Reefer in a Bottle? The New Sedating Sodas

It's the antithesis of energy drinks, relaxants in a bottle.

I talked a lot last week about the dangers of energy drinks. From seizures to cardiac arrest, extreme caffeine highs are proving unsafe. But this latest trend turns former ideas about our fast-paced society on its head. According to a story on 

These new carbonated beverages are laced with marijuana and other ingredients that mimic marijuana. According to CNN Health, beverages such as Malava Novocaine, Drank, Unwind, Mary Jane's Relaxing Soda, and Slow Cow (sold in Canada) are marketed as helping people unwind.

stressed out, normally you'd have a drink," said Matt Moody, founder of Mary Jane's Relaxing Soda. "You can't walk around smelling like vodka all day. I wanted to try to make something you can have to mellow you out. It's not going to make you stumble, fall down and slur your speech. It's a quick fix to slow things down when things get hectic."

One researcher, Ronald Peters, associate professor at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, highlighted the similarities between some of these beverages and homemade concoctions made with Sprite and codeine cough syrup popular on Southern college campuses in the 90's. But these new beverage manufacturers deny any similarities.

Tim Barham, president of Frontier Beverage, which produces Unwind, said that Unwind contains melatonin, a supplement used to prevent insomnia. Other ingredients in many of these sedating sodas include kava, valerian root, rose hips, and passionflower. Kava in particular can present problems to those with liver problems. And the latest relaxation drink is a beverage that's laced with THC. It's scheduled to go on sale in medical marijuana shops in Colorado.

"This is medicine, and you should take it as you would with any prescription drug," Clay Butler, co-founder of Canna Cola said.


Sara Novak is a writer specializing in food, travel, and nature for Planet Green and TreeHugger.
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