Perhaps you’ve come across them in your Instagram feed. Or maybe you’ve spotted them at Erewhon Market.
No, I’m not talking about members of the Kardashian-Jenner clan. I’m referring to the seemingly never-ending stream of CBD products hitting the market in recent years.
Hardly a day goes by without CBD—short for cannabidiol, the nonintoxicating compound found in the cannabis family of plants—grabbing headlines or the attention of celebrities hoping to cash in on the hemp-derived cannabinoid craze.
There are now scores of notable athletes, actors, musicians and other media personalities investing in the CBD space.
Blink 182 drummer Travis Barker is preparing to launch his own line of cannabinoid infused wellness products.
Former supermodel Kathy Ireland recently unveiled her own line of CBD offerings, and NFL superstar Rob Gronkowski has endorsed CBDMedic’s line of products.
The list grows daily.
But what is CBD, and what does it actually do?
That’s something even billionaire Elon Musk has pondered.
The Tesla and SpaceX founder, who appeared on the Joe Rogan podcast earlier this year, wondered if CBD was “fake,” and questioned its effects.
Rogan, who last year partnered with energy drink maker Kill Cliff on a “Flaming Joe” beverage infused with 25 mg of CBD, quickly rattled off a laundry list of potential benefits: It relieves anxiety, reduces inflammation, alleviates stress, improves sleep, and aids muscle recovery.
Those claims, often touted but not yet proven, are at the center of ongoing discussion about the ways in which the CBD category could evolve in the years to come and how the market should be regulated.
The passage of the 2018 Farm Bill removed hemp—now defined as cannabis sativa plants containing less than 0.3 percent THC—and its derivatives from the legal definition of marijuana.
While the act opened the door for companies to begin selling a variety of hemp-derived CBD products, it preserved the U.S. Food & Drug Administration’s authority to regulate food and beverages containing CBD.
The agency has yet to issue final regulatory guidance for products containing CBD, so drinks like the ones being promoted by Rogan and several others currently exist in somewhat of a legal gray area.
Until that FDA guidance arrives, most mainstream retailers are holding off on stocking their shelves with these products.
Even though large CPG firms and major retail chain store operators seem content to avoid the sector for now, 86% of Americans have heard of CBD. However, several smaller startups are betting that final FDA guidance will soon be issued and they’ll have a first mover advantage in the beverage category.
The opportunity that awaits could be worth $1.4 billion by 2025, according to cannabis research firm BDSA, which pegged sales of hemp-derived CBD drinks at just $100 million last year.
Meanwhile, less than 20% of U.S. consumers had used a CBD product as of last July, according to New Frontier Data.
As more people familiarize themselves with CBD and its potential benefits, industry stakeholders anticipate plenty of trial and error within the beverage segment.
Over the last several months, I’ve sampled countless new CBD-infused drinks, and I’m here to share some of my favorites with ONE37pm readers.
Below is a list of beverages—from sparkling waters, to nonalcoholic spirits—that contain CBD and should be on your list to try.