The Coca-Cola Company is interested in developing a health drink that would be infused with cannabis. Sounds great, right? Not for Indians, though. The beverage giant is in talks with a cannabis company in Canada where consumption of both recreational and medicinal use of marijuana as well as its derivatives will be legal from next month.
The makers of Coke are interested to produce a health drink infused with cannabidiol (CBD), which is a naturally-occurring non-psychoactive compound derived from the cannabis plant. So if consumers drink the beverage, they won’t get the buzz.
Spokesman Kent Landers said in a statement that although the company hasn’t decided to enter the market yet, they are “closely watching” how the sector is evolving.
“Along with many others in the beverage industry, we are closely watching the growth of non-psychoactive CBD as an ingredient in functional wellness beverages around the world. The space is evolving quickly.”
CBD does not produce the high normally associated with marijuana. Drinks infused with either cannabinoids CBD or THC (which gets people high) have become popular in the United States where the drug is widely legalised for medicinal and recreational use.
Several research papers have listed the many medicinal uses of CBD, including providing relief to patients of PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder), people suffering from AIDS, asthma, glaucoma and depression. Last year, the World Health Organization (WHO) released a report which stated that CBD “demonstrated as an effective treatment of epilepsy…and may be a useful treatment for a number of other medical conditions”.
In India, using and selling marijuana has remained illegal since 1985. However, last year, India issued its first government license to grow and research medical marijuana and Uttarakhand became the first state to allow industrial growth of the cannabis plant. Jammu & Kashmir also became the first state to allow medicinal use of marijuana. Politicians including Minister of Women & Child Development Maneka Gandhi and MP Shashi Tharoor as well as public figures like Uday Chopra have come out in support of legalizing marijuana.