Why You Need to Try These Highly Creative Cannabis Seltzers

·3 min read
CANN seltzers
CANN seltzers

Courtesy of CANN

As cannabis legalization expands (at a snail's pace, but a pace nonetheless) nationwide, it's been exciting to see infused goods –– chocolate! Gummies! Potato chips! –– pop up in rapid succession. On a trip to Los Angeles last fall, I found myself completely overwhelmed by the recreational use selection in the aisles of a MedMen dispensary, unable to decide if the right route for a casual Thursday night on vacation was a tin of mints, a bath bomb, or CANN, a pack of pastel-colored seltzers that I'd been seeing everywhere.

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With flavors like blood orange cardamom, honeydew mint, and grapefruit rosemary, these caught my attention as a pleasingly culinary way into cannabis, with a gentle dosage –– two milligrams of THC and four milligrams of CBD –– to boot. "We wanted to make the first cannabis product that wouldn't look out of place in a premium natural grocery retailer like Whole Foods," confirms Luke Anderson, CANN's co-founder. "Every ingredient is hand picked for quality and comes from the best place in the world to find that particular thing, like organic lemons from Sicily where the volcanic ash helps to bring out a really warm and bright acidity."

CANN seltzers
CANN seltzers

Courtesy of CANN

Having tried a few other cannabis- and hemp-infused beverages in the past, I was more skeptical about drinking THC than eating it. For whatever reason (I'm no scientist) it seems easier to disguise the not-so-delicious herbaceous taste of the plant in a fruity gummy or a bar of chocolate than in an effervescent seltzer or non-alcoholic wine. Still, I decided to roll the dice on a six-pack of CANN in lemon lavender. In the drinks world, terms like "smooth" and "balanced" get thrown around with aplomb, but that's truly what came to mind –– this didn't taste anything like its key ingredient, and also avoided the artificial-lavender Achielles heel of hearkening back to hand soap. CANN's promise that I'd feel "perfectly social" (the drinks are advertised as "social tonics") and just a little buzzed proved true in my experience. A single seltzer was just enough for a low-key evening. "80% of adults want to drink less booze, 60% of adults are curious about cannabis and don't know how to get started," Anderson tells me. "Micro-dose THC beverages are the only products that solve both of these very common pain points and once regulations make them easier to purchase we will see a major proliferation of lookalikes, very similar to what happened with kombucha or oat milk."

The newest seasonal arrival, pineapple jalapeño, is perfect for channeling the fading days of Margarita season without the tequila, and blood orange cardamom perfectly marries notes of the warming spice with not-too-tart citrus. The brand also makes a higher-concentration offering with 5 MG of THC.

In the months since, I've tried almost every flavor CANN has to offer. Most are available in Massachusetts, where I spend a good bit of my time when I'm not in New York, but there's also distribution in California, Arizona, Nevada, Illinois, Ontario, and British Columbia. It's exactly what I want to reach for when I'm not up for a mixed drink or a glass of wine, but still want the unwinding ritual of pouring a drink into a fancy glass at the end of the day.