There is a growing trend among cannabis edibles: liquid marijuana shots. While cannabis-infused drinks are not new, the latest ways of making them — particularly using nanoemulsion — have made liquid cannabis preparations more effective, better tasting, and more popular than ever.

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Read on to learn what infused marijuana shots are, how they work, and the benefits of these potent potions.

What are Cannabis-Infused Shots?

Currently, most THC-infused drinks come in cans or bottles like soda, and carry anywhere from 10 to 100 mg of THC in about 12 oz of liquid. But infused shots, like those made by Fixie in California, pack up to 100mg in as few as 2 oz of liquid. Another California brand, S*Shots, infuses 100mg into 8 oz of liquid and include hash marks on the bottle for measured pours. 

While the more traditional beverages are made to be sipped as their own drink, infused shots are typically added to other drinks like juice, coffee, or cocktails. Some consumers with higher tolerance may enjoy daring one another to down the whole bottle at once, but the concentrated flavors taste better mixed into other things.

cannabis infused drink with weed leaves next to the glass Infused cannabis shots allow you to dose out the amount you want and make your own cannabis cocktail. photo credit
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Liquid marijuana should not be confused with tinctures, which are similarly concentrated solutions sold in equally small bottles. Tinctures, however, are oil-based substances meant to be dropped under the tongue and not swallowed whole.

How Are Liquid Cannabis Shots Made?

Historically, cannabis drinks have had a hard time catching on. THC and other cannabinoids occur naturally as oils, which is why cannabis extract results in a sticky, sappy substance. And, of course, oil and water do not mix, so early attempts at cannabis-infused drinks resulted in uneven mixtures that left an oily mouthfeel. But a recent development called “nanoemulsion” has offered a solution. 

Using soundwaves, drops of oily cannabinoids can be smashed into thousands of microscopic bubbles called “nanobubbles.” The oily extract still does not technically dissolve into the water, but the miniscule bubbles disperse evenly throughout the drink allowing for accurately measured doses without any oily residue or taste.

oil and water in a tube, the oil separating Since oil and water don’t mix, cannabis-infused drinks aren’t always the most pleasant. photo credit
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Additionally, shots infused with nanoemulsions offer increased bioavailability, meaning less THC is lost in digestion. In fact, the THC oil in each sip actually begins to be absorbed directly through the soft tissue in the mouth and throat, entering the bloodstream without needing to be digested, so these drinks take effect faster than traditional edibles. Of course, plenty of THC is still digested, so be sure to wait at least an hour before drinking more.

Benefits of Cannabis-Infused Shots

While other infused drinks like sodas, lemonades, and even beers make excellent consumption methods, infused shots offer unmatched versatility. With a small bottle of these concentrated cannabinoids, any drink can be infused with THC from water to coffee to cocktails or anything in between.

Additionally, infused shots taste better than previous cannabis drinks. The taste of the nanobubbles of cannabis oil are nearly undetectable, especially in these flavored shots, so there is no lingering herbal taste or weed breath. They also add minimal calories to other drinks. S*Shots have only 100 calories per bottle, while Fixie has only 88 calories.

Infused beverages also offer a more health-conscious option than smoking or even other edibles. In a post-pandemic world, many consumers are more conscious of their cardio-vascular health, and infused drinks offer a way to consume without compromising lung health. Infused drinks also typically have fewer calories than other edibles, which are usually baked goods or sweets.

The Wrap Up

Liquid marijuana shots are small bottles or servings of liquid with a high concentration of cannabinoids. Bottles range between 2-8 oz. but contain up to 100mg of THC. They are not meant to be sipped straight from the bottle (though they can be), but rather added in small doses to other drinks, thus infusing those drinks with THC.

an iced tea infused with cannabis with a cannabis leaf and straw in it The opportunities are endless for drinks to create with liquid cannabis shots! photo credit

Most of these shots are infused with nanobubble technology which evenly disperses cannabis extract throughout the drink without leaving any oily residue in the bottle or in the consumer’s mouth. 

They also offer increased bioavailability over other edibles because the cannabinoids actually begin absorbing into the bloodstream from the mouth and throat, so effects are felt faster than traditional edibles, which must pass through the digestive tract and the liver before entering the bloodstream. That said, most of the cannabinoids in these drinks are still digested, so always wait at least an hour after the first dose before taking more.

Currently, cannabis-infused shots can only be found in recreational markets, primarily in California and Colorado. But their potency and versatility are too good to deny, and these products will almost certainly spread to other legalized cannabis markets over the coming months and years.

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