UK sweet expert Andy Baxendale is working with British confectionery manufacturer Sweetdreams to produce a unique selection of products combining the current appetite for legally-sourced cannabis derived oil with luxury chocolate.
The industry consultant, who is a board member of Confectionery Production said the popular, and constantly growing offering, catered for people who loved chocolate but who wanted such a treat to have some added potentially positive benefits.
So far the products he has produced, combining cannabis derivative CBD oil with milk, white or dark chocolate coating, include: solid dark chocolate balls, malt balls (Malteser type products), almonds, goji berries, cranberries, honeycomb plus some yoghurt coated fruits.
â€śThe work is continuing on an ongoing basis as the demand is constant for these type of products at the momentâ€ť he said.
CBD oil is reputed to have anti-inflammatory, pain-reducing, and calming effects Â- but does not contain Tetra Hydro Cannabinol (THC), which is the part of marijuana that gets you high.
Sweetdreams, based in Cramlington, Northumberland, are well suited to this type of product manufacture owing to their flexibility and capabilities around bespoke product development and small batch manufacture.Andy, who is based in Wigan, said: â€śIâ€™m not sure why CBD oil is so popular in chocolate â€“ I think that chocolate is an easy medium for people to eat, especially if they feel that their â€śnaughtyâ€ť treat has some benefit now in the form of the addition of CBD oil â€“ kind of â€śnaughty but niceâ€ť.
â€śIt is great to devise products like these and scale them up to full scale production at Sweetdreams.â€ť
Andy said that part of the reason chocolate was so popular was because eating a small amount of sugar creates a release of serotonin, which is linked to wellbeing and happiness. The precursor to serotonin is tryptophan which is also found in chocolate and which is converted in the brain into additional serotonin.
Eating chocolate also releases endorphins â€“ the neurotransmitters that transmit signals between neurons â€“ which can reduce stress, lead to feelings of euphoria. Phenylethylamine â€“ â€śchocolate amphetamineâ€ť â€“ also creates excitement and alertness and rises in pulse rate are similar to those felt when in love.
Baxendale has 24 yearsâ€™ experience in the confectionery business and a Master of Science (MSc) in Advanced Food Manufacture.
The former product development manager for Chewits a respected national consultant in every aspect of confectionery production. He has extensive knowledge of regulation and legislation in the industry, advising companies on everything from recipes to staff training and enhanced production techniques.