CBD Kombucha: Your Complete Guide
The popularity of small-batch fermenting and CBD infused products has shot up, bringing with it the experimentation and introduction of CBD soft drinks. In particular, CBD kombucha has gained in popularity. CBD kombucha is now available to buy in grocery stores; alternatively you could homebrew too. Outlined is a complete breakdown of CBD and Kombucha; considerations before brewing; CBD kombucha brands; common questions; and standard brewing procedures.
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What Is CBD Kombucha?
CBD kombucha is a soft drink, produced by mixing CBD oil with kombucha tea. Other variations are available, which contain other cannabis products, and strains. It’s become popular in countries and states where cannabis has been legalized, such as Canada and California.
What Is CBD?
“CBD, short for cannabidiol, is a chemical compound from the cannabis plant. It's a naturally occurring substance that's used in products like oils and edibles to impart a feeling of relaxation and calm. Unlike its cousin tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), it's not psychoactive.” - Source: Healthline. In the context of kombucha, CBD often will come from an oil or by steeping cannabis directly into the fermenting tea.
What Is Kombucha?
“Kombucha is a fermented, slightly alcoholic, lightly effervescent, sweetened black or green tea drink commonly intended as a functional beverage for its supposed health benefits. Sometimes the beverage is called kombucha tea to distinguish it from the culture of bacteria and yeast.” - Source: Wikipedia. Often kombucha can come in many different flavors and variants. Typical brews would include black or green tea and could be flavored with berries after production.
Other Common Names For CBD Kombucha
“CBD Kombucha” has become the blanket name for all cannabis-infused kombucha. It’s important to distinguish between the different brand names to better understand what you’re consuming.
A Few Common Names:
Cannabucha - Cannabucha is a trademarked name for a terpene infused fermented tea drink, their tag line is: “A Naturally Carbonated & Refreshing Beverage Cannabis Terpene Infused Kombucha” - Source: Cannabucha. A terpene is a group of chemical compounds that can be found in many plants. It’s been suggested that terpene may have the same health benefits as cannabis.
Cannabis Kombucha - A general term for any cannabis-infused kombucha tea drink. This may include THC, CBD, or leaves to infuse the batch. Make sure you read the ingredients and speak to the manufacturer of the product to understand exactly what type of cannabis products are contained within this brew - each compound may influence you differently.
Hemp Boocha - HempBucha is a commercial brand of kombucha tea. It uses CBD, from hemp grown in New York, to infuse the kombucha tea. Coming in a few different flavors, it claims to contain the health benefits of both kombucha and CBD in one drink.
Cannabis Terminology Explained
The cannabis industry's terminology can be very confusing. Containing dozens of colloquial, trade, and scientific names for plants, strains, and substances. We picked 5 of the most frequently talked about and written a breakdown.
Hemp - Hemp and cannabis are often confused. Hemp is a name for a plant in the cannabis family that contains less than 0.3% THC. Less than 0.3% THC means that it will not induce psychotropic effects. Whereas cannabis, containing a higher amount of THC, could produce psychoactive effects.
Cannabis - “a psychoactive drug from the Cannabis plant used for medical or recreational purposes.” - Source: Wikipedia. It’s thought that marijuana has been used for thousands of years as both a recreational drug and for its purported medical benefits. Only relatively recently in history has this drug been outlawed.
Marijuana - Often, cannabis and marijuana are used interchangeably. Thought to have originated in Mexican Spanish, marijuana was then adopted into the English language to mean cannabis. The name was subsequently used as a pejorative term for both cannabis and Mexican criminal culture.
CBD - “Cannabidiol (CBD) is a major phytocannabinoid present in the Cannabis sativa plant. ” - Source: NCBI. Found in the cannabis plant, CBD is an abbreviation of a chemical. CBD is known to be the “medical” or “therapeutic” component of the cannabis plant. It’s now available to buy in oils and extracts.
THC - “Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is one of at least 113 cannabinoids identified in cannabis. THC is the principal psychoactive constituent of cannabis.” - Source: Wikipedia. THC is illegal in many countries; to buy, sell, or posses, THC is contained within the cannabis plant.
What Does CBD Kombucha Taste Like?
CBD will have little to no effect on the taste of CBD Kombucha tea. A lot of commercially produced kombucha have strong and distinct flavors. Such flavors can include ginger, citrus fruits, and turmeric.
CBD Taste - “... a taste that is commonly described as nutty, earthy or grassy.” (Source - echoconntection.) To taste CBD on its own, you would need to consume CBD oil extract.
Kombucha Tea - Fermented tea is a sweet, fizzy, and fruity blend. This is very dependent on the recipe of your brew or brand for which you chose.
Health Benefits Of Drinking CBD Kombucha
CBD and Kombucha have both been popularised for their reported health benefits. We’ll break them both down, so you’ll be able to see the health benefits of each.
6 Potential Health Benefits Of CBD
Many of the studies that link health benefits to CBD have been conducted on rats and then monitored the behavior and chemical receptors. Clinical trials on humans have been increasing, and a lot more research is being done.
