CBD Food and Drinks are Becoming More Popular, But the FDA isn’t Biting

CBD products are becoming increasingly popular in the food and beverage industry, with cafes, bars, and restaurants introducing CBD-infused drinks and dishes. The compound cannabidiol (CBD) is derived from the cannabis plant and is known for its potential therapeutic benefits, including reducing anxiety, depression, and pain. However, while the CBD market is booming, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has yet to approve CBD for use in food and drinks, causing confusion for businesses and consumers alike.

Despite the lack of FDA regulation, more and more companies are cashing in on the CBD trend, with sales estimated to reach $5 billion by 2022. Some businesses are able to operate in a legal gray area by sourcing CBD from hemp plants, which are legal under the 2018 Farm Bill, but the FDA has warned that it will take action against companies that make false health claims or use CBD as a food additive.

As the CBD industry continues to grow, the FDA faces mounting pressure to establish guidelines for its use in food and drinks. In the meantime, consumers are left to navigate a confusing market where products may or may not contain accurate dosages of CBD, and businesses risk legal repercussions for using CBD in their products. Despite the challenges, the popularity of CBD-infused food and drinks shows no sign of slowing down.

CBD Food and Drinks: FDA’s Reluctance to Regulate

The Growing Popularity of CBD Food and Drinks

CBD has gained immense popularity in recent years due to its potential health benefits. It is a non-psychoactive compound found in cannabis plants that is known for its anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties. The use of CBD oil as a dietary supplement has become commonplace, and now, CBD-infused food and drinks are also gaining popularity. CBD coffee, cocktails, gummies, chocolates, and even CBD-infused water are available on the market.

The Lack of Regulation by the FDA

Despite the growing popularity of CBD-infused food and drinks, the FDA has been reluctant to regulate this market. In December 2018, the FDA issued a statement saying that it is illegal to add CBD to food and drinks. The main reason behind this is the lack of research on the long-term effects of consuming CBD.

The FDA also expressed concerns about the safety of CBD products, citing reports of adverse reactions such as liver injury. The agency has sent warning letters to several companies selling CBD-infused food and drinks, asking them to stop making health claims without scientific evidence.

The Need for Regulation

The lack of regulation in the CBD food and drinks market has led to a lot of confusion among consumers. It is difficult for consumers to differentiate between high-quality and low-quality products, and there is no way to determine the dosage of CBD in each serving.

There is a need for the FDA to regulate this market and provide clear guidelines for the use of CBD in food and drinks. This will ensure that consumers have access to safe and effective CBD products.

In conclusion, the FDA’s reluctance to regulate the CBD food and drinks market is creating confusion and uncertainty among consumers. It is important for the FDA to take action and provide clear guidelines for the use of CBD in food and drinks to ensure the safety and efficacy of these products.

The Growing Popularity of CBD Food and Drinks

What is CBD?

CBD (cannabidiol) is a compound found in the cannabis plant. Unlike THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), CBD does not cause a psychoactive effect and is not intoxicating.

The Benefits of CBD

CBD is known for its potential therapeutic benefits, including reducing anxiety, easing pain, and promoting relaxation.

CBD Food and Drinks

CBD-infused food and drinks have been gaining popularity in recent years, with restaurants and cafes offering CBD cocktails, CBD-infused snacks, and even CBD-infused meals. Additionally, there is a growing market for CBD-infused products such as chocolate, gummies, and coffee.

The FDA’s Stance on CBD Food and Drinks

The FDA has not yet approved CBD-infused food and drinks, citing the need for more research and regulation. While some states have legalized CBD-infused food and drinks, there is still uncertainty surrounding the legality of these products.

The Future of CBD Food and Drinks

Despite the regulatory uncertainty, the CBD food and drinks industry shows no sign of slowing down. Industry experts predict that the market for CBD-infused products will continue to grow in the coming years, with more companies entering the market and more consumers becoming interested in CBD’s potential health benefits.

  • CBD-infused food and drinks are gaining popularity due to CBD’s potential health benefits
  • The FDA has not yet approved CBD-infused food and drinks due to the need for more regulation
  • Despite regulatory uncertainty, the CBD food and drinks industry is expected to continue growing.
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What is CBD and How is it Used in Food and Drinks?

What is CBD?

CBD stands for cannabidiol, which is a natural compound found in the cannabis plant. Unlike THC, another compound found in cannabis, CBD does not produce a psychoactive effect, meaning it will not get you “high” in any way.

Over the past few years, there has been growing interest in the potential health benefits of CBD, such as its ability to relieve pain, reduce anxiety, and improve sleep. As a result, CBD products have become increasingly popular, including those used in food and drinks.

How is CBD Used in Food and Drinks?

