Actor Mark Wahlberg is teaming up with legendary hip-hop impresario Sean “Diddy” Combs and the Alkaline Water Company to offer hemp-infused bottled water for a market that’s gotten increasingly thirsty for CBD.
Wahlberg, Combs, The Biggest Loser’s Jillian Michaels, among others, are financial backers of the LA-based fitness water brand AQUAhydrate. On Monday, the Alkaline Water Company, which sells under the brand Alkaline88, announced that it acquired AQUAhydrate as the company expands into the burgeoning CBD industry.
“When Sean and I first got involved in the business, our vision was to build a lifestyle company focused on health and wellness, and that’s what we’ve done,” Wahlberg said in a press release. “The AQUAhydrate and Alkaline88 brands align well and will support exciting innovations in flavors, sparkling, and CBD products.”
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a non-intoxicating compound found in hemp and marijuana. Studies suggest it can help with insomnia, chronic pain, nausea, and other maladies commonly treated with medical cannabis. However, the FDA has stated that many of the health claims made by CBD companies are unfounded, even though the FDA approved of a CBD drug last year to treat epileptic seizures. Regardless of the FDA’s warnings, CBD has recently exploded in popularity as Americans seek out weed-infused products that don’t carry the same social stigma as, say, smoking a joint.
The jury is still out, but there’s evidence that some CBD water products don’t do much because they contain negligible amounts of CBD. Cannabinoid compounds like CBD are unstable, and they can degrade in the presence of light, especially the kinds of bright lights employed by most grocery stores and supermarkets. Since AQUAhydrate’s bottles are currently translucent, that means a lot of light could get into the water – and into the CBD, too.
There are a few ways around this light vs. CBD thing. The first is to use opaque bottles, or heavily tinted brown bottles that can block light. Or, the CBD-water could include colorants to absorb light.
A third way to circumvent the light degradation problem is by mixing CBD with another chemical called cardanol, which is naturally found in cashews, to protect CBD from light degradation in water. Whether AQUAhydrate’s CBD products will utilize cardanol is not, ahem, clear, though.
What is clear is that the Alkaline Water Company, Diddy, and the artist formerly known as Marky Mark are about to make bank. According to market projections, the new joint venture will rake in $65 million by the end of 2020. The CBD industry is currently worth an estimated $1 billion, and the global bottled water market is currently valued at $215 billion.
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