Gummies, oil and other products containing CBD raise concerns for Jews who keep kosher.
CBD Products — also known as cannabidiol, a chemical compound found in cannabis plants — have skyrocketed in popularity. While CBD is present in cannabis, CBD itself is not psychoactive and is often touted as a remedy for a host of ailments, including anxiety, sleep problems, depression and chronic pain. CBD-infused cookies, mints, sparkling water, tea and gummies are legal and readily available in the United States, which raises unique concerns for Jews who keep kosher.
Is CBD kosher?
Plants are inherently kosher and only need to be inspected to ensure that there are no insects on the plant that could accidentally be consumed, as bugs are considered treif, or not kosher.
Since CBD is plant-derived, the chemical compound itself is kosher. However, processed foods containing CBD can contain non-kosher ingredients, such as porcine gelatin or non-kosher grape juice.
Do CBD products need a hechsher (kosher symbol) on the packaging?
Some kosher-keeping Jews will eat processed foods without a kosher symbol after studying the ingredients and determining they contain no non-kosher products, while others will only consume products that are certified kosher by a recognized certification agency. Since CBD-infused snacks — like any other packaged food — can include non-kosher ingredients or be processed on equipment that also produces non-kosher products, those in the latter category will want to ensure that the CBD product features a kosher symbol denoting that the production process was overseen by a mashgiach, or a kosher supervisor.
Only products that are eaten require kosher certification, so topical health and beauty products that contain CBD would not require a hechsher.
Is it possible to find a hechsher on a CBD product?
In the United States, yes. The Orthodox Union, Star-K, the Chicago Rabbinical Council (CRC) and other regional kashrut agencies provide kosher certification to companies producing CBD-infused gum, mints, chocolates, oils and more.
Are CBD products kosher for Passover?
Not necessarily. Like any other packaged food or drink, the product’s hechsher should indicate whether that specific item is kosher for Passover.
Do I need to recite a special bracha (blessing) before eating food that contains CBD?
No. Blessings over food are determined by their principal ingredient, not their additives. Click here to learn more about how to determine which blessing to say over which foods.