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Ganja Gourmet

Denver, Colorado, United States

Ganja Gourmet Medical Marijuana Restaurant-Dispensary. The Ganja Gourmet is now offering Wholesale Opp .
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Shaman Healers is a Northern California’s Premier Medical Cannabis Edible Co-op Bakery. Shaman Healers .
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Simply Pure

Denver, CO, United States

Revolutionary line of edibles that are lab tested for potency, purity, and consistency, so you always .
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Sweet Grass Kitchen

Denver, CO, United States

Sweet Grass is a small batch kitchen that distributes fresh baked, medicated edibles throughout Colora .
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The 420 Kitchen

A private wholesale kitchen that sells directly to collectives and hospices for their patients.
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Cannabis kitchens directory

Not that kind of edible: CBD now on the menu at Denver bars and restaurants

The non-psychotropic part of the cannabis plant is getting served in coffee, cocktails, doughnuts and waffles

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Michael Ciaglo, Special to The Denver Post

Habit Doughnut Dispensary and Carbon Cafe & Bar Five Points bar manager Lindsay Willis adds Straight Hemp CBD oil to her First Warrior cocktail Monday, May 13 in Denver.

Michael Ciaglo, Special to The Denver Post

The First Warrior cocktail, made with Straight Hemp CBD oil, at Habit Doughnut Dispensary and Carbon Cafe & Bar Five Points Monday, May 13 in Denver.

Michael Ciaglo, Special to The Denver Post

The chicken and waffles, made with CBD infused butter, at Habit Doughnut Dispensary and Carbon Cafe & Bar Five Points Monday, May 13 in Denver.

Michael Ciaglo, Special to The Denver Post

Habit Doughnut Dispensary and Carbon Cafe & Bar Five Points coffee manager Connor McMullen mists doughnuts with a Althea Hemp Co. CBD spray Monday, May 13 in Denver.

Michael Ciaglo, Special to The Denver Post

Habit Doughnut Dispensary and Carbon Cafe & Bar Five Points owner Lisa Ruskaup holds a doughnut for a photo Monday, May 13 in Denver.

Michael Ciaglo, Special to The Denver Post

Habit Doughnut Dispensary and Carbon Cafe & Bar Five Points bar manager Lindsay Willis makes the Atlantic Crossing cocktail with Strongwater CBD bitters Monday, May 13 in Denver.

Michael Ciaglo, Special to The Denver Post

The Atlantic Crossing cocktail, made with Strongwater CBD bitters, at Habit Doughnut Dispensary and Carbon Cafe & Bar Five Points Monday, May 13 in Denver.

Michael Ciaglo, Special to the Denver Post

The chicken and waffles, made with CBD infused butter, at Habit Doughnut Dispensary and Carbon Cafe & Bar Five Points Monday, May 13, 2019 in Denver.

Michael Ciaglo, Special to The Denver Post

A CBD infused cold brew coffee at Habit Doughnut Dispensary and Carbon Cafe & Bar Five Points Monday, May 13 in Denver.

Michael Ciaglo, Special to The Denver Post

Habit Doughnut Dispensary and Carbon Cafe & Bar Five Points owner Lisa Ruskaup poses for a photo Monday, May 13 in Denver.

First thing’s first: It’s not going to get you high.

But it could have a pain-relieving effect, an anti-inflammatory effect or create a “total body calm,” as the purveyors of SuperGood hemp and CBD (cannabidiol) products like to boast.

“This might as well be an ibuprofen dinner,” my date shrugged at a recent CBD-themed party.

Since December, when the 2018 Farm Bill reclassified hemp from a controlled substance to a regular crop, growers and producers and even bars and restaurants have emphasized more than ever before this non-psychotropic compound, CBD, found in the cannabis plant.

While its health benefits are not FDA-approved, proponents see CBD as a small part of the growing wellness movement and an herbal alternative to pharmaceuticals (like pain medications). And then there’s the trend component.

Companies like SuperGood infuse CBD into ingestible oils, selling them to bars and restaurants; Colorado-based Sträva makes a whole CBD line of craft coffees; brands such as Strongwater and Dram feature CBD cocktail bitters or CBD sparkling waters; and the Denver cafe Habit Carbon’s menu is chock-full of CBD-added options, from CBD kombucha to CBD-buttered waffles.

