Marijuana is quickly becoming a force to be reckoned with as it overcomes its troublesome past. The powerful psychoactive plant has been used for centuries as a means of alleviating chronic pain, an appetite stimulator, and a sleep aid, but it is most renowned for its intense high that leaves the user breathless and euphoric. Unfortunately, the intoxicating plant gained a tarnished reputation that resulted in it being banned for sale, possession, and consumption. Thankfully, lawmakers are starting to realize the potential health (and monetary!) benefits of legalizing marijuana for both medicinal and recreational use. As of today, marijuana is legal for medicinal use in 37 states and for recreational use in 19 states.
Marijuana was traditionally available in either smokeable form or homemade baked goodies. Yet with the legalization of both medicinal and recreational use, weed is now available in a variety of unique products. I’ll be spending a great deal of time in this and other upcoming product reviews about a specific product category: THC drinkables! More specifically, beverages infused with marijuana-derived Delta-9 THC. Today I’ll be reviewing the Strawberry Lemonade by Ray’s Lemonade. If you have a penchant for cold and refreshing drinks to enjoy with a meal, at the end of a long day, or simply a celebratory treat, keep reading to see my initial impression and overall effects from this unique THC-infused beverage!
THC and Its Many Faces
By now, you may have seen a lot of products that contain the acronym “THC.” Yet understanding what THC may help you properly distinguish one cannabinoid from the next. Many of our product reviews focus on a specific cannabinoid called Delta-8 THC, which is a more subdued cousin of marijuana. Delta-8 THC has a double bond on the 8th carbon chain, but Delta-9 THC has a double bond on the 9th carbon chain. This slight difference results in a much more powerful high that some users find overwhelming.
Despite hemp and marijuana both being derived from the cannabis plant, the industry differentiates between the two by using a very specific percentage: 0.3%. If a product is derived from hemp, the THC content must meet the 0.3% THC threshold or lower. If a product is derived from marijuana, the THC will be considerably higher. Under the 2018 Farm Bill, all products that are derived from federally legal hemp and contain a total THC content of 0.3% or lower are considered legal on a federal level. A handful of states have their own legislation on THC, so you’ll need to check your local state law’s before attempting to purchase or consume any THC-infused product.
What To Expect When Consuming THC-Infused Products
Regardless if you’re a long-time enthusiast or a first-time consumer, the effects of a THC-infused product will vary. The time it takes for the effects to kick in, the length of the high itself, and the overall effects will depend on several factors. Your age, weight, metabolism, gender, and previous exposure to THC will collectively determine how your experience with a THC-infused product is. That being said, it’s important to start off slowly. Most manufacturers will list a recommended dosage and start time for their products. It’s best to adhere to these recommendations until you have a better understanding of how your body reacts. Once you know your body’s tolerance levels, you can modify your dosages to suit your needs. For beginners, consider consuming a mere 5-15mg. More advanced users can adjust their dosages to 15mg-30mg, and extremely tolerant THC users can start at 30mg or more. Keep in mind that different products have varied start times and longevity, so you’ll need to patient with your dosages. Taking too much THC can result in an overwhelming and intense high, which is why it’s important to start slow; remember that you can always increase your dosage over time, but once you’re high, you’re at the mercy of the THC until your body successfully purges it from your system. Since consumables like edibles and drinkables must be digested, it may take anywhere from 30-60 minutes to feel the effects and the high may last for several hours. Speaking of drinkables, it’s time to check out the brand of today’s review: Ray’s Lemonade!
Ray’s Lemonade Brand Information
As an avid lover of all things lemonade, I was extremely excited to check out the brand behind Ray’s Lemonade. I easily found their website and spent a few minutes browsing the site to get a better feel for this THC-infused beverage company. Their catch phrase “A taste of sunshine” adequately describes all nine of their unique flavors, featuring exotic fruits like Tropical Kush, Blood Orange, Huckleberry, and Dragonfruit. Their original flavors feature a plain Jane (pardon the pun!) Original Lemonade, Pineapple, Raspberry, Mango, and of course, Strawberry Lemonade, complete with stunning product images and mouth-watering descriptions.
