Weed beverages today are less weedy. “You almost forget that you’ve taken any THC at all,” says Kat Turner, chef and partner at Highly Likely Café in Los Angeles (and a friend of mine), referring to a microdosed flavored seltzer of sorts called Cann. It doesn’t contain alcohol. Out of the more than one hundred cannabinoids in the cannabis plant, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, is its principal intoxicant. That’s generally what people are referring to when they say “weed.” That’s what gets you high.
Turner’s first encounter with a cannabis beverage happened fifteen years ago, and its flavor was either grape or cherry—she can’t quite remember which. It came in a glass bottle with a “college-stoner, Scooby-Doo-like” label that had “Soda Pot” printed on it—at least she thinks that was the brand name. What Turner is sure of is that she and her friends ended up lying under blankets in her backyard and listening to The Dark Side of the Moon, “incapable of doing anything other than talking about how stoned we were.”
This new soda product may have you scratching your head and asking, “What were they smoking?” The better question may be – what were they drinking? Clay Butler from Santa Cruz County has created a line of soda with THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. Yes, weed soda.
According to the Santa Cruz Sentinel, the products are aimed at medical marijuana dispensaries and there are several flavors: the flagship cola drink is called Canna Cola, a Dr Pepper-like soda is named Doc Weed, the lemon-lime flavor is called Sour Diesel, the grape-flavored soda is dubbed Grape Ape and there is an orange-flavored called Orange Kush.
Butler, the creator, told the Sentinel that, “I don’t do drugs. Never have. I never drank, never smoked. I’m a clean-living guy. I’ve had two beers in my whole life, and I remember them both too. No marijuana, I’ve never smoked a cigarette. I take an aspirin when I get a headache. That’s it.”
Aspartame is Aspar-lame
Today, aspartame is found in thousands of foods and beverages. If it says, “diet” or “low-calorie” you can almost be it contains aspartame (or some other equally questionable artificial sweetener). Now, if you haven’t already heard about the dangers of consuming aspartame, let’s give you a little introduction to the symptoms associated with aspartame consumption:
Headaches, migraines, dizziness, seizures, nausea, numbness, muscle spasms, weight gain, rash, depression, fatigue, irritability, irregular heartbeat and palpitations, insomnia, anxiety attacks, slurred speech, vertigo, memory loss, and joint pain.
Aspartame has also been named as a potential trigger for many conditions including Alzheimer’s, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease and even fibromyalgia.
This artificial sweetener is bad news. If you’d like to read more about the dangers of aspartame and how it can affect you, I encourage you to read this article at Mercola.)
Pass on the HFCS
This corn-based sweetener is cheaper than pure cane sugars due to government tariffs which double the price of imported sugar. HFCS started being adopted by food producers in the early 1970’s, and by 1984 all soda manufacturers had transitioned to this sweetener to improve profits. By 1999 the average American citizen was consuming 37.5 POUNDS of high fructose corn syrup per year!
Still today, many foods found at the supermarket contain high fructose corn syrup as a significant ingredient. Soda, candy, yogurt, dressings and condiments, frozen foods, breads, canned fruits, and juices only name a few.
So, what’s the big deal with a corn-based sweetener? HFCS introduces ridiculous amounts of fructose into the body, which is not equipped to handle. Excess fructose in the body can lead to many adverse effects:
- Excess high fructose corn syrup is easily converted to fat.
- Because HFCS is easily converted to fat, it increases the risk of weight gain and obesity.
- Excessive fructose also leads to insulin resistance and the development of Type 2 Diabetes.
- Sugars and fructose increase inflammation associated with chronic disease like obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
- Several studies have shown a link between high-fructose corn syrup and increased tumor growth in cancer patients.
- Fructose has also been shown to increase oxidative stress and actually speed up the aging process. (Eeeek!)
With these two ingredients being so prevalent in sodas and beverages in today’s market, it only makes sense to look for a healthy alternative. While these ingredients can wreak havoc on the body, imagine making your own delicious soda beverage at home… with the added benefit of cannabinoids.
In this week’s recipe from Dazed and Infused, Corinne shows us how to make a yummy alternative to the sugar laden sweet beverages from the store. By adding your own tinctures, you can add health, healing, and vitality to beverages.
Cannasodas are hugely popular in dispensaries, but they’re
- expensive and,
- filled with tons of sugar, flavorings, emulsifiers and preservatives.
Turns out, those things aren’t great if you’re trying to heal something. These healthy cannasodas are light, refreshing and sweetened with a hint of coconut sugar (or cane sugar if that’s what you have on hand). And since you’ll use real fruit to create them, they’ll contain important polyphenols that have anti-mutagenic and anti-cancer properties, which is great if you’re trying to heal something.
They’re also wallet friendly and come together quickly for refreshment on hot summer days. You can swap out any of the berries and herbs to try different flavor combinations. You can also make single servings to preserve fizziness if you’ll be enjoying these solo. Just a tip: Waste not! I couldn’t bear to throw the pulp away, so I saved it and snuck it into my morning green smoothie. Alternatively, you could hover over your strainer and eat it with a fork like an animal. No judgement here.
Strawberry Basil Cannasoda
- In a blender, make a puree out of:
- 2 Cups Organic Strawberries (about 10 large strawberries)
- In a medium size mixing bowl, lightly muddle:
- Strawberry Puree
- 2 Cups Chopped Basil
- 1/4 Cup Coconut Sugar
- 1 Cup Sparkling Water
- Cover and let steep for 5-10 minutes. Strain into a large mixing bowl. Add:
- 2-3 Cups Sparkling water (to taste)
- 3-4 Doses of Tincture
- Pour into glasses. Serve with ice. Spritz with lemon for a brighter flavor.