1. Arthritis - Sufferers with arthritis often experience extreme pain in their joint and lose functions of the joints, caused by inflammation and swelling. A study conducted where rats that had arthritis were given CBD oil found significant reduction in joint swelling, and many other inflammation biomarkers.
2. Epilepsy And Seizures - Severe epilepsy is a condition that thousands suffer from. It is characterized by seizures, which could be triggered by many stimuli. A large study of people that have epilepsy found that it may reduce seizure frequency.
3. Pain Reduction - Chronic pain is severe; often, sufferers have pain in their bones and muscles. Which may have been caused by an injury or accident. Regular consumption of CBD has been shown to reduce pain in neurological models.
4. Depression - Clinical depression, can include symptoms such as, continuous low-mood, sadness, feeling hopeless, and low self-esteem, to name a few. (Source: NHS). CBD has not been shown to cure depression. Instead, it could help regulate your body’s functions. CBD can improve mood, sleep, appetite, and pain. When reduced, the symptoms of depression may also be found to decrease too.
5. MS - “Multiple sclerosis, or MS, is a long-lasting disease that can affect your brain, spinal cord, and the optic nerves in your eyes. It can cause problems with vision, balance, muscle control, and other basic body functions.” Source: Web MD Although CBD does not cure or reverse MS, CBD may help with related symptoms of MS. “In adults with multiple sclerosis (MS)-related spasticity, short-term use of oral cannabinoids improves patient reported spasticity symptoms.” - Source: NCBI.
6. Anxiety - “Generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) can affect you both physically and mentally.” (Source: NHSInform). Symptoms could include feeling on edge or even feeling sick. CBD has been shown to a potential treatment for those suffering from anxiety.
5 Health Benefits Of Kombucha
Kombucha’s health benefits come from both the tea that’s steeped and also the live yeast and bacteria present in the brew. Fermented tea has been noted to improve health for those that have drunk it throughout its 2000 year history.
There are no studies that show that kombucha itself contributes to increased health. The citied health benefits come from studies showing strains of bacteria and yeast contained within kombucha, are linked to these health benefits.
1. Gut Health - In unpasteurized kombucha, there are lactic acid microbes that are said to interact with the gut. These probiotics will improve your gut health.
2. Digestive System - Probiotics are produced when food and drinks go through a fermentation process. The probiotics are thought to aid the gut and help the digestive system too.
3. Reduce Heart Disease - Green tea drinking has been linked to reducing the risk of heart disease. Green tea kombucha is one of the most popular varieties of tea; it’s strained in boiling water before kombucha production.
4. Weight Loss - It’s thought than an imbalance of bacteria in your gut contribute to sugar cravings - bacteria and yeast feed on sugars. Probiotics in kombucha may be able to help rebalance gut flora. Once rebalanced, the sugar cravings will decrease. With less sugary cravings, you’ll eat less and lose weight too.
5. Brain Function - Green tea is often steeped in kombucha to give it a distinct flavor. The Chinese have noted Green tea for thousands of years for its health properties. Now studies are also showing results to back up their claims. It’s said to be able to increase attention, memory, and brain function. But also reduce anxiety in participants too.
Common CBD Questions
What Do The FDA Say About CBD Consumption?
The FDA is yet to produce official guidelines that regulate CBD. Therefore the suggested amounts brands suggests often cite studies, which may very a lot. This also means that the amount of CBD in each bottle may be less than that required to get the full effects. It would be suggested to buy your oil from a reputable retailer that can give you all of the information.
How Much CBD Do You Need To Consume?
Although studies have shown CBD to have many health benefits, the studies have been tested at mostly high levels of CBD consumption. Most human studies conducted gave recipients between 20mg - 1500mg / day. However, many factors go into determining how much CBD you should take, such as gender, weight, current medication, symptoms, to name a few. Therefore it would be suggested to seek medical advice before you start to take CBD oil.
How Much CBD Do Popular Brands Contain?
Commonly retailers sell CBD in both capsule and liquid form. In the context of drinking kombucha, we will stick to liquid CBD oil.
The packaging for many oils can be confusing, as the oil states the measurement in “ml” and then there is an associated “%” amount of CBD by volume. Standard bottle amounts are between 10ml - 100ml in capacity. Typical volumes of CBD oil contained could be between trace amounts and 500mg.
Is CBD Kombucha Legal?
It depends, many different countries and states have different laws. You’ll need to review and understand local regulations before considering to buy, sell, or consume CBD.
Is CBD Legal?
UK And CBD Laws
In the UK THC, the psychoactive chemical that is present in cannabis is illegal. However, CBD is legal to buy, sell, and consume. Often appearing in high-street retailers such as Holland & Barret.
USA And CBD Laws
Similar to the UK, in the USA, it is federally legal to buy, sell, and consume CBD oil. The THC by volume needs to be below 0.3%. However, each state has legislated differently, with some states requiring prescriptions for consuming CBD oil.
