Canada-based food and beverage consultant BevCanna Enterprises has said that most Canadians are willing to try cannabis-infused drinks as part of a healthier lifestyle.

The company announced the results of a consumer study conducted in North America, which focused on product and consumer preferences within the nascent cannabis-infused beverage market.

The study was conducted by an independent research group on behalf of BevCanna and involved more than 2,000 adults of legal drinking age.

The survey focused on the respondents’ interest and preferences in current and potential products, purchase likelihood, preferred formats such as edibles, beverages and topicals, and the most likely consumption occasions.

Participants were based in Canada, New York and California.

The study found that many Canadians were aware of THC-based cannabis products, and the most common method of consumption was smokable/combustible forms. However, CBD-based beverages had the highest future purchase intent.

More than 70% of Canadian consumers said that they would definitely or probably purchase CBD-infused beverages once legal.

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The study also found that consumers consider CBD-infused beverages as a contributor to a healthy lifestyle.

Of 25 product concepts and six positioning territories involved in the survey, ready-to-drink spring water-based beverages emerged as the top performer. Consumers said that the product is complementary to their quality of life and contribute to their wellbeing.

BevCanna chief commercialisation officer and nutritionist Emma Andrews said: “The opportunity for brand builders is to leverage clean ingredients, in compelling and crave-worthy beverages that appeal to a health-conscious consumer.

“Our research indicates that consumers are eager to try infused beverages to reduce/relieve pain, at the end of the day to relax or unwind or to help them achieve more restful sleep, even if there are limitations on health claims connected to recreational/adult-use products. Ultimately the product has to deliver on the expected outcome.”

The survey also found that Canadian consumers associate THC with consumption occasions such as hanging out with friends or social gatherings.

It found that 45% of Canadian consumers view cannabis and alcohol as suitable for separate consumption occasions.

Canada is expected to legalise infused beverages in October.