24 Sep What Do CBD-Infused Drinks and Pastries Actually Do?
Here Are the Facts.
The therapeutic effects of cannabidiol (CBD) for an array of conditions have won over plenty of supporters, especially those focused on wellness and natural healing. From restaurants touting their infused dishes to breweries with cannabidiol-infused beer on tap, the next big swing for CBD is an abundance of infused drinks and pastries.
With CBD’s rising popularity with health-conscious consumers and the upcoming FDA hearings on legalizing CBD foods, many are wondering how effective these specialty products really are.
Does eating or drinking CBD really work?
Consuming CBD orally is a common method of administration, and it works for many people when it’s taken at the right dosage. However, it is not a magic compound so powerful it bypasses obstacles our bodies make for it.
When taken sublingually (under the tongue) or by inhalation (vaping), cannabidiol is relatively quick to reach the brain and take effect. When consumed orally, however, it must be metabolized in the liver, which reduces the amount that will reach the brain.
One study suggests that when CBD is taken orally, only about 6% is fully absorbed in the body. The other 94% is flushed out unused.
Dosage is an important factor in whether consuming CBD-infused products will have an effect. One study showed that 15 mg of CBD improved wakefulness in participants, and although individual reactions to CBD vary by person, 15 mg is considered a good base to start from.
Many infused sodas, cookies, and other treats have 10-20 mg of CBD, which is enough to potentially unlock some of its effects. However, most CBD-infused pastries and drinks that have swept the trendiest breweries, bakeries, and restaurants around the US are not reaching this dosage.
Gimmick or not?
Skipping over the fact that the FDA says selling CBD-infused food is illegal, the low effectiveness of these trendy treats is enough to almost write them off as a marketing tool. Breweries offering beer infused with 5 mg of CBD may be garnering more attention for those three letters than the actual effects of the cannabidiol.
While there is no general guideline for CBD dosage, 5 mg is definitely on the low end and would be best suited for very small people. Restaurants serving CBD-infused items with less than 5 mg are probably not offering a lot of therapeutic effects to their customers.
That’s not to say eating enough of these treats won’t have any effect. If you drink one CBD-infused beer, you might just feel the effects of your beer. But it’s not uncommon for people to stick around and have a few drinks, which would increase the amount of CBD consumed and allow more to absorb in your bloodstream.
It’s also entirely possible to eat more than one pastry in a single go and end up with some mild relaxing effects from the treats. Eating a CBD-infused burger with just a few milligrams will probably not cut it, though, and it’s certainly not worth a higher price.
Last year, the FDA approved the first plant-derived prescription drug with cannabidiol for rare forms of epilepsy. The acceptance of CBD as a drug was a source of celebration for advocates, but it came with some caveats. The FDA prohibits adding drugs to food.
Health departments have cracked down on some establishments selling CBD-infused foods. Things could change when the FDA holds its first hearing on the subject, but for now, the addition of CBD to food products is not legal.
That doesn’t mean there aren’t dozens of establishments flying under the radar and continuing to sell these products. After all, a drop of CBD oil to a dish can add dollars to the price tag.
The bottom line
In many cases, the amount of CBD being added to pastries and drinks in restaurants, bakeries, and breweries isn’t enough to have any real therapeutic effects. When companies can increase their prices because they’ve included negligible amounts of CBD in a pastry or drink, the trend is clearly just that: a trend.
Despite the limited effects of these infused sweets and drinks, CBD itself still has numerous therapeutic qualities, and it shouldn’t be discredited because of its new place as a marketing tool in the food industry. If you really want to get the benefits of CBD, other forms of administration, like sublingual tinctures, are still the best way to go.
Author: Macey Wolfer
Bio: “Macey is a freelance writer from Seattle, WA. She writes about natural health, cannabis, and music.”