Courtesy of Recess

Combining the allure of La Croix and the wellness properties of CBD, these sparkling drinks are poised to achieve cult status

Nena Farrell and Jessica Mordo  – March 14, 2019 | Updated April 15, 2019

CBD has been taking the wellness world by storm. Derived from cannabis, cannabidiol (a.k.a. CBD’s full name) is non-intoxicating, meaning it doesn’t provide the “high” normally associated with the plant. However, it does have a number of anti-tension and -stress qualities that have made it one of the more popular wellness ingredients du jour, rearing its head in tinctures and teas, body lotions and products, spa treatments, and supplements for your dog. But what about infusing it into your desk-side drink? We tried three of the latest CBD sparkling waters and sodas to see if the promise of “relaxation in a can” was worth swapping for a La Croix.

Recess

The Dose: 10 mg CBD per can

The Packaging: Pastel-hued cans and a font reminiscent of Instagram Stories makes this drink perfectly packaged for millennials (pictured at top).

The Flavors: We loved the modern flavor comboswell, almost all of them. Peach ginger was our top choice, with pom hibiscus next on our list (it got a slight ding for its less-bubbly mouthfeel); we liked the blackberry chai less due to the unusual combo of spices and carbonation, perhaps an acquired taste.

The Effect: The balancing act of anxiety-busting CBD and energizing ingredients such as ginseng (a brain-stimulating adaptogen) and schisandra (an herb attributed to increasing concentration and thinking speed) made Recess a viable workday drink.

Shop: takearecess.com; $39.99 for 8-pack

DRAM Adaptogenic Sparkling Water

The Dose: 20 mg CBD per can

The Packaging: Artistic yet sleek, the mostly white can features soothing warm tones and a nature-inspired graphic.

The Flavors: Gingergrass earned top marks from our tasters for its kick, followed by lemongrass for its tangy herbaceousness. We liked the North American sweetgrass, too, although it was just mildly sweet compared to the more interesting profiles of the other flavors. Side note: props to the cheeky sense of humor in the form of the “grass” suffixes (some of us may be old enough to remember when cannabis went by this former moniker).

The Effect: After downing a can, our tasters felt decreased shoulder muscle tension and a mildly relaxed feeling. We also appreciated the included adaptogens’ impact on the body and mind, building resilience against stress and banishing mental fatigue. Bonus points to gingergrass for its stomach-settling properties.

Shop: dramdose.com; $16 for 4-pack

Courtesy of Sprig

Sprig

The Dose: 20 mg CBD per can

The Packaging: The bright colors and a leaf motif are not as slick as the other cans’ designs, but do help this drink stand out on the shelfand that works to Sprig’s advantage, since the beverage is distributed in natural grocers, convenience stores, and cafes across the country.

The Flavors: The melon soda was by far the most popular among our tasters. The brand leans into citrus, with three of its four flavors bafflingly all labeled “citrus” (they’re differentiated in other ways). We liked the citrus sodas and didn’t really note much a difference between the unsweetened and 100-plus-calorie sweetened versions. The lemon tea was polarizing; some of tasters enjoyed it as a mellower take on iced tea, while others didn’t care for it.

The Effect: It took a full can for the relaxation to kick in, but once it did, our tasters were consistently zen. It’s a great mid-afternoon chill-out drink, although perhaps best saved for the weekend versus downing one mid-workday (the other tested beverages had some brain-boosting properties).

Shop: drinksprig.com; $50 for 12-pack