CBD can be infused into a wide variety of food and drink products, from gummies and chocolates to coffee and beer. However, it is important to note that the FDA has not yet established clear regulations on the use of CBD in food and drinks, which has led to some ambiguity in the market.

Some restaurants and cafes have begun to offer CBD-infused menu items, often in the form of cocktails or desserts. Many food and beverage companies are also capitalizing on the trend by creating CBD products, such as sparkling water and energy drinks.

It is important to remember that while CBD may offer potential health benefits, it is not a magical cure-all and should be used with caution. Consumers should always do their research and speak with a healthcare professional before incorporating CBD products into their diet.

Benefits and Risks of Consuming CBD Food and Drinks


CBD, or cannabidiol, is one of the many compounds found in the cannabis plant. It has been found to have a variety of potential health benefits, including:

  • Reducing anxiety and depression: CBD interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system to regulate mood and reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression.
  • Pain relief: CBD has anti-inflammatory properties and can help reduce pain and inflammation.
  • Improving sleep: CBD can help regulate the body’s sleep-wake cycle, leading to better quality sleep.
  • Reducing seizures: CBD has been shown to be effective in reducing seizures in some forms of epilepsy.


While CBD is generally considered safe, there are some potential risks associated with consuming CBD food and drinks:

  • Interaction with medication: CBD can interact with certain medications, so it’s important to speak with a doctor before consuming CBD if you’re taking any prescription drugs.
  • Side effects: CBD can cause side effects for some people, including fatigue, changes in appetite, and diarrhea.
  • Quality control: CBD is not regulated by the FDA, so it can be difficult to ensure the quality and purity of products containing CBD.

Summary of Benefits and Risks
Benefits Risks
  • Reducing anxiety and depression
  • Pain relief
  • Improving sleep
  • Reducing seizures
  • Interaction with medication
  • Side effects
  • Quality control

Current Regulatory Landscape of CBD Food and Drinks

Legal Status of CBD

CBD, or cannabidiol, is a non-intoxicating compound found in the cannabis plant. While CBD derived from hemp was legalized under the 2018 Farm Bill, the FDA has not yet approved the use of CBD in food, drinks, or dietary supplements. The agency is currently reviewing the safety and efficacy of CBD products and has yet to establish a clear regulatory framework for the industry.

State Regulations

Despite the lack of federal regulations, several states have begun to implement their own rules for CBD food and drinks. For example, California and Colorado allow the sale of these products, provided they meet certain labeling and testing requirements. However, other states like New York and Ohio have banned the sale of CBD-infused products altogether. This has created a patchwork of regulations that can be difficult for businesses to navigate.

Limited Research

One of the challenges facing regulators is the limited research on the safety and efficacy of CBD in food and drinks. While some studies suggest that CBD may have therapeutic potential, there is still much to learn about its long-term effects on the human body. This has made it difficult for the FDA to issue clear guidelines for the industry.

Industry Responses

In the absence of clear regulations, many companies have begun marketing CBD-infused food and drinks without FDA approval. Some have argued that since hemp-derived CBD is legal under federal law, there is no need for further regulation. However, this approach is risky and could result in legal action from the FDA or other regulatory authorities.

Other companies have taken a more cautious approach, focusing on alternative methods of delivering CBD, such as tinctures and oils. These products are not subject to the same regulatory scrutiny as food and drink products and may therefore be easier to market.

The Future of CBD Food and Drinks

Given the growing popularity of CBD food and drinks, it is likely that the FDA will develop a regulatory framework for the industry in the near future. This could involve setting limits on the amount of CBD that can be used in these products, requiring specific labeling and testing standards, and establishing penalties for non-compliance. Until then, businesses in this industry will need to stay informed about the latest developments in CBD regulation and be prepared to adapt to changing rules and guidelines.

Why Isn’t the FDA Regulating CBD Food and Drinks?

1. Lack of Regulation in the CBD Industry

The CBD industry in the United States is largely unregulated. The FDA has only approved one prescription drug containing CBD, and has not yet set any official regulations for CBD food and drinks. This lack of guidance has led to a wide range of products with varying levels of quality and safety. Some CBD products may contain harmful additives or contaminants, while others may not contain the amount of CBD advertised on the label.

2. Legal Grey Area

CBD falls into a legal grey area in the US. While hemp-derived CBD was removed from the Controlled Substances Act in 2018, the FDA still considers it illegal to add CBD to food or drinks, as it has not been fully evaluated for safety and efficacy. This has resulted in a confusing landscape for CBD businesses and consumers alike, with some states allowing CBD food and drinks while others have banned them.

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3. Challenges in Establishing Safety Standards

Establishing safety standards for CBD food and drinks presents unique challenges for the FDA. Unlike traditional drugs and food additives, CBD is a natural compound with varying properties depending on the strain and method of extraction. Additionally, research on the long-term effects of CBD consumption is still limited, making it difficult for the FDA to establish guidelines for safe use.

