From a food engineering perspective, I think it could be vitally important moving forward for certain foods to be “injected” with certain therapeutic compounds. CBD is one such example. A sensitive approach to adding therapeutics to food encourages better eating and a healthier lifestyle.
Many of us forget that food is medicine, and it as been practiced this way for millennia in the Ayurvedic tradition. Instead of separating food and medicine, Ayurvedic practitioners have incorporated them into a holistic method of self-care. Incorporating a small amount of medicine into an everyday diet is not just a therapeutic measure, but preventative care as well. We’ve seen that the pharmaceutical companies are investing on CBD research a lot of money, so why would the food industry not?
I think CBD can be used by the food industry in the same way. It is a way of medicating the kinds of foods we eat everyday for a more integrative approach to food and medicine.
I do not necessarily support cannabis edibles that are packed with sugar, preservatives and other potentially harmful agents. I do not believe that this is conducive to health, and while this may be fine for those using cannabis edibles recreationally, it is not sustainable for those who want to use cannabinoids therapeutically everyday.
Highly nutritional CBD edibles don’t just encourage cannabinoid enthusiasts to use CBD — but also to consume healthier foods more often. At the root of it, the journey towards health requires a full change of lifestyle. This includes, diet, medicine, exercise and mental health. And in fact, these aspects are inseparable from each other, and the inclusion of CBD into food products is another way to manifest this.
CBD targets the endocannabinoid system
It is unfortunate that so much modern tertiary education omits formal education about the endocannabinoid system. This system that is vital to human functioning was only discovered in the 1960’s by Raphael Mechoulam in his Israel laboratory. Since its discovery, scientists have continued to uncover the importance of this system for the correct functioning of the human body.
The endocannabinoid system can be seen as the other half of the nervous system. While the nervous system sends impulses from the presynaptic neuron to the postsynaptic neuron, the endocannabinoid system works in reverse. It creates endogenous cannabinoids on demand, and sends them from the postsynaptic neuron to the presynaptic neuron. It is a “dimmer switch” on nervous impulses, switching off certain neuronal responses when needed.
The nervous system is essentially what switches everything on, but in moments of overactivity, something needs to switch things off. That is the role of the endocannabinoid system, and that is why it is seen as the main driver of homeostatic balance in the human body.
Food is medicine
Adding CBD to foods is one way to blur the line a little bit between food and medicine. Anything we put in our bodies every day is bound to have a profound effect on the way our bodies function, especially over time. CBD-infused foods give consumers an opportunity to treat their food as though it is medicinal, and to consume foods that are in line with their healing and goals.
As much as consuming processed foods or fast food is bad for the body, consuming healthy, nutritional, wholesome foods is greatly beneficial for our bodies. In this way, everything that we eat contributes to our health or lack thereof.
CBD in the food industry is almost an act of rebellion and activism. It encourages the consumer to be proactive about the foods they eat and the way these foods are going to affect vital elements of their health.