what are the effects of cbd chocolateDecember 15, 2021
What is the party that they’re driving you to? These bars are driving us to a very thorough, intricate D.I.Y. party with extravagant installations, where everyone is dressed for a sleek spaceship-wreck.
You might think that eating CBD chocolates for the taste is like subscribing to The Economist for the pictures. While I’m always here for that gravitas and the deep content, I also love a frivolous and delicious delivery system, especially because the effects of CBD are subjective. If the CBD in these chocolates affected me, it was in a deeply subtle way. So it’s especially important that they taste unsubtly delicious.
And so, here is my rigorous, yet very relaxed, taste test of CBD chocolate varietals and their various promises:
A quick reminder that CBD is the grounding counterbalance to THC, which is the psychoactive element in weed that gets you high. In metaphor: THC is hosting the party, and CBD is driving you there. Some legal(ish) CBD products on the market, including a couple of these chocolates, source CBD from cannabis without THC, aka industrial hemp. The others on the list contain various amounts of THC and are only available in some states.
Who is this chocolate’s pot muse? Carl Sagan , who wrote an anonymous essay about insights he got from weed at 35. (The chocolate marshmallows that Leif sells are definitely Matthew McConaughey though.)
Tasting notes: Leif chocolates are vegan, fair trade, and come in bright, zigzag packaging that matches their eccentric flavors. The peanut butter and jelly bar is whacky—my tasting-friend described it as “shocking”—the dust of strawberry powder on the outside tingles while the elevated-Reese’s part melts. The mint hibiscus flavor is similarly super rich, and the mint lingers for a while. I snuck a few bars into Eighth Grade, so my shoulders were practically eaten by my ears in empathetic cringes, but the tastes were so wild that I had excitement giggles about them.
All sorts of cool and glowy people have been praising the ameliorative effects of CBD, which is said to calm anxiety, relax sore muscles, ease inflammation, bolster productivity, and stop acne. A semi-mystical host of a radio show I listen to swears on them for cramps; the most critical person in my book club uses them for an immediate calm. But I was only interested when it was offered to me in chocolate form.
How much weed does it have? The mint hibiscus and peanut butter and jelly bar have a 1:1 CBD:THC ratio; the dark chocolate and black diamond flake sea salt bar has 100 mg CBD (no THC).
I can’t just write an article on CBD chocolate and not get into the craft chocolate segment. Craft is what got me into the industry in the first place, and it remains my favorite genre therein. Recently I’ve seen a number of brands calling their products “CBD craft chocolates,” but most of that ended up being marketing prose. In the end, the only truly ‘craft’ chocolates with CBD will be ones made in (relatively) small batches with ethically-sourced, well-processed cacao & equally high quality CBD isolate.
Honestly, I just think the whole idea of regulation is just such a headache that the government is procrastinating. All of the age restrictions you see on sites are either self-imposed by those companies or due to further restrictions at the state level, because it’s still sort of the wild wild west in the cannabis industry. Just starting a business selling CBD anything involves copious paperwork (at least here in the US) and the ability to carefully demonstrate to the government that your CBD only comes from certified hemp sources.
For those living outside of North America, Solkiki Chocolate is a great option for CBD chocolate in the UK, and over in Hong Kong is Conspiracy Chocolate, which just launched their CBD chocolate bar. An alternative, if you love chocolate but don’t have the cash for specialty CBD products, is to DIY some CBD truffles. You could do this by buying some CBD oil from a trusted source (preferably prepared with coconut/ MCT oil), and make & dose your own CBD chocolate truffles.
The theory basically posits that unobserved micro-reactions between hundreds of chemicals causes an increase in botanicals’ potency. The same could be said of CBD and whole cannabis. While a full-spectrum CBD oil is the best option if you only want to consume cannabidiol, the addition of other parts of the cannabis plant can amplify the healing power of the CBD.
