CBD has become a household name. More and more people take CBD to relax and feel good. And now, there are so many ways to take it! One indulgent way to try it is eating CBD chocolate. You heard that right. Do we need to say any more?
Let’s dive right into everything you need to know about CBD chocolate.
What Is CBD Chocolate?
CBD chocolate is chocolate infused with CBD. Two amazing ingredients melted together to create a premium product that is sure to satisfy.
Of course, there are many different types of CBD chocolate on the market. Some contain full spectrum CBD extract and others contain broad-spectrum or CBD isolates.
And the chocolate itself can be very different from company to company. Milk chocolate, dark chocolate, or whatever other kind of chocolate you can imagine can be blended with CBD extract to make a delicious product with benefits.
Where ingredients are sourced and how they are manufactured is the best way to tell what is quality and what is not. We will cover this more below.
What Is CBD?
CBD, or cannabinol, is a chemical compound that grows in cannabis plants. It is most commonly derived from hemp plants. They have high concentrations of CBD and low concentrations of THC, which is the opposite of marijuana plants. Marijuana plants have significantly higher concentrations of THC which is the cannabinoid associated with causing an intoxicating high. CBD on the other hand, will not cause any intoxicating effects of its own.
Full spectrum CBD products contain trace amounts of THC. It is less than .3%. This is the level allowed by federal regulations. And it contains other cannabinoids and compounds like terpenes that are naturally found in hemp.
Broad spectrum products are similar to full spectrum products; however, they contain no amount of THC. This option allows for the extra power of cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavinoids, but it completely nixes the controversial cannabinoid for those who simply do not want any THC in their body.
And CBD isolate is pure CBD that has been refined until all the other components are gone.
Responsible companies who operate within the regulatory limits usually provide third-party lab test results to prove that their products meet the industry standard. These reports are called Certificates of Analysis (CoA) and they are usually listed directly on the corresponding product page. Also, sometimes there is a lab results page that contains all of the CoAs for the company. In this case, you will need to search for any CoAs using a product name or batch number.
And What About Chocolate?
Sure, everyone knows what chocolate is. But do you know how it is made?
People often forget that chocolate comes from a plant. The fatty seeds of a tree called Theobroma cacao are where it all starts.
Its roots are traced back to ancient Maya and the area of Southern Mexico. Early forms of chocolate may have been enjoyed by Olmecs as far back as 1500 B.C. It has been deeply loved by the world since its introduction to Europe in the 15th century.
Before it finds its way into our hands and then our bellies, chocolate goes through a process of cultivation, harvest, fermentation, shelling, grinding, and roasting. Then it is finally transformed into the divine product that we all know and love.
The way each of these steps is carried out has a huge impact on the quality of the finished product.
Fermentation of cocoa beans is a process that grows yeasts and bacteria in the pulp of the pods. This is a key stage responsible for the overall success of the development of flavor and aroma.
After fermentation, the beans have to go through a drying process. This lowers the moisture content and allows oxidative processes that started during fermentation to finish. If dried properly, cocoa beans should have only six to eight percent moisture left. This is critical to do right, as too much moisture will lead to mold and will ruin the chocolate.
At this point, the beans need to roast. This is usually the first stage conducted in a chocolate factory. The roasting process decontaminates the beans and produces the flavor and aroma that will end up in the finished product.
When the beans are ready for grinding they are added to the other ingredients necessary for a finished product. The usual ingredients in addition to the cocoa liquor are sugar and milk. Grinding the beans breaks down everything – all the chocolate and ingredients – to the right particle size.
Then, the cocoa needs to go through conching, which is mixing and heating the mixture to produce liquid chocolate. All the solid particles become coated with fat, and the volatile particles are evaporated.
And lastly, the chocolate gets tempered, which is a thermal process that results in stable and consistent chocolate.
As you can see, this labor-intensive process. It used to mean that only the upper class could get their hands on it. But now, chocolate is a staple item that is widely accessible. It can help us to celebrate or soothe, whatever the occasion calls for.
For the best expeirence, you’ll want to buy high-quality chocolate that is sourced and manufactured responsibly. There is much room for error, and if the cocoa is not handled properly during just one of these phases then the finished product can be low-quality.
Why Mix CBD and Chocolate?
The more appropriate question may be “why NOT mix CBD and chocolate”. CBD is well tolerated with little risk of negative effects or dependency. And chocolate has been helping humans make bad days better for centuries.
Chocolate has lots of compounds that help make us feel good. For example, it has theobromine, which may help to increase mood and motivation to work.
The compounds in chocolate complement CBD and the other cannabinoids that are present in a full-spectrum product and may help create maximum feel-good vibes. Plus, chocolate’s high-fat content makes it a great carrier for CBD. Our bodies are able to use it more effectively when it is paired with healthy fats.
What Are the Benefits of CBD Chocolate?
