Legislation and Policy

The Unique Challenges and Opportunities of CBD-Infused Food Products

Petar Petrov
Written by Petar Petrov

Despite CBD’s massive surge in popularity and the differentiation of various niches within this exciting new market, a major components still remains in relatively uncharted territory as regulations obstruct its exploration and progress – CDB and food products.

The FDA still deems it illegal to use CBD as an ingredient in food and dietary supplements on account of it having been studied as a drug first. In other words, it is legal to consume CBD orally, and obviously the same goes for food, but doing the two at once with a single product is where the FDA draws the line.

Even so, regulatory bodies’ stance on CBD, as well as cannabis altogether, has clearly shifted and bent significantly with time. Naturally, companies are hopeful that the aforementioned rule will also soon be in the rear-view mirror, opening up a wide, bright field of CBD food and dietary products ahead. In fact, this sort of standstill gives some businesses an opportunity to prepare and plan ahead, so that when the green light finally comes on, they’re ready to hit the gas with a clear direction in mind. Staying up-to-date with the regulatory developments is a crucial part of this preliminary process.

Even though there’s still some risk involved in spending time, energy, and money to prepare for a moment that could never come, if the FDA was to never remove this regulatory roadblock, the potential benefits definitely outweigh this risk, as there is every indication this risk won’t materialize. Perhaps the biggest such indication is the existence of CBD-infused beverages.

For example, Colorado-based Weller has developed a highly successful CBD-infused sparking water. Constellation Brands, which is the company behind beer giants like Corona and Modelo, has backed up its belief in the intersection of the cannabis and beverage industries with major investments in Canopy Growth, which has now developed sparkling waters with both CBD and THC under the brand name of Quatreau.

Furthermore, food and beverages as CBD carriers offer something tinctures and oils don’t – discreteness. It’s one thing to whip out a CBD tincture bottle in the middle of the office and start squeezing droplets into your mouth in front of everyone like it’s the antidote you need to not turn into the Hulk, it’s completely different to sip a CBD-infused water casually as you go about your business. As products, CBD tinctures and the likes lack pretext, they are straightforward medicine, and that’s not a good look in certain circumstances. Food and beverages have a huge edge in that regard.

On the other hand, however, food and beverages face a different kind of challenge: that people who rely on CBD rather than simply having a liking for it, and need significant amounts of it on a daily basis, will still likely intake most of that amount in the form of conventional products like oils, tinctures, etc. Not many people will buy a CBD-infused chocolate bar twice a day. This means companies would have to come up with CBD food products that people can consume more seamlessly, without gaining weight, without spending too much extra money, while still getting something extra from them that they can’t from plain CBD – a challenge that would perhaps help distinguish leaders in the new space.

But first things first – the FDA has to make all that possible from a strictly legal standpoint.

Image Credits: Plant & Hemp

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Petar Petrov

Petar Petrov

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