You heard right – cannabis. Marijuana, weed, Mary Jane, reefer…you get the idea. Many professionals in the food and beverage industry are still trying to understand the legality and logistics of using such a regulated (and until recently illegal) substance. The larger conversation has expanded beyond cannabis and really focuses on its family member, Cannabidiol (CBD) – mainly because it is legal in all 50 states, well mostly.
CBD is one of the chemicals found in cannabis and hemp, but it doesn’t include enough THC (responsible for the “high” associated with marijuana) to cause mind-altering affects.1 The legality of CBD is based on the source. Hemp-derived CBD is legal everywhere. But marijuana-derived CBD is illegal (unless you live in a state where marijuana is legal). The 2018 Farm Bill2 clarified a lot of the gray areas in the laws that were left over from the 2014 Farm Bill. While the law is becoming more clear and it’s now legal in all 50 states, there are still multiple “exceptions” and conflicts with state law. However, as more states embrace the new law, and legislation regarding CBD and hemp usage expands, we expect to see more applications in the food and beverage industry.
So, yes CBD is (mostly) legal but you might be wondering what all the rage is about? The health benefits will certainly continue to be one of the big trends in 2019.
What are the benefits and how do you use CBD?
Like its relative Cannabis, CBD can be purchased and consumed in many ways including soft gels, salve, vape cartridges, drink mixes and oils (sometimes called tinctures). You’ve likely heard about marijuana’s use to treat various health conditions, and the same is true for CBD. Most popularly consumed as an oil, CBD has many health benefits backed by science.
CBD Oil has been proven to relieve pain, reduce anxiety and depression, alleviate cancer-related symptoms, reduce acne, benefit heart health, serve as a substance abuse treatment, and much more. Of course, there is more research to be done. Learn more about CBD Oil’s health benefits.
What does all this have to do with food and beverage?
A popular way of ingesting CBD oil is in food and drinks. Now that it’s (mostly) legal, the door is open for more craft cocktails, food dishes and recipes with the added health benefits of CBD.
It can also be infused into many ingredients, and industry leaders are starting to add CBD recipes to their repertoire. Some are even creating cocktails without alcohol and using CBD oil in its place. Even prior to the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill, restaurants from New York City to Santa Monica were serving CBD in dishes and drinks.
It’s also likely that more studies will emerge touting the health benefits of CBD oil and products. This is a young industry, but the cannabis business is pulling in huge numbers, and CBD is close behind. It’s important for food & beverage professionals to stay in the forefront of new trends. Exploring CBD oil just might make sense for your business, and if you’re an interested consumer…it just might be time to give it a try!