Coca-Cola to develop marijuana-infused beverages?

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Coca-Cola says it’s considering developing a range of marijuana-infused drinks, but strictly to relieve certain medical symptoms.

The world’s largest drinks company says it’s holding talks with major Canadian marijuana producer Aurora Cannabis.

But Coca-Cola has stressed it’s looking at the properties of cannabis that treat pain, not those that get people high.

Specifically, it’s interested in cannabidiol, commonly known as CBD, the non-psychoactive chemical found in marijuana plants.

“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,” a company spokesperson said. “The space is evolving quickly. No decisions have been made at this time.”

For its part, Aurora has confirmed it’s interested in entering the infused-beverage industry. But the company does “not discuss business development initiatives until they are finalised”, spokesperson Heather MacGregor told the business network BNN Bloomberg.

Inflammation, cramping, pain

According to reports, Coca-Cola’s desire to explore CBD for a “functional wellness beverage” could result in a drink that eases inflammation, cramping and other pains.

Cannabis advocates argue that legal low-concentrate CBD oil can also promote sleep, boost appetite, and reduce stress, depression and anxiety.

Some alternative medicines and supplements already contain CBD. The US Food and Drug Administration approved its use to treat epilepsy earlier this year.

In the UK, scientists at King’s College, London, recently found that CBD may help people with psychotic disorders. It does this, the researchers believe, by dampening abnormal brain activity.

The use of marijuana in drinks is not unheard of. In the alcohol industry, the companies behind Coors and Blue Moon have both launched marijuana-related drinks.

Molson Coors, which makes Coors beer, worked with a Canadian cannabis company to make its marijuana-infused products.

Canada will legalise the use of recreational cannabis on October 17.