With the legalization of marijuana in California in full effect, many CBD-based (the extracted health compounds from cannabis) products are sprouting up across the market. Usually, you’ll find them in marijuana dispensaries, but one company, Project Juice, is willing to start putting cannabinoids in products for both in-house and online national distribution.
According to a press release from the Marijuana Times, Project Juice will be giving customers the option to add drops of CBD into their bowls and smoothies. A $3 upcharge will add 15 drops, or 20 mg of CBD, into those products. The juice company will offer this addition starting April 20th, and it will be available at most of their retail locations in San Francisco, Laguna Beach, and San Diego.
Unlike THC, which is the psychoactive compound in marijuana, CBDs have been shown to treat a variety of symptoms. These include anxiety, stress, nausea, chronic pain, inflammation, and cardiovascular health. Thus, consuming Project Juice’s CBD products could help offer some relief and treatment for those who suffer from any of these conditions. Project Juice is also utilizing hemp instead of marijuana to obtain their CBDs, meaning that there’s no possible crossover risk of psychoactive CBDs, given that hemp doesn’t have any.
While most studies have centered on cannabis-derived CBD, nearly all of the products offered at LA’s health stores are made from CBD processed from hemp, a variety of cannabis that contains only trace amounts of THC, if any.
Moon Juice’s CBD comes in the form of infused olive oil, which is methodically dribbled into beverages with a dropper. At $3.50 per serving, it’s a common addition to customers’ lattes, smoothies, matcha, and just about anything else on the menu. Customers commonly ask about CBD’s reported health benefits, whether the extract is addictive or will get them high, or whether the cannabinoid will throw off the taste of their drink, Jackson said. (No, she says—it doesn’t make for any significant change in a drink’s flavor or composition.)
Head east about a mile and a half to Lassens Natural Food & Vitamins, in Echo Park, and a towering case in the store’s “Holistic Solutions” section displays CBD products “naturally derived from eco-friendly hemp.” Situated among immunity boosters and a dizzying collection of vitamins are all sorts of CBD oils, balms, and sprays. There are CBD-infused chocolate bars, pet supplements, and even CBD Living Water, an infused bottled water that promises “maximum hydration absorption and wellness.” On Lassens’ website, a recent advertisement drew attention to the store’s “CBD Mocktail Happy Hour,” at which customers could try infused beverages for free.
CBD’s cameo on fashionable LA juice bars reflects a broader trend: CBD, which for decades took a back seat to the psychoactive cannabinoid THC, is going mainstream. Industry analytics group New Frontier Data predicts that CBD sales in the US will quadruple over the next four years, blasting off from $535 million this year to more than $1.9 billion by 2022 thanks in part to businesses like Moon Juice.
The successes have rocked the health and political sectors, having helped legitimize medical cannabis and fueled legalization initiatives across the country. They’ve also elevated CBD to something of a superfood.
Many stores selling CBD in Los Angeles today seem to be recent adopters, capitalizing on the increasing popularity following the adult-use legalization of cannabis in California. But while so far THC has generated the bulk of controversy about cannabis, Bricken said she doubted CBD would be able to fly under the regulatory radar for long.
The posh organic grocery chain, with locations in Santa Monica and La Brea, among others, started selling CBD products about a year and a half ago. While customers initially had a lot of questions about the product—namely, how it would make them feel and whether it would get them stoned, Widener said—most people who shop at Erewhon are now familiar with the cannabinoid.
Across town at any of Erewhon Market’s stores, customers have long been able to buy a wide array of CBD-infused products, including muffins, coffee drinks, tinctures, and even ghee.
Meanwhile, the DEA has maintained that CBD oil, as an extract of the cannabis plant, is included as a Schedule I controlled substance. That designation, however, is being challenged in a lawsuit argued earlier this year in San Francisco.