UPDATE: The Food and Drug Administration announced on April 2 that it will host a public hearing on May 31 to address the regulatory concerns around products with cannabis and cannabidiol.
It’s not your average fruit-flavored beverage. It comes packaged in a glass bottle, and its labels boast of organic ingredients. One of those ingredients is hemp cannabidiol, more commonly known as CBD.
This was one of the Vybes drinks, which Soyumi recently got back in stock at their restaurant. Though the Vybe flavors sold there include interesting combinations such as strawberry lavender or blueberry mint, many people may be first wondering about the CBD.
What the hemp?
Simply put, CBD is the non-psychoactive compound from the hemp plant, according to Medium’s 2018 post comparing hemp and marijuana. Additionally, because the drink has no THC in it, only CBD, you can’t get high off of it.
As well, hemp-derived CBD is partially legalized now, since President Trump signed the 2018 Farm Bill into law in December 2018. The new law, among other things, removed hemp from the list of controlled substances.
However, the Food and Drug Administration maintains that, even after that law’s passage, it still has to approve for Vybes and other companies like it to market CBD-infused products across state lines.
Vybes currently promotes their drinks as a way to help people alleviate their stress or anxiety and improve their mood. It is not known whether the FDA is pursuing specific action against Vybes.
As well, it seems like Vybes has been steadily increasing the amount of CBD in its drinks, from 11.05 milligrams, according to their website, to 15 milligrams, according to a 2019 Atlantic article, to 25 milligrams, according to the label on the drink sample for this review.
In total, Soyumi sells the peach ginger, blueberry mint and strawberry lavender flavors.
For this review, I drank the peach ginger Vybes drink.
The drink had this translucent sheen to it. Perhaps that was because it was a juice-based drink. In addition, the drink’s label advises shaking it to re-mix ingredients that may have separated.
The drink liquid contained this soothing base of peach juice with the spicy tang of ginger. At first, the tang seemed overpowering to my unprepared palette.
However, the ginger became normative after a couple of minutes, muted by the peach notes.
These flavors were more noticeable when the drink was chilled, but post-refrigeration, it was not all bad either, since the more subtle ginger notes accompanied the warmer temperature.
For those concerned about caloric intake, the drink only had 25 calories. The 30 milligrams of caffeine was also lower than that in popular 12-ounce cans of soda.
Care is advised when handling a Vybes bottle, since it is glass. The size of it, though, makes it easy to stick in the side pocket of a book bag if you like to consume your drinks over time or later after purchasing it.
The price was less than expected too, at $8.56 for the 14-ounce bottle. Each bottle constitutes one serving.
Vybes is one product among many that is taking advantage of the hemp-derived-CBD food and beverage trend.
While, as the Atlantic article outlined, the FDA and city entities are looking to place regulations on such products, the trend toward CBD-infused foods and drinks only seems to be growing.
Whether the next steps in the market are increased government regulations or increased mass production remains to be seen.