CBD, Cannabis, Hemp, THC…. What does this all mean and why would a flavorhouse be concerned about these ingredients? As I am sure you are all well aware, CBD has been introduced into many food and beverages across the United States. As cannabis is recreationally and medically legal in many states, food and beverage companies have been experimenting in this space. CBD and cannabis have many medicinal properties and have become a desired “superplant.”

For me, it is incredibly exciting to be part of such a large change that is happening in our country. I have been able to watch cannabis, a previously taboo topic, become acceptable in many homes and families across the United States. I go back to prohibition and think about all the companies starting to invest in alcohol and what has happened since 1933. There has been so much change since alcohol became legal again and look where we are now. We now have bars on almost every corner, beer and wine are sold in gas stations, and how could I leave out the boozy brunches!

I am excited to see how cannabis will grow and impact food and beverage companies. Will it become federally legal, I cannot say, but I do think there is a lot of promise. We will get to see the pitfalls and success stories over the next ten years as cannabis becomes increasingly relevant. In 70 years everyone will be looking back to this point in time, as we do with prohibition, wondering what it was like to experience it firsthand.

64% of Americans support marijuana legalization”

– Gallup

CBD stands for cannabidol (can.na.bid.iol) and it is the natural substance derived from cannabis plants. It does not create a psychoactive effect, meaning that it delivers a very clear-headed, functional effects without the euphoric high associated with THC strains. CBD and cannabis have been touted for having incredible medicinal properties. This rising star in supplements can be used as a pain reliever, anti-inflammatory, anti-stress, nausea reliever, and cardiovascular health agent.

At Expo West there were multiple companies experimenting with this new ingredient. Buddha Tea showed their CBD matcha tea, turmeric and peppermint vanilla flavored teas. Buddha Tea said CBD’s health benefits as an anti-inflammatory aligns with their brand’s focus on health and wellness. Tree Below Zero debuted its natural sparkling juice infused with 25mg to 100mg of CBD per bottle. Snack brand Weller showed their hemp extract enhanced coconut bites. We also saw CBD appearing in honey and supplements at the expo.

This could be the most disruptive ingredient for food and beverages over the next couple of years. Not a day goes by when I do not receive an article talking about CBD. As Canada has legalized cannabis and will be able to put into food and beverages in November of 2019, this ingredient is something to educate yourself on. We will see CBD being incorporated into healthy snacking, functional beverages, confection and much more. Until it is legal on a federal level, many companies are hesitant to try and experiment in this area,  justifiably. However, this is a topic we cannot ignore and companies will need to keep an eye on.

Always ready for the next adventure. Mom, marketing analyst, food lover, beer and cocktail enthusiast.

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