CLEVELAND — Cleveland hemp processor Buoyant Brands partners with Amanda Montague from Lilly Handmade Chocolate to create hemp products with special attention paid to taste.
As more Ohioans start using CBD products with the start of Ohio’s Hemp Program, they are learning the industry’s open secret: many hemp products don’t taste very good.
“It tastes like plant, and it helps so you take it,” said Medical Marijuana patient Michael Robbins. He also uses CBD to help treat chronic pain from a painful joint condition. “If it tastes terrible, you’re not going to look forward to taking it.”
Buoyant Brands SVP of R&D and Sciences Brian Samuels says it doesn’t have to be that way.
“You may not even taste it and if you do, it’ll be complementary to the flavors that we use,” said Samuels.
Buoyant Brands teamed up with Montague to help create hemp products that taste good and help knock down the stigma around hemp.
“It’s not about covering it up,” said Montague. “It’s about making a complementary product, making them work together as a team as opposed to butting heads with flavors.”
The consistency in chocolate helps evenly distribute hemp within each piece or throughout a bar and special molds help Montague create the same experience with the same amount of CBD every time.
“It’s not over, it’s not under, so if it says there’s 25 mg of CBD, there’s going to be 25 mg of CBD,” said Montague.
Montague’s consistency with her customers is also why Buoyant Brands is still selling some well-liked Lilly’s products without any hemp inside. She says loyal customers are coming back for the desserts they know and learning about the new products that might help them feel better.
Eventually, Buoyant Brands plans to open up a retail location with much more room for production.
“Then they’re like, ‘Cool, well if this stuff is the same, maybe I should try the sleep stuff. Maybe I should try the recovery aid for after my workout,” said Montague.
The FDA says there still needs to be more research before any company can say for sure how hemp products help customers. While the scientific research is coming in, Samuels says they don’t plan on stopping at chocolate.
“Partnering with other companies that have interesting products whether that’s in the form of a drink or beverages,” said Samuels.
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