The popularity of CBD-infused products shows no sign of slowing down in London, while consumers in New York have encountered a radically different experience this past month.
The Evening Standard reports that CBD ‘is becoming as crucial to the London caffeine run as oat milk and an extra shot,’ with coffee houses adding CBD drops, almost as a staple offering, on their menus.
“It’s the perfect drink for gym-goers and professionals alike looking to improve focus and energy inside, and outside, the gym or office,” says Josh Kay, co-founder of High Tide, which distributes CBD-infused cold brew coffee cans in the UK.
“We use three ingredients — namely hand-roasted Columbian coffee beans, filtered water and CBD, the non-psychoactive derivative of the cannabis plant guaranteed to contain no THC,” says Kay. “This means it can be used by athletes and does not cause a high — which is great news given that CBD has been found to help inflammation and speed-up muscle recovery time.”
“It’s really just engineered to help you relax and restore balance,” says Stuart Forsyth, CEO of Minor Figures, an east London-based coffee company which sells CBD tincture with coffee at £20 per 10ml bottle. “The product is completely safe to use, as recently verified by the World Health Organisation, and it has no psychoactive properties. It acts as the yin to coffee’s yang.”
Other places to note for the CBD aficionado include Planet Organic whose brew combines espresso, butter, coconut oil and CBD while in Notting Hill, Farm Girl serves a Happy Hot Chocolate, which includes CBD oil too.
In Fitzrovia, Mortimer House has created a wellbeing “Potions” menu to accompany coffees with CBD oil and tea infusions such as The Balance, which contains ashwagandha, liquorice, turmeric, ginger, black pepper and cayenne.
CBD-Infused food and drink in London continues to grow in popularity which begs the question, why not New York?
In New York, it’s a different story, with CBD being hit with an impromptu ban last month.
City lawmakers are not entirely happy about the sudden decision, especially the manner in which the product was removed from menus.
“We are deeply alarmed by the opaque nature of the process by which the Department came to this seemingly abrupt policy shift,” New York City Council speaker Corey Johnson and Councilmen Mark Levine and Robert Holden wrote in their letter to Health Commissioner Oxiris Barbot.
The letter requests the agency provide a detailed accounting of its decision-making process, an official explanation of its stance on the compound and its possible impacts on public health and explain why the decision was made without public hearings.
Last month the city’s health department banned sales of the substance without warning.
“There’s been no explanation about why such a drastic step needed to be taken now,” Levine told The New York Post. “We really want to have a full public airing of this issue.”
The Health Department said it was abiding by federal government guidelines.
The contrasting fortunes of CBD in both cities shows there is a while to go before it is fully accepted, and a general consensus that more research will aid the industry’s forward momentum worldwide.