Following the recent success of CBD oil in the UK, Holland and Barrett (a chain of health food stores) has now launched Europe’s first CBD infused water.
The CBD revolution currently sweeping North America has finally started to gather pace in Europe and the UK as well with CBD oil now available at the British retailer since January of 2018.
With the number of people using CBD oil in the UK doubling over the past 12 months from 125,00 to 250,000 (according to the Cannabis Trades Association UK), it is evident that CBD is proving to be increasingly popular with British consumers.
Indeed, Holland and Barrett have reported a 37% increase in sales of the CBD oil over the past 12 months as more and more Brits begin to wake up to the litany of potential health benefits associated with CBD use.
As a result of this success, the retailer has now launched a CBD infused water. Billed as the first functional spring water in Europe to be infused with CBD, each 500 ml bottle contains just 2mg of natural hemp extract.
Beneficial or Bold Marketing?
CBD water producers are said to be using nanotechnology that adds tiny CBD molecules to “water clusters”. It is claimed that the “nano amplification,” process allows 100% of the CBD and nutrients to move through your cells quickly and provide a greater level of bioavailability.
They claim that by obtaining a higher level of bioavailability, you will need much less CBD to feel the same benefits.
But is this completely true or merely a bold marketing claim?
At this point, scientists are uncertain whether the nanotechnology is beneficial or actually potentially dangerous. While it is generally accepted that nanotechnology may enhance bioavailability, it is not known whether this increase can also result in increased toxicity.
At present, there are established upper limits for vitamin and mineral consumption, however, no such guidelines exist for phytochemicals (biologically active compounds found in plants). and other non-nutrients used in CBD water.
As a result, there is an element of risk associated with CBD water at this point and more research must be done in this area to determine whether the process is actually completely safe and whether claims of increased bioavailability are indeed accurate.
Additionally, even if the bioavailability of the CBD is increased, the actual quantity of CBD in the product is so low (just 2mg) that it surely leads us to question whether CBD water is an effective way of consuming CBD.
With most CBD oils containing between 300 and 1500 mg of CBD, it is obvious that even by drinking multiple bottles of CBD water, you are not going to get much of a CBD hit. Or to put it another way, you ain’t getting much bang for your buck.
To put this into context, you would need to drink 150 bottles of the CBD infused water to get the same amount of CBD contained in our 300 mg CBD oil. Is anyone really that thirsty?
Certainly, there have been some sceptical reactions to CBD water with many pointing to a lack of research to back up the claims about increased bioavailability.
When you consider that the CBD water that is currently on sale in the UK is priced at less than $2 a bottle, the old phrase “you get what you pay for” seems particularly appropriate.
Of course, anything that gets people drinking more water has to be welcomed, and the concept of hemp infused water is certainly an attractive one from a marketing sense. However, with a lack of research into the benefits and safety of CBD water currently available, it is this writer's opinion that this product is best ignored until such testing is conducted.
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CBD Innovation - Good or bad?
Clearly, with the CBD explosion showing no signs of abating, a wide range of manufacturers are now falling over themselves in a rush to create “CBD anything”.
A whole line of products from CBD Tea to CBD Bath Bombs have hit the shelves over the last 12 months and while the increased attention on CBD is obviously welcome, there are potential issues that may arise from this kind of innovation.
One example of the popularisation and subsequent marketing of a product is evidenced in Aloe Vera. This is a plant that has seen its popularity continue to rise in recent years and if you pop into your local pharmacy or supermarket, you will now find literally dozens of products that claim to contain it. This is simply because manufacturers are aware that Aloe is now hugely popular amongst consumers.
Of course, the reality is that the majority of these products will contain very little Aloe, sometimes less than a fraction of a % but that really doesn’t matter to those selling it. Throw in a little Aloe and you have yourself a “superior” item that grabs the consumers attention and creates a profitable product.
Indeed, the fear is that something similar could well happen with CBD. We are currently seeing all kinds of new and fashionable ways to consume CBD and while some are genuine, innovative and worthwhile, others would appear to be less so.
One example of this kind of “innovation” is in New York where fashionable Manhattan bars are now adding shots of CBD oil to their cocktails (and adding $ to the price). Is this really a beneficial development? Or does it serve to merely undermine the value of CBD?
When an inferior product is marketed under the CBD banner, it not only serves to undermine all of the hard work done by those who have fought for CBD to earn its place as a viable medical treatment, but also allows to create a scenario where consumers who experience a cheap and inferior product to then share a potentially negative experience.
As we know, all of our voices are that much louder these days and this has the potential to cause untold damage to the reputation of CBD, a product that already has countless stigmas to fight both at a social and political level.
There is certainly a worrying potential for CBD to become monetized, marketed and ultimately cheapened when new and inferior products are gaining in popularity so it is vital that a regulatory board is commissioned to ensure that any product said to contain CBD must be tested for both its authenticity and safety.
Certainly, there are both positives and negatives that will occur as a result of the CBD revolution currently sweeping the planet. Innovation is no bad thing in itself, but it must be worthwhile. It must add to the value of this wonderful plant. Not detract from it.
It is our collective responsibility to ensure that the discovery of CBD and it’s incredible potential to provide a unique and remarkable change to humanity must not be diluted by a part of society that seems increasingly desperate to monetize and market at every possible opportunity.