In February, New York-based investment bank Cowen and Co. released a report focused on the cannabidiol market. According to analysts, the CBD market is expected to reach $16 billion by 2025, and CBD drinks are poised to make up a large segment of that market.
As part of the report, Cowen and Co. surveyed 2,500 people about their CBD habits. Seven percent of respondents reported using CBD as a supplement. CBD tinctures were found to be most popular among respondents with 44 percent saying they have tried CBD in liquid extract form. And 19 percent of respondents said they use CBD-infused beverages.
While CBD drinks were the least popular among respondents in the Cowen and Co. survey, another recent survey, from the National Restaurant Association, indicates that could be about to change. According to the report, 77 percent of chefs predict cannabis/CBD-infused drinks will be the No. 1 trend in 2019. Additionally, more and more cold CBD beverages are emerging on the market every day.
However, despite the growing fervor around CBD-infused beverages, laws and regulations governing them remain murky. Here’s what you need to know about cold CBD drinks.
CBD beverage benefits and effects
Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol, the cannabis component responsible for the plant’s psychoactive effects, CBD doesn’t get people high. It does promote feelings of relaxation and can be useful for easing tension.
CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties are responsible for several of the component’s positive effects. Several studies have explored the impact CBD has on inflammation.
In March 2019, the Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition released a study looking at cannabis oil use by adolescents and young adults with inflammatory bowel disease. The study found that users achieved some medical benefits from cannabis oil use.
Another study looked at how CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties could be effective in treating drug addiction. The study, published in the Addiction Biology journal in February 2019, looked at methamphetamine addiction in rats. Research suggests that inflammation contributes to drug-induced stimulation of reward centers in the brain. The study indicates that because of CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties it can be effective in addiction treatment.
For these reasons, many are turning to CBD-infused water and beverages for an easy way to access the health benefits the substance provides.
CBD drink varieties
There are several varieties of CBD drinks. As these drinks grow in popularity, the plethora of offerings is poised to balloon even wider. CBD comes in water and oil form which makes it easy to add to all kind of beverages.
One of the most popular cold CBD drinks is kombucha. Already a favorite among health and wellness enthusiasts, traditional kombucha has a number of health benefits in it’s own right. Kombucha is a fermented tea that is rich in probiotics. When infused with CBD, the beverage can be even more effective at aiding digestion, reducing gastrointestinal discomfort, improving immune health and relieving constipation.
CBD seltzer waters are also gaining in popularity as manufacturers continue to release new products. With $49 million in sparkling water sales in 2018, these cold beverages are already all the rage. Now small manufacturers and even large companies like Coca-Cola are turning to CBD-infused fizzy drinks to give consumers a new low-calorie option.
The truth is CBD can be added to a number of cold beverages and more and more drink purveyors are experimenting with adding it to their menus. For example, Modern Juice Company in Florida recently added a CBD-infused smoothie to their menu. Since CBD is an effective muscle relaxer, a CBD smoothie can be a great after workout snack. Coffee shops are also adding CBD to cold brew coffee. The caffeine in coffee can make some people feel jittery, but CBD-infused cold brew gives drinkers a more mellow experience.
Laws and regulations
Rules governing CBD drinks vary from state to state. City health departments in several states including Maine, New York, and Ohio have banned CBD edibles of any kind, while other government leaders have promoted CBD food and drinks.
At the federal level there are laws governing CBD and more regulations are on the horizon.
In December 2018, federal legislators approved the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018. The law removed hemp from the federal list of controlled substances, making it legal under federal law and effectively legalizing CBD.
Shortly after the legislation was approved, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration released a statement clarifying its regulatory authority over products containing CBD.
“It’s unlawful under the FD&C Act (Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act) to introduce food containing added CBD or THC into interstate commerce, or to market CBD or THC products as, or in, dietary supplements, regardless of whether the substances are hemp-derived,” FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in a statement.
However despite the FDA’s stance on CBD drinks and other edible products, the agency also said it is looking into options that would legalize the sale of CBD oil and water in food, beverages and supplements. The agency plans to start holding public hearings on CBD in April.