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Digital Subscriptions > delicious. Magazine > August 2019 > The controversial ingredient that’s technically illegal

The controversial ingredient that’s technically illegal

The world is awash with CBD, a compound in cannabis plants called cannabidiol. It’s finding its way into a smorgasbord of food and drink, from coffee, bottled water and alcohol to energy bars, chocolate and pastries. But can these products deliver any of the claimed health benefits – and does CBD need proper regulation? Sue Quinn leafs through the evidence

THE SANE VIEW

ILLUSTRATION: ISTOCK/GETTY IMAGES

Cannabis itself is arguably the world’s oldest medicine, cultivated for thousands of years for therapeutic purposes and even administered to Queen Victoria to relieve her period pain. But interest in the cannabis compound CBD has surged in the past couple of years after it was found to be an effective treatment for Dravet syndrome, a severe form of epilepsy in children.

Since then, amateur ‘wellness’ experts – who often sell CBD products on their websites – have claimed the compound is a cure for an extraordinary array of conditions including (but not confined to) insomnia, sleepiness, migraines, acne, ADHD, cancer, diabetes, depression, cardiovascular disease, epilepsy, joint pain and mental health problems. Food and drinks manufacturers have seized on the claims with the result that an ever-growing array of products are now infused with CBD and available on the high street, including chocolate, water and even gummy bears.

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Our August issue will ensure you get the most out of summer: there’s our garden party guide (it involves pizzas), food to keep you cool, brilliant BBQ dishes and sunny Mediterranean recipes. Star chefs John Whaite, Theo Randall and David Gingell are on hand to help and you can win a holiday to Jamaica! Plus you can join Delia in celebrating 50 years of food writing – it’ll be a historic night of food and chat. Get delicious. now for the best summer ever…