What You Need to Know About California’s CBD Boom
California legalized recreational marijuana in 2016 with sales starting in January 2018. This led to a massive wave of new products, brands, and stores dedicated to the recreational weed market. Part of this market though is beginning to overshadow the rest. Cannabidiol, or CBD, is one of the chemicals found in marijuana, but can also be extracted from industrial hemp. It offers medicinal benefits without the “stoned” feeling that often comes with weed. CBD is expected to grow to be a billion-dollar business by 2025 and is growing at about 15% per year. (Image Credit: Herbal Hemp/Pixabay)
Furthermore, in December 2018, the United States Federal government approved the latest version of the Farm Bill, which includes a number of advantages for CBD and hemp. Hemp and CBD sourced from hemp are no longer considered drugs and are instead passed to the Department of Agriculture for regulation. This definition requires there to be less than .3% THC based on the dry-weight of the plant, but allows for CBD to begin being introduced into foods and other products without major federal regulations or inhibitions.
California has embraced CBD in particular for its natural medicinal benefits. Since CBD does not get you high, businesses have the opportunity to package the medicinal benefits of marijuana in new products for people who do not want to be stoned. This works well for active professionals that struggle with anxiety and insomnia. With Venice Beach and the Bay Area being major consumer marijuana regions, CBD businesses are beginning to pop-up rapidly. These are some of the major products and trends associated with the CBD Boom.
CBD Oils and Edibles
One of the central products for CBD is CBD oils, which can also be mixed into food items, such as gummies or chocolate. These allow people to easily ingest CBD in a fairly easy and tasty form. Mood CBD is one such brand that makes high quality CBD oils and edibles targeting an ambitious clientele that want to try a natural remedy for stress, pains, and insomnia.
Other forms of CBD oils can be used for vaping. These options come in either CBD-only or CBD-and-THC cartridges and are usually flavored. This allows users to avoid the possible negative effects associated with smoking, since vaping involves ingesting vapor rather than smoke.
With a recent federal law making CBD and hemp under the jurisdiction of the Department of Agriculture rather than the Drug Enforcement Agency, hemp-CBD can be legally incorporated into groceries and sold as a food product. Stores all across California are beginning to sell juice, tea, water, and kombucha infused with CBD. 7-Eleven signed a deal to begin carrying CBD groceries in 4,500 stores starting in early 2019.
Lagunitas, one of the larger craft breweries in California, has begun to make a non-alcoholic CBD beverages and CBD-THC beverages. The two different lines are made in collaboration with a major CBD vape cartridge brand and will only be available in California. This trend is likely to continue as major beer conglomerate AB-InBev and major soda brand Coca-Cola have both announced that they are looking into making CBD and THC infused beverages.
As dogs can be highly sensitive to THC and should not ingest it, CBD-only dog treats and food allow for canine companions to get the medical benefits of hemp without the toxicity that THC brings them. These products are a great way for CBD manufacturers to begin offering cheaper medical solutions for pet owners, who typically are not eager to spend a fortune on pain medicine for their dogs.
In particular, older dogs that tend to suffer from arthritis, can get pain relief from eating CBD. The side effects are not well known at this point, but research in both labs and the public currently seem to indicate that there are not many side effects for humans or animals.
With the allowance of CBD to be included in food products, restaurants across California are now figuring out ways to tie CBD into their menus. This includes restaurants entirely themed around the substance and some merely including it in a few dishes. Additionally, a number of bars are beginning to create CBD cocktails to offer the product to the nightlife scene.
Federal law and California state law are beginning to contradict though, as Governor Jerry Brown signed a law preventing cannabis products to be mixed with alcohol. This goes into effect January 1, 2019 and would result in any bars serving CBD cocktails to lose their liquor license. This is just one instance of where state and federal law still needs to be reconciled on where CBD, hemp, and marijuana stand legally.
Both state and federal legislation in the past few years have begun to tackle the issue of medically and recreationally consuming THC and CBD. While the law still has a way to go, California’s legalization of recreational marijuana and the Federal legalization of hemp-sourced CBD are pushing forward a new industry of natural remedies. California’s booming CBD market is beginning to offer a variety of new products for consumption, but until the law gets clearer about where all of these new products stand, it is likely the industry will still see roadblocks.