Damiana - © 2021 Psychedelic Water

Psychoactive Soda: Is This Really A Good Idea?

The next generation of ‘soft drinks’ – Sodas – has arrived. And we are forced to consider the question of how appropriate they are for general, unregulated consumption. The makers of the breakthrough product call it, “A micro psychedelic mind booster for open minded people.”

Psychedelic Water - © 2021 Psychedelic Water

When I first spied the headline on one of my new-source websites, I had to read it twice to be sure I was seeing straight: “Ready To Get Trippy With Psychedelic Water?”

In a world where half-decent or better wines now come in cans, and the hard booze makers are constantly updating and expanding their offerings of carbonated, flavour enhanced ‘Coolers’ and ‘Spritzers’, and Cannabis-infused beverages are quickly growing in popularity in jurisdictions where they’re legal – do we really need another mind-bending drink?

The facts…

‘Psychedelic Water’ (PW) is a rather bland name for a product which (on its website) promises so much: “Don’t expect anything intense or the effects of traditional psychedelics. Psychedelic Water is not a hallucinogenic and won’t make you trip like LSD or psilocybin (also known as ‘Magic Mushrooms’),” the FAQ says. “The herbs we use offer a mild, calming sensation that simply make you feel good without any mental inhibition. […] The first few sips, most people will feel a tingling sensation on the tongue – that’s the kava saying ‘hello!’. Anywhere from 5-15 minutes later, you’ll slowly feel the subtle effects of our blend kicking-in. Stress will melt away and you’ll start to feel happy inside. […] We kept our blend mellow for novice and experts alike for all to enjoy.”

So… It’s allegedly legal, harmless and buzzy – while, at the same time, non-mentally-impairing and stress-busting. And, unlike alcohol, PW apparently doesn’t leave you with a hangover the next day. How does PW do that? It’s ‘lightly carbonated’ water with a blend of Kava Root, Damiana Leaf (see photo, top of page) and Green Tea. The Kava and Damiana do the buzzing, and the Tea allegedly ‘balances’ the experience out.

PW currently comes in two flavours: Blackberry + Yuzu and Hybiscus + Lime.

The caveats

It’s under the ‘SAFETY’ heading in the FAQs that the cons of PW use come out. Just a sample:

  • Is it safe to drive after drinking Psychedelic Water? “No.”
  • You should never drive after drinking Psychedelic Water (or during for that matter). “No.”
  • Is it safe while pregnant or breastfeeding? “No.”
  • Is there a limit to how many I should drink? “We do not recommend more than two cans in a day.”
  • Can I mix PW with alcohol? “NO!”
  • Are their any side effects? (More than we have room to list here. DO visit that FAQ page!)
  • Are there any interactions with medications? “Talk to your doctor!”

The (limited) upside

As we reported above, PW is claimed to not cause hangovers. It also contains no substances that will trigger positive drug test, the makers say. And, unlike more powerful psychoactive drugs, it allegedly won’t give you ‘bad trips’.

My take

Like other psychoactive beverages (the cannabis-infused ones out there), these fizzy bevs are bound to get into the hands of kids, and some of those kids will drink two or three cans before the psychoactive ingredients hit them. Since recreational cannabis became legal in Canada, doctors in all jurisdictions report that 911 calls and ER visits have spiked – by parents with kids who’ve got their hands on ‘enhanced’ drinks (and candies, and baked goods they couldn’t tell from harmless ones).

In spite of the maker’s admonition not to m,ix PW with alcohol, some folks will do it, just to see… And end up in the ER, or wrapped around a tree behind the wheel.

Of importance to all are the potential clashes with certain medicines, the danger to folks with liver problems, and the bounteous side effects. Some folks might conclude that using other mind-altering substances is potentially safer, in spite of their own drawbacks.

The price is a bit of a head-shaker: (US)$33 for a six-pack. That $5.50 per 12 oz. /355 ml can. Is a mild buzz and a stress-free float worth that to you? The makers of PW are banking on pushing the ‘convenience’ buttons of gen-Xers and later generations to carry sales.

Revelation: You can get Kava and Damiana at most dietary supplement and natural food stores. And Green Tea is available at all supermarkets. Why would you not just add these wonder-wafting substances to your fave Soda/Soft Drink and get a similar (and self-regulated) ‘high’? The cost advantages alone are pretty enticing…

The Bottom Line:

Do we really need this ‘product’ in our collective life? Aren’t there better, safer ways to deal with stress and obtain a calming effect? A nice, plain, old cup of Tea does it for me. And it doesn’t cost anywhere near $5.50 a serving.

As my Mom would  say, PW may be more trouble than it’s worth!

~ Maggie J.