So as long as your dose maxes out at 2mg, you can still feel the augmenting effect of mixing cannabinoids without feeling at all “high.” So if you’re in a state with legal recreational cannabis (or if you have your med card), I’d highly recommend adding 1mg-2mg of THC to your CBD dose. Just imagine breaking off some of your favorite organic dark chocolate bar with sea salt, and it counts as your medicine .
How To Dose CBD Chocolates.
Casa Chocolate in Texas is one such company, which uses a rotating number of cacao origins to offer customizable milk or dark chocolate bars with CBD. On the other side of the Atlantic Ocean is UK-based Solkiki Chocolate Maker, a fully vegan company which has been making delicious craft chocolate since 2007, and now offers two separate full spectrum CBD bars made in collaboration with a local CBD brand. Back here in the States is Colorado’s own Moksha Craft Chocolate, a young company with direct-sourcing ties in Peru and a locational “in” with some of the best CBD producers in the country.
One day we may be able to compare them all one-to-one, but for now we’ll just have to work within the existing science, which is still quite young. In fact it was only in the early 90’s that the first endocannabinoid was identified, and it turned out to be anandamide, the very neurotransmitter whose receptors are affected by CBD. Even though the name cannabidiol inextricably links CBD with cannabis (and its own turbulent history), it’s become popular over the last few years. Why is that?
Try this for at least three days in a row, at the same time each day. If you don’t feel any relief, up the dosage by 5mg every three days, up to 50mg per day. The ability to cleanly cut just a biiiiiit more or less is also why I prefer a chocolate over a CBD gummy! You’ll see many so-called “luxury” chocolates which also include botanicals like adaptogens or nootropics, while others will add 2mg of THC relative to a high dose of CBD, usually 25mg or 50mg. So why only 2mg of THC? Well, 2mg is the minimum amount of THC necessary to produce any level of psychoactive effects.
There are a ton of CBD-infused chocolates out there, and you’ll get an overwhelming number of options when searching on the open market of the internet. Unfortunately, most of those options are made with bad-tasting low-quality chocolate. This well-known brand‘s chocolate ingredients are: Sugar, Hardened Palm Kernel Oil, Low-Fat Cacao Powder, Dextrose, Emulsifier (E322: SOYA Lecithin), and Vanilla* Madagascar; yet all people see is the description of “Fair trade sourced. Gluten-Free. Non-GMO” chocolate. Even Incredibles, whose CBN gummies are my go-to at night, uses chocolate coating as the base for their bars rather than a real chocolate.
Despite restrictions, dozens of companies are making CBD chocolates in the US alone, and here are my picks:
CBD tincture being added to coffee.
Solkiki CBD chocolate bar wrapper.
Certainly not exclusive to CBD, the entire cannabis industry is sorely underregulated at the same time as its legal status is shakily defined. Unlike with coffee beans or even beer and wine, people don’t tend to have much basic cannabis knowledge before they begin buying and using CBD. Many companies can easily and legally exploit that lack of knowledge, for example passing off plain hemp oil as pure CBD oil.
A secondary, but still quite valid reason, is that chocolate is naturally a high fat food. CBD is fat-soluble, meaning that it must be extracted into a lipid in order to be safely stored. Most of the time this is a coconut oil, and because you need to ingest so little of the oil for it to have an effect, you can easily make micro-dosed chocolates which allow you to customize your medicine as needed.
This concept confused me so much when I was first learning about CBD, so I want to clear a few things up. To start, the word “cannabis” refers to a genus of flowering plants native to Central and South Asia, with three generally recognized species: Cannabis sativa , Cannabis indica , and Cannabis ruderalis . “Marijuana” is 1950’s slang for cannabis, specifically consumed as a recreational drug.
Why Take CBD in Chocolate?
Bhang CBD : while I can’t speak to the taste of this CBD chocolate ( yet ), the ingredients are run-of-the-mill, with nothing weird added in. Their lab tests appear legit and customers seem to like their bars. While these may seem like low bars, start looking at ingredient lists for some of your favorite chocolates and then get back to me. I’d try this bar in a heartbeat.
