Root beer is often an acquired taste; you either love it or hate it. Those who love it drink it with ice, add a few dollops of ice cream to make a root beer float, or even make their own (seriously, the Amish in Pennsylvania are famous for theirs). Those who hate it avoid it like the plague, citing the weird flavor and heavy molasses aroma as being too much to handle. While I don’t outright hate it, my feelings toward root beer are mostly nostalgic. Growing up, I had it excitedly pushed upon me as a real treat that 1) tasted unlike any other beverage I’d previously tried, and 2) would send my taste buds into a delighted frenzy. For me, root beer is a carbonated beverage that holds fond memories of my childhood, and that, not the flavor, is why I lean more toward loving it rather than hating it. When I received the THC-infused version, I was curious to see how my adult self would react to the tender flavor I remembered from decades ago. Join me as I delve into the Root Beer Cannabis Soda by Blaze in all its glory!
Setting The Record Straight About Cannabis
When you hear the word “cannabis,” your mind probably goes straight to the villainized seven-tipped leaf that brings a psychoactive high once consumed. Yet cannabis is actually the mother plant of both hemp and marijuana, known as cannabis genus. The differentiation of hemp versus marijuana lies in the total THC content. If the plant contains 0.3% THC or less, it is referred to as hemp, whereas marijuana has a considerably higher THC content. The 2018 Farm Bill ruled that as long as a cannabis-infused product contains 0.3% THC or less, it is deemed federally legal. While many states accepted this ruling and incorporated it into their own legislation, other states created their own laws regarding the consumption of any hemp-derived cannabinoid. You’ll need to check your local laws before attempting to purchase or consume any cannabinoid-infused product.
The word “cannabinoid” refers to any of the 100+ known compounds found naturally in the hemp plant. There are even some cannabinoids that are synthetically created from existing cannabinoids. Some of the most popular cannabinoids are CBD, Delta-8 THC, and Delta-9 THC. When derived from hemp, these cannabinoids are legal on a federal level. The opposite is true when the cannabinoids are derived from marijuana, despite being the same exact cannabinoids. This might seem ridiculous, but this is how the law defines it. If you live in a state that has already legalized the sale of recreational marijuana, you may have already seen a variety of marijuana products in dispensaries and smoke shops, ranging from gummies and baked goods to packets of ground-up flower ready for use in a bowl or bong. But there’s one category of marijuana products that is quickly becoming a force to be reckoned with: drinkable THC.
Drinkable THC: The New Kid On The Block
The market for drinkable THC is incredible and offers a variety of popular beverages that promise to delight your taste buds. Similar to alcoholic beverages, these THC-infused beverages are restricted to adults 21+ and usually to the state in which they’re manufactured. For example, the Ever Green Herbal company (the parent company of Blaze) is located in Washington State. You’ll have to purchase your THC-infused beverage in a brick-and-mortar establishment as opposed to simply ordering online, but many companies (including Ever Green Herbal) offer a Store Locator option on their website to help you find a store near you.
Drinkable THC products include lemonade, sodas, tonics, and other flavored beverages. Some brands will include other cannabinoids like CBD to further enhance the cannabinoid content. Depending on the THC content, you may not even taste the cannabis flavor and will be tempted to down the entire bottle. Some manufacturers will list the recommended dosage right on the product packaging while others will show a chart of the recommended “serving size.” It’s important to read the bottle’s label before cracking open the bottle, as consuming too much THC can have extremely unsettling side effects (i.e., extreme drowsiness, heightened paranoia/anxiety, difficulty sleeping, etc.) that may result in a roller coaster high. Try starting off with a low amount, such as 10 mg, and work your way up from there. Once you have a better grasp on how your body reacts to this amount, you can increase your dosage until you find your sweet spot. Blaze’s Cannabis-Infused Root Beer Soda contains 10mg of THC, so I’ll be drinking the entire bottle and reviewing its effects. Before I relay my experiences with this drinkable THC, I’d like to briefly recap the Ever Green Herbal brand and highlight some of the other flavors they offer in case you find yourself in a retailer that sells them.
