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Discover The Truth: Does CBD in Drinks Really Work?

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Embark on this journey as we discuss the science behind CBD drinks— from how efficacious they are, their presumed benefits, and downsides. In this article we'll unpack the truth and answer the underlying question: Can you put CBD oil in a drink? 

With the evolution of plant-based tonics, it's little surprise that health touting CBD oil drinks have made their way into the mixology scene and to the forefront of everyone's curiosity. As alluring as cannabinoid infused beverages sound, you owe it yourself to gain the straight facts that allow you to discern what is effective from what is simply a gilded fad. 

Key Takeaways: 

  • CBD can be added to drinks if you use water soluble CBD, a binding agent, or decarboxylate hemp flowers

  • CBD drinks may not be as effective as they are advertised to be

  • Water soluble CBD requires complex processes that may result in a loss of quality
  • CBD oil drink effects are enhanced when made with certain fruits 

  • Alcohol and CBD together can enhance sedative effects

  • CBD taken sublingually, or underneath the tongue, is more effective than CBD drinks
  • CBD may help to resolve the symptoms of anxiety, insomnia, inflammation, and pain

What is CBD Oil? 

Can You Put CBD Oil in A Drink Image: Hand Holding The White Rubber Handle of a Marked Pipette Filled with CBD Oil Drops

Cannabidiol (CBD) oil is the extraction product of Cannabis plants and is recognized in the advancements of science and medicine to be a natural remedy for various ailments due to its impressive pharmacology. Naturally oil soluble, CBD is often mixed with a carrier— such as coconut oil, grape seed oil, and jojoba oil, which acts a transportation vessel for improved bioavailability, or to help your body to more easily absorb CBD's benefits. 

Can You Add CBD To Water? 

CBD oil is hydrophobic and does not mix with water. 

If you were to add CBD oil to a glass of water you would find the CBD oil floating to the surface and sitting above the water. You do not want to drink CBD water this way. The molecules of the two substances repel each other and during the digestion process the body will fail to properly absorb the CBD— resulting in a large waste of its value.  

How Can You Put CBD Oil in a Drink? 

There are certain prerequisites that are necessary to do when adding CBD to a drink in order to end up with an effective product. You would need to either use water soluble CBD, a binding agent for CBD oil, or decarboxylate the hemp flower in order to properly utilize the cannabinoid’s benefits.  

Make CBD Water Soluble 

CBD can be converted from oil soluble to water soluble through a process called nano-emulsification. Nano-emulsification uses ultrasonic waves to apply immense pressure on CBD particles so that they each explode into dozens of drastically smaller CBD particles, which by changed composition can now dissolve into water. 

The problem with water soluble CBD is that you're left with a highly processed cannabinoid that has been stripped of the therapeutic benefits that come with a full spectrum extract. With nano-emulsification, the CBD isolate can mix with water but is no longer integrous to its natural and highly medicinal form. 

Many companies sell fanciful drinks that are made with nano-emulsified CBD. However, we'd advise you to skip these ineffective drinks and select a full spectrum CBD product. 

Add a Binding Agent

Alternatively, you can work with CBD in its natural, oil soluble form and combine it with a few splashes of a binding agent to create a CBD oil drink. 

By using substance compatible ingredients with CBD, you'll be helping to preserve the bioavailability of the CBD as it moves throughout the body and into the bloodstream. Bioavailability refers to the extent that a substance becomes available to its intended biological destination and can express its functionality [1]. We'll speak more on that in just a moment. A few examples of fat-based binding agents that can be used with pure CBD oil to create drinks include dairy or plant-based milk (coconut, almond, oat, etc.) and creamer. 

Another effective binding agent for CBD oil is alcohol. When poured into a glass together, alcohol will absorb CBD oil. The compatibility of these two miscible substances opens up a realm for potentially worthwhile CBD cocktails

Activate Hemp Flower with Decarboxylation  

Raw hemp flower buds need to undergo decarboxylation, or a process that uses heat and time to activate the cannabinoids. Simply adding boiling water over hemp flower for tea may not be enough for the full activation of the cannabinoids. The boiling point of water is 212 degrees. Whereas the decarboxylation of CBD happens around 250 degrees after 60-90 minutes. 