4. Pressure from Industry and Advocates

The CBD industry and advocates for CBD have also played a role in the lack of FDA regulation. Many businesses and consumers have pushed for more freedom in the manufacture and sale of CBD products, while others have lobbied for stricter regulations. This political pressure has made it difficult for the FDA to establish a clear regulatory framework for CBD food and drinks.

5. Lack of Resources

Finally, the FDA may not have the resources necessary to fully regulate the growing CBD industry. The agency has limited staff and funding, and must prioritize its efforts based on potential risks to public health. With so many areas of concern, from traditional food and drug products to emerging technologies like CBD, the FDA may simply not have the bandwidth to fully regulate all aspects of the CBD industry at this time.

The Patchwork of State CBD Regulations

With the increasing popularity of CBD in food and drinks, many states have taken it upon themselves to regulate products containing the compound. However, the regulations surrounding CBD can vary greatly from state to state, creating a patchwork of laws that can be confusing for consumers and businesses alike.

States with Strict CBD Regulations

States with Strict CBD Regulations

Some states have taken a particularly hard stance on CBD, prohibiting its use in food and beverages altogether. For example, in Maine, CBD is only allowed in food and drinks that are prepared and sold by medical marijuana dispensaries. Similarly, in Ohio, CBD is only legal for medical purposes and cannot be sold in food or drinks.

Other states, such as New York and Indiana, have banned CBD-infused foods and drinks outright, regardless of the source of the compound.

States with More Lenient Regulations

On the other end of the spectrum, some states have taken a more relaxed approach to CBD regulation. In Colorado, for example, CBD is legal in all forms, including food and drinks, as long as it is derived from legally grown hemp and contains less than 0.3% THC. Similarly, in California, CBD can be included in food and drinks as long as it is not marketed as a dietary supplement.

Many states fall somewhere in between, allowing CBD in food and drinks but imposing certain restrictions. For example, in Florida, CBD is legal in food and drinks as long as it is derived from hemp and contains less than 0.3% THC. However, the state requires that all CBD products be independently tested and labeled accurately.

The Need for Federal Regulation

The patchwork of state regulations surrounding CBD underscores the need for federal regulation. Without consistent standards and guidelines, consumers and businesses are left to navigate a confusing and potentially hazardous landscape. Until the FDA provides clear guidance on CBD in food and drinks, the patchwork of state regulations is likely to persist.

Industry Response to FDA’s Lack of Regulation

Push for Self-Regulation

With the FDA slow to regulate CBD food and drink products, many industry leaders are taking it upon themselves to set standards. The US Hemp Authority, a non-profit organization, has developed a certification program for CBD products. This program includes third-party testing to ensure products are safe, accurately labeled, and legal under federal law. The US Hemp Authority has already certified over 50 companies and is constantly adding more to the list.

Product Transparency

As consumers become more aware of the potential benefits of CBD products, they are also becoming more interested in what is actually in their food and drinks. Many companies are responding to this by providing lab reports and detailed product information on their websites. This transparency helps to build trust with customers and can also help companies stand out in a crowded market.

Educational Campaigns

With so many misconceptions surrounding CBD, some industry leaders are taking it upon themselves to educate the public. For example, the National Hemp Association is working to educate both consumers and farmers about the benefits of hemp cultivation. Similarly, some companies are partnering with doctors and health experts to provide educational resources about the safe and effective use of CBD products.

Collaboration with Lawmakers

Some industry leaders are also working with lawmakers to promote safe and effective CBD regulation. For example, the Hemp Industries Association has been lobbying for the legalization of hemp for years. They have also been working to ensure that any regulation of CBD products is reasonable and based on scientific evidence. By working with lawmakers, these industry leaders hope to create a safe and stable market for CBD products.

The Role of Consumers in Shaping CBD Regulation

Consumers Demand Clarity

Consumers are demanding clear and concise regulations when it comes to CBD products. With the recent surge in popularity, many consumers are worried about the safety and efficacy of these products. This has put pressure on regulatory bodies such as the FDA to provide more guidance and oversight. Without these regulations, consumers are left to navigate a market that is largely unregulated, leading to confusion and potential harm.

Consumer Feedback

Consumer feedback is crucial in shaping regulations around CBD products. As consumers continue to use these products, they are providing valuable insights into their effectiveness and safety. This feedback can be used to inform future regulations, ensuring that products on the market are safe and effective.

Consumer Advocacy

Consumer advocacy groups are also playing an important role in shaping CBD regulations. These groups are working to ensure that the regulations put in place by regulatory bodies are in the best interest of consumers. By advocating for clear labeling and testing requirements, these groups are helping to protect consumers from harmful or ineffective products.

