CBD and Food Science

The 2018 Farm Bill removed CBD derived from hemp from the Controlled Substances Act’s Schedule I list of drugs. This legalizes CBD at a Federal level as long it contains less than 0.3% of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the cannabinoid that is responsible for most of the psychological effects of marijuana.

While the Bill removes certain restrictions on hemp and its derivatives, addition of such to food products still requires approval by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)which. While such approval is not as yet forthcoming, the FDA has not actively prosecuted the use of CBD as an ingestible except where false claims as to efficacy as a cure have been made.

Many food and beverage manufacturers have been reluctant to engage in CBD based product lines but, with several states allowing the controlled sales of edible CBD, a careful eye is being kept on the possible market. It is also expected that the FDA will introduce regulations to control but allow food and beverages to include CBD ingredients. Market research firm BDS Analytics forecasts that sales of CBD products will rise to $5.9 billion by 2024. With such a large potential marketplace, albeit including dispensary sales, some manufactures are closing watching events unfold with the expectation that CBD product will soon be readily available on supermarket shelves.

Health supplements and sports nutrition products are likely to be the first to market CBD infused products when, and if, restrictions are lifted. Some companies inside and outside of the US are already producing CBD food and beverage products. Canadian companies, Aphria and Aurora Cannabis, are large scale cannabis companies that have attracted the attention of major consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies, including Coca-Cola (though nothing has so far materialized). Other companies with interest in CBD based foods and/or beverages include Diageo (Johnnie Walker, Crown Royal, Captain Morgan and Guinness), PepsiCo and Mondelez International (Chips Ahoy, Cadbury’s chocolate, Oreo, Nilla Wafers) are all paying close attention to or giving serious consideration to adding CBD to one or more of their products.

The CBD Food and Beverage space is worth watching from the point of view of possible new employment opportunities in this break-ground field. At OPUS International, Inc. we are keeping in close contact with our clients and university consultants to stay up to date with this soon to expand area and the job opportunities it is likely to generate. One question does, however, remain unanswered: Will successful job candidates in this field be required to wear tie-die and beads? We sincerely hope not.

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