Denver — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Friday will hold its first public hearing on a plan to legalize CBD in food and drinks. CBD comes from plants in the cannabis family, but unlike marijuana, it won't make you high. It's expected to be a $20 billion dollar industry by 2022.
Depending on the amount, people said CBD-infused coffee helps them feel calm or focused, but you probably won't be able to taste any difference.
It's unusual for people to buy coffee at The Blue Sparrow, but this being Denver, the blend is unusual—it's infused with CBD.
John McCaskill used to drink pots of coffee daily, but the CBD version eased his coffee craving. "For me, it just got rid of all the jitters," McCaskill said.
"Isn't that what you drink coffee for?" Petersen asked.
"No, not the jitters. The best way I can describe it, it's kinda like taking off and it just levels off," McCaskill said.
Andrew Aamot, the co-founder of Denver's Strava Coffee, started as a high-end coffee roaster, but competition forced him to be different. So, he added in CBD, and often that's where the misconceptions start.
"I had a chance to start a coffee business, but what I'm doing now is delivering, you know, a better life to a lot of consumers," Aamot said.
"We're not selling pot coffee. We are selling a coffee that has been infused with nutrients from a plant that do not have a recreational purpose. They don't produce any kind of high or experience like that," he said.
Pot comes from the marijuana plant that loaded with THC, the ingredient that creates a high, but CBD oil comes from the hemp plant, soon legal to grow across the U.S. It has trace amount of THC but usually too small to make anyone high.
Lately, it seems like CBD is on sale everywhere, claiming to help with everything from soreness to stress, but that depends on how your body reacts, said Martha Montemayor, a certified nutritional consultant.
"Some people are definitely going to feel better, some people are going to feel nothing," Montemayor said.
Back at Strava Coffee, the quality control tasting room may be the closest thing to coffee heaven. Aamot was Petersen's guide for his first taste of CBD coffee.
"Caffeine is still in there, though. The CBD is going to balance it out just a bit and help with some mental clarity, focus, and then help with just making things a little looser," Aamot said.
Strava's CBD coffee is pricey. One of the cheapest bags sells for around $20 a bag. The most expensive, with eight times more CBD, will set you back $54.95.
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