A company in southern California has combined cannabinoids in marijuna to create a new product dubbed “Grape Syzurp with Cannabinoids” and referred to as the healthy alternative to “Purple Drank.”
The California-based company, Actabliss, developed the controversial product earlier this year and announced it to the public on April 20th — also known as “420,” which is code for pot.
The company’s founder, who refers to himself as Actaboss, said that he wanted to create an alternative to Purple Drank, also known as lean. Purple Drank is a concoction that originated in Houston and became popular in the hip hop community in the South, made from a mixture of prescription-strength cough syrup (containing codeine and promethazine), soft drinks like Sprite or Mountain Dew, and sometimes a Jolly Rancher thrown in for extra sweetness. Since the amount of cough syrup in the concoction typically exceeds what is medically recommended, Purple Drank is used as a recreational drug.
“After Actavis [the maker of the prescription promethazine codeine syrup popular with rappers] said they were pulling their stuff from the market, I came up with the concept of taking their label and using it,” Actaboss said. “I touted it as a healthy alternative to lean. A lot of people who say they want to stop drinking lean are purchasing it. A whole group of people realize it's good medicine and it works for them.”
Purple Drank is especially controversial since plenty of rappers have abused it and almost died from it — Lil Wayne, for example, landed in the hospital due to an overdose of the drink. The drug produces somewhat of a sleepy and sedated effect on the user, and can potentially be addictive. It can cause a slowed heartbeat, shallow breathing, hallucinations, and blurred vision. “We’ve seen patients who take enough of the medication to have side effects similar to LSD trips with extreme mood swings, hallucinations, paranoia and very risky behavior,” Dr. Deni Carise, a clinical psychologist specializing in addiction and the deputy chief clinical officer at CRC Health Group, told the NY Daily News. “In extreme cases this has led to psychotic-like experiences that endanger the user and those around him or her.”
Actabliss isn’t the same as Sizzurp, or Purple Drank since it doesn’t contain any codeine — but lean users enjoy it because “it lasts 10 hours and gets them heavily medicated with that syrup feeling,” Actaboss said. “It’s sedated and relaxing. It’s not just some lean knock off. The medicinal side outweighs how close can we get this to real lean side … We’re using big pharma to promote a healthy alternative to big pharma.”