WTF is it and what the hell is it used for?
A decade ago, most people outside of the cannabis industry had never heard of CBD. But since then, the CBD industry has grown to a $ 2.8 billion market, and you can go to any smoke shop, bodega, or grocery store today and find a dazzling array of legal CBD products. In addition to natural hemp flower and oil extracts, you’ll find CBD-infused beer, smoothies, body lotions, shampoo, toothpaste, lubricants, gums, vapes, and more drinks and foods than you could possibly even list.
And while there are seemingly millions of different CBD options on the market these days, hemp companies keep dreaming of innovative new goods. For example, CBD syrups have only recently started appearing in hemp stores across the country.
What is CBD syrup and how is it made?
As the name suggests, CBD syrup is a thick, sweet liquid that has been infused with cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive cannabinoid found naturally in hemp and some strains of marijuana. Most of these products start with simple syrup, which is made by mixing water with sugar, agave, honey, or other sweeteners. Additional flavors, botanicals, or natural herbs are usually added to the mix to enhance flavor or add additional health benefits.
Once the syrup is mixed, CBD can be added to the mixture. Some syrups contain pure CBD isolate while others contain full-spectrum extracts. The effectiveness of these products varies greatly depending on the intended use. Some syrups offer doses as low as 10 mg per serving for beginners, but on the other end of the spectrum you can find products up to 1,000 mg per bottle.
How do you use CBD syrup?
CBD syrups can be mixed with water, soda, or any other beverage you can think of. Some people even mix these syrups with alcohol, which can potentially increase the relaxing, sleepy effects of alcohol. This combination is of course not suitable for everyone, so it is actually more common to add CBD syrups to non-alcoholic “mocktails”.
What do people use CBD syrup for?
Many of these syrups take advantage of the relaxing, anti-inflammatory properties of CBD to create products that help people relax and sleep. Some of these syrups contain herbs like lavender to help promote relaxation, while others add natural sleep aids like melatonin and valerian. Other companies stick to the basics, only offering pure CBD blended with sweeteners and flavors for easy drink mixes.
Are There Downsides to Using CBD Syrup?
One thing to look out for when shopping for CBD syrup is artificial sweetening. While many of these products contain natural sweeteners like honey or agave, others use corn syrup, which is not exactly healthy. And even when natural sweeteners are used, the sugar content is not ideal for people with diabetes.
Another thing to consider is that CBD is more effective when smoked or inhaled than when consumed orally. When CBD oils, syrups, or foods are eaten, they must pass through the digestive system and liver of the body before they can take effect. After this process, only about 10 to 20 percent of the total CBD content gets into your bloodstream. In comparison, smoking or vaping has a higher bioavailability rate of 30 percent or more.
Are CBD syrups even legal?
Like most cannabidiol products, CBD syrups are in a legal gray area under US law. CBD itself, along with all other hemp-derived products that contain 0.3 percent THC or less, has been legal nationwide since January 2019. However, this law only applies directly to CBD flowers and pure, unadulterated extracts.
All infused foods, beverages, and drugs come under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and that agency has still not looked into regulating CBD products. Technically, this means that all CBD infused products, including syrups, are still banned under federal law. Fortunately, the government has largely put in place a hands-off policy in enforcing these rules, so you shouldn’t have any problems buying CBD syrup from your favorite hemp store or online retailer.