Carl’s Jr. recently made some enemies (and lost some business) when they announced the release of their new CBD-infused burger, which will be sold at only one Denver location on 4/20 — the pot-smokers high holy day.
To clear up any confusion, CBD, or cannabidiol, is a weed compound that can be used to mitigate pain, reduce anxiety and minimize cancer symptoms. It doesn’t get you high.
I repeat: It does not get you high.
I also want to mention that this burger contains a measly five milligrams of CBD, which can be found in the so-called Santa Fe Sauce. Five milligrams is an incredibly small dosage of CBD — many sources recommend that people under 150 pounds start by taking about 12 milligrams, possibly twice a day, when dealing with mild pain or anxiety. So yeah, this burger is definitely not really tapping into the true power of CBD beyond its current marketing potential.
Now that we’re clear about that, I also want to remind all the haters that a burger from Carl’s Jr. is much, much more dangerous than five milligrams of a non-psychoactive weed compound. So let’s go through the ingredients together.
One thing, though: While Carl’s Jr. has released the main ingredients in this CBD burger — two beef patties, topped with pickled jalapeños, pepper jack cheese, crisscut fries and CBD-infused Santa Fe Sauce — they haven’t published the ingredients in those ingredients, so I’ll be using their nutrition calculator and ingredients breakdown to essentially remake this burger using the same ingredients from other items on their menu.
Carl’s Jr. burger buns start with enriched wheat flour, which contains more calories than whole-wheat flour. Plus, the bleaching process that many enriched flours undergo produces an unfortunate byproduct: A chemical called alloxan, which has been found to induce diabetes in lab-animal test subjects by destroying their pancreas. Worse yet, their buns also contain high fructose corn syrup, which has been linked to obesity and diabetes by many, many studies. Sounds like an eventual death to me!
The Beef Patties
Carl’s Jr. beef patties are, apparently, “100% Pure Ground Beef.” Always debatable. But pure or otherwise, red meat is a huge contributor to heart disease, so chowing down on two large beef patties is certainly more likely to kill you than consuming five milligrams of CBD.
The Pickled Jalapeños
Fair play, Carl: I have nothing bad to say about pickled jalapeños. Next!
The Pepper Jack Cheese
Carl’s Jr. also adds pepper jack cheese to their chicken taquitos, and the ingredients are actually pretty standard when it comes to cheese — pasteurized milk, jalapeño peppers, cheese cultures, salt and enzymes. That said, I’ve been told time and time again that cheese contains high amounts of casein, an animal protein that may promote the growth of tumors. Cheese is also high in cholesterol and saturated fat, both of which contribute to the development of heart disease (aka, death).
The Crisscut Fries
Fries are great and all, but they generally contain loads of unhealthy fats thanks to the oil they’re fried in. Worse yet, as nutritionist David Friedman, author of Food Sanity: How to Eat in a World of Fads and Fiction, told me while I was ranking types of potatoes, “In an eight-year study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, fried potatoes can actually increase your risk of mortality.” Yep, fries can directly kill you.
The Santa Fe Sauce
The CBD is hidden away in this sauce, but that doesn’t mean the other ingredients in it won’t somehow kill you. The sauce is similar to mayonnaise, which is high in both fat and calories, and it contains the potentially dangerous preservative calcium disodium EDTA. Now, I’m not going to tell you that a smear of this sauce will be the death of you, because it (hopefully) won’t. However, fats, calories and preservatives will contribute to your untimely death more than a little CBD.
All of which is to say, if you’re pissed about Carl’s Jr. putting CBD in a burger, you’re picking the wrong battle, buddy.