Therapeutic Chocolate with hemp extract.
When you consume chocolate with CBD, endocannabinoid receptors are activated while anandamide levels increase. And don’t worry— cannabidiol doesn’t have any psychoactive effects, whether it’s in chocolate, capsules, vapes, gummies, or anything else you can think of. After consuming CBD chocolates, the calming effects will begin anywhere from 20 minutes to 2 hours after ingestion, occurring more quickly on an empty or near-empty stomach.
All in all, this segment of the industry walks a fine line. CBD has entered the market as a premium product, which is exactly what craft chocolate is, there bringing the two together has caused prices to explode. On the other hand, even when using cheap ingredients there are dozens of companies producing 10mg edibles they sell for $2 a piece. Who’s to say that quality chocolate isn’t worth an extra dollar a piece, when you’re already hemorrhaging cash to buy your medicine?
CBD is used for pain & stress management, anxiety, seizure control, depression, and insomnia. It treats these issues by working within your body’s endocannabinoid system, as described above, causing calming anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects.
Most marijuana strains naturally contains lower levels of CBD than hemp, so it makes sense that most CBD would be derived from it. Some cannabis brands just choose to produce full spectrum hemp extract rather than refine it into pure CDB. That being said, some strains of marijuana have been specially cultivated to contain higher levels of CBD than others. These specialty strains are typically what’s being used to produce CBD oil derived from marijuana, which is something you could buy at retail shops in states where recreational marijuana use is legal.
Leaves of a cannabis plant.
CBD Craft Chocolate.
So what does CBD chocolate do for your body?
For those who need to enhance the effectiveness of their dose, I’d highly recommend adding a few grams of THC to your nightly regimen. In fact, you can think of CBD like you’d think of antioxidants or caffeine in chocolate; it can be isolated and utilized on its own, but it’s most effective within the context of the whole plant from which it’s derived. In my interview with author Marcos Patchett we get more in-depth into his fascinating theory of contextual consumption.
The prefix “phyto-” simply means that these cannabinoids are derived from plant material, and that difference is important, because we humans actually produce and use cannabinoids every day in our own bodies. We call ours endocannabinoids , and different types of them are found throughout the body. They work within the endocannabinoid system of our central nervous system, regulating our daily functioning and helping us heal.
Growing cannabis plants indoors.
Where was the high? I fell asleep within an hour the last time! Thus began my introduction to cannabis as WAY more than just THC. In the years since, I’ve gone through some personal health issues which forced me to step back from my own preconceptions about cannabis. I’ve educated myself, and I continue to educate myself, and CBD chocolates (& other edibles) have come to play a large role in my recovery.
Beyond this is of course the quality & taste of the chocolate, but since CBD is a form of medicine, it’s important to ensure that the therapeutically relevant portion is legit. But if you already have a CBD dark chocolate or milk chocolate on hand, then you should start by portioning off a chunk containing 10mg of CBD (the package should tell you how much and how large one serving size is). Allow the piece of CBD chocolate to melt beneath your tongue, crossing the sublingual absorption method of a CBD tincture with the enjoyment of a piece of fine chocolate. By letting the cocoa butter of the chocolate to melt under your tongue, you’re slowly releasing the CBD into your system.
The strong flavor of even a plain chocolate can handle the strong flavor of the various components of cannabis in a way that other edibles just can’t. The CBD industry and cannabis as a whole are not without their own issues, a huge one of which is industrial regulation and public misinformation.
Gataka Wellness : another young company using higher quality cacao is Gataka, which cites Ecuador’s own Camino Verde, via Meridian Cacao, as the source for the cacao used in their bars. They call themselves craft chocolate makers, though it’s unclear if they’re bean to bar; what we do know is that they use Colorado-grown hemp and seem to focus on CBD over THC. I tried their chocolates over the summer and quite enjoyed it, as it’s very fudgy & heavy on the cocoa notes.