The FDA has prohibited the marketing of health claims related to CBD oil. This means that it can pursue legal action against companies that market described health claims when selling CBD products.
CBD Infused Drinks
The popularity of CBD infused drinks has surged, from teas, soft drinks, and caffeinated beverages. It’s essential to check the labels to know what you’re drinking.
What Is A CBD Drink? - A CBD beverage is a drink that contains CBD in it. To be classified as a CBD drink, there is little regulation around the amount of CBD required or the percentage of CBD in a drink to classified as a CBD drink.
Common CBD Beverages
CBD Water - It’s not cheap, coming in at around $8 per 8oz bottle. Commonly it’s no more than CBD oil added to mineral water. If you’re looking for a cheaper alternative, consider using high-quality CBD oil and adding it to your favorite mineral water.
CBD Wine - Cannawine is leading the way with CBD wine. They pair high-quality European wines with CBD oil. Using organic hemp as the source to extract the CBD chemical.
Sparkling CBD Tonics - Brands have developed their sparkling tonic variations. Aurora Elixers are a brand of sparkling tonics that add 15mg of CBD to their CBD tonic rage.
CBD Coconut Water - Coconut water has been drunk for thousands of years and even used as a natural IV replacement in the Vietnam war. For it has a very high amount of electrolytes, sugars, and salts. Infused with CBD, it’s said to get both the health benefits of CBD and coconut water.
CBD Soda - Sprig is a brand of cannabis-infused soda drinks, characterized by fizzy and citrusy tastes. Sprig contains 20mg of CBD in every can.
Commercially Produced CBD Kombucha
Several kombucha brands produce CBD infused products. They include Awaken Kombucha, Tea Biotics, and many others too. Most have started brewing CBD kombucha since the legalization of cannabis in several US states. The market demand for CBD food and beverage products has exploded.
CBD Kombucha Brands
Tea Biotics - Tea Biotics has a range of 5 different flavors for their CBD range. Each bottle contains 10mg of CBD oil. They’re a band from Kansas City that handcrafts each batch.
Awaken Kombucha - A locally owned and operated business from Florida, USA. They specialize in producing kombucha. Selling at many different farmer’s markets and in selected cafes too.
SODADA Kombucha - Their CBD Kombucha is produced in the United Kingdom, that sell their bottles online and in stores. They have one flavor of CBD kombucha that contains 10mg of CBD per serving.
How Does CBD Oil Work?
Humans have many signal systems; one is called the Endocannabinoid System (ECS). The ECS is thought to regulate and effect “appetite, pain-sensation, mood, and memory” (Source: Wikipedia.)
Chemicals are naturally produced inside the body that ensures theses functions are regulated. When you consume CBD, it increases the number of chemicals that are responsible for the regulation causing many effects.
Infusing With Oil Vs. Steeping Leaves
Steeping cannabis leaves to infuse your kombucha with CBD is not recommended. For the reason that you do not have control over the amount of THC or CBD that will be present in your kombucha tea. It would recommend that you would use the CBD oil for the most accurate measurements and reliability. You’ll be able to check the packaging to know precisely how much CBD you’re adding to your brew.
CBD Kombucha Recipes
There are 1000’s of different kombucha recipes, all of which have slight variations of the standard fermented tea. Variations include types of sugar, tea, and SCOBYs. A lot of CBD kombucha recipes, add CBD oil after brewing.
Considerations Before Brewing
How Much CBD You Want To Add - Different studies have tested different amounts of CBD. It is recommended only to take amounts prescribed or approved by the CBD oil company - follow their guidance. Add the required daily quantity to each bottle before labeling.
Source Of CBD - There are hundreds of CBD brands, and it can get very confusing. Go to your local dispensary or health store to get advice, and recommended oil brands.
When To Add - It’s best to add after the ferment, so it doesn’t interact with the effect the brew. Add during the bottling or second fermentation phase.
Influence On Taste - It’s recommended to infuse your kombucha with strong tasting fruits or root herbs to ensure you don’t get an overpowered batch. Kombucha should be tasty and enjoyed.
Second Ferment Ideas
During the second ferment, you’d want to add your oil along with any other fruit or berry infusions. Pick your favorite second ferment recipe and add your prescribed CBD oil during this phase.
Recipe 1: Inspired By Cured Nutrition
Chopped fresh mint
A squeeze of fresh lime juice
1. Place blueberries, fresh mint, lime juice, and CBD oil into bowl and mash together
2. Place mixture into the bottom of a glass cup
3. Pour kombucha into a glass before stirring
Recipe 2: Inspired By HealthStartsInTheKitchen
3/4 cup organic fruit juice
3 cups kombucha (first ferment)
1-liter clamp top glass bottle Instructions
1. Mix the Kombucha, CBD Oil And Chosen Fruit Juice
2. Seal your kombucha in a dark, room temperature environment or 2-6 days
3. After 2-6 days move your ‘bucha and store in your fridge until you’re ready to drink