How Effective Are CBD Oil Drinks? 

By natural design, the way that oil soluble CBD interacts with other liquids and the way that it is processed by the body— means that CBD oil drinks might not be as effective as they are advertised to be.  

The truth is that many companies will sell nano-emulsified CBD beverages that contain a mere 5-10mg dose, while marketing all the therapeutic benefits that full spectrum and high potency CBD should be revered for. Be wary of processed CBD isolates and a dose this low in a beverage. 

When it comes to drinking or eating cannabinoids, oral consumption has the lowest average absorption rate compared to other administration methods, from 13-19% expected bioavailability [2]. After swigging a CBD infused drink, the active compound undergoes a complex digestive process before it enters the bloodstream and its properties are actualized. The CBD will be broken down by saliva in the mouth, stomach acid, and enzymes prior to reaching the liver, where what's remaining is then metabolized in the small intestine for further absorption.

Read CBD Bioavailability: How To Harness The Power of CBD. 

To maximize the effectiveness of CBD in drinks, use full spectrum CBD oil in a moderate to strong dose. We'd recommend 40 mg per serving, in order to gain wellness benefits that exist beyond the placebo effect. Alternatively, you may wish to stick with taking CBD oil sublingually, or directly underneath the tongue, which has a fast track into the bloodstream through the mucous gland and an impressive bioavailability rate of 35%. 

Benefits of Adding CBD in Drinks?

With the understanding of a few prerequisites— adding a few drops of full spectrum, high potency CBD oil to your drink can prove to be beneficial to your mental and physical wellbeing. Additionally, customizable CBD oil drinks hold its own essence that can offer a unique cannabinoid experience that differs from other administration methods of CBD products. 

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CBD Drinks May Help 

  • Reduce anxiety and lower stress hormone levels 

  • Exhibit anti-inflammatory benefits for discomfort and chronic pain relief 

  • Regulate the circadian rhythm for a healthy sleep-wake cycle 

CBD Drinks Provide a Unique Experience 

  • Wide range of flavors available that can mask any unwanted hemp taste (our citrus flavor goes really well with cocktails) 

  • Various drink types for a tailored and ambient cannabinoid experience during the morning, day, or night  

  • Great option for beginners or sensitive users due to its lower potency and fewer adverse side effects 

Downside of Adding CBD in Drinks 

  • Reduced benefits when using nano-emulsified CBD isolate 

  • Lowered bioavailability, or effectiveness, due to oral consumption method  

Can You Add CBD Oil to Hot or Cold Drinks? 

Yes, CBD can be added to hot or cold drinks with substance compatible ingredients. When working with drinkable temperatures, the integrity of the CBD oil will not be negatively affected. 

CBD + Coffee 

Purchasing a CBD Infused Coffee in a Dark Gray Ceramic Mug, Sitting On Top Of a Plate

Drinking coffee in low to moderate doses has been shown to deliver an array of health benefits for the user. Not only does the natural stimulant bring a boost of energy, it may help to strengthen your heart, encourage cognitive function (focus, memory, visuospatial reasoning, etc.) and protect against diseases like Parkinson's, diabetes, and liver decline [3].  

When you infuse coffee beans with CBD oil prior to grind and brew, you'll be elevating the benefits of your beverage. Not only will you also reap CBD's own unique benefits for mood, immunity, and wellbeing, but you may notice the way the two substances complement one another.  

Users who drink CBD coffee have reported experiencing mental clarity, while gaining the balancing effects of CBD that cut out the jitters and anxiety commonly associated with caffeine intake. While black coffee may hit the spot— adding a pour of milk or creamer to your CBD coffee will aid your body's absorption of the cannabinoid. 

