Trend Alert: CBD Meets Food

May 30, 2019

CBD is all the rage now. You probably have heard this term thrown around these days and seen them on the labels of various products and advertisements– CBD tinctures, lotions, capsules, oils and even CBD infused food and drink (Carl’s Jr. debuted a CBD burger in Denver earlier this year). CBD is the acronym for “cannabidiol,” a chemical compound found in cannabis plants. And after the Farm Bill (Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018) passed, more and more CBD products seem to be flooding the market.

Why all the rage? CBD has been touted for its health benefits as a natural remedy, primarily for seizure and pain relief, without psychoactive effects. It’s also been marketed and used for anxiety, autoimmune and skin diseases, to name a few. However, at the moment the strongest evidence for effectiveness is for the treatment of epilepsy. Regardless of the efficacy, CBD’s popularity has surged and is making its way into the foodservice industry.

According to the 2019 What’s Hot Culinary Survey conducted by the National Restaurant Association, plant-based ingredients, including cannabis and CBD, and zero-waste cooking will be the hottest overall culinary trends of the year. We’re seeing cookies, sparkling water, popcorn, chips and even matcha powder infused with CBD. Mixologists around the country can be found experimenting with CBD in their cocktails and restaurants like James New York NoMad are serving up dishes like butter lettuce salad with gorgonzola and pear vinaigrette (containing 20 mg of CBD).

But before you get your culinary creative juices flowing and begin thinking about CBD menu items, take note– CBD legality and restriction varies among states amid regulatory uncertainty.