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Green Monkey is the first carbonated drink to contain CBD, a product which last year received prescription drug status for some ailments

The original article from the Birmingham Mail can be found here:

A Birmingham company has put the can in cannabis by producing the first fizzy drink containing extracts from the plant.

Green Monkey is the first carbonated drink to contain CBD, a product which last year received prescription drug status for some ailments.

It has been shown to have benefits for those battling cancer and epilepsy.

But Green Monkey won’t get you high. That party sensation is caused by another cannabis element, THC.

The company, based at Edgbaston Cricket Ground, was launched last year, creating 10 jobs.

The drink was launched in November and business boss Serge Davies says reaction to the product has far surpassed expectations.

It is available in newsagents and Serge is hopeful that Green Monkey will soon be available at major supermarket chains.

The new CBD drink Green Monkey created by a Birmingham firm
The new CBD drink Green Monkey created by a Birmingham firm (Image: Birmingham Mail) 

“The idea came to me when I was at a fuel station,” he says. “I was getting some Red Bull and realised everything on the shelves was caffeine-based.

“Everything was to lift you up, there was nothing to do the opposite.”

To a degree, CBD was launched during the perfect media storm. Speculation over its medicinal qualities featured in all the national newspapers following two high-profile cases.

“In our capacity, we can’t make medical claims,” 28-year-old Serge stresses. “We just say people come back and buy more.

“The response has been fantastic. There is a huge buzz about CBD in the media and that was emphasised by it becoming a prescription drug. It is a massive emerging market.”

Green Monkey costs £2.29 and is said to be “tropical” in flavour.

The new CBD drink Green Monkey created by a Birmingham firm
The new CBD drink Green Monkey created by a Birmingham firm (Image: Birmingham Mail)

Green Monkey, a company with a pharmaceutical backgroundd, is currently enhancing its portfolio with new products.

“We’re looking at launching a vegan version,” adds Serge. “It will contain the minerals and vitamins vegans need.”

Last week, it was revealed that the region’s first cannabis clinic is to open… in leafy Solihull.

Patients at Solihull Health Check Clinic will pay £250 for a consultation with a doctor and up to £800 a month for a prescription.

But the high cost is not putting people off – with 45 already on the waiting list for when it opens in June.

The cannabis will offer patients suffering from conditions including multiple sclerosis and Huntington’s disease an alternative method of pain management.

The clinic, owned by European Cannabis Holdings, plans to treat patients from across the country, putting the region on the map for the cutting edge use of medicinal cannabis.

Professor Mike Barnes, clinical director of all ECH’s clinics, says that the clinic could help increase the acceptability of medical cannabis, meaning more patients suffering from chronic conditions could access treatment in the future.

The consultant neurologist was responsible for obtaining the first medical licence for Warwickshire boy Alfie Dingley, who can now lead a more normal life following treatment with cannabis oil. Alfie once suffered 500 seizures every month and was admitted to hospital 48 times a year as a result of his severe epilepsy.

Professor Barnes says: “The clinic launch is hopefully part of a general wave towards improving access to medicinal cannabis. It will demonstrate that you can prescribe to patients suffering from these conditions.”

Dr Elie Okirie, who will head the clinic, says it could be a “lifeline” for patients suffering from serious conditions.

“Treatment with cannabis can transform lives like in the case of Alfie,” she says. “We want to extend the treatment available for people with debilitating conditions. It can be life-changing.

“Patients will be able to get a referral from private or NHS GPs.” Medicinal cannabis was legalised in November 2018, but so far virtually no-one in the UK has been able to access it.

The treatments can be prescribed only by specialist doctors in a limited number of circumstances where other medicines have failed.

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