If you live in Denver and you’re celebrating 420, the weed-smoker’s holiday, the burger chain Carl’s Jr. has just the thing for your inevitable munchies. The restaurant is debuting a CBD-infused burger, to be sold for $4.20, on Saturday, April 20 (4/20), at a single restaurant in Denver. The burger, which has been named Rocky Mountain High: CheeseBurger Delight, consists of two beef patties, topped with pickled jalapeños, pepper jack cheese, fries and CBD-infused Santa Fe Sauce. Carl’s Jr. is the first major fast-food chain to put CBD on its menu.
But if you think you’re going to get blazed off a cheeseburger, bad news: CBD is a non-psychoactive compound in hemp. It does not contain tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the marijuana compound that makes people feel high. Advocates say it promotes relaxation, diminishes stress and eases pain. In fact, some say that CBD can actually counteract some of the unpleasant effects of being high on THC – so if you show up to Carl’s Jr. stoned and anxious or paranoid, the burger could actually mellow out your high.
CBD has been popping up in lattes, gummies, skin-care products and even pet food: It has become one of the biggest trends of the year, and is only expected to grow. The CBD industry got a big boost after the passage of the farm bill earlier this year. When it’s derived from hemp and grown according to strict regulations, its use will be legal nationwide.(Cannabinoids that do not comply with these regulations will remain a Schedule 1 substance.) But for now, it’s a tricky area of the law because the Food and Drug Administration still hasn’t decided how to regulate CBD products.
April 20 has become a major branding opportunity for food companies. Even such mainstream brands as Burger King, Denny’s and Chipotle use the opportunity to connect with their customers through cheeky social media posts using stoner lingo. But professionals in the cannabis industry don’t love the pile-on from junk-food brands, which they say promotes negative stereotypes about the lifestyle.
Though the burger will be available only on Saturday at the Carl’s Jr. restaurant at 4050 Colorado Blvd. in Denver, it could eventually expand. A company executive told Business Insider that if the test goes well, Carl’s Jr. would consider, ahem, rolling it out across America, though it could face challenges with state regulations.
Given how much publicity the burger is getting, there’s a good chance that demand on Saturday will be ... high.