Woman talking(l+r), Feel free drink(c)

@emmwee/Tiktok Botanictonics

‘It’s probably fun! Just so many vitamins!’: Customer warns to check drink labels after accidentally purchasing ‘gas station crack’

'This is actually the best ad you could've made for this.'


Braden Bjella


Posted on Mar 21, 2024   Updated on Mar 22, 2024, 1:58 pm CDT

A user on TikTok has issued a warning to check the labels on beverages currently on sale in gas stations and convenience stores. She says she’s accidentally been drinking “gas station crack.”

In a video with over 5.1 million views, popular TikToker and musician Emmy (@emmwee) says she purchased a drink in a store because she liked the branding. Even though it was marked as only for people over the age of 21, she noted that, because “it’s not weed and it’s not alcohol,” she assumed that there was some other reason the drink was marketed to adults. She cited drinks like Kin Euphorics, non-alcoholic beverages that contain adaptogens and nootropics, as a similar example.

She only discovered why the beverage was marketed to adults later after posting the drink to her Instagram.

“Somebody said, ‘I mean, that is a synthetic opioid, so be careful promoting it,’” she recalls. “And I was like, ‘What the f*ck do you mean?’”

Emmy later texted a friend asking for clarification about the product, who identified its contents as something he called “gas station crack.”

“I’ve just been going to coffee shops, chugging my gas station crack, and doing my taxes,” says Emmy. “So make sure you know what the ingredients are before you consume them.”

The drink held by Emmy in the video appears to be a New Brew Euphoric Seltzer, which is made with kratom leaf and kava root. These materials are different from what is sometimes referred to as “gas station heroin,” a name that is more typically associated with Tianeptine.

It should be noted that, while there are some issues associated with kratom, it is not a synthetic opioid, and is instead “an herbal substance that can produce opioid- and stimulant-like effects,” per the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

In the comments section, many users said that Emmy was simply overreacting and that the effects of kratom and kava are not as dramatic as she made them out to be.

“Ya’ll calling kava synthetic opioid? Its a plant root,” said a user.

“This is actually the best ad you could’ve made for this,” offered another.

That said, others stressed the seriousness of the substances.

“Kratom is nice but the withdrawals can be hell. I took it for 8 years 2-6g per day, tried quitting and ugh,” recounted a user. “Opioid withdrawal symptoms+ restless legs, so bad.”


♬ original sound – EMMY

New Brew eventually responded with its own video, which was stitched by Emmy.

Emmy later posted several follow-up videos where she confessed that she does not know enough about the product to offer her honest opinion.

@emmwee #duet with @New Brew #Stitch ♬ original sound – New Brew

Regardless, Emmy was not alone in noting the potential danger of these products. Another TikToker, user Louis (@foundbylouis), stitched her video to detail his own experience with non-alcoholic, non-cannabis-infused adult beverages.

According to this TikToker, they had stopped drinking 2 years prior when they discovered Feel Free Tonic, which is made by a company called Botanic Tonics. According to the company’s website, the drink is a kava beverage made with “kava, kola nut, lion’s mane and rhodiola” that is designed to “enhance relaxation, cognitive function, and productivity.”

Immediately, the TikToker was interested and began to drink them—until they realized they were drinking more and more of them every day. The company advises not consuming more than a single 2 oz bottle in 24 hours.

“I have an addictive personality, so one a day turned to two a day, two a day turned to three a day, whatever,” the TikToker explains. “And then finally I’m thinking like, ‘Damn, maybe I’m addicted to these things.’”

Upon realizing this, the TikToker says they discovered a subreddit called Quitting Feel Free, where users document their struggles trying to stop consuming the drink.

@foundbylouis #stitch with @EMMY BE CAREFUL YALLLLL the reddit is called quitting feel free #botanictonics #feelfreebotanictonics ♬ original sound – Trash

“There was one guy who said, ‘I was an IV heroin user and it’s harder for me to quit these things than heroin,’” recalls the TikToker. “And I’m like, what the f*ck? Like, all this from a f*cking thing that you can buy at a deli?”

Although some commenters accused this TikToker of also overreacting, many supported the TikToker’s message.

“Omg my coworker was addicted! She would talk about how she couldn’t function without it and had to take off to withdraw,” shared a commenter.

“Yeah don’t do it. I wish I never started. Still trying to get off,” stated a second.

The Daily Dot reached out to New Brew and Feel Free via website contact form, Emmy via email, and Louis via TikTok direct message.

Update 1:57pm CT, Mar. 22, 2024:

In an email to the Daily Dot, Botanic Tonics, the creators of Feel Free, shared the following statement:

“We manufacture, market, and distribute our products according to the highest industry standards in adherence to the FDA’s good manufacturing requirements. To that end, we’ve recently made the decision to go above and beyond current regulations and make robust updates to our bottle labeling to enhance clarity for our customers.”

The spokesperson added that they have several helpful resources on their website “that provide in-depth information about our company, products, and ingredients.”

“As a responsible business, we prioritize education, ensuring consumers have reliable information to make informed choices before trying our products,” they said. “Regarding leaf kratom, we are proud members of the Global Kratom Coalition and support legislation that would require stricter labeling and quality-control standards for all manufacturers of products that contain kratom.”

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*First Published: Mar 21, 2024, 3:00 pm CDT