Food news ‘The health benefits are becoming clearer… the future looks very exciting: What’s the CBD sector’s next play?

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People suffering from fibromyalgia, a chronic and hard-to-treat condition that causes severe pain throughout the body, are switching to CBD to manage their symptoms in large numbers, according to a US study. The researchers found that CBD use is increasing without the guidance of a physician and the lack of clinical trials. ” Despite the lack of evidence, people continue to use CBD as a substitute for medication. They claim it is less harmful and more efficient ,” one stated.

This latest study highlights both the immense potential of CBD and the limitations to its development, namely the lack of hard evidence that backs up the health benefits it claims.

CBD can be used as an ingredient in food or beverages. It is oil or powder made from cannabis plants. It doesn’t get you high. It is not a high-powered treatment for epilepsy. However, studies continue to show that it can be used to manage anxiety, insomnia and inflammation. These studies are still inconclusive. Currently, medical claims cannot be made about any product, except Epidiolex which was the FDA’s first approved prescription CBD medicine to treat seizures.

Regulation is another grey area that has hindered NPD and made consumers apprehensive. In the UK, companies selling CBD products were told they needed to submit in-depth Novel Foods applications to the Food Standards Agency (FSA), encompassing detailed and costly toxicology and bioavailability data, by March 2021. The European Commission dropped plans to classify nonsynthetic CBD products as narcotics at the start of the year and resumed Novel Food applications for edible CBD. These moves were made to increase the quality of CBD products that are on shelves. Some people complain that there are still unregulated and less effective CBD products on the market due to the cost and time required to navigate the Novel Foods process. From around 800 in total, it’s believed a few hundred applications have been so far rejected.

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There is huge excitement about CBD’s percieved health benefits, but into what foods can it best be incorporated, if any? Image: Getty/PeopleImages

‘Innovation is going to be key going forward’

That said, the Association for the Cannabinoid Industry (ACI), which represents several of the largest CBD companies operating in the UK, is confident the regulatory confusion is mostly behind us. The Association for the Cannabinoid Industry (ACI) is optimistic about the possibility of a safe, legal, and regulated cannabis industry being created in the country.

It claims that the UK market now ranks second behind the US. The UK has the best CBD regulatory framework. It estimates the sector will generate PS690 million in annual sales this year, above a previous forecast of PS526 million. It attributed this to the increased demand for CBD by stressed-out and sleep-deprived consumers.

The ACI considers CBD a versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of foods and beverages if it is done correctly. It can also be used in everyday foods, which will increase the market.

According to the ACI it is logical for large food companies to enter this market. This industry offers a huge financial opportunity. These companies will likely have the technical skills to develop unique products that stand out from the rest.

ACI Parveen Bhatarah, Lead Regulatory and Compliance, said that improved regulation of CBD products will lead to innovation. She explained that regulation is often seen as complex, but it is actually a positive thing, which ensures a safe and trustworthy industry.

” You need to be familiar with your product from the inside,” she stated. She explained that brands must provide detailed information about CBD’s efficacy and solubility as well as bioavailability, interaction with other ingredients, and interactions.

The FSA recommends adults take no more than 70mg of CBD a day. The supplier must now be clear about how much CBD will be taken by the end user. Some CBD products will destroy most of it before it reaches your bloodstream. “Any product which wants to be durable will need to have evidence-based data backing it,” stated Bhatarah .. “Without this, you’re going see a huge filtering out these products… a lot small brands have entered just for the sake

. Better regulation, she said, will further reduce the stigma surrounding CBD which can still exist among manufacturers and consumers.

An everyday product or a niche one?

What food and beverage products best suit CBD? Tenacious Labs, a UK-based cannabinoid company, believes that CBD will closely mirror the premium spirits industry. CBD is viewed by Tenacious Labs as something that can be used to relax at the end, much in the same way one might drink a whiskey or a tonic. The ACI sees CBD beverages as a threat to the premium mixer market. It could also take on Fever-Tree and tap into the growing low-to-no segment.

The ACI believes CBD has more uses than this. “CBD is an extremely versatile ingredient. I believe that’s why it appeals to big companies ,”, said Laura Williamson, ACI Member Manager. ” It doesn’t have any flavour or texture, so it can be used for any product they are looking to launch .”.

But CBD has its formulation challenges. According to the ACI’s research, manufacturers have not yet fully appreciated and made use of CBD’s hydrophilic properties. Bhatarah stated that brands will be able to use CBD’s lipophilic and hydrophilic properties to make products more effective and better understand how to incorporate it into their products.

” A small brand may not have the resources or knowledge to make products that are effective ,”. ” For example, if you want to make CBD cocoanut water you will need to be able to use the CBD molecule in a way that makes it soluble and bioavailable. If you want to put it in a cereal bar, you will need to ensure it is lipophilic so it can be absorbed into the fats. .”

Bhatarah agrees with Tenacious Labs that it would be a huge step forward to solve the problem of water-soluble CBD. ” There are endless possibilities if you can improve the bioavailability or the solubility. These areas can be yours to own IPs. These are the areas where the big players have the most opportunities.” She expects that a better understanding of cannabimimetics, or how CBD interacts with your endocannabinoid systems — will lead to better CBD products and even new food products. ” There’s plenty of imagination and creativity that can be used to make new types of products ,”, she stated.

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CBD: the next whiskey? Image: Getty/PixelCatchers

‘Demand will rise exponentially’: Robertet

France-based Robertet Group was the first flavour and fragrance company to venture into the CBD space. The supplier is still waiting for the processing of its European Novel Foods and UK applications. The supplier believes that regulatory confusion has been a major bottleneck in the CBD industry. This is about to be resolved and the market will mature.

“There are a lot of garage suppliers in the UK who can’t afford to compete a full and thorough dossier or they’ve got a supply of CBD which isn’t in line with the safety guidance set out by the FSA,” said Ross MacPherson, UK Sales Manager at Robertet Group. “What is going to happen is that there will be fewer larger suppliers .”

Robertet is focusing on the dietary supplement market. It sells CBD products in different forms, including isolates and distillates, to well-known clients in the beauty and health space. Our CBD products are in high demand due to the expanding market. As more suppliers receive Novel Food validation, the demand for CBD materials will rise further because more materials will be conforming to the regulation ,”.

“We applied with as many formulas possible to ensure they could be used in as many dosage formats ,”. He continued. “We also include our Natur-Cell technology in our application. This is where technology is used to spray dry CBD onto the inulin. Our CBD material can then be used in chocolates or other food ingredients. To make it possible for our CBD to be used in beverages, shots, and other beverages, we have also developed a CBD emulsion. This allows us to cover all the market .” MacPherson expects that end products will be nutraceutical and not mainstream food products. I believe that CBD will continue to be a popular ingredient in the US. He said that there are many options, but it could be a while before CBD is included in mainstream foods such as pizza and yoghurts ,”. “Sports nutrition will be another important market, as more CBD brands are focusing on athletes. He said that the UK CBD market, which includes the Vitamin C and D industries

CBD, is worth its weight. The understanding of CBD by consumers will improve over time. We will see more forms of CBD becoming popular. While CBD might not add any real benefit in terms of taste or texture, the health benefits are becoming clearer and the future for CBD in the UK looks very exciting.”

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