD drinks could cause loose stools or gastrointestinal upset in sensitive individuals.
- Drowsiness – CBD has sedative effects at high doses and could cause drowsiness.
- Dry mouth – CBD binds to salivary glands reducing saliva production causing dry mouth or “cottonmouth.” Drinking plenty of fluids can offset this.
- Lightheadedness – In rare cases, high doses of CBD could cause a temporary drop in blood pressure.
These side effects are generally mild. Starting with a low dose and increasing slowly can minimize risk of side effects from CBD drinks.
Potential Benefits of CBD Drinks
While research is still limited, some potential benefits of CBD drinks may include:
- Reducing anxiety – Studies indicate CBD drinks may help alleviate symptoms of stress, social anxiety, OCD, PTSD, and panic disorder.
- Relieving pain – CBD has demonstrated analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties that may relieve chronic pain.
- Improving sleep – CBD drinks can help regulate sleep-wake cycles and increase total sleep amounts in those with insomnia.
- Protecting brain function – CBD may shield brain cells against damage and deterioration from conditions like Alzheimer’s.
- Treating epilepsy – Clinical trials show CBD effectively reduces seizure frequency in certain epilepsy syndromes.
However, more research is still needed to confirm CBD’s proposed benefits and long-term safety.
Are CBD Drinks Right for You?
CBD drinks may be a good option for some, but determining if they’re right for your needs involves considering a few key factors:
- Your reason for use – Consider what symptoms or conditions you hope to address with CBD drinks and whether existing research supports their use.
- Your age – CBD drinks are typically not recommended for anyone under age 18.
- Medications – CBD drinks can interact with certain medications. Discuss using them with your doctor, especially if taking blood thinners.
- Lifestyle factors – Certain health issues like liver disease may make CBD drinks risky. Pregnant/nursing women should avoid CBD.
- Accessibility – Ensure CBD drinks are legal and accessible in your state before purchasing.
- Your preferences – Consider whether you prefer CBD in drink form vs other formats like oils, edibles, topicals, etc.
Speaking with a knowledgeable medical professional can help determine if CBD drinks are appropriate for your individual needs.
In most areas, major grocery store chains do not currently sell CBD-infused drinks. However, CBD beverages can be purchased through online retailers, dispensaries, specialty stores, and some drug stores depending on your state. When buying CBD drinks, double check your state’s laws and regulations first and ensure you buy from quality brands that provide third-party testing.
Research on CBD drinks is still emerging, but some evidence suggests they may help with conditions like pain, anxiety, inflammation, seizures, and more. However, effects can vary significantly and more long-term studies are still needed. There is also risk for minor side effects or safety issues if products are poorly manufactured. Overall, speak to a doctor to see if CBD drinks are appropriate for your individual health needs.