Quenching thirst and anxiety
So why are companies investing in CBD, despite the fact that the FDA hasn’t regulated it yet? In addition to pain-reduction and other potential medical benefits, there’s some evidence that CBD could be beneficial in treating anxiety. And guess who has anxiety? Everyone. Especially young people.
“Millennials and Gen-Z consumers are really interested in cannabis—CBD based beverages, especially,” Allen said. “We found in our latest health and wellness study that the #1 health condition consumers are trying to treat or manage is anxiety.”
One of those people who treated anxiety with CBD is the founder and CEO of the beloved-on-Instagram Recess, Benjamin Witte. “I started experimenting with CBD oil about two years ago,” he said. “I’ve always naturally been a wired, hyper, anxious person. When I started using CBD regularly, I started to feel more balanced and even keel. I was more productive, more creative, and less anxious.”
He also recognized the importance of a strong brand. Sprite and Mountain Dew may spend millions pushing the narrative that you can be like a hip-hop superstar or a pro athlete if you drink it, CBD can claim to alter your mood.
“We’re marketing a feeling,” said Witte. “The taste is calm, cool, collected. The use case of taking a Recess is taking a moment throughout your day to reset, rebalance, and be your most productive and creative self. Like Red Bull is focused on action sports and Gatorade on athletics, Recess is focused on fashion, art, design, and internet culture.”
And it’s not just the CBD that makes these drinks appealing—Recess also adds ingredients like American ginseng, Schisandra (it “boosts vitality”), and L-theanine, which the company claims has a number of other health benefits, including “easing stress” and “brightening mood.”
“We added [adaptogenics] primarily because we found them to be effective in our own lives,” explained Dram founder-owner Shae Whitney. “But also because there’s a ton of drinks coming out that are straight CBD, and we wanted to do something that was different. CBD is wonderful and has great health benefits, but so do other plants.”
Dram’s cans of Gingergrass include organic ingredients like ginger root, amla berry, rhodiola root, and Canadian chaga mushroom. The company said it’s formulated to help reduce inflammation in the body, or if you’re struggling with a hangover. “The main thing people almost always say is that they feel relaxed within a half hour of drinking it, and that they slept like a baby that night,” Whitney said.
Whether or not these drinks will make you feel “calm, cool, and collected” is dependent on how CBD affects you. “Some people can’t have coffee, others can have four coffees a day before bed,” Witte said. “Caffeine impacts everyone differently, just like CBD.”