It’s the pumpkin spice of 2019; the new ‘It’ ingredient that will make you forget all about bacon and kale and all the other overhyped foods that made their way into absolutely everything you ate over the past few years. It’s cannabidiol, or CBD, and it’s popping up on food and drink menus all over town.
Unlike THC, the cannabis plant’s more-famous compound, CBD, is purported to offer the plant’s therapeutic benefits without the high. Believers swear that it promotes relaxation, eases anxiety, and provides relief for chronic pain and many other conditions, but naysayers suggest that the low dosages found at most cafés and restaurants render it a pricey snake oil at best.
So, to re-cap, that CBD doughnut won’t get you high, it doesn’t offer a flavor benefit to food, and it may or may not ease your anxiety, but it will cost you a few bucks more.
Whether it’s effective or not seems almost irrelevant, though, as local restaurateurs race to incorporate it into everything from cocktails to salads. Here are a few of the CBD-infused foods you can find along the Front Range.
The Nickel (1100 14th St.) has not one, but two cocktails made with CBD-turmeric oil. The Chill Lebowski ($21) is a frothy mix of vodka, chile liqueur, espresso, Frangelico, and egg white, while the Super Limoncello Haze ($19) is a brighter, ginger-heavy blend. At River and Woods (2328 Pearl St., Boulder), you can add a shot of CBD to any cocktail—or heck, to any drink at all—for $5. Try it in its draft cocktail Watership Down, a hibiscus tea, tequila, lime, and agave blend. Same deal at Shine (2480 Canyon Blvd., Boulder), where CBD oil can be added to any drink—like the “3 Pillars of Wisdom” with tequila, sage honey, and lemon—for $6.
Based on their names, it’s no surprise that both Habit Doughnut Dispensary (1553 Platte St. and it’s sister location, CarbonHabit, at 2200 California St., Denver) and Glazed & Confuzed (Stanley Marketplace, 2501 Dallas St., Aurora and Broadway Market, 950 Broadway) are frying up CBD-laced doughnuts. For $2, you can add a CBD bump to your malted milk-glazed ring at Habit, while over at Glazed, the Cereal Milk CBD doughnut, featuring 20 mg of CBD and a Honey Bunches of Oats topping, goes for $5.
Perhaps the OG of the CBD food and beverage trend, cannabidiol-swirled lattes are getting to be as ubiquitous as nitro cold brew at area cafes. Find them at Moxie Bread Company (641 Main St., Louisville) and Precision Pours (1030 E. South Boulder Rd., Louisville), Dead Battery Club (2420 17th St.), and Blue Sparrow Coffee (3070 Blake St.).
You’ll often see CBD salads on the Empire Lounge & Restaurant’s (816 Main St., Louisville) specials menu. Most recently, the Louisville mainstay tossed spinach, feta, pine nuts, and cherry tomatoes in a CBD-laced sherry vinaigrette.
Proof that CBD has gone mainstream: health-minded fast-casual chain Protein Bar & Kitchen (various locations) recently debuted a 30 mg CBD add-in to any shake or coffee for $2.99. And in Boulder, the all-organic, cold-pressed juice shop Wonder (946 Pearl St., Boulder, and inside Broadway Market, 950 Broadway) is more than happy to lace your smoothie with CBD ($1 for 10 mg; $2 for 20 mg). Salud.