K-Zen Beverages’ cannabis-infused wellness shots soothe the body and lift the senses
If you’re an indica fan, weed can wipe you out. Though new research suggests that labeling cannabis either “indica” or “sativa” is on its way out, there’s good reason why indicas are dubbed “in-da-couch.” It can be difficult to find options that match a more active lifestyle, as even sativas can fog the mind.
Bay Area-based K-Zen Beverages seeks to tap into these consumers with its S-Shots—cannnabis-infused wellness beverages in three flavors mixed with a blend of CBD and THC. While served in little 2-ounce bottles, each sip lives up to K-Zen’s lofty promises of “delivering consistent formulas, crave-able flavors and rapid predictable effects.”
Founded in 2018 and recipient of $5 million in seed money earlier this year, K-Zen—derived from the Japanese word “kaizen” for continuous improvement in all aspects of life—is using the wellness shots to enter the weed-infused beverage market, a segment of the cannabis industry that could reportedly hit $600 million in the U.S. by 2022. S-Shots are available in three flavors: Pineapple Mint Chamomile, Pink Lemonade and Wild Berry, each with a different CBD to THC ratio.
“Serene” is the most soothing: A Pineapple Mint Chamomile blend with a ratio of 20 milligrams of CBD to 5 mg of THC. It’s the shot to drink after a long day’s work, or to bask under the gentle breeze.
“Serene” is a drink for the entire day. With its earthy mint flavors that balance the chamomile’s warmth and the pineapple’s sweetness, it is delicious and comforting on the palate with a flavor profile reminiscent of a chamomile-lemon tea. The pineapple gives “Serene” a tropical aroma, masking any weed extracts used in its formula, and its CBD-THC ratio delivers a full-body relaxation, loosening up any tight muscles. K-Zen’s description of the drink’s “relaxing and tranquil” sensations is spot on.
If “Serene” puts you at ease, “Smile” puts you into the flow state. The drink, at a ratio of 10 mg of THC to less than 2 mg of CBD, is a pink lemonade blend that is delightfully carbonated, more like a seltzer or a soda.
It does put a smile on your face. While there isn’t much of an aroma and only the faintest of “lemonade” scents, “Smile” is a delectably refreshing and devilishly quick drink with a flavor profile that doesn’t last long. Thankfully, the weed taste is masked exceptionally well, even as the beverage pops and sizzles on the palate. Still, after about 30 minutes, Smile wipes away the gray clouds. The lower CBD-THC ratio gives it a gentle high that’s just enough to feel elevated while still remaining focused on tasks in front of you. Its sensations are described as “stimulating and focus,” and Smile hits those marks—a drink that’s perfect for starting the work week or getting more focused on hump day.
The third variety, “Soar,” offers a wild berry mixture, and with a ratio of 22 mg of THC to less than 2 mg of CBD, hands you a one-way ticket to the clouds. The drink is said to “safely put you in a social state of mind,” and while that’s true, “Soar” will also put you in a lazy state of mind perfect for a cozy night browsing through the latest Hulu or Netflix offerings.
Despite the pungent weed taste hitting the front of the palate, “Soar” has an intoxicating, sweet aroma with a decadent berry flavor. Thanks to the sweetness of the berries, the weed taste doesn’t last too long, making the drink—and it’s big sister, “Soaring” with a ratio of 100 mg of THC to less than 2 mg CBD per 8-ounce bottle—incredibly easy to consume. Once the effects kick in, the high is all in the head like a sativa. It can be a little hazy, but “Soar” ultimately has an uplifting and energizing delivery, keeping the mind clear and the eyes focused.
K-Zen’s S-Shots are a delightful line that, while targeted at the active individual or health professional, can be enjoyed by all cannabis consumers. Each wellness shot seems delicately devised, delivering flavors that taste great while still being healthy. Though the pungent weed taste isn’t masked equally between the three different beverages, each one has a bold enough component that becomes the star.
Sometimes the star is the effect of the weed, sending you high into the clouds or deep into the couch. For S-Shots, the star is actually the combination of the flavor profiles and cannabis and the sensations these combinations evoke.