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      • Should I sell CBD coffee in my coffee shop?

      • If you’re not already aware – and where have you been? – CBD coffee is coffee with cannabidiol oil added to it. Cannabidiol is derived from the cannabis plant. It is, essentially, an alternative therapy, classified and sold as a food supplement. Because it doesn’t contain THC (tetrahydrocannabinol, the psychoactive ingredient of cannabis), it won’t get you high. So, what are the benefits of CBD oil and why should I sell CBD coffee in my coffee shop? Valid questions. Read on…

        The anecdotal benefits of cannabidiol are a pretty lengthy reading list of pros. Proponents say that can be effective in treating a raft of issues from acne to anxiety. Depression, circulation, physical inflammation, faster recovery from injury, insomnia and pain all get a look-in. Big benefits, but big claims. Are they true? There aren’t any comprehensive scientific studies to back these claims up. Yet it’s a fast-growing area of self-treatment, medicinal cannabis is now available (in very limited circumstances, and it isn’t the same thing as cannabidiol as a food supplement) on the NHS, more and more people swear by it, and of course it’s a growing trend…

        As for why you might consider selling CBD-infused coffee in your coffee shop, why does any café sell something other than mainstream coffee drinks? To broaden your appeal, to offer greater choice, to satisfy customers. And a quick search online will reveal that, in these earlyish days of CBD use in coffee shops in the UK, plenty of small businesses are finding PR opportunities in local papers and, of course, through social media.

        But is CBD oil safe to drink?

        Well, just as there’s no concrete evidence corroborating claims that CBD helps alleviate pain and other conditions, there’s no evidence proving long-term harm. The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), which regulates medicines, says it can be sold as a food supplement. It only contains trace elements of THC – less than 0.2% - so it isn’t considered a psychoactive substance. Trading Standards rules allow a maximum dosage of 24mg (four drops, give or take) of CBD in a coffee or cake, as large doses can cause drowsiness. But if that rule is adhered to, and if customers new to CBD oil are advised not to drive or operate heavy machinery until they’re sure they don’t feel sleepy afterwards, then legally and scientifically we haven’t seen any reason to worry – provided you source your CBD oil from a reputable supplier rather than some dodgy-looking website.

        How does CBD-infused coffee taste?

        It has a definite bitter edge, which can be offset with sugar or syrups if necessary. Everybody’s taste palate is slightly different, of course, but you might want to taste-test your CBD coffee creations before you decide on a final recipe. Don’t go necking pints of the stuff before driving, though… Lots of people say they can’t even taste the CBD in coffee drinks, whereas it adds a distinctly different flavour to tea. Of course, it can also be added to cakes, if you sell those in your café. Keep your doses to below 24mg, and perhaps start at half that quantity, when you’re taste-testing.

        If you know of any other coffee shops or restaurants experimenting with CBD oil in their drinks and food, treat yourself in the name of research, and even ask if it’s helped their sales get high.