MAY 23, 2023
Cannabidiol (CBD) has shown great promise in a variety of health conditions, but could the compound help keep foods fresher longer? According to new research, the answer may be yes.
A recent study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces suggests that CBD may prolong the shelf life of strawberries. The findings revealed that a coating containing CBD isolate prevented decay compared to untreated berries.
Researchers at Thammasat University and Chulabhorn Research Institute in Thailand decided to test the antimicrobial and antioxidant properties of CBD to see whether the cannabinoid could extend the shelf life of fresh fruit.
The research team created a solution containing CBD isolate, biodegradable polymers used for drug delivery, a food additive called sodium alginate, and water. Strawberries were dipped in the liquid, followed by another bath of ascorbic acid and calcium chloride.
The coated strawberries were then placed in an open plastic container, which sat inside a refrigerator for several weeks, alongside a container of non-coated strawberries. The CBD-treated berries saw lower levels of decay versus the non-treated berries; the treated berries also had better color and weight retention.
The team used various concentrations of CBD within the experiment. They found that higher amounts of CBD had the best results.
This isn’t the first time CBD has been touted for food preservation. A 2021 study published in Postharvest Biology and Technology revealed that CBD oil reduced microbial development in treated strawberries. The same study also showed that CBD-coated berries maintained their visual appearance for longer than uncoated berries, much like the study from Thailand.
While more research is needed to confirm these results, the two studies indicate CBD may be a viable option for consumers hoping to boost the shelf life of their fruit and vegetables. Though CBD dipped fruit isn’t yet a food industry standard, it could become a staple for shoppers hoping to reduce food waste.