The true catch, however, is that these flavors are not available for purchase on the website…you’ll have to find a store that sells them. Ray’s Lemonade helpfully offers a “Lemonade Stand” option to help you locate the nearest location in Washington for their refreshing drinks. There’s a small disclaimer in the Our Flavors tab that says “unlawful outside of Washington State,” meaning you’ll need to take a road trip to the Evergreen State if you want to sample any of Ray’s Lemonade beverages.
While the beverages themselves aren’t available for purchase online, there’s a merch section of the site where you can proudly rep the brand with phone cases, T-shirts, flip-flops, and other apparel. If you’re curious to learn more about the brand itself, there’s an About Us section that goes into great detail about the brand origin, manufacturing processes, and facilities information. I’ll briefly go over some of this information further down in this review, but right now, I’d like to share my experiences with the Strawberry Lemonade THC-Infused Beverage by Ray’s Lemonade!
Ray’s Lemonade Strawberry Lemonade THC-Infused Beverage Product Review
One of summer’s greatest treats is a chilled glass of lemonade, a treat I frequently indulge in when my taste buds get a bit parched. I was extremely impatient to simply drain the entire bottle in several sips but managed to successfully quell my impatience long enough to read the bottle’s label. Boy am I glad I did! The lemonade varieties listed on the Ray’s Lemonade site are listed as 100mg, meaning they pack a powerful punch. To help you ration the proper amount, Ray’s Lemonade bottles come with a small black cup that fits neatly on the bottom of the bottle. The small cup is intended to measure out about a tenth of the bottle’s contents, effectively limiting your THC consumption to about 10mg per serving.
I have a sneaking suspicion that Ray’s Lemonade may have felt that this high level of THC was a bit too much for their consumers, which is why they now offer a 25mg bottle, though I was unable to locate this option on the company website. This greatly reduced THC option was what my Strawberry Lemonade came in, and did not have the little portion cup attached to the bottom. If you’re looking to sample the refreshing flavor of sweet lemonade without the overwhelming buzz of the full-strength 100mg option, this reduced THC option might be just the thing you’re looking for.
The 12.5 oz bottle featured a simple twist-off cap, but it’s recommended that you chill and shake the contents before opening. Shaking the contents will allow any settled particles to be rejoined and also creates a nice fizz while pouring.The bottle’s label states that there are 2.5 servings in each bottle; this was a tad frustrating because the screw-off cap isn’t designed to be resealable. I recommend sharing the bottle with a friend (over 21+, of course) to prevent the beverage from going to waste as well as preventing the carbonation from going “flat.” But enough of the preliminaries. Here’s what happened when I shook and poured the Strawberry Lemonade.
The Initial Consumption
I half-expected the bottle’s contents to explode after shaking it, but was pleasantly surprised that it only seemed to activate the beverage’s fizziness. The color of the beverage was a rich pink that reminded me of the powdered lemonade version from my early childhood. The scent of the beverage was absolutely magnificent and made my taste buds water with desire. I emptied about a third of the bottled beverage into a clear glass and took my first sip.
The carbonation was extremely light, perhaps half as strong as the carbonation in soda or seltzer water. The flavor, however, was incredible! Perfectly sweetened, deliciously authentic, and wildly refreshing. The strawberry flavor reminded me strongly of a particular square-shaped taffy (the pink one!) and was an absolute joy to drink. If I had the full 100mg version, I may very well have drained the whole bottle and experienced an uncomfortably intense high because this flavor was very difficult to stop drinking. I did notice a light flavor of weed as an aftertaste, and a more pronounced bitterness towards the end of the glass. I noted a very light coating on my teeth but a quick swig of water eradicated all traces of said coating and bitterness. In total, I consumed a little over half of the bottle’s contents, which was about 12.5mg of THC. I noted the time and settled in to await the effects.
