Mondelez, the food conglomerate behind big-name brands like Chips Ahoy, Cadbury chocolate, Nilla Wafers, Ritz Crackers, and Oreos just announced that they’re strongly considering infusing some of their snack food products with a very unexpected ingredient: CBD, or cannabidiol.
CBD is a chemical compound found in cannabis plants (both marijuana and hemp). Unlike THC, cannabidiol does not have any psychoactive properties, which means it can’t get you high. And while peer-reviewed studies are still needed to substantiate the health benefits of CBD products, many consumers are flocking to them for their potential to help with everything from muscle aches to insomnia, anxiety, and psychosis.
CBD oil is a mega-trend in the beauty and wellness industries right now, and it’s larger than life in food and drink. According to the National Restaurant Association’s yearly trend report, hundreds of chefs of chefs named CBD and cannabis-infused foods and drinks as the biggest trend in food for 2019. Clearly, Mondelez is listening.
“Yes, we’re getting ready, but we obviously want to stay within what is legal and play it the right way,” CEO Dirk Van de Put told CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street” last week.
Though he did slash the idea that Oreos would come out with a CBD infusion as-is, Van de Put says that the snack giant will be adding it to other products and may develop new product lines for the ingredient. But much of their hesitation comes from the unclarity regarding CBD regulation. President Trump signed a new farm bill federally legalizing the growth, production, and sale of CBD extracts in December. However, the Food and Drug Administration technically hasn’t approved adding CBD to food or beverages yet. In response to pressure from Congress, the FDA has set its first date for public hearings on the matter for June. A number of start-ups have already jumped the gun and released CBD-infused food and beverages, but most big-name food brands like Mondelez are waiting it out while federal health officials discern rules for regulating the industry.
“The space is not clear,” said Van de Put. “It’s a bit clearer in non-food products. In food products, I’m hoping that the FDA will bring some clarity in the coming months.”
If you're curious about CBD products, you can check out offerings from Lord Jones, Shanti Wellness, and Papa and Barkley.
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