The Blaze (Ever Green Herbal) Brand
I recently reviewed one of Blaze’s Orange CreamPie Soda in a previous review and was delighted with both the sweet creamsicle flavor and the deeply relaxing effects. Yet the site also offers a sprawling selection of cannabis-infused products ranging from chocolates, mints, beverages, energy shots, and more. The site features a “Where To Buy” tab that allows you to enter your zip code and tailor the results to stores near you. Since the site doesn’t offer an online ordering option, this feature is especially handy for those not willing to spend hours hunting down a store that sells these tasty treats.
The Blaze brand falls under the Ever Green Herbal brand which is found in the Beverages tab on the brand website. Blaze offers a mouthwatering selection of eight flavors, featuring cheeky names like Dr. Robert’s Wild Cherry and Wild Mountain Honey. If you’re looking to enhance your favorite flavors with a touch of cannabis and are located in the Evergreen State, the Blaze brand has got you covered!
While you won’t be able to purchase any of these flavors online, you can view pertinent information like potency levels, nutrition information, size options, and a full ingredients list. Blaze also offers a recommended serving size right in the product description, a helpful option for newbies or inexperienced THC consumers. I prefer my beverages chilled rather than diluting the flavor with ice, but feel free to enjoy these sodas however you like. Now that I’ve covered the basics of both the Ever Green Herbal and Blaze brands, it’s time to check out this long-awaited review of their cannabis-enhanced root beer soda!
Root Beer Cannabis Soda Product Review
The origins of root beer stem from the sassafras root, used for its rich flavoring. Unfortunately, sassafras has been banned by both the FDA and the European Commission of Health due to the chemical safrole being classified as carcinogenic. Safrole is still found in cinnamon, black pepper, and nutmeg, but the amounts are most likely low enough to not cause concern. Manufacturers have found other ways to imitate the sassafras flavor by using safrole-free sassafras and similar-tasting root beer extracts.
I spent a few minutes looking up various ingredients in Blaze’s Root Beer soda to see which extract was used in the flavoring. While I was able to successfully identify Quillaja Saponaria as the foaming agent, the actual root beer flavoring is a bit vague, listing only “natural flavoring” and caramel color in their ingredients list. Rather than deterring me, this ambiguity left me more curious to see how this flavor tasted and smelled compared to my childhood memories. I twisted off the white cap and held the bottle to my nose. My nostrils were warmly welcomed by a rich and frothy scent that sent me spiraling into a giddy nostalgia. I wasted no time pouring the beverage into my waiting glass and was delighted to see a rich foamy head form as I poured. The contents of the bottle filled up only half of my glass and I admired the rich brown color once the foam had settled. Since the recommended serving size is an entire bottle, I savored the rich scent for a few more seconds before taking my first sip.
My eyes closed in pleasure as the unmistakable taste of root beer washed over my taste buds. The smooth carbonation was delightful on my tongue and I found myself wishing for a few hearty scoops of vanilla ice cream to create a root beer float. There was no discernable taste of hemp nor was there any unpleasant bitterness from the cannabis. Had I not known beforehand that this was a cannabis-infused beverage, I would have sworn that this was a regular root beer soda. Due to the strong root beer flavor, it took me several minutes to polish off my half-glass. Yet the flavor was rich and refreshing and I heartily enjoyed every sip. I did notice a slight coating on my teeth and tongue, but this could have been from either the cannabis or the sugar. I made a mental note of the time and made myself comfortable while waiting for the effects to kick in.
