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Brief Published: 23 Nov 2018

CBD’s Popularity Boom: Four Edible Directions

Farmacy Kitchen

As CBD bursts into consumer consciousness – thanks in part to the commercialisation of cannabis – savvy restaurants are welcoming this wellness-enhancing compound, incorporating it into everything from mocktails to tasting menus.

As highlighted in A Budding Opportunity, CBD (the non-psychoactive compound of cannabis) is believed to alleviate anxiety, pain and other ailments– although scientists still know relatively little about its effects. CBD’s legality varies, and many US states haven’t addressed specifics. Surprisingly, California allows recreational cannabis, but banned CBD from restaurant menus in July 2018. 

  • High Dining: Cannabis-infused fine dining, as explored in our American Food Influencer Round-Up, is being reinterpreted for mainstream menus with CBD. New York restaurant Lalito partners with cannabis lifestyle magazine Gossamer to host dinners showcasing CBD’s distinct grassy, vegetal flavour. Upscale vegan restaurant Farmacy Kitchen in London offers afternoon tea with hemp tea, alongside CBD-infused cocktails and chocolates.

  • Add-On Benefits: NYC fast-casual restaurant Inday provides CBD-infused ghee for its Indian-inspired meals, nodding to cannabis’s wellness appeal, as outlined in 10 Wellbeing Trends to Watch. Meanwhile, American vegan fast-casual brand By Chloe tempts Instagram foodies with CBD-boosted desserts laden with sprinkles and edible glitter (see Sweet Treats: Dessert & Chocolate Trends).

  • Comfort Inn: Several hotels are touting CBD’s relaxation benefits as an amenity for travellers. US chain The James Hotel offers a room-service menu with CBD-infused comfort foods such as meatballs and tater tots (for more on The James’s wellness initiatives, see The Brief). Meanwhile, hotel group The Standard stocks its US minibars with CBD gummies from Californian cannabis brand Lord Jones.

  • Soothing Sips: At New York restaurant Bubby’s, diners can order coffee, tea and lemonade with CBD-infused granulated sugar from the owner’s brand, Azuca. Also in New York, restaurant Adriaen Block offers CBD-tinged mocktails and low-ABV cocktails for a healthier night out.

    For more on infused drinks, see Fresh & Functional Formulations in Fluid Flavours and Coca-Cola Considers Cannabis.