There are plenty of studies pointing to the potential benefits of CBD when it comes to our bodies and symptom relief, but it’s possible that the non-psychoactive cannabinoid has more to offer on top of its healing benefits. Namely, a new study suggests that CBD could prove useful as a fruit preservative.
CBD and Fruit: A New Preservative Option?
Authors noted the antioxidant and antibacterial effects of the cannabinoid, recognizing that the investigation is still in its early stages.
“The study goals were to prepare encapsulated cannabidiol isolate (eCBDi), evaluate the effect of eCBDi edible active coatings on the physicochemical properties of strawberries, and determine whether CBD and sodium alginate coatings could be used as a postharvest treatment to promote antioxidation and antimicrobial activity and prolong the strawberry shelf life,” authors state in the study abstract.
Researchers combined CBD isolate with biodegradable polymers, used in drug delivery to make nanoparticles, which were mixed with water and sodium alginate, a food additive. Researchers then dipped strawberries into the solution, then into a second bath of ascorbic acid and calcium chloride, turning the coating into a gel, Leafie reports.
The team then tested the coating’s preservation abilities, placing treated and untreated strawberries into open plastic containers and keeping them at fridge temperature for several weeks. Over a 15-day period, they ultimately found that strawberries treated with CBD experienced a much slower rate of decay versus the uncoated strawberries.
Specifically, the coated strawberries kept their color and retained their weight for longer. Researchers also noted that higher amounts of CBD seemed to perform better than lower amounts, according to the Leafie report.
“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 study abstract notes.
Adding to the Existing Research
This new study also isn’t the first to investigate the topic.
Another 2021 study, published in the journal Postharvest Biology and Technology, examined CBD oil’s potential as a treatment for consumers to reduce microbial growth and extend the shelf life of strawberries. The study, titled “Using Cannabidiol as a potential postharvest treatment to maintain quality and extend the shelf life of strawberries,” provided “first-time evidence” that CBD oil can potentially reduce microbial load and maintain the visual quality of strawberries, which in turn lengthens their shelf life.
For this study, researchers used CBD oil as the edible coating to protect strawberries from decay. According to researchers, “CBD oil was effective at maintaining the visual appearance of strawberries, above the minimum threshold of a visual rating score of 3, compared to the fruit that was not treated.”
Mirroring the 2023 study, researchers found that CBD oil was effective at reducing the microbial load on treated strawberries, versus untreated fruit.
“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,” researchers wrote.
As the CBD industry continues to boom, we’ve seen myriad cannabinoid-based products emerge over the years. So, who knows? CBD preservatives could very well be coming soon. Though, as with many conversations around cannabis and cannabinoids, more research is most likely needed before any major moves taken place.