CBD Oil Invades Pittsburgh’s Local Food Scene

It appears that CBD is starting to conquer Pittsburgh’s local food scene. Last Wednesday, Leona’s locally made ice cream sandwiches flew off the rack as consumers want to get a first-hand taste of this CBD-infused dessert.

According to Post Gazette, CBD maker Hippie & French commissioned with Wilkinsburg’s Leona’s to produce CBD-infused ice cream sandwiches. The sandwich features the original-recipe ginger molasses cookies separated by lemon cream ice cream with 20 mg of CBD. The product was a hot seller as the store sold all 60 pieces for $11.50 each in just around 2 hours.

Lindsay French, the owner of Hippie & French, was surprised by how the event unfolds. “This was a pleasant surprise,” she said. French shared that the idea came because of her desire to work with a female-owned local business.

Because the ice cream sandwiches sold out in its first sale, Hippie & French, in partnership with Leona’s, will make another batch of ice cream sandwiches. This time consumers can expect another interesting and specialized flavor – chocolate ice cream on peanut butter cookies.

To prepare for the influx of customers, Leona’s lend Hippie & French a small freezer for the meantime. But French said the store will get its own and will start shopping for freezers.

CBD is the short form of cannabidiol, an extract derived from the hemp plants. It was recently legalized after US President Donald Trump signed the Farm Bill into law. Currently, CBD comes in different forms and is sold as supplements in various outlets such as Hippie & French.

One of the advantages of hemp oil is that it contains very little, less than 0.3% specifically, of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). For those who have no idea, THC is the psychoactive component in marijuana and is responsible for getting users a high. In short, CBD will not make you high.

CBD has been removed from Schedule I status under the Controlled Substance Act. Because of this, it is expected that words of CBD’s touted medical benefits will spread globally. Many users claimed it can help treat a wide range of illnesses including anxiety, insomnia, depression, and pain. However, CBD also has doubters since many of the claims have no anecdotal pieces of evidence yet.

However, this is not the first time for CBD to evade the food and drinks industry. A lot of companies have started infusing CBD into their products, ranging from brownies and cookies to beer and sparkling water.

Last October, CNN described CBD as the “it” ingredient to hit menus. However, just a few weeks ago, New York City’s restaurant scene was shaken after a directive was released from the local health department to stop serving CBD-infused food and beverages.

The directive created a gray space in the food industry since most CBD was legalized after the legislation of the Farm Bill. But how is it possible that the Food and Drug Administration is still working on its take on CBD?

“There is no ban but there [aren’t] any clear regulations right now,” French said, adding that she and Leona’s owners will continue to offer CBD-infused treats until federal and state laws release a clear mandate about it.

On the other hand, in New York City, foodservice owners were only asked to stop the sales of CBD items. For some optimistic, this may mean that a solution would be in the cards soon. For the meantime, the restaurants and bar owners will have to return or discard CBD-based menus and will be fined if found selling CBD-infused products.

CBD market is a fast-growing industry and is expected to reach $22 billion by 2022.    

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