CBD + Tea 

Woman with Medium Length Dark Brown Hair Drinks CBD Tea From an Aqua Blue Ceramic Mug

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CBD Tea could be the dose of hygge that your life needs right now. Calm and vitality inducing, the history of steeped cannabis tea can be traced in transcripts written as far back as 2737 BCE. CBD infused tea. In fact, CBD tea was the reason Neurogan was started.

Before you grab just any box of CBD tea, you should know that there's a critical step that needs to have been fulfilled during the preparation process to have a truly efficacious drink, which not all CBD companies are doing. Be sure to go with a CBD tea brand that confirms it handles the decarboxylation process of its hemp prior to packaging into tea bags. Otherwise, you will want to execute this process yourself by placing ground up hemp on baking tray and placing it in the oven for the recommended decarboxylation temperature and time. 

CBD + Kombucha  

 Serving Bottle and a Glass Cup filled with CBD Oil Drink That's Pink and Contains Pomegranate, Lemon, and Ice.

Also known as the "Tea of Immortality", Kombucha is an ancient beverage that dates as far back as 221 BCE during China's Qin Dynasty. Fermented and effervescent, this drink is made from tea, sugar, bacteria, and yeast that is brewed during a 7-30 day period. Drinking kombucha provides a rich source of probiotics, vitamins, and antioxidants. Additionally, kombucha has been proven to support the health of the cardiovascular, immune, and digestive systems at large. 

Although limited scientific research has been done on the benefits of CBD infused kombucha, users have reported that the two substances pair well together for a delicious flavor and invokes a pleasant mood. However, it's worth realizing that these benefits are more likely owed to the kombucha than the CBD oil and the pairing is more for the palette.  

You may add drops of CBD into kombucha during the second fermentation stage, prior to serving and drinking. Because CBD oil requires another fatty or oil-based vehicle to distribute its benefits throughout the human body, you will need to resort to using a water soluble CBD oil to mix into the kombucha. As discussed, water soluble CBD has little notable effects as it has stripped away the therapeutic properties of a full spectrum extract.  

What About CBD Infused Alcoholic Drinks? 

Two Glasses of Red Berry Colored CBD Cocktails With Ice and On Top of a Wooden Serving Tray

When it comes to the ease of mixing alcohol with CBD oil— you're in luck. You may effectively add a few drops of full spectrum CBD oil to your alcoholic beverage of choice for a buzz-worthy experience. 

Adding CBD to alcohol results in it being fully dissolved for a conveniently homogenous mixture. No extra step of nano-emulsification, or developing water soluble CBD, is required for making a refreshing cannabinoid cocktail, such as a CBD infused gin and tonic.  

However, there is currently limited research and publications available to shape a sound understanding of the effects of adding CBD oil to alcohol. Moderation is necessary when consuming any intoxicating substance, such as alcohol, and it's important to do so with care. Within the cerebral cortex, alcohol consumption can impair your judgement, dull the senses, and negatively impact your coordination. Mixing CBD with alcohol is believed to enhance its sedative effects and can increase adverse effects.  

Read: Is It Safe to mix CBD and Alcohol? 

The Best Wellness Elixirs are CBD Smoothies

Two Glasses of Red Berry Colored CBD Cocktails With Ice and On Top of a Wooden Serving Tray

Perhaps the best type of CBD oil drink you could indulge yourself with are CBD smoothies. These health tonics contain ingredients that are highly compatible with full spectrum, high potency CBD oil, while exhibiting its own nutritional value and delectable notes of flavor for the beverage. With a wealth of vitamins, nutrients, and antioxidants in every serving, and zero intoxicating components, you may enjoy as many CBD smoothies as you would like.  

Fruits Boost the Effects of CBD 

Did you know that eating certain fruits and foods can enhance the effects of cannabinoids? Mangoes, strawberries, papaya, blackberries, and blueberries to name a few— contain anthocyanins, a richly pigmented flavonoid that binds to cannabinoid receptors in the body's endocannabinoid system. On their own, anthocyanins possess impressive antimicrobial, antioxidant, and anticancer effects [4]. Together with cannabinoids, anthocyanin containing fruits can boost CBD's effects and support the endocannabinoid system's processes for homeostasis.  

