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Cannabis may be illegal in Hong Kong, but a new cafe offers a range of foods and drinks containing parts of the cannabis plant without breaking local laws. The cafe, named Found, is the first in town to offer a range of coffees, cookies, beer and juices containing cannabidiol, or CBD, a substance from the cannabis plant that is said to offer therapeutic effects without intoxicating users. The tetrahydrocannabinol compound in cannabis – commonly known as THC – is the psychoactive ingredient that gives users a high. But unlike THC, CBD is generally used to help reduce stress without effect.

In a city where cannabinoids are still very much associated with intoxicating – and highly illegal – recreational use, there is a void in the popular imagination for the many therapeutic benefits of these natural compounds that are embraced elsewhere in the world. . Despite this, a boom in the sale of non-medicinal CBD products is quietly emerging in Asia – Hong Kong included – led by progressive minds in the food and beverage, and wellness industries. “We’re trying to create a new conversation here, moving away from the stoner culture,” says Fiachra Mullen, co-owner of Altum International, a cannabinoid provider for businesses and consumers in the Asia-Pacific region that owns and operates Found. CBD is an extract from cannabis plants and has a psychoactive, but not intoxicating effect.

Translation: it will give you all the calming and relaxing effects of marijuana, without the addictive effect. It is now widely available in the United States and Europe in face creams and smoothies, sought after by health-conscious people as a remedy for anything that reduces pain, anxiety, and inflammation. em>

Besides CBD, there are a range of other compounds available in cannabis plants, some illegal and some not dependent on where you are. In Hong Kong, CBD extract is technically legal, but its sister compound THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), responsible for the “high”, is strictly illegal. In the United States and Europe, CBD products can contain up to 0.3% – a trace amount – of THC, but even that is not acceptable in Hong Kong. Any CBD product sold here must contain totally undetectable amounts of THC. It seems easy enough to move around – just use a pure form of CBD. But most manufacturers produce the extract with a trace of THC and other industrial hemp compounds. This broad spectrum blend of compounds is known to have higher efficacy than any of the single compounds alone.

CBD: the potency and benefits of cannabinoid blends

The entourage effect refers to the fact that CBD is more potent when accompanied by other cannabinoids,” says Mullen. Nature has evolved over millions of years and presents you with this beautiful profile (of compounds) and then you say, well, we’ll only take CBD. You cannot expect Isolate to have the same results as Full Spectrum. While CBD on its own can have major benefits for those suffering from anxiety and insomnia, users say that without the touch of THC it is less effective as a pain reliever, only dulling the pain and not eliminating it. completely. That said, those are Hong Kong’s regulations.

Mullen has worked closely with manufacturers in the United States and Europe over the past two years to ensure that its CBD extracts are pure enough to accommodate local restrictions.

Altum has created a line of pure CBD oils and powders under the Felix & Co, checking the quality of the extracts to make sure everything is legit. Demand for products has been strong, items often sell out. Most people seek help with sleep, we also have parents of children with epilepsy or cerebral palsy using our products, says Mullen. CBD is FDA-approved for the treatment of two severe forms of childhood epilepsy. Much of this is driven by the year Hong Kong has had with protests and the pandemic. Many customers take it early in the morning with their coffee before leaving the house, it helps with mindfulness and makes them a bit more resilient to whatever is going on that day.

CBD Rise: Educating the Public

Still not sure what that CBD thing is? Found staff are helpful and non-judgmental about any questions visitors may have. Mullen himself is often there to extol the virtues of CBD in person. The CBD message is certainly spreading in Hong Kong, embraced by both healthy people (there’s a CBD yoga lounge at the popular Bam Bam Yoga studio) and hedonists (craft brewer Young Master Ales offers a range of CBD beers). Still, Mullen is hardly satisfied. There’s a lot of the population I’m not reaching,” Mullen says. Although Hong Kong has a deep-rooted culture of taking herbal remedies for health issues and general well-being, there is mostly a stigma against anything related to cannabinoids.

Category(ies) : CBDNews

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