There’s a cannabis revolution currently underway, and cannabidiol (CBD) is leading the valiant charge. It started with medical marijuana, and now hemp extract CBD is at the forefront of the cannabis campaign. The chemical is said to be a potent natural medicine, and it’s especially known for its versatility.
Users say CBD has given them relief from a variety of ailments including anxiety, depression and chronic pain. However, since hemp has been illegal for a long time, there’s little research to back these claims. But CBD’s popularity grows unabated, and experts estimate that the CBD industry will be worth at least $20 billion in 2026.
Although the 2018 Farm Bill legalized industrial hemp and its extracts, the sector lacks a much more comprehensive regulatory structure. This has resulted in an industry filled with thousands of untested products. It’s becoming more and more common to run into CBD, in topicals, soft drinks, desserts, and even alcohol.
Quite recently, the Oregon Liquor Control Commission banned CBD in alcohol, making it clear that sellers won’t be allowed to manufacture and sell alcohol that’s been mixed with cannabidiol. In the past, the state of Oregon has been alright with CBD, with the state legislature saying way back in 2015 that hemp and marijuana could legally be added to food.
According to Sunny Summers, the cannabis policy coordinator with the Oregon Department of Agriculture, CBD has since been added to all kinds of things. “People are adding it to a shot of coffee or smoothies for example. I’ve seen donuts that have it. Gummies, gum. I’ve seen sodas with CBD in it. Pretty much, if you can imagine it, people are likely looking at it or have done it.”
Alcohol brewing has also jumped onto the bandwagon as well. The Growler Guys in South Portland was one of them, selling alcohol infused with CBD. “People feel like the CBD in the beer is helpful, whether it’s for muscle pain or other injuries they have. People really believe the CBD helps them,” says owner Sue Wise.
However, unlike food, alcohol falls within the jurisdiction of the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, and the Executive Director Steve Marks says technically, those CBD beers aren’t legal. He is following the USDA’s directive that CBD still hadn’t been determined to be a safe food additive.
He argues that companies aren’t sufficiently testing CBD to see how much can be safely added into the beverages and ensuring that those products entirely devoid of THC (delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol). “And the third thing,” he says,” is the CBD itself. While it’s greatly purported for its health effect, there is a lot of concern about the effect of high quantities of CBD on the liver, which is also affected by alcohol.”
Experts see this retrogressive step of banning the addition of CBD to products like alcohol as something that will cause great concern among CBD companies, such as HTC Extraction Systems (TSX.V: HTC) (OTCQB: HTPRF) and Neutra Corp. (OTC: NTRR), who would like to see more progressive policies that support the growth of the cannabidiol industry.
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