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“Ain’t no alcohol,” but Howdy THC seltzers mimic the flavor of popular tequila cocktails. Photo by Emmy Smith.

Disclaimer: I don’t proclaim to be a weed connoisseur, but I have been known to partake, particularly if I’m on vacation in a state where marijuana has been legalized. I’m still more prone to pop open a bottle of wine than light up a joint or pop a gummy because, as Steve Steward alluded to when we covered “loophole weed” not too long ago (“Let It Grow,” Apr 17), the government-sanctioned stuff hits different — and not in a good way. Plus, you know, smoking is bad for you.

Then, while enjoying $5 Friday frosè at Roy Pope Grocery (2300 Merrick St, Fort Worth, 817-732-2863) with friends recently, I noticed quite a large selection of THC-based drinks just to the left of the coffee bar. Reading the labels, I was pleasantly surprised to see that the calorie count per serving is significantly lower than even the lowest-calorie alcoholic beverage (about 40 calories), so I grabbed a few, along with a few “munchies” — it being a grocery store after all — to go.

If you’re questioning the legality of such a beverage and how it can truly contain THC, the explanation is that “diluting” the THC into liquid form is the industry’s ingenious way of staying below the legal weight limit of 0.3%. Part of me is hesitant to even put this in print for fear that some Republican bottom-feeder will make it his sole mission to have them removed from shelves, but for now, you can really find THC seltzers all over town, from Roy Pope to the watering holes of South Main Village, like The Cicada (1002 S Main St, Fort Worth, @the_cicada_ftw), Tarantula Tiki (117 S Main St, Fort Worth, @tarantula_tiki), and Southside Cellar (125 S. Main St, Fort Worth, 682-703-2184), to any Total Wine and More.

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After a month of careful, definitely scientific research by me and my pals, I’m here to declare this the Summer of (THC) Seltzer. I’ve compiled a list of locally availably libations, all with distinct flavor profiles, potency, and vibey-ness that will pair well with casual bar hangs, backyard barbecues, tailgating, enjoying live music, and more.

One huge perk? While some of these drinks, which run about $4-7 per can, had us chilling “in da couch” rather than hitting the town, none of them produced a modicum of a hangover the next day.

 

1.) 8th Wonder Lil Bit Seltzer
Taste: It’s delicious, like a Truly Fruit Punch seltzer, which everyone knows is the best Truly flavor.
Potency: Contains 2mg THC per 8 oz, and has 20 calories.
Availability: Roy Pope.

This was our group’s overall favorite of the bunch. A four-pack of the 8-oz, 2 mg cans is easy to throw into a tote bag on the go, and the liquid won’t fill you up, but you’ll build up a nice buzz over time. Despite its size, the seltzer packed a punch of delicious cherry-lime flavor. 8th Wonder also makes a 12-oz, 8 mg can of lime seltzer that’s billed as the first ever in Texas, but we didn’t get to try it.

 

2.) Cali Sober Berry Ginger Seltzer
Taste: It’s like a fruity ginger ale, which covers up any lingering “weed” flavor adequately.
Potency: Contains 5mg THC per 12 oz, and has 40 calories.
Availability: Total Wine & More (six area locations).

Cali Sober claims its seltzers provide a “subtle uplifting feeling,” and I’d say that’s an accurate description, but a few friends reported the THC-to-ounces ratio made them feel “too high” too quickly for the pace at which they finished the can. (See? Scientific!)

 

Local brewer Martin House’s lemon-lime or strawberry PowerHouse seltzer can be enjoyed on-site from the tap or in four-packs to go.
Photo by Emmy Smith.

 

3.) Cann Social Tonic
Taste: It’s very flavorful (for better or for worse), but none of the flavors had a strong “weed” taste.
Potency: Contains 2mg THC + 4mg CBD, and has 50 calories.
Availability: Roy Pope

The marketing is strong with this one. Definitely the trendiest of the bunch, these pretty, skinny “hi-boy” cans come in hip flavors like blood-orange cardamom, lemon lavender, and grapefruit rosemary and are designed, per the website, to be consumed “sessionally,” or over an extended period. The herbaceous flavor profiles may be popular (looking at you, lavender latte people), but I found the odd flavor combinations off-putting. Others liked them, though, and they provided a similar uplifting feeling as the Cali Sober.

 

“Ain’t no alcohol,” but Howdy THC seltzers mimic the flavor of popular tequila cocktails.
Photo by Emmy Smith.

 

4.) Howdy Low-Dose THC Seltzer
Taste: Available in Ranch Water and Paloma flavors, these cans are going for a tequila cocktail vibe and mostly achieve it.
Potency: Contains 2.5mg THC per 12 oz, and has 0-20 calories.
Availability: The Chat Room Pub (1263 W Magnolia Av, Fort Worth, @TheChatRoomPub), The Cicada (1002 S Main St, Fort Worth, @the_cicada_ftw), Roy Pope, and more.

Proudly declaring “THC from Texas,” these 12-oz cans have a very light dose of THC for the amount of liquid, sort of like the Tejas Tonic (see below). They taste better, though, and the potency-to-liquid ratio seems to make a little more sense. They made for enjoyable viewing as we sat on a vintage couch at The Cicada and watched a local band perform.

 

5.) PowerHouse by Martin House
Taste: This refreshing strawberry or lemon-lime fizz has no unpleasant aftertaste.
Potency: Contains 5mg THC, and has 0 calories.
Availability: In cans or on tap at Martin House Brewing Company (220 S Sylvania Av, Ste 209, Fort Worth, 817-222-0177), and around town at places like Tarantula Tiki Lounge (117 S Main St, Fort Worth).

Martin House paired up with Power Biopharms (which was co-founded by a TCU grad) to bring a tasty, hemp[1]based alternative to their taproom for nonbeer-drinkers to enjoy alongside the brewery’s alcohol-based seltzers. The pleasant flavor of the PowerHouses combined with the good vibes on the banks of the Trinity made for a very chill Saturday afternoon recently, and drinking it on tap had a certain “being bad” novelty that our group enjoyed.

 

6.) Tejas Tonic Terp-Boosted THC Seltzer
Taste: It’s like a lime Topo Chico but with a strong marijuana flavor.
Potency: Contains 5mg THC + 15mg CBD, and has 0-40 calories.

Availability: Roy Pope Grocery (2300 Merrick St, Fort Worth, 817-732-2863)

This is the least delicious of the seltzers we tried but also contains zero calories per can for the Natural Lime flavor, so who can complain. These tallboys split 5mg of THC and 15mg CBD over 16 ounces of liquid, which means you can essentially drink these at a steady pace all day, but it’s also a lot of liquid. Like the PBR of THC seltzers. Some in our group claimed the 3:1 CBD-to-THC ratio made for a mellower effect.

 

It goes without saying that while these may be nonalcoholic and low dose, they all do produce a high, even accounting for how long it takes you to sip a full can. You should still imbibe responsibly and designate a driver if you’re going to be enjoying them out and about.

The takeaway: There are some definite perks to swapping these drinks for boozy beverages, especially if you’re trying to cut out alcohol or calories. We should enjoy these (mostly) tasty, nonalcoholic fun-enhancers while we can before the powers-that-be take them away like so many other good things.

If you’d like to grow your knowledge of urban farming, there are free, fun “locally grown farm experiences” happening throughout the summer. Read about them here

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