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Marijuana Companies Turn To Cannabis Drinks As Demand Skyrockets

Nowadays, consumers can smoke, vape and eat marijuana and with more and more states legalizing recreational marijuana, companies are looking at the option of providing weed as drinks.

Weed-infused beverages are emerging everywhere with big drink companies already cashing in on the market. Unlike CBD-infused drinks, which are more readily available across the U.S, cannabis or weed drinks have marijuana's psychoactive component, tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, which has a negative impact on the body and is therefore banned across the United States.

While beverages are only around 1 percent of the overall legalized cannabis sales in the United States, there is lot of scope for the market to grow, said Travis Tharp, the CEO of Keef Brands, which is into a variety of cannabis products.

He added, "There have been multiple false starts for anointing beverages the next big thing. But I think we've gotten to a point where we are showing that the year over year growth is something that is substantial."

Colorado-based Keef has expanded to eight states where recreational or medical weed has been legalized, as well as Canada and Puerto Rico. Among the company's products is a 100-milligram mocktail, which is equivalent to a hard bottle of alcohol.

While the enthusiasm around cannabis drinks is building up, medical experts are of the opinion that such high dosage of THC in drinks can lead to severe health complications. In spite of cannabis beverage brands being popularised for their wellness benefits or for being hangover free, not much study has been done into how beneficial/harmful they are for people's health.

Charles Michael White, department head of the University of Connecticut's School of Pharmacy, said, "THC can increase the risk of paranoia, anxiety, and even psychosis and hallucinations. The higher the dose, the greater the risk and severity of these adverse effects."

Medical observers are of the opinion that while there is not much known about consuming cannabis in liquid form, its effect can be described as something between inhaling cannabis, which gives an instant high that leaves the body quickly, and consuming it, which is retained in the body for a long time.

Marijuana advocates are of the view that the market for THC beverages have been affected by less research done into responsible consumption, as well as certain standardized policies and best practices.

They said, "There's not a lot of research that can be performed on it because cannabis is a schedule one drug in the U.S and this is one of the main roadblocks keeping the industry from joining the mainstream more quickly.

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