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The role of consumers in shaping CBD regulation cannot be overstated. From demanding clearer regulations to providing feedback on product safety and effectiveness, consumers are playing an important role in ensuring that these products are safe and effective. As the market for CBD products continues to grow, it is important that consumers remain vigilant and continue to advocate for clearer regulations and safer products.

Future Outlook for CBD Food and Drinks

Innovative Product Development

As the popularity of CBD food and drinks continues to rise, there is a growing interest in innovative product development. Companies are exploring new ways of incorporating CBD into their offerings, from sparkling CBD water to CBD-infused chocolate bars. With the increasing demand for natural and functional ingredients, CBD is expected to become a staple in the food and beverage industry.

Expanding Market Opportunities

The market for CBD food and drinks is rapidly expanding as more consumers become aware of its potential health benefits. With the growing interest in plant-based products and a shift towards healthier lifestyles, CBD food and drinks provide an attractive alternative to traditional options. This presents a significant market opportunity for businesses to tap into a new customer base and expand their product lines.

Regulatory Uncertainty

While the future looks bright for CBD food and drinks, regulatory uncertainty remains a challenge for the industry. The FDA has yet to issue clear guidelines on the use of CBD in food and drinks, leaving businesses to navigate a complex legal landscape. However, many are optimistic that the FDA will provide a framework for the industry in the future, which could lead to increased consumer confidence and investment.

Increased Awareness and Education

As more research is conducted on the potential health benefits of CBD, there is a growing awareness and education around the compound. This could lead to increased demand for CBD food and drinks as consumers become more informed about its properties. Additionally, as education and awareness increase, it is likely that more businesses will enter the market, creating a more competitive landscape that could drive innovation and product development.


In summary, the future outlook for CBD food and drinks is promising, with opportunities for innovation and market expansion. However, regulatory uncertainty remains a challenge for the industry, and education and awareness will be key to driving consumer demand. As the market continues to evolve, it will be interesting to see how businesses navigate these challenges to capitalize on the potential of CBD in the food and beverage industry.

Questions and Answers:

Why isn’t the FDA regulating CBD food and drinks?

The FDA hasn’t yet regulated CBD food and drinks because they are still researching and testing the effects of CBD on human health. They want to ensure that CBD is safe for human consumption before allowing it in food and drinks.

What are the potential health benefits of consuming CBD in food and drinks?

CBD has been touted as having potential health benefits, including reducing anxiety and depression, alleviating pain and inflammation, and improving sleep. However, more research is needed to fully understand the effects of CBD on human health.

Is it legal to sell CBD food and drinks without FDA regulation?

No, it is not legal to sell CBD food and drinks without FDA regulation. The FDA has issued warning letters to companies selling unapproved CBD products, and they have the authority to seize these products if they are found to be unsafe or mislabeled.


Lily Clark

As someone who is interested in the benefits of CBD, it’s frustrating to see the FDA dragging their feet on regulating CBD-infused food and drinks. With more and more products on the market, it’s hard to know what’s safe and effective. While I understand the need for regulation, it’s disappointing that the FDA isn’t moving faster to protect consumers and support the growth of the industry. Hopefully, they will take action soon so that we can all enjoy the benefits of CBD without the uncertainty.

William Brown

As a male reader, I find it interesting to learn about the growing trend of CBD-infused food and drinks but it is concerning that the FDA is not taking action to regulate these products. While CBD has been touted for its potential health benefits, it is important for consumers to know that the quality and safety of these products is not guaranteed. I would like to see the FDA take a stronger stance on this issue to protect the public and ensure that these products are properly labeled. As more and more companies enter the CBD market, the need for regulation becomes increasingly important. It is also important for consumers to do their own research and be cautious when trying new CBD products. Overall, I hope that the FDA will take action soon to address this growing trend.

Alice Davis

As a consumer who is interested in exploring new and trendy food and drink options, I have been hearing more and more about CBD-infused products. However, the lack of guidance and regulation from the FDA has given me pause about trying them. While I appreciate the potential health benefits that CBD may offer, I believe it is important for the FDA to thoroughly test and regulate these products before they become widely available. As a woman, I am particularly concerned about the safety and efficacy of these products, especially if I were to consume them while pregnant or breastfeeding. One aspect of the FDA’s stance on CBD-infused foods and drinks that I do support is their crackdown on companies making unsubstantiated health claims. It is important for consumers to have accurate information about the products they are consuming, and companies that make false or misleading claims are not only unethical, but potentially dangerous. Overall, I believe that as the popularity of CBD continues to grow, it is imperative for the FDA to take a more active role in regulating and monitoring these products to ensure their safety and efficacy for consumers.