CBD, technically known as cannabidiol, has basically been dubbed the new miracle drug. Itâ€™s said to relieve anxiety, help you sleep, fight inflammation and increase relaxationâ€”all without giving you any psychoactive effects or a head high. Itâ€™s like the trusted and mellow alternative to its controversialâ€”yet more funâ€”cousin, THC.
The cannabis compound has become so popular that you can find it nearly anywhere, in nearly anythingâ€”including pills, creams, sprays, oils and even protein powder. There are CBD massages, CBD for your dog and even CBD lube. One popular new trend is adding CBD to drinksâ€Šâ€”â€Šcoffee, tea and, yes, cocktails, with the idea that it will give you a little extra dose of happy.
In terms of whatâ€™s actually legal, CBD operates in a gray area. Many Bay Area bars like Flore and BottelĂłn in the Castro started to offer alcoholic CBD drinks earlier this year until the laws got a little iffy this summer. Now youâ€™re technically not allowed to put cannabis-based CBD oils and extracts into anything alcoholic due to slight traces of THC, but CBD derived from hemp is THC-free and thus OK for cocktails. At least thatâ€™s how establishments are operating for now.
The rules are changing every day, but you can still get your CBD on in plenty of places in the Bay Area. You just need to know where to look.
This popular Divisadero cafe is known as one of the few spots in the Bay Area where you can try Kava, a Pacific island root made into tea. The drink has a similar effect as CBDâ€Šâ€”â€Šit makes you chill without making you feel like youâ€™re floating above your bodyâ€Šâ€”â€Šso itâ€™s no surprise to find CBD drinks on the menu. You can opt for nitro CBD coffee or a CBD elixir (expect rotating flavors like ginger lime) on tap and enjoy feeling all Zen under the funky lighting. They also offer both the CBD drink and the coffee in growlers to go if youâ€™d prefer to melt into your couch solo with pizza and Netflix.
Kava Lounge, 901 Divisadero Street, San Francisco
This huge SOMA sports bar is like the neighborhood itselfâ€Šâ€”â€Štrying to have it all without really figuring out its identity. Thereâ€™s a lot going on, with pinball machines, pool tables, foosball and board games, as well as an extensive craft-beer list. Until this summer BuzzWorks was among the few bars carrying a number of CBD beers, largely from Black Hammer Brewing. Since they can no longer legally get them (when I asked them to confirm why, a grumbling manager said, â€śYou can blame Jeff Sessionsâ€ť), they now offer both CBD kombucha and CBD tea.
BuzzWorks, 365 11th Street, San Francisco
If you hate shopping as much as I do, youâ€™ll love a boutique that helps you get through it with a little CBD and caffeine mix. Seldom Seen sells bottled CBD cold brew courtesy of a brand called Mary Joe from Costa Mesa. The shop is in Hayes Valley, so expect Hayes Valley prices, but if your style is monochromatic and relaxed, youâ€™ll probably love their curated collection of clothes, shoes and accessories for both men and women.
Seldom Seen, 522 Octavia Street
If you want everyone to know youâ€™re into CBD, this Chinatown boba shop wins the award for most Instagrammable drink. The Green Queen holds about 10 to 12 milligrams of CBD honey and comes with a matcha marijuana leaf dusted on top of the drinkâ€™s foam. Donâ€™t expect the same price as a regular boba, thoughâ€Šâ€”â€Šthe CBD will run you an extra $3.
Steap Tea Bar, 827 Sacramento Street
One of the few cocktail lounges carrying CBD extract sourced from hemp plants, Copper Spoon in Oakland uses it for mocktails and cocktails alike. The non-alcoholic New Day features tumeric honey, carrot shrub, lemon and soda water with CBD, or you can add it to any of their regularly featured cocktails for $2, like Kisses from Yayamu, made with gin, Chareau, rhubarb amaro, strawberry shrub and lemon.
Copper Spoon, 4031 Broadway, Oakland
If youâ€™d rather try CBD at home before sipping in the wild, head to your local dispensary. Many carry CBD teas, oils, tinctures and tonics, and their knowledgeable staff can help you choose quality products and answer any questions you have. Fifteen milligrams is usually the best dose to start with, and you can increase or decrease from there depending on how you feel. If youâ€™d like to mix up a cocktail, Iâ€™d recommend picking up a tincture (Lord Jones and Cordial Organics are two of many brands that make them), with added flavors like orange oil, and experimenting with integrating it into classic combinations. Try a simple gin and tonic, a margarita or even a mint julep. If youâ€™re not afraid of egg whites in your cocktail (which you shouldnâ€™t be, because itâ€™s delicious), you can make some really impressive-looking drinks with a few drops of CBD oil on the top.