annabidiol, or CBD—a term once
exclusive to “stoners,” hippies
and free spirits of the counterculture—has rapidly evolved into a
household word shared by conventionalists and bohemians
alike. Embraced by some as the
most revolutionary discovery
since penicillin while simultaneously shunned by others
as a fleeting fad doomed by impending government regulation, CBD is arguably the hottest, and most ambiguous, retail topic of 2019.
Touted as an elusive elixir that offers a number of
physical and mental health benefits, CBD caught main-
stream attention with the passage of the Agriculture
Improvement Act of 2018, also known as the Farm Bill,
which removed hemp from the Controlled Substances Act
(CSA) and legalized industrial hemp cultivation. Practi-
cally overnight, hemp-derived CBD products—and the
correlated hype around them—had flooded the market.
From the young to the elderly, male and female, even
infants and pets, there’s a CBD-based product for osten-
sibly everyone and everything.
But what is CBD? And, more important, what is it not?
In literal terms, CBD is one of the 104 chemical compounds, known as cannabinoids, found in hemp or marijuana plants that works with the endocannabinoid system
in the human body to regulate bodily functions. It is non-psychoactive, unlike its notorious sibling, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and offers an alluring, all-natural option for
consumers seeking holistic relief for countless conditions,
including pain, anxiety, inflammation and spasms, sans
the lethargic side effects of its prescription counterparts.
In broader terms, hemp-derived CBD is a new wellness phenomenon that’s increasingly making its way
into considerable health, beauty and food and beverage
A look at the complexities,
uncertainties and possibilities
related to CBD in grocery
By Natalie Taylor and
Illustration by Sven Hauth