CBD isn’t just oils online and herbal health stores anymore – and it’s not just oil. From skincare to catering, CBD is finding its way through Missouri in the form of new and exciting businesses.
Dana Cunningham is a chef in Independence who recently started Infused KC, a catering company that also sells baked goods directly to the consumer online and in boutique CBD stores.
“I started InfusedKC because I believe in the health benefits of CBD,” Cunningham said. “I believe that some people just want to have it in a different way. For instance, my 30 mg peanut butter cookie is a huge seller because people love the taste, rather than taking a few drops of oil. Customers like eating a cookie when they’re in pain or before bed to help them sleep better.”
Cunningham herself uses CBD therapeutically. With 15 years of gourmet professional experience to her name, she was inspired to make CBD available for special events.
“We know that it helps people and has medicinal qualities but we know that it helps people relax too,” Cunningham said. “Let’s do something a little different, a little fun.”
For predictably uncomfortable ceremonies, Cunningham offers CBD catering as a solution for weddings and more. In addition to dessert bars – including an infused ice cream bar, customers can enjoy an Infused Mixology Bar, touted as a way to “chill down at your event with a CBD-infused signature drink of your choice offered with a full-service premium bar.”
“You can have cookies before the wedding and an infused dessert bar at your reception,” Cunningham suggested.
Cunningham’s peanut butter cookies may be a best-seller, but she creates artisan level gastronomy, such as keto fat bombs and even a coconut lavender lemonade infused cocktail.
CBD tincture, blends well in alcohol, CBD oil or whole flower are great for cooking.
Across town, Higher Love KC also does edibles at special events and in CBD shops. You can find James Ryan and Bill Ward slinging fruity pebble bars at Pride Fest or their oatmeal cream pies at Hemp Haven. Ryan and Wald use Hemp Haven CBD products in their baked goods.
Ryan started cooking with cannabis two years ago when his mom developed tremors and he searched for options beyond smoking. Now, he and his partner do pop-ups and special events where their edibles are available for sale. His personal experimentation led him down a rabbit hole of CBD education.
“There’s a whole process between eating, smoking, sublingual, and topical – they’re all completely different,” he said. “Topical absorbs directly through the skin. If there is any THC in a product, it will not break through the skin. Sublingual is under the tongue and goes directly into your bloodstream. With edibles, it takes a while to break down because it enters into your bloodstream through your liver. The effects can last for 6-8 hours. If you’re looking for a lasting effect, edibles are the way to go.”
He notes that ingesting CBD through edibles is something people should make their doctors aware of, as CBD can have a “Grapefruit Effect” when ingested and interact with some medications, such as blood thinners.
Wald and Ryan, focusing on baked goods, utilize butter or oil with CBD infusion. Due to CBD’s nature, Ryan shared that CBD baked goods must be cooked at lower than normal temperatures.
“Temperature is huge,” Ryan said. “You don’t want to get the temperature higher than 325. If you are using oil or butter, I wouldn’t recommend cooking higher than 350 or to make stir fry. High temperatures decrease the bioavailability of cannabinoids. If you do overheat it, CBD becomes bitter.”
He says CBD can be integrated into foods, from salad dressings to smoothies to cakes and bars, to get regular doses into diets, especially as those new to CBD figure out what works for them.
“More people need the knowledge that some things might not work, but others will,” Ryan said.
In Mid-Missouri, a new store is about to have its grand opening. Topical Vibes, located in Jefferson City, offers a variety of items for sale, including CBD oil from Beleaf and Blue Key.
“What I like about them is that they’re Missouri-based – I love Blue Key, they are fantastic,” Topical Vibes’ Teresa Johnson said. “What do we do? We’re a group of women that are building each other up. We want to keep building each other up, helping make us happier and healthier.”
What makes Topical Vibes unique is their in-store kit which allows customers to create their own custom skincare, including lotions, oils, and bath salts. The kit includes options to add CBD and a variety of essential oils.
“Topical Vibes is a holistic boutique,” Johnson said. “We have an alternative approach to a healthier beginning for a happier life. Promoting healing with balance and harmony, reconnecting the mind, the body, and the soul in a serene atmosphere.”
Their goal is to answer questions and provide solutions for each customer as they embark on their healing journey.
“Living a better quality of life and for them to return – we want them to come back and we want to see them smiling,” Johnson said.
Johnson herself is an avid CBD user, having started a regimen after prescriptions failed and she wanted to avoid surgery on her back. Her own experience and the experiences she’s witnessed are exactly why Topical Vibes offers CBD.
“Why not? Look at me,” Johnson said. After working a physically intensive job, Johnson was unable to fully stand up one day and headed to the doctor, only to be told that surgery and prescriptions were her only options.
“Here I am taking all my medicines, they were messing my body up. The painkillers were not healing, they were masking the pain. They put me on steroids. It was hurting my body more and more,” Johnson said. “A friend asked me, ‘Why haven’t you started a CBD regimen?’”
Johnson said no to surgery, instead choosing to go to a chiropractor and starting a CBD regimen.
“Now I get to share that with customers,” Johnson said. “We’re passionate about healing. That’s our job.”
Hari Om Hemp’s logo has inspiration drawn from addressing the body’s chakras, something that Hari Om Hemp pulls through to some of their product offerings, including bath bombs, salves, and roller balls – all in addition to their pure full-spectrum hemp oil.
Carr said their best selling products, hands down, are the Crown Chakra products, which blend CBD with lavender, jasmine, and vetiver. Rollerballs and bath bombs are both available in the Crown Charka blend.
“Different things work for different folks because we have CB1 and CB2 receptors throughout our bodies and so using a topical, we target CB2 receptors as well as when we soak,” Carr said. “When we consume orally, we target both CB1 and CB2 internally.”
Bath bombs and topical applications of CBD can be incredibly effective for several reasons, Carr shared. Skin is the largest organ of the body, allowing full-body absorption. It allows for relaxing muscle aches and pains and may assist in the treatment of skin issues. Combined with Epsom salts, soaking in CBD has a wide array of health benefits.
With the variety of consumption methods, CBD effects vary in relief, effectiveness, and length of relief, Carr and Ryan both shared. Sublingual can take 20-30 minutes to be effective, while edibles may take 90 minutes. Vaping or smoking can take effect within minutes.