Delicious Binding Agent in Smoothies 

Skip the water when selecting a base liquid for your CBD smoothie. Instead, opt for a binding agent that adequately supports CBD absorption. By using a plant-based milk, you will be optimizing the way CBD oil affects your body while also giving an extra dimension of richness and flavor to your smoothie. 


From smoking hemp flowers, taking CBD softgels, and drinking CBD infused beverages— the versatility of CBD is strongly appealing. Unfortunately, contrary to the circulating creativity surrounding CBD elixirs, the bottom line is that many CBD drinks don't deliver the impact that its being marketed for.  

When it comes to adding CBD oil to drinks, there's multiple obstacles that can result in a major loss of potency and efficacy. Taking CBD oil directly underneath the tongue will be significantly more effective than a CBD oil drink, especially if you're seeking high strength support for therapeutic purposes, such as helping to resolve the symptoms of anxiety, insomnia, or chronic joint pain. 

At best, a CBD beverage could offer a delicious and low dose of cannabinoid wellness, with fewer adverse effects— which may be exactly what you're looking for. Being properly informed on what is required for making naturally oil soluble CBD compatible with certain liquids and what to expect when having a CBD oil drink will help you to navigate the market with clarity so you can enjoy a positive and honest experience with CBD every time.  


What do CBD drinks do?

CBD drinks are beverages infused with cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive compound found in cannabis plants. When consumed, CBD drinks may provide a range of potential benefits, such as reducing anxiety, promoting relaxation, and easing pain and inflammation. However, more research is needed to fully understand the effects of CBD drinks on the body.

What are the effects of CBD drinks?

CBD drinks can help promote relaxation, reduce anxiety, and alleviate pain and inflammation. CBD-infused drinks also have antioxidant and neuroprotective properties, which can support overall health and well-being. CBD drinks may provide an easy and convenient way to consume CBD, but it's important to choose a high-quality product with accurate labeling to ensure proper dosing.

Does CBD help stop drinking?

While more research is needed, CBD may potentially help with reducing alcohol consumption by targeting certain areas of the brain and reducing anxiety and cravings. However, it should not be considered a cure or a replacement for addiction treatment. It's important to consult with a healthcare professional before using CBD for any health-related purposes.

Can I use CBD drops for drinks?

Yes, CBD drops can be added to drinks for a convenient way to consume CBD. It's important to make sure the drops are water-soluble for better absorption and to start with a lower dosage to assess your tolerance. CBD drops can be a great addition to drinks to potentially provide a variety of benefits.


  1. Price G, Patel DA. Drug Bioavailability. [Updated 2022 Jun 23]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from: 

  1. Millar, Sophie A et al. “A Systematic Review on the Pharmacokinetics of Cannabidiol in Humans.” Frontiers in pharmacology vol. 9 1365. 26 Nov. 2018, doi:10.3389/fphar.2018.01365 

  1. Napoli, N. (2022) Good New For Daily Coffee Lovers Daily Coffee May Benefit Heart, American College of Cardiology. Available at: (Accessed: January 19, 2023). 

  1. Wang, Mei et al. “Decarboxylation Study of Acidic Cannabinoids: A Novel Approach Using Ultra-High-Performance Supercritical Fluid Chromatography/Photodiode Array-Mass Spectrometry.” Cannabis and cannabinoid research vol. 1,1 262-271. 1 Dec. 2016, doi:10.1089/can.2016.0020 


Belinda Hoang

BS in Business Belinda draws inspiration from the intersection of nature and humanity, finding depth in the experiences they offer. Her journey as an educational leader, starting from meditation guide, has led her to advocate for the therapeutic benefits of hemp and plant apothecary. As Neuroga...

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