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Alongside trendy, stylish drinks like Vybes and Daytrip, Recess has become one of the juggernauts of the CBD-infused beverage industry. In this review we inspect their ingredient list, review how each flavor tastes, and answer the million dollar question: do these CBD drinks actually provide relief?

Background: Who is Recess?

The founder and CEO of Recess, Ben Witte, described the company’s aim as “not marketing the ingredient, we’re marketing a feeling.” And what feeling is that? Well, the can’s chic, trendy pastel design gives you a hint, and if you’re looking for another, check out their Instagram: a mosaic of colorful, fruity pastels that evokes the now almost stereotypical Instagram aesthetic. 

The feeling they’re marketing is calming, cooling, relaxing, but also warm and engaging. A pink-orange sunset on the beach. Seashells. A happy place. A place to — you guessed it — take a Recess. 

And how does Recess create this feeling? With more than just CBD. Check out our full review of one of the hottest CBD drinks on the market. 

Recess CBD Drink Review

Taste Score: 8/10

Does the drink taste bueno or no bueno?

We at Remedy Journey have tried a LOT of CBD-infused sparkling waters, and Recess definitely falls on the tastier end: more flavorful than GT’s Sparkling Water or Sprig, without any bitterness or aftertaste. They actually taste closer to LaCroix than any other CBD sparkling water we’ve tried. Recess comes in 3 flavors:

  • Peach Ginger
  • Blackberry Chai
  • Pomegranate Hibiscus

Our favorite was Pomegranate Hibiscus, with Blackberry Chai as a close-second. Each has a nice touch of flavor without being overpowering, with a hint of sweetness (though not too much sugar). If you’re looking for a tasty daily sipping beverage, Recess is a great choice. 

Value Score: 7.5/10

How much CBD bang are you getting for your buck?

An 8-pack of Recess costs $39.99, which comes out to $5/each. They come with 10mg of broad-spectrum CBD oil, a moderate amount but a good deal lower than some other brands that cost the same or less. $5/each isn’t particularly gobsmacking for a CBD drink (they regularly run as much as $8), but the not-staggering amount of CBD in each can dings the value score a bit. 

Health score: 8.5/10

How committed is this brand to health and wellness? We look at all the ingredients.

In this section, we inspect the other health-promoting ingredients included in the drink, and Recess includes some interesting adaptogenic ingredients (adaptogens are herbs that are said to fight stress and support focus and a clear mental state). 

Ginseng is an herb that promotes focus, while L-theanine is a well-known supplement that fights stress. Add to that an all-organic ingredient list that includes healthy ingredients like ginger, chai, blackberry, and pomegranate, and you’ve got a true health-promoting drink. 

Relief Score: 7.5/10

Many of us consume CBD to relieve ailments. Does this product provide effective relief?

I consume CBD mostly for anxiety relief, and while I did find that Recess helped calm my mind and make me a little more cool and collected, I also am used to higher doses of CBD, and definitely noticed that this wasn’t a particularly strong dose. 

Recess is more of a fun-time, day at the beach kind of drink: if you’re looking for real, powerful CBD relief, you’ll probably want a product that packs more of a punch (whether a stronger drink like GT’s Sparkling Wellness Waters, or an oil or tincture). 

X-Factor: 9.5/10

What makes this drink special? Does it promote productivity or focus? Does it get one “lit”?

This is an area where Recess really shines: the combination of CBD, ginseng, and L-theanine empowers and clears the mind without weighing you down or making you feel either tired OR wired. It’s sort of an in-between experience: you feel chill, but also sharp-minded. 

While there isn’t quite enough CBD to provide full-on relief from, say, anxiety or joint pain, the ingredients in this drink do seem to work synergistically to boost your mental state.

Finally, we also like to give a shoutout to design and aesthetic in this section, and Recess is definitely one of the trendiest and, well, cutest CBD drinks on the market (though the chic, pastel Instagram aesthetic admittedly isn’t quite as compelling or novel as it once was). 

Final Verdict: 8.3/10

Let’s put it all together: what’s our overall take on this drink?

It tastes good, comes with genuine stress-fighting and mental boosting herbs, uses all-organic ingredients, and is low-sugar, so there’s a lot to like about this drink. We wish it packed a bit more CBD, but the CBD does work well with the L-theanine to provide mental relief. 

The value isn’t great, but $5 per can isn’t too bad in the CBD-infused drink game, so we won’t ding them too much for that. 

Recess clearly has a genuine commitment to health and wellness, and their unique approach — “canning a feeling, not an ingredient” — along with their unique and vibrant aesthetic has made them one of the most popular brands in the market. Though they’re not our FAVORITE CBD-infused drink, they’re great if you’re looking for a LaCroix replacement, or just something to sip on every day that’s tasty and relaxing. 

Where to buy Recess

Retail

Recess is sold at select health food and supplement stores in New York, California, and a few other states. They also opened their first retail location at 680 Broadway St. in New York (it’s gorgeous, unsurprisingly). 

Online

You can buy The Sampler, a 6-pack with two cans of each flavor for $29.99, or an 8-pack of any flavor for $39.99.