Cocktails with an added dose of cannabidiol, or CBD, have been popping up around the country the past couple of years. On-trend bars from New York to California simply add a couple drops of CBD oil (which is non-psychoactive unlike THC) to some standard drinks and voila: Drinkers have a new, hip cocktail with a subtle calming effect. But in California, the trend had a short life. Governor Jerry Brown recently signed a law that prohibits mixing CBD and alcohol.
The law, AB 2914, bans any establishment with a license to sell alcohol from selling any “cannabis or cannabis products.” That includes both THC and CBD. The CBD cocktail movement has been going on since 2015 in LA, according to Eater, and the number of bars using it saw a boost after the state legalized recreational cannabis on January 1, 2018. As word about CBD and its magical healing and relaxation powers (which still need further scientific study) spread, so did CBD cocktails.
The law is a strong stance for a pro-cannabis state. CBD is legal in nearly every state because it can come from hemp, which doesn’t have THC. However, states with legal recreational weed often allow CBD products like oils and edibles to be made from the flower, as well, which means they can contain trace amounts of THC.
The limited studies that have been done on the effects of CBD show that it can ease pain, reduce anxiety, and limit seizures. It won’t, however, get you high. Still, it was a fun — and popular — ingredient for bars to play with. Mixing THC and alcohol is banned even in states where marijuana is legal, but CBD is generally allowed because it’s non-psychoactive. By banning all CBD — not just CBD that could contain THC — California appears to be heading off the major regulatory headache of checking that bars are using hemp-based CBD. Other states have yet to follow suit.