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Can CBD products really be food and drink to a hungry market?
Sales of water infused with CBD may be held back by doubts over whether the product is effective and also by regulation, recent reporting by CBD-Intel suggests.
CBD water is usually made using nanotechnology to produce CBD particles one-millionth of their original size so they can be evenly encapsulated and infused into water. In theory, these nanoparticles move through cells quickly and provide high bioavailability – in other words, a large percentage of the particles can actually be used by the body, making their way into the digestive tract.
But sceptics claim that CBD water is a marketing scam that offers consumers almost none of the promised benefits as the amount is too small to have any effect and the clear plastic packaging often used leads to rapid degradation of the active compounds due to exposure to sunlight.
Despite the critics, CBD-infused beverages and foods continue to be a fast-growing market sector in the US.
Some industry stakeholders predict that edible items and beverages will become the biggest category of cannabinoid-derived products, despite dosage issues and regulatory hurdles.
Further issues, though, also face many producers that want to make food products with CBD.
The Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) upset hemp farmers and processors in the state by confirming that they cannot add CBD to food ingredients.
And at a federal level, the wheels of US regulation are turning slowly when it comes to CBD legalisation.
CBD-Intel contacted US experts to discuss whether CBD could soon be sold legally as a dietary supplement or food. Before stepping down as FDA commissioner in April 2019, Scott Gottlieb said it could take two to three years. However, that now appears to be a best-case scenario.
Meanwhile in Europe, continued enforcement over CBD as a novel food ingredient continues in many member states.
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