In recent years, the public perception of bees has seen a dramatic shift from picnic nuisances to vital protectors of fragile ecosystems. Cannabis and its derivatives have enjoyed a healthy dose of public image rehabilitation as well, with non-psychoactive cannabidiol (CBD) emerging as the hottest food trend of the year. The convergence of these two movements has yielded something that will likely bring a smile to the face of any eco-friendly health nut with a sweet tooth: CBD honey.
Like any consumer product, its main appeal is to the needs and desires of the person buying it — it’s healthy (more on that later), tasty, and trendy. But CBD honey also comes with benefits for the environment. Ecologically-minded companies such as Bee Delightful, a Texas-based producer of raw and organic honey, are helping to save bee populations by transporting them to areas free of pesticides and other harmful chemicals, where the bees can pollinate the local flora and produce honey whose purity far exceeds that of industrial operations.
Environmental responsibility seems to be a hallmark of many CBD honey brands (which is likely part of the reason for its strong appeal among millennial customers, according to a recent survey from shopping site RetailMeNot). According to Jessica Gonzalez, founder of the brand Happy Organics, “We only extract the honey ourselves and we only extract it when we can so we don’t take too much from the bees, only if there’s excess,” as she told ABC News.
Yet that’s not the only reason for CBD honey’s sudden surge of popularity — here are some of the other motivations people have for using it.
Bees are great, but the real appeal of CBD honey has more to do with its diverse health benefits, its taste bud-friendliness, and its easy versatility. While it’s generally a bit pricier than its non-infused competition, there’s a strong argument that CBD honey is worth every extra penny.
Both CBD and honey have their own unique health benefits, and the combination of the two brings out the best in both. Together, they create something of a superfood, packed with a diverse array of nutritious vitamins and minerals, fatty acids and essential oils, as well as important enzymes.
The two ingredients complement each other in a multitude of ways. Both have potent antibacterial and analgesic properties (part of the reason that honey and cannabis have been used for centuries to treat minor wounds). They’re also well known antioxidants (which is why they’re both commonly found in skin care products). Their individual attributes are also intriguing: CBD is renowned for its ability to help with anxiety, while honey can do wonders for the immune system.
CBD is not renowned for its flavor, which is often described with words like “nutty” or “earthy” or other euphemisms for “kind of gross.” That’s why many people go to extreme lengths to hide the taste of CBD — and since honey is high in sugars like fructose and glucose, it’s well equipped for the task.
These sugars don’t just make honey taste good, either: they also make it an excellent delivery mechanism for CBD. They’re some of the easiest-to-digest carbohydrates on the planet, meaning honey — and the substances contained in it— hit the bloodstream soon after being consumed. This is one reason that honey has featured prominently in the herbal remedies of Ayurvedic medicine for centuries (coincidentally, CBD has also been embraced by practitioners of this ancient tradition).
Cooking with CBD oil isn’t particularly difficult, but it requires a degree of patience that many amateur chefs simply don’t have, as the oil has several idiosyncrasies that require a deft touch to manage (for example, it’s highly sensitive to both heat and light).
CBD honey, on the other hand, is all but idiot-proof. It can be drizzled onto breakfast cereal, substituted for sugar in a cup of tea, spread over toast, added to a smoothie, or just taken by the spoonful. This combination of flavor and convenience makes it an ideal choice for folks who want to try CBD without having to go to huge amounts of effort.