West Coast fast food chain Carl’s Jr. will be debuting its first ever CBD menu item this April 20th: The Rocky Mountain High CheeseBurger Delight. Available exclusively at one restaurant in Denver (located at 4050 Colorado Boulevard), this new burger combines hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD) with a classic fast-food meat sandwich.
More specifically, the special burger will be layered with two 100% Angus beef patties, topped with pepper jack cheese, Carl’s Jr’s “Crisscut” waffle fries (for crunch), pickled jalapenos and a special Santa Fe Sauce infused with 5 milligrams of hemp-derived CBD for each serving. Customers must be 18 or older to buy the special burger and are limited to two burgers. Sales will start at 6 a.m. and will run until supplies last. And the one-day only menu item will cost $4.20, of course.
While the burger seems like a buzzy stunt, it’s more representative of the way that CBD and other hemp products are becoming mainstream, comparable, in a way, to the formerly alternative Impossible Burger, a vegan protein engineered to look, taste, smell and cook like ground beef. The former fringe product, which hit the market in limited quantities in late 2016, is now on fast food menus across the country, from Qdoba to Burger King. Del Taco and Carl’s Jr., apparently always on the alternative, partnered with Beyond Burger, Impossible Burger’s direct competitor, in early 2019 for similar meat-free offerings.
The inclusion of CBD on Carl’s Jr. official food menu is perhaps indicative of the way we’ll see cannabis-derived products infiltrate fast food in the near future. While Carl’s Jr. is the first major fast food chain to include any type of cannabis on its menu, the trendiness, intrigue and, of course, effects of hemp and cannabis-derived products are sure to be a way for fast food institutions to lure in millennials and younger customers.
CBD can be derived from both marijuana plants and hemp plants, with the latter being the more common variety popping up at bakeries, drugstores and doggy daycares in cities across the country. While THC is the ingredient in marijuana that produces a high, CBD is the chemical compound that provides a relaxed feeling (and, no, it does not make you high). CBD is said to provide relief from chronic pain, anxiety, inflammation and other conditions and is categorized as a non-psychotic, non-addictive substance. Limited research, however, exists on the proper use, dosage and application of CBD.
Though recreational marijuana is illegal in all but five states (including Colorado, which is likely why Carl’s Jr. picked Denver for their first CBD product), hemp-derived CBD does not face the same restrictions, and can technically be sold over-the-counter like any other legal plant-derived substance. Hemp milk, for example, is a popular supermarket item and even Martha Stewart is launching her own line of CBD products.
Though the legality of CBD is still up for debate across the country, and while Carl’s Jr. has yet to announce any more CBD menu items in other locations, CBD enthusiasts across America will likely continue to add the infused oils to cocktails, topical lotions and now, apparently, burgers.