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CBD Craze Hits LA’s High-End Juice Bars

LOS ANGELES — Tucked off Sunset Boulevard in LA’s uber-hip Silver Lake neighborhood is the upscale yet endlessly ethereal juice bar Moon Juice. Inside the sunlit space, past a row of leafy plants and a wall of shelves stacked with crystals, body creams, and beauty elixirs, sits a rainbow array of beverages. Most carry price tags in double-digits. Thirsty? A 16-ounce bottle of Gracious Greens will set you back $11.

Describing itself as an “adaptogenic beauty + well being” shop, Moon Juice offers what it calls “plant-sourced alchemy” in many forms, from drinkable tonics to “activated” almond milks to mineral blend “Moon Dusts” and cold-pressed juices. On the front lines of Southern California’s stylish self-care scene, the shop—which has been endorsed by Gwyneth Paltrow’s lifestyle brand Goop—has long boosted its products with health-forward additions such as probiotics and spirulina. Now, joining the ranks of vanilla mushroom plant protein and chia seeds is an ingredient familiar to the cannabis world: CBD.

Cannabidiol is “a really popular additive with a lot of our guests,” assistant manager Camille Jackson told me. It can be added to the shop’s juices for a few dollars a pop.
There are CBD-infused chocolate bars, pet supplements, and even CBD Living Water, an infused bottled water that promises ‘maximum hydration absorption and wellness.’

It’s not just Moon Juice offering CBD to sip on. Within just a few miles of the Silver Lake location are numerous smoothie stores and organic outposts hawking the cannabinoid. Most shops charge at least $3 a shot and promote the trendy extract’s anti-inflammatory and anti-anxiety properties.

Moon Juice’s CBD comes in the form of infused olive oil, which is methodically dribbled into beverages with a dropper. At $3.50 per serving, it’s a common addition to customers’ lattes, smoothies, matcha, and just about anything else on the menu. Customers commonly ask about CBD’s reported health benefits, whether the extract is addictive or will get them high, or whether the cannabinoid will throw off the taste of their drink, Jackson said. (No, she says—it doesn’t make for any significant change in a drink’s flavor or composition.)

Moon Juice’s CBD comes in the form of infused olive oil, which is dribbled into beverages with a dropper. (Hayley Fox for Leafly)

CBD’s cameo on fashionable LA juice bars reflects a broader trend: CBD, which for decades took a back seat to the psychoactive cannabinoid THC, is going mainstream. Industry analytics group New Frontier Data predicts that CBD sales in the US will quadruple over the next four years, blasting off from $535 million this year to more than $1.9 billion by 2022 thanks in part to businesses like Moon Juice.

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Published: April 23, 2018

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