As we sat at this “CBD dinner” around a communal table inside Denver’s Hotel Teatro, learning about the application (and misconceptions — again, you won’t get high) of CBD from SuperGood co-founder Ashlae Warner, we were presented with CBD-infused cocktails, soups and desserts from the hotel’s Nickel restaurant.

Could we taste the CBD? No.

But did we feel any different? No, not really.

“Right now there is CBD insanity,” Andrew Aamot, co-founder of Sträva Craft Coffee, told The Denver Post later.

Three years ago, when Sträva started experimenting with CBD-infused coffees, it was ahead of the craze. Now, Aamot says he goes to conventions and trade shows and sees CBD on everything from tacos to cotton candy.

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“It’s like, why?” he wondered.

To be fair, when Aamot began experimenting with CBD as a way to distinguish his budding coffee business in 2016, people asked the same question. But then drinkers would give him similar feedback: “I drank it and then went and cleaned my house for three hours,” they’d tell him.

“It became a selling point,” he says now. “It helped to cut the jitters that some people felt from caffeine.”

This “balancing” effect that Aamot describes is echoed by other trendsetters in the CBD food industry. At Carbon Cafe and Bar and Habit Doughnut Dispensary (now with two Denver locations), customers can order 10-12 milligrams of CBD, to be added for a $2 surcharge into hot or cold beverages, cocktails and a growing number of dishes.

Owner Lisa Ruskaup and coffee manager Cayden Nigh say they personally appreciate the anxiety-reducing effects of CBD. They train their staff to explain the compound to customers who are curious.

“People are starting to understand holistic approaches to everything,” Nigh said. “I think once that’s more adapted, CBD will become less of a trend and more of a staple in your diet.”

And Ruskaup thinks CBD is just the beginning of this new phase in the wellness movement.

“It’s almost like the beverage bar has this whole expansive line of additives that are holistically medicinal, and CBD’s the first one,” she added.

Talk to any CBD producer, and they’ll likely mention the “entourage effect,” a term that describes the enhanced health benefits of all of the cannabis plant’s components, when used together. These include CBD, THC, flavonoids and aromatic terpenes (more on these at cbdproject.org, if you’re interested).

“There are logical places for CBD to be included,” Aamot said. “CBD and hemp in general really belong as a daily staple in our diets.”

At Denver-based SuperGood — the brand making oils, capsules and powders now found on bar menus like the Nickel’s — Warner wants to focus more on her “full-spectrum” products (with CBD, terpenes, flavonoids, vitamins and minerals) as opposed to the isolates (CBD-only).

“There’s so much misinformation out there,” she said. “And so few places that the customer gets one-on-one interaction.”

Which is why she started partnering with restaurants and bars to teach them about CBD. Eventually a CBD trend might just lead to broader acceptance of hemp, cannabis and marijuana, industry leaders hope.

Until then, Warner says, she’ll continue educating people, saying things like, “You can’t get high from CBD,” or “You could (fail a drug test), but you’d have to drink a whole bottle of (CBD).”

And finally: “You’re not getting snake oil.”

CBD explainer

Hemp and marijuana are both varieties of the cannabis plant. Hemp carries a very small amount of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol, the psychoactive component), at less than 0.3%, while marijuana has more than 0.3% THC content. Legal CBD is a compound extracted from the hemp plant.

CBD on the menu

Here are some places to try CBD:

  • Two cocktails using SuperGood’s CBD oil are available at The Nickel in Hotel Teatro.
  • At Fort Greene Bar, they’ll also add SuperGood’s oil into cocktails for a surcharge.
  • Habit Carbon‘s two locations offer the biggest variety of CBD-infused foods and drinks.
  • Sträva Craft Coffee sells its blends online and through a handful of local retailers.
  • Strongwater offers a line of hemp bitters.
  • Dram has a brand new set of CBD sparkling waters and drops.
  • La Xochitl sells CBD-infused burgers and tacos from its food truck.
  • Broncos Hall-of-Famer Terrell Davis just launched, Defy, a CBD perfomance drink.
  • Even the 51-year-old Blue Bonnet restaurant is getting in on the action with a CBD section on its summer food and drink menu.

Since December, when the 2018 Farm Bill reclassified hemp from a controlled substance to a regular crop, growers and producers and even bars and restaurants have emphasized more than ever before this non-psychotropic compound, CBD, found in the cannabis plant.