Cannabidiol oil has demonstrated potential as an antimicrobial treatment to extend the shelf life of fruits and vegetables.
Researchers at the University of South Florida applied cannabidiol to strawberries post-harvest, followed by storage at 1°C for 8 days and 10°C for 8 days. The strawberries were evaluated for visual quality and microbial load before and during the storage period.
The researchers found CBD oil was effective at maintaining the visual appearance of strawberries, above the minimum threshold of a visual rating score of 3, compared to untreated strawberries. The CBD oil also reduced the microbial load on treated strawberries.
“This research shows that CBD oil has the potential to be used by consumers at home as an effective antimicrobial treatment and to extend strawberry shelf life,” states the study report, which has been published in the journal Postharvest Biology and Technology.
Effective it may be, but it could be a very expensive way to do so as CBD isn’t cheap, with tinctures costing around $0.05 to $0.20 per mg of cannabidiol – although that is for products designed for human consumption. The study abstract also didn’t reveal how much was used – perhaps it was just a tiny quantity.
Cannabidiol’s anti-microbial attributes have already been established by previous studies, although this sort of research is still relatively thin.
For example, last year we reported on study from Australia, where research out of University of Queensland’s Institute for Molecular Bioscience indicated cannabidiol is effective in killing bacteria in lab testing – including some that have become mainstream antibiotic resistant.
Perhaps USF’s research has found a promising new market for CBD, but what it certainly shows is we’re only just scratching the surface of the applications for cannabidiol and uses for hemp generally.
While on the topic of Florida, hemp and strawberries, Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried recently told business leaders 22,078 acres in the state are currently licensed for hemp cultivation; double the amount cultivated for strawberry production. Commissioner Fried projects that will grow to nearly 300,000 acres in three to five years. Who knows – perhaps some of that hemp might be used for cannabidiol extraction to extend the shelf life of the state’s strawberries.