Cannabis-infused beverages abound, especially as federal legalization looms. In states where medicinal and recreational use are allowed—New York legalized weed this week—high-potency drinks designed to be doled out in doses occupy shelf space in dispensaries alongside single-serving, flavored concoctions. (See Keef Brand‘s THC-infused lemonade and Calexo’s citrus drink, as examples.) On the contrary, ALT‘s offering—designed by Canadian agency Very Polite—affords cannabis consumers flexibility and increased effectiveness. Their clear, ultra-mild liquid is a cocktail comprising quality cannabis oil, distilled water, plant-based stabilizers, vitamins and natural flavors, born from proprietary and pharmaceutical-grade technology and packaged in a clear vial designed to act as a dosing tool. Milligram markers dot the side of the vessel, ensuring the consumer knows precisely how much they pour each time.
The poured dose also penetrates faster. ALT’s nanotechnology reduces the particle size of cannabis, allowing absorption into the bloodstream, bypassing the liver, where typical cannabis drinks and edibles are broken down. Cannabis processed in the liver also produces 11-hydroxy-THC, the chemical that delivers the intense edible high many cannabis users avoid. ALT’s founders liken the liquid’s impact to smoking or vaporizing—a quicker, cleaner high—although this experience is inherently unique. Absorption is quicker, more effective and three times more bioavailable.
“The initial vision was to have a product that you can dose correctly, making finding the perfect dose—a micro-dose or whatever it is—easy because you don’t have to wait that long to feel it. In five to 15 minutes, you’re feeling the effect. And it’s not the 11 hydroxy effect,” Jay Spall, Chief Science Officer at ALT, explains to CH.
Rather than build a flavored, single-serving product off their innovative liquid, ALT’s founders favored discreetness and individuality. No two individuals react to cannabis, especially in a concentrated form, in the same way. Instead of manufacturing a one-size-fits-all formula, ALT leaves the decision up to the end consumer, who ultimately (in most cases) knows how they would like to feel and can capably dose themselves to this desired level.
Co-founder Marc Soo says that when they were first conceptualizing the future of cannabis beverages, they often asked themselves what type of standalone beverage would consumers fall in love with. “We spent months trying to come up with an idea: should it be an ALT cola? Should it be an ALT lemonade? Should it be an ALT seltzer? There are a lot of good competing ideas,” he says. “But, at the end we decided we’d rather put the freedom in the consumer’s hand and create a first product that was so dynamic, so flexible that any beverage, at any dose, could be created through ALT. ALT, in some ways, is a way of unleashing the power of the cannabis plant, through liquid cannabis, through our form factor.”
Their product is available in several different quantities, each at varying doses. There’s the five-pack containing vials of 5mg THC. A level up, ALT makes a package of five 10mg vials. For the THC averse, there’s a five pack that provides 50mg of CBD respectively. Future plans include higher dosages and bigger packs.
The ALT team acknowledges the durability and portability of their packages, despite including several glass vessels. A full pack is barely bigger than a pack of cigarettes, ensuring they’re small enough to carry in a pocket. A single vial is even smaller and can slip into a coin stash, an interior coat pocket or in a carryall with a phone and keys. Plus, every vial is resealable, making them easy to share or store for a later session.
“As consumers, we expect—since there’s been billions of dollars pumped into the industry—there should be so many new choices and experiences for all for us to delight in when we go to dispensaries, but, sadly, we found that there hasn’t been that investment in new product development, which, even I’m yearning for. And as entrepreneurs, and innovators, we feel like it’s our responsibility,” Soo continues.
There has been plenty of progress in form and potency, but few products feel as future-forward as ALT. The delicate—and debatably botanical—beverage works well with fruit juices as a non-alcoholic cocktail alternative; inside your morning coffee (as ALT’s co-founders suggest); or slipped into a sparkling water with a touch of citrus. And because of their proprietary tech, there’s no oily residue or parts destined to separate.
“We’re also promising the standardization of the experience, the consistency of the experience,” Spall explains. “Even if you were to take a five milligram traditional edible every time, you’re going to get a vastly different experience depending on what you ate before, what time of the day it is, what hormones are high or low in your body at the time. With our form factor, you’re getting a consistent experience. That’s a very important component.”
Beyond the science of the high ALT provides, Soo explains that adding value to the cannabis space means a lot to them. “For us as a team of creatives, it’s a beautiful expression; it’s a beautiful first product,” she says. “We are creating a new cannabis experience in this new, recreationally legal world.”
Images courtesy of ALT