You won’t find sizzurp on the shelves, no matter how much Justin Bieber swears by it. The active ingredient in this sweet, gooey pharmaceutical cocktail – prescription-strength cough syrup – is a little hard to come by.
But if you live in Southern California and you know where to look, you can find something just as good, maybe better: sizzurp, but with weed instead of codeine.
A company called Actabliss has just hit the L.A. market with a product called “Grape Syzurp with Cannabinoids.” It’s the same basic product, the same syrupy, sugary flavor, with one thing missing: the codeine that comes with sizzurp (aka “lean”).
In its place, Actabliss has infused the syrup with cannabinoids, specifically THC. The combination packs a deep, relaxing punch somewhat similar to that carried by the original.
But the company didn’t just want to come up with a clever imitation. They wanted to offer a healthy replacement to the sizzurp, a pharmaceutical opioid brew that can lead to severe addiction.
“I touted it as a healthy alternative to lean,” the founder of Actabliss told L.A. Weekly. “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.”
“Actabliss” is a play on Actavis, the company that produced a codeine-infused cough syrup popularized by rappers as the key ingredient in sizzurp. That medication was permanently pulled from pharmacies in April in response to its popular association with the drink.
Actabliss introduced free samples of Grape Syzurp to the public on April 20. A week later the product went on sale in San Diego, and it has now entered the L.A. market.
Two-ounce bottles sell for $45 each. They can be mixed with soda, one or two ounces at a time. Typically a Syzurp is made with clear lemon-lime soda. The drink produces a long, heavy high, said the company’s founder, who didn’t give his name.
“They said it lasts 10 hours and gets them heavily medicated with that syrup feeling,” the founder said. “The medicinal side outweighs how close we can get to this real lean side. When I formulated it I did try to make it thick and muddy. We’re trying to use big pharma to promote a healthy alternative to big pharma.”
Not everyone likes the idea, however. Some feel the company is profiting off a drug that has caused health and legal problems for many, including some in the rap industry. Others don’t want to market non-sizzurp drugs as sizzurps.
Actibliss is also anticipating a response from the pharmaceutical industry.
“I’m working without our legal team making sure we have our ducks in a row if it does happen,” the founder said. “There’s some of us who think they might be OK with it because they had so much bad publicity. We’re trying to use this as a positive thing to steer them away from that.”