If you love chocolate, the first benefit of trying CBD chocolate is that you can experience maximum enjoyment with this delivery method. It is a great way to satisfy your chocolate cravings and try taking your CBD in a new, familiar way.
And the science behind chocolate suggests that indulging in some bites here and there can actually be good for your health, too. Chocolate contains a handful of feel-good neurotransmitters that activate the same endocannabinoid system that CBD does.
One of the compounds in chocolate that plays a large role in regulating mood is tryptophan. It gets used by the brain to synthesize serotonin. Serotonin is crucial to a balanced mood and behavior.
Also, chocolate has more antioxidant properties than most other types of food. And it contains a variety of important minerals, including magnesium, copper, potassium, and iron. Responsibly eating safely sourced, dark chocolate may offer some benefits like the following: Anti-inflammatory effects, helping protect against cardiovascular disease, reducing diabetes risk, and stimulate the central nervous system
CBD has a range of benefits as well. The cannabinoids in the CBD extract may contribute some therapeutic benefits that include antioxidant effects, anti-inflammatory effects, and neuroprotective effects.
And the other types of cannabinoids that are found in full spectrum and broad spectrum products include ones like CBG, CBN, and more. In addition to cannabinoids, there are other compounds, like terpenes and flavonoids. Both of these types of compounds have their own varying benefits as well. For example, studies have shown that many of these types of compounds contribute antioxidant effects.
The Entourage Effect
The entourage effect is the idea that if cannabinoids work together they can have more intense, synergistic effects than if they were to work on their own.
The fact that chocolate also contains feel-good chemicals and compounds that work similarly to CBD in our bodies means that there is the potential for CBD chocolate to offer a powerful entourage effect.
The Endocannabinoid system
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is the mechanism that is responsible for regulating our bodies and minds. If we get stressed out, hungry, tired, or scared, this system is the one that alerts our brains and bodies and drives the way we respond.
It is made up of receptors and neurotransmitters that interact throughout our brains and bodies. Neurotransmitters that are naturally produced inside of our bodies bind to receptors to pass along messages and cause reactions. These include our body’s natural chemicals like serotonin, dopamine, melatonin, and more. The types of cannabinoids that you find in plants like CBD can also interact with this system.
If you need rest, a proper response would be for your ECS to make you feel tired so that you fall asleep. But if our ECS gets out of whack, things might not work out as they should. This can lead to feelings of stress, anxiety, and even conditions like insomnia, mental health disorders, and more.
That is why people who deal with things like sleep issues or anxiety might choose to take CBD. It can help the ECS balance back out and make things feel okay again.
Can You Taste CBD In Chocolate?
The short answer is no. You should not be able to taste anything peculiar in your CBD chocolate. Some artisan chocolates may have alternative flavor profiles compared to what someone might expect from milk chocolate. But that doesn’t mean it will taste like CBD.
Can You Eat Too Much CBD Chocolate?
You may be able to eat more CBD chocolate than is wise just because it tastes so good. But likely the worst thing you will have to deal with is drowsiness. CBD has been proven to be generally well-tolerated by the public. There seems to be little concern for side effects. And there is little risk for dependence or abuse.
So, yes, you can eat too much CBD chocolate, but it is in the same way you can eat too much ice cream after dinner: not much to worry about. However, if you make it a habit to overconsume anything – including CBD chocolate – it may negatively impact your health.
The most popular type of chocolate in the US is milk chocolate. This type of chocolate is actually low in cocoa and high in fat and sugar. It is best to eat a high percentage of dark chocolate. These 70% or above dark chocolates are the most health-conscious option.
Also, it is good to be aware that studies have shown that eating 25g or more of chocolate daily may cause weight gain. Monitoring intake can help with avoiding this. On the positive side, the same studies suggest that eating 6g or less of chocolate daily did not cause any weight changes.
How Long Do the Effects of CBD Chocolate Last?
CBD chocolate is an edible form of CBD. That means it gets ingested and passes through the digestive tract before you feel any effects. From the intestine, it is absorbed into the bloodstream and carried to the liver.
Once CBD gets to the liver it goes through a process called first-pass metabolism. This process is driven by enzymes in the liver that transform CBD into metabolites. Then they get pushed out into the bloodstream and transported throughout the body.
Because of this lengthy process, CBD edibles can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours to kick in. Once they do kick in, they can last for several hours. Sometimes as long as 5 hours or more.
What Does CBD Chocolate Feel Like?
The effects that come from CBD chocolate are the same that you can expect to get from any type of edible CBD product. Full spectrum products are reported to help people feel calmer, happier, or more relaxed. Also, other things like sleep and appetite may improve.
CBD builds up in the body over time. So taking CBD chocolate on a regular basis may help the effects be more noticeable and consistent.
If you are interested in learning more about CBD, we recommending reading the articles in the Yummy CBD blog.