A new trend? Supplement drinks that promise to reverse the effects of recreational drugs -- including alcohol.
We recently wrote about Safety Shot, a new drink that promises to lower blood alcohol content by up to 50% in as little as 30 minutes.
And now we have Hibegone, a drink that promises to reverse the “high” from cannabis use in as little as 15 minutes.
Unlike Safety Shot, which didn’t give us an ingredients list, Hibegone is pretty forthcoming about what’s in its formula: a blend of L-theanine, alpha GPC, and THCV.
The latter, itself derived from cannabis, is said to reverse the effects of THC, with the other two ingredients -- labelled nootropics -- along as “cognitive enhancers.”
Dr. Alex Straiker, a senior research scientist at Indiana University Bloomington with an expertise in compounds found in cannabis, confirms to Pharma & Health Insider that THCV is “a decent antagonist” for cannabis results that “works at very low concentrations.” However, with Hibegone, he notes, “it’s troubling that they don’t say how much THCV is in the drink.” Also, “because it’s going through the digestive tract, the liver gets first whack at the compound, so this is probably more about the metabolytes [L-theanine and alpha GPC].”
Straiker points to the drug Rimonabant that, like THCV, serves as an antagonist to the brain’s receptor responding to cannabis. Approved by the European Commission as a prescription drug in 2006, “Rimonabant was pulled after reports of dysphoric side effects” -- that is, creating an unhappy or uneasy mood. “There is a real possibility that THCV would produce similar effects," Straiker says.
In any case, Hibegone is now available online. One dose -- a two-ounce bottle -- costs $14.99, with a 3-pack at $39.99, and a 12-pack at $120.
The product is also shipping to gas stations, convenience stores and cannabis dispensaries, the brand told Bear Bros Pharms, California cannabis cultivators as well as publishers of an industry news site. A ready-to-mix powdered version is also “making its way to the market,” the publications said.
Safety Shot, meanwhile, said 12-ounce cans of its alcohol detox drink will go into production this fall.
“We’ve created a multichannel strategy designed to dominate ecommerce, quickly win retail shelf space, and establish longstanding ties with key distribution and sales partners,” David Sadler, chief marketing officer of Jupiter Wellness -- which plans to rename itself as Safety Shot -- said in a statement.
Safety Shot has also announced its first two brand ambassadors brought in through a previously announced agreement with D3M Licensing Group. They are Hector Lombard, a professional mixed martial artist and bodybuilder, and sports attorney and author Darren Heitner, whose charge is to raise awareness with athletes and sports fans.
Sports and fitness enthusiasts are a key target demographic for Safety Shot, the company said.
GBB Drink Lab, which Jupiter Wellness bought last month, had said that Safety Shot “has not undergone formal clinical validation” but that “its efficacy was established via rigorous blood alcohol content testing on dozens of test subjects.”
Those subjects, GBB said, “were given breathalyzer tests to establish detoxification levels and displayed normal, non-impaired behavior after rapidly bringing their [blood alcohol] levels down."
Both Safety Shot and Hibegone are supplements, so not subject to the stricter regulation drugs receive from the Food and Drug Administration.
And in related news, the FDA has been quite active with recent approvals for over-the-counter naloxone, the reversal drug for opioid overdoses.
While naloxone has saved lives, researchers said, it’s less effective against powerful synthetic opioids like fentanyl.
In March, Emergent BioSolutions received FDA approval for OTC sales of Narcan. The product has now shipped to retailers for September availability, Emergent said on Wednesday. List price is $44.99 for two doses. Supporting the launch in its stores, Walgreens has posted a five-minute educational video created with End Overdose and donated $100,000 to the nonprofit.
In July, Padagis received approval for the first naloxone generic OTC product.
And in August, Harm Reduction Therapeutics received approval for its generic, named RiVive.
All three products will be sold as nasal sprays.
Updated on Sept. 1 to reflect the fact that supplements are indeed regulated (but not as strictly as drugs are) by the FDA.