I started to feel the effects after about 45 minutes after finishing the last sip of the amount I poured. This amount of time was slightly longer than I anticipated, given that it was a beverage, but I reminded myself that this time frame was normal for consumables that must be digested. The effects came on gradually and it felt like time began to slow down. I felt a numb tingling in my face and hands first, then in my arms and chest. I felt incredibly warm and relaxed, along with a light drowsiness.
I felt an intense couch lock and heaviness, almost as if a weighted blanket had been draped over me. I experienced a light dry mouth, but noted that my mouth still felt wet. My eyelids felt slightly heavy, yet I felt alert enough to keep them open without difficulty. Everything seemed funnier and I couldn’t resist grinning and laughing at everything. I enjoyed this rich euphoria for several hours before going to bed and was able to fall asleep almost instantly. I awoke feeling energized and well-rested without any lingering effects.
My overall experience with this THC-infused Strawberry Lemonade by Ray’s Lemonade was excellent and I was strongly tempted to go out and try the other eight flavors. If you have the opportunity to purchase and consume any of the Ray’s Lemonade options, I highly encourage you to do so; you won’t be disappointed!
Product Packaging & Cannabis Information
Ray’s Lemonade comes in a clear 12oz glass bottle with a bold black label wrapped entirely around it. The presentation was aesthetically pleasing, thanks to the fancy script and pictures of fresh fruits on the label. The color of the beverage will depend on the flavor you select, but accurately reflect the flavor’s name. Each THC-infused lemonade is crafted with premium ingredients in a state-of-the-art facility located within Washington state. Their WSDA-approved THC is fast-acting and pure, and is used to make their trademarked beverages in either 100mg or 25mg strengths. The exact process is a “trade secret,” much like the famous soda beverages throughout the country. The label itself was a bit confusing, as it took several minutes to deduce a proper dosage. If you’re new to trying THC in a beverage, be sure to allot some time to read the label and fully grasp what you’re about to consume.
The THC-infused beverage industry seems to be gaining more traction as marijuana continues to become legalized for both medicinal and recreational use. Ray’s Lemonade was the first THC-infused beverage that I’ve tried and I can honestly say that I was very impressed with this delicious lemonade.
That being said, there are a few recommendations that I would like to suggest. First of all, I would have liked the bottle to be resealable. Given that there are 2.5 servings of this 25mg option and around 10 servings of the 100mg option, it would be nice to have a better way to consume a single serving and store it for future use. Second of all, the label on the side was a bit confusing. For those who’ve never consumed a THC-infused beverage, it would have been nice to have more precise wording on the side of the bottle rather than list the serving size and total THC content. The verbiage of the label stated “3 serving cups per 10mg serving,” yet the serving size is only 2.5 servings. Lastly, I would have liked to know if the THC was from a sativa, indica, or hybrid strain. I realize that the exact process in crafting this beverage is a trade secret, but knowing the strain would have been helpful to know what to expect before consuming the contents.
Other than these three recommendations, I absolutely loved the flavor, effects, and length of the high. I appreciated the rich flavor and authentic taste and was overjoyed to not feel any lingering effects the following morning. I’ve experienced “hangover highs” from many THC-infused products, and trying to shake off those effects in the morning can really put a damper on your day. If you love the taste of lemonade but Ray’s Lemonade isn’t readily available near you, you might enjoy 3Chi’s Delta-8 THC powdered beverage enhancers (which I’ve reviewed here). For all you readers lucky enough to live in Washington State, head on over to Ray’s Lemonade website and experience the delicious flavor of their THC-infused Lemonades today! Feel free to drop a comment below and share your experiences. In my next review, I’ll be sharing my experiences with a unique brand known for their extremely high Delta-8 THC content: Peach Gummies by Treetop Hemp Co.! Be sure to check back soon for this and other in-depth product reviews from cannabinoid products across the country. Hope to see you again soon!