If CBD weren’t already mainstream, there’s little question now.
The trendy food and beauty aide supplement — derived from the cannabis plant — has popped up this year at thousands of scattered health food stores, gas stations, grocers and pharmacies.
And it’s become a phenomenally popular, if non-FDA approved, ingredient this year in foods and beauty aids. It can be found added to everything from smoothies to lollipops, lotions and potions.
Now the non-intoxicating cannabinoid has planted its flag in a big way at America’s largest shopping mall.
Seventh Sense Botanical Therapy on Thursday opened a sizable CBD kiosk near Nordstrom at King of Prussia Mall. Scores of body and skin-care products, made with essential oils and CBD, are for sale at the 200-square-foot stand.
The company intends to open more than 100 Seventh Sense locations before the end of the year at malls operated by the King of Prussia owners Simon Property Group. Last year, Simon successfully sued to prevent a medical marijuana dispensary from opening near its Philadelphia Mills mall in Northeast Philadelphia.
CBD is said to promote relaxation and a sense of ease. Though its only federally approved use is in a drug called Epidiolex, an anti-epileptic medicine for children, users of non-pharmaceutical CBD attribute dozens of purported health benefits to the substance. As a folk cure, the hemp derivative is used to treat everything from anxiety to psoriasis. There have been no clinical trials to prove CBD -- also known as cannabidiol -- is effective for anything other than rare forms of epilepsy.
CBD products are expected to reach $16 billion in sales in the U.S. by 2025, according to conservative estimates by analysts at Cowen Investment Management.
Seventh Sense is a division of Green Growth Brands (OTC: GGBXF), an Ohio-based cannabis powerhouse that is listed on the Canadian Stock Exchange. Green Growth Brands is headed by Peter Horvath, a marketing legend with a storied past at sicj big brands as Victoria’s Secret, DSW, and American Eagle Outfitters.
Green Growth also operates marijuana dispensaries in Nevada and holds a license in Massachusetts. Seventh Sense, which focuses on hemp-derived products, is the company’s first foray into the regional market.
Meanwhile, in South Philadelphia, water-ice spiked with CBD isolate has been for sale for the last week at a small stand in front of the Hip Hemp Cafe.
Cafe owner George Martorano said his juiced, iced confection was invented in collaboration with John’s Water Ice, a South Philly icon if there ever was one.
Sales have been “phenomenal,” said Martorano, who served 30 years in prison on a nonviolent marijuana trafficking conviction before deciding to serve CBD coffee, baked goods -- and now “wooder ice” -- at his cafe on Seventh Street, just off South Street.
“We have Cheerful Cherry, Mellow Mango, and a chocolate and pineapple flavor," said Martorano, who believes the product is the first time that CBD has been added to Italian ice. "It’s only available outside the shop. We probably sell more than 100 cups a day at $5 a cup.”