by Adam Terry
If you look around dispensaries these days, you’ll notice something completely different from what we’ve considered, in the past, to be a classic dispensary product: micro-dose cannabis beverages.
If you’re like me and have been watching the cannabis scene evolve over the last decade, you’ve probably seen drinks before – overly sugary, in strangely packaged bottles, often with medicine or measuring caps on top, and usually promising 100 milligrams or more of THC per serving. Being skeptical of a new kind of beverage is resultantly understandable – why would you want to chug a slurry of weed and artificial flavors to get the feeling you desire? Or, in my case, why would I buy a beverage I can only take a sip of before I have to cap it and put it back?
Enter Cantrip, and the era of low-dose cannabis beverages. I first started thinking about cannabis beverages in 2019 after seeing the success of mints and a growing interest in powdered beverages. In Massachusetts, where I have spent the lion’s share of my own time in this industry, we have a prohibitively low edible serving limit; only five milligrams of d9-THC can be in any given product. Even so, five milligrams is sometimes too much for me, and so I wondered - what if we went lower?
That’s when things really started clicking in my head. First, I realized there’s absolutely no reason that any beverage needs to taste bad; it just needs the right method of cannabis infusion, a low dose of THC, and a good flavor mix. A large driver behind the sugary weed drinks of yester-year was the intense amount of cannabis flavor that exists when you place 100mg of THC into a product. In a beverage with less than 5mg, the THC taste is not so strong, and with the right blend of flavors and terpenes that work with the taste of weed (instead of fruit flavors trying to mask it) we were able to create something really special. After all, every bartender knows you can’t mask flavors – you have to blend them. And anyone who has ever enjoyed a joint knows that weed can, in fact, taste good. You just need the terpenes to lend a helping hand. Second, I don’t want to have an edible I just take a small amount of once – I want an experience I can hang onto for the entire evening. I want something I can sip on.
The result? A session-able, great tasting drink that won’t knock you on your ass or make you gag. It’s a drink that doesn’t require the use of a cough-syrup measuring cup to dose. Cantrip, literally meaning a small act of mischief, is a drink defiant of the norm. We can finally consume cannabis, stay social, and have fun. It’s time to hangout without the hangover.