Coca-Cola could make cannabis-infused drink

Coca-Cola is considering producing a cannabis-infused drink that would help people with chronic pain.

The US drinks giant said it was "closely watching" the development of the cannabis industry and looking into a possible "functional wellness beverage".

The  potential product would include as an ingredient CBD, or cannabidiol, a non-psychoactive component in cannabis.

It would not include THC, the main, high-inducing active ingredient in cannabis.

In a statement the company said: "Along with many others in the beverage industry we are closely watching the growth of non-psychoactive CBD as an ingredient in functional wellness beverages around the world.

"The space is evolving quickly. No decisions have been made at this time."

CBD is used by many people for medical reasons including to counter chronic pain and inflammation, anxiety and epilepsy.

According to a Bloomberg report Coca-Cola has been in talks with Aurora Cannabis, a Canadian company, that has been looking into such drinks.

In a statement the Canadian company said: "Aurora has expressed specific interest in the infused beverage space, and we intend to enter that market.

"There is so much happening in this area right now and we think it has incredible potential. Stories like this are further validation of the massive global potential of the cannabis industry."

Last month Constellation Brands, which makes the beer Corona, said it would invest $4 billion in a different Canadian cannabis industry company.

The country is in the process of legalising the drug for recreational use.

In the United States cannabis is still illegal under federal law, but it is legal in some states.

As consumption of soda drinks declines, Coca-Cola has already diversified into products including juice and mineral water. Last month it announced it was buying Costa Coffee for $5.1 billion.