After about half an hour, I started to feel my eyelids growing heavy and a light dizziness whenever I turned my head too quickly. These are the tells that the high is starting and I knew that it wouldn’t be long until the full effects of the high kicked. Once the 45-minute mark passed, the high began to intensify and I reveled in the deeply relaxing effects. I felt warm and slightly drowsy, and it became difficult to keep my eyelids fully open.I basked in the warm and weighted sensation that settled upon me, similar to what a weight blanket feels like. A gentle tingling sensation ran throughout my body but was most noticeable in my face, hands, stomach, and feet. Watching TV proved to be fascinating and overly enjoyable as my sense of humor skyrocketed and I launched into fits of giggles quite frequently. My mouth started to feel a bit dry and a pronounced sense of couch-lock kicked in, leaving me feeling lethargic as time seemed to slow down. I suddenly found myself craving something sweet and was able to break free of the couch lock long enough to find something to satisfy my munchies. After snacking on a variety of sweets in my kitchen and fridge, my lethargy and drowsiness finally coaxed me to retire to bed. Before passing out completely, I passed by a mirror and got a bit of a shock that my sclera (whites of my eyes) were noticeably reddened. “Weed eyes” are a common side effect of marijuana that I had forgotten about, so don’t be alarmed if this happens to you as well. After inspecting my eyes a bit further, I finally made my way to bed and fell asleep almost instantly. I had been high for about 2 hours at this point and I’m sure the high would have lasted much longer had I been able to withstand the drowsiness. Yet I awoke feeling refreshed and well-rested without any “hangover high” hindering my morning.
The product packaging for the Blaze Root Beer was nearly identical to the Orange CreamPie Soda I’d reviewed a few weeks ago. The glass bottle was wrapped completely in a plastic wrapper that differed only in its brown color and flavor name. I was once again reminded of the somewhat misleading bottle shape that inverted inwards on the bottom to make it seem like the bottle was a standard 8-12oz size. Since I had experience with the bottle design already, I was not surprised that the contents of the bottle only filled my glass halfway.
I was also reminded of the playful carnival-like design with the spiral font and bright orange and brown colors. The front of the label stated the flavor name (Root Beer), total THC content (10mg), and age restrictions (21+). The right side of the label listed a detailed nutritional panel and full ingredients list, complete with a batch number, QR code, and manufacture date listed directly above. I tried scanning the QR code but all that popped up was the batch number, which my smartphone mistakenly identified as a phone number. I would have preferred the QR code to redirect me to the company website, but perhaps the QR code is for internal use or wasn’t fully functional just yet.
Lastly, the left side of the label had a clear strip from top to bottom that showed how many milligrams of THC were left inside the bottle. I’ve seen this before as a way to gauge serving sizes without pourting the bottle’s contents blindly into a glass, but since the serving size was a full bottle, this seemed a bit redundant. This side of the bottle also listed the legal disclaimers, required warnings, and consumption suggestions. I appreciated the amount of information listed on the label and I’m sure new and experienced users alike will as well.
Despite my misgivings about consuming a root beer soda (again, I enjoy it for the nostalgia, not so much the taste), I was delighted by Blaze’s rendition of a cannabis-infused soda. The flavor and foamy head were exactly as I remembered a root beer soda should be. The effects were quick to begin and lasted for several hours, leaving me feeling incredibly warm and relaxed. I wasn’t that surprised to not taste any cannabis flavor due to how strong a root beer flavor usually is. Aside from the bottle shape being a bit misleading and the fact that these sodas are limited to sale within Washington State, I had no complaints about this deliciously refreshing THC drinkable. If you have a craving for a root beer float with a kick of THC, I strongly encourage you to check out the Root Beer Cannabis Soda by Blaze!
My next product review continues this trend of cannabis-infused beverages, but this time with a slight twist: I’ll be reviewing a virgin tonic (read: no THC) in the form of the Sparkling Pomegranate by Legal from the Mirth Provisions company. I’m a huge fan of pomegranate, either in fresh fruit or flavored products, and I’m curious to see how this translates in a sparkling beverage. I look forward to sharing my experiences with this and other fascinating cannabinoid-infused products from brands across the country. Be sure to check back soon and as always, feel free to leave a comment below to share your experiences with the rest of us. I’ll see you on the flip side!