Assorted sodas in glass bottles on countertop

Soda is one of those things that’s such an integral part of our lives that we either don’t think about its origin, or we tend to assume that it’s been around forever. But while most types of soda have been around longer than anyone currently alive (excluding CBD soda which we’ll get to later), it’s still a relatively recent invention that can trace its origins to the late 18th century. It was not, however, the first carbonated beverage. That distinction by all accounts goes to beer.

Beer: The Precursor to Soda

Beer has been around for thousands of years and was well known to the Romans, (although they preferred wine and considered beer a “barbarian” beverage). The carbonation in beer was/is a natural result of the fermentation process. Carbonation in ancient beer was muted by contemporary standards and was not considered an important characteristic of the drink to the ancients. Instead, it was more of a nuisance early beer drinkers learned to live with.

Into the Modern Age

The invention of carbonated soft drinks can be considered an offshoot of the fascination 18th-century people had with mineral water. Water from mineral springs had been thought for centuries to have curative powers but it was not something that was widely consumed. Inventors of the time, instead of finding ways to bottle natural sparkling water, instead looked for ways to reproduce the sparkling effect in regular drinking water.

They finally figured it out in the 1760s when an English Scientist named Joseph Priestly dripped sulfuric acid onto chalk suspended above a vat of water. This, he discovered, infused the water with carbon dioxide. 5 years later he published a paper describing his process and the ground was laid for the modern soda industry.

Others picked up on Priestly’s inventive technique and put it to use. In 1789 Jacob Schweppe began selling his own brand of seltzer water in Geneva. By 1810 the first patent was issued in the US for imitation mineral water. By 1819 the soda fountain was patented. And 16 years after that bottled soda water first appeared on store shelves.

Becoming Soda

While bottled soda water was picking up steam as a product there was still something missing: flavor. Exactly who first started adding flavorings to soda water is unknown. What is known is that in the early 19th century, some enterprising individual had the idea of combining wine and soda water, effectively creating the first spritzer and the first flavored soda at the same time.

This drink was a hit among those who could afford the ingredients (which wasn’t everybody). But it wasn’t long after the first spritzers were making an impression on the hi-so circuit that the first flavored syrups appeared. You would think this would have the effect of immediately creating the soda pop industry, but remember, this was the mid-19th century. News traveled slowly and the production and distribution of new products was even slower.

That said, by the end of the Civil War advertisements were appearing in big-city newspapers for flavored, non-alcoholic seltzers, and 20 years after that the cola nut and cocaine (yes cocaine) were first combined to create the now-iconic taste of Coke. (In the early 20th century the cocaine was replaced by caffeine, but the name “Coke” endured.)

By the end of the 19th-century, soft drink brands were springing up like wildfire including Dr Pepper, Pepsi, Vernor's Ginger Ale, Hires Root Beer and more, (in addition to Coke of course). Most of these now-staple brands were created by pharmacists at their in-store soda fountains. But while the Soda Jerks who first served them went the way of the dinosaurs long ago the brands took on a life of their own.


In the first half of the 20th century, the soda industry ran into some significant headwinds in the form of the First World War, the Great Depression and the Second World War. Following WWII however, an era of prosperity occurred which led to widespread innovation and diversification. In 1957 aluminum cans were introduced. In 1962 pull tabs were added to those cans for the first time. In 1970, plastic bottles began to replace glass bottles. And in 1974 the ‘stay-on’ tab was introduced.

Into the 21st Century

As the 20th century gave way to the 21st, concerns surrounding the consumption of sugary drinks came to the fore and producers looked for ways to make their beverages more appealing to health-conscious individuals. As a result, every major soda manufacturer today offers caffeine-free and/or sugar-free varieties of their drinks. Others, however, have taken the idea of healthy carbonated beverages even further, and that is where brands like CBD Sparkling Soda come in.

Sparkling CBD soda is America’s favorite brand of healthy, refreshing carbonated beverages. Infused with broad spectrum hemp extract CBD soda provides an array of health benefits regular soft drinks can’t touch. All Sparkling CBD flavors - black cherry, cola, ginger ale, root beer and lemonade - use safe, organic sweeteners instead of sugar and get their outstanding taste from all-natural flavors. In addition, they are free of gluten, sodium, artificial preservatives and GMOs.

With Sparkling CBD soda the beverage industry has finally matured to the point that soft drinks are able to live up to some of the health claims made of mineral water centuries ago. CBD sparkling soda sets the bar for others to clear and sets a course for the industry toward a healthier future for everyone.

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