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SN&R samples a variety of cannabis-infused sodas by Keef Brands. But does the taste match the high?

Photo courtesy of Keef Brands

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Cannabis-infused beverages are not always the most satisfying way to consume the versatile plant. Too often, weed drinks are pungent in taste and putrid in scent, emitting an off-putting aroma that only marginally provides an impactful high.

Dubbed “The Original Cannabis Soda,” Colorado-based Keef Brands attempts to disprove this dubious reputation with its variety of fizzy sodas, sparkling waters and low-calorie fruity mixers.

For nearly a decade, Keef Brands has created cannabis-infused beverages, edibles, concentrates and more, touting a 2015 High Times Cannabis Cup award for Best Edible. Keef Cola’s award-winning portfolio of cannabis-infused sodas have finally made their way to sunny California so, naturally, I had to try them.

Keef Cola manages to live up to its hype and grandiosity, delivering excellent taste and satisfying effects with ease. There are five flavors to choose from: Blue Razz, Bubba Kush Root Beer, Keef Cola Original, Orange Kush and Purple Passion. I tasted three of the five: Bubba Kush Root Beer, Keef Cola Original and Orange Kush. Each variety tastes exactly as it sounds.

Bubba Kush Root Beer—Keef Cola’s award-winning soda—is smooth and creamy, with sweet vanilla notes and decadent molasses notes that make it bold and rich, but not overbearing.

Keef Cola Original is the OG of the group, presenting an in-your-face cola mouthfeel without the persistent tingling, giving a slightly sweet, subtly carbonated experience comparable to Pepsi.

And if Kel from the ’90s Nickelodeon sitcom Keenan & Kel loves orange soda, he’d also love Orange Kush. It’s a tart, tangy drink with citrus notes that mirror Sunkist minus its overtly sour tendencies.

Each is infused with 10 milligrams of THC extracts. To my delight, there wasn’t a strong weed aroma or overpowering punch when each soda hit my palate.

Not only does each pop taste great, its effects are also immediate and all-encompassing. Though not explicitly stated, each Keef Cola flavor is filled with hybrid strains of THC extracts. They hit in the head first. The high is thick and dense like an indica, but not heavy enough to impose a “stuck” feeling. It then travels through the body, massaging and relaxing the muscles while keeping the psychological effects intact.

Because of the evenness between its sweetness and the THC, plus the addition of a couple of milligrams of CBD, Keef Cola never feels like “too much,” a fate often associated with unbalanced cannabis drinks. The sodas also include vitamins such as C, B3, B6 and B12. A bit of nutritional value never hurt. The overall result is a refreshing, thirst-quenching drink that’s satisfying to the taste while providing an impactful high that’s not overwhelming.

The amount of THC in each beverage may not sound like much to canna-veterans, but 10 mg may sound intimidating to the canna-curious. But the THC extracts found in Keef Cola are tasteless and orderless, proving that the company has mastered the process of infusing cannabis without the residual aromatics.

Keef Cola varieties taste like a perfect soda. It’s easy to see how Bubba Kush Root Beer won a High Times Cannabis Cup award.