The bottled water company hopes to sell a drink in Iceland containing CBD, a non-intoxicating component of hemp with some promising health benefits.
In an interview with Viðskiptablaðið, Jón Ólafsson, the managing director of Icelandic Glacial, says that his company has signed a three-year contract with the US company Youngevity International earlier this year. Their hope is to be able to produce and sell the drink in Iceland and abroad.
For the unfamiliar, CBD, also known as cannabidiol, is derived from industrial hemp, i.e. cannabis plants with less than 0.02% THC. Unlike THC, the active component of cannabis, CBD produces no intoxicating effects. As the World Health Organisation concluded in a report on the matter, “In humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential. … To date, there is no evidence of public health related problems associated with the use of pure CBD.”
Jón also believes that CBD will be beneficial for those with anxiety and other ailments. In fact, it can also be used to treat childhood epilepsy syndromes, such as Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS), which typically don’t respond to antiseizure medications. Studies so far on the matter have been so promising that the US Federal Drug Administration recently approved Epidiolex, a drug to treat these seizures, which contains CBD.
Iceland has no legislation which explicitly bans CBD, but the country does have strict laws against cannabis, making CBD typically difficult to obtain. It is, however, legal in many other European countries, including Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Netherlands, Romania, Spain, Portugal, Italy, and the United Kingdom.
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