Coca-Cola considering CBD-infused drinks

They would act as a mild painkiller and help reduce muscle inflammation and cramping

Given the growing market for CBD products, the shrinking market for soft drinks, and the general move toward healthier products, a CBD-infused beverage would make a lot of sense for Coca-Cola.

Coke's interest was first reported by Bloomberg, which said the company was in talks with Aurora Cannabis, a Canadian cannabis company.

Coke's possible foray into the marijuana sector comes as beverage makers are trying to add cannabis as a trendy ingredient while their traditional businesses slow.

Coke and Aurora, in separate statements, each said they were interested in cannabidiol-infused beverages but would not comment on any specifics or talks.

Coca-Cola Co. stock was up about 0.25 percent on the reports on Monday, trading at around US$46 a share.

Marijuana-infused drinks essentially come in two varieties: those made with CBD and those made with THC, tetrahydrocannabinol, the psychoactive component of cannabis.

CBD is a non-psychoactive ingredient found in marijuana that's useful to treat pain, inflammation and nausea.

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Meanwhile, the soft drink titan Coca-Cola says it has been eyeing cannabis-infused drinks (CBD). Marijuana is widely cultivated across the country for both domestic use and export.

As beverage makers step into the cannabis market, Coca-Cola is thinking about joining the ranks.

"The company has been caught flat-footed in the past in not keeping up with trends in beverages". Many Americans aren't intimately familiar with the cannabis plant and might not understand that CBD has no psychoactive properties. Among other things, its sells coconut water, prized by many as a recovery drink after a workout.

But a partnership between Coke and Aurora "would mark the first entry of a major manufacturer of non-alcoholic drinks into the market", the BBC reports. Cannabis companies from the U.S. - where marijuana remains illegal at the federal level - have flocked to Canada to raise funds and establish businesses there.

It's unclear if the product would be sold in the US or just in Canada, where Aurora Cannabis is based.

CBD can be extracted from hemp and marijuana plants, then turned into an oil to add into everything from hand lotions to dog foods to drinks - making it an ideal and versatile ingredient for new products to appeal to consumers. It does not cause intoxication.

Coca Cola's statement shows the company has learned from its past missteps picking up on new drink trends, said Ali Dibadj, a senior analyst at AllianceBernstein with an expertise in USA beverage and snack food companies.

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