The United States seems to be on a crash course with the federal legalization of marijuana and pot-related products. Even while Attorney General Jeff Sessions lives in a 1980s anti-drug PSA, the former Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner (who opposed legal marijuana while in office) recently flipped sides and joined an investment company with large assets in the cannabis industry (as did William F. Weld, the former Republican Massachusetts governor).
One of the great things to come out of the de-stigmatization of weed is the growing popularity of cannabinoid (CBD), one of the hundreds of chemicals found in marijuana. A steady stream of new research has been confirming years of anecdotal reports on the health benefits of CBD—from the reduction of anxiety, to declines in seizures. But perhaps the most cutting edge use of CBD has been taking place in the kitchen, where avant-guard chefs around the country have been adding the substance to their spice racks in new and innovative ways. Here is a small sample of forward thinking restaurants diving into the future of CBD cuisine.
- Weed and pizza are often presented as direct analogues in popular culture Quixote’s True Blue, opened by Jessica LeRoux, is the first pizzeria in Denver to incorporate the cannabis extract in their ingredients. Customers also have the option of adding a ten- or fifteen-milligram shot of CBD to their sandwich for only $2.
- Cafe Hitchcock, owned by Brendan McGill. Brendan McGill’s CBD lattes elicited reactions other than good vibes from the Bainbridge Island locals. He was recently ordered by officials to stop selling the drink, according to The Stranger. This isn’t Brendan’s first run-in with narcs. He originally offered the drink at his Cafe Hitchcock in downtown Seattle, but was told to shut it down there as well.
- Over in Illinois, the food co-op Common Ground is getting baked with CBD—or, rather, they’re baking with CBD. The Urbana-based co-op offered cookies with the extract on March 20, or 4/20. When the one-time offer was a runaway success, the store decided to continue selling a mint-chip cookie with CBD oil for $4.20 each. “We hear from customers and employees who use [CBD] that it reduces their anxiety, helps them sleep, lots of insomnia relief has been reported and mood management as well,” marketing and promotions coordinator Sam Ihm said to Fox News.
- Located right on Los Angele’s glamorous Robinson Avenue on the edge of Beverly Hills and West Hollywood, Swissx Plant Pharmacy and Food Lab has been making waves with its new state-of-the-art health and wellness bar. Swissx has long offered top-tier CBD products, such as hemp extract and CBD-infused chocolates, but the brick-and-mortar location represents the luxury brand’s foray into physical retail spaces. Even though it only opened a little over a week ago, the store has received rave reviews.
- Charlie’s Brownies may not have a fixed location (yet), but this pop-up brownie dispensary has become a staple of music festivals around the country. The brownies set themselves apart both by what’s inside them and what’s outside of them. Not only does Charlie use organic, gluten-free, and dairy-free ingredients with the perfect amount of CBD stirred in, but he serves these tasty delights as a part of elaborate and artful platings, often paired with unique ice-cream flavors and eye-popping garnishes.