A new study confirms previous research indicating the shelf life of strawberries can be extended by coating them in small amounts of cannabidiol.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-intoxicating cannabinoid known to have among its attributes antioxidant and antibacterial potential. Cannabidiol already appears in a number of foods as a general supplement, but given these attributes it could perhaps also be used to make certain foods stay fresher for longer.
In the latest investigation, researchers from the Department of Materials and Textile Technology at Thammasat University, and the Laboratory of Organic Synthesis at Chulabhorn Research Institute in Thailand developed encapsulated cannabidiol isolate (eCBDi) for their study.
The eCBDi formulation consisted of encapsulated CBD in poly(D,L-lactide-co-glycolide), a biodegradable polymer used in drug delivery, to create 400-nm-wide particles. The most stable of these nanoparticles, containing 20% CBD by weight, were mixed with sodium alginate in water. The strawberries were then submerged into solutions containing different levels of nanoparticles. This was followed by a dip into a mixture of ascorbic acid and calcium chloride that turned the colorless coating into a gel.
After 15 days, the strawberries were examined for their visual appearance and quality parameters. The researchers state:
“In the results, a significantly delayed deterioration was observed in terms of weight loss, total acidity, pH, microbial activity, and antioxidant activity for coated strawberries compared to the control. This study demonstrates the capability of eCBDi nanoparticles as an efficient active food coating agent.”
The research has been published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces.
This isn’t the first study looking into the potential for CBD to better preserve strawberries. A few years back, researchers at the University of South Florida applied cannabidiol to strawberries and found the CBD oil was effective at maintaining the visual appearance and also reduced the microbial load.
As for the estimated cost of treating strawberries with CBD, that isn’t clear. While the price of cannabidiol has dropped in recent years due to a glut in production, it’s still rather expensive stuff. Then there’s the old wisdom of just because you can do something, it doesn’t mean you should – due to the way CBD interacts with our bodies. Added to this are all sorts of other food safety and regulatory hurdles that would need to be cleared.
Given the challenges and being all reasonably early- stage research, don’t expect to see CBD soaked strawberries in your supermarket soon. But it’s certainly interesting research adding to the many potential uses for cannabidiol.