CBD trend for food, beverage shows no signs of slowing, despite legality questions
Wednesday, February 05, 2020
The cannabidiol (CBD) industry is witnessing phenomenal growth, and this is expected to continue through 2020 and beyond. CBD oil and other topical products, which are said to relieve pain and insomnia and reduce stress and anxiety, are growing in sales, though these claims are mostly unproven.
In the food and beverage space, CBD-infused coffee, brownies, cookies, and other food items are rapidly expanding. However, the absence of clear federal guidance has raised consumer safety concerns.
Health officials have expressed concerns over cannabidiol’s safety concerns, even as CBD-based food and drinks continue to be hot sellers across the country. CBD edibles have especially become hugely popular and are growing in demand despite being banned in several places where businesses face the risk of a fine.
A recent Forbes report stated that food and beverage businesses that operate in the CBD space need to keep some developments in mind. The chief among them is further clarification to be provided by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The agency has issued warnings to sellers of CBD-containing products as it is concerned over data and information gaps about CBD toxicity and its side effects.
Sellers of CBD-containing products have thus been warned they cannot continue to sell CBD-based products as dietary supplements.
The ambiguity of the applicable rules surrounding CBD-containing food and beverage products has already paved the way for an increase in federal class-action lawsuits and private party litigation. Without clear federal guidelines, individual states have come up with their regulatory patchwork, which is often drastically opposed to another state’s. New regulations are in the making, and we will see more conflicting laws in the coming weeks.
Despite the embargo, products containing cannabidiol continue to be a hot trend. According to trade publication Hemp Industry Daily, rising sales of foods and drinks containing CBD will see revenues climb to $10 billion by 2024. Even mainstream companies like PepsiCo, Kellogg’s, Starbucks, and Monster Energy have been contemplating adding drinks and snacks containing CBD on their roster.
CBD isn’t psychoactive like THC, the compound in marijuana, yet the FDA has warned people of potential liver damage. CBD manufacturers have now come forward to contribute to the research and prove its safety for human consumption. One such research group, ValidCare, has partnered with the University of Kentucky to conduct a liver toxicity study.
Despite all odds, the industry doesn’t show any sign of slowing down. CBD-infused foods and drinks have also created quite a name in the alcohol-free beverage category. They are said to help consumers unwind, relax, and focus without giving in to alcohol consumption, a trend highly popular with millennials.
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