Now that medical marijuana has been accepted by 14 states as a legitimate substance to deal with nausea, chronic pain, vision disorders and other health issues, a number of new products have appeared. The newest one is marijuana soda. Soda? It makes sense; the idea of ingesting marijuana (rather than smoking it) is nothing new. 


The truth is that THC, the active ingredient in pot that makes it such a good pain reliever and anti-nauseant, can delivered equally well via smoke or food (or beverage!). And while smoking any substance carries risks (though the risk from smoking pot seem to be lower than from smoking tobacco), patients consuming marijuana are saving their lungs from possible harm. This is especially relevant for users with respiratory issues or asthma, as well as those who prefer to protect their lungs. (Regular smoking of any kind increases the chances of getting or keeping a cough.)


Eating or drinking marijuana also means the mental "high" from the THC is lessened and the positive physical effects from the plant are lengthened (and mellowed) over time. That's because when introduced to the lungs, the THC is delivered almost directly into the blood stream via the capillaries found in the lung's alveoli. When eaten, however, THC has to wait until it reaches the stomach and small intestine before it hits the blood stream and is meted out over a longer time period.


Several companies are currently offering fizzy pot drinks to those who hold a medical marijuana prescription: Dixie Elixirs, based in Colorado, is organic and available in seven flavors, including lemonade, sweet tea, pink lemonade, strawberry, orange, grape and root beer. Dixie Elixers is the latest entrant to the market, but not the only one. There are several other companies that have made sodas in the past, including Medicinal Beverage's Strawberry Soda, Chronic sodas, Lion Fuel and Keef Cola. Of course if you want to save money and you have a prescription, you can make your own homemade soda.


Some users prefer sodas because they don't generate smoke and are more discreet to consume. Mick Reynolds of Los Angles told WeHo News that he prefers sodas because, "It dulls the pain first thing in the morning; doesn't take it away completely, but it sure beats the alternatives like narcotics,” he said. “Those drugs all have side effects worse than marijuana. Because of [Marijuana pop] I can take care of myself. I am able to stand for a few minutes at a time, which means I can actually cook a fast meal other than frozen microwave food.”


Another company, Mary Jane's, offers a weed-free soda that has a cannabis-like effect of relaxation, and with ingredients such as kava kava and chamomile, it can be enjoyed by anyone.