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Where to Find CBD-Infused Drinks and Treats in Houston

With hemp newly legalized in Texas, a handful of Houston eateries are incorporating cannabidiol into their menus

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Any shake at Earthy Goodness Vegan Ice Cream can be enhanced with CBD oil. Earthy Goodness Vegan Ice Cream / Facebook

Since the Texas government legalized hemp in 2019, CBD shops have been sprouting up all over Houston. Unlike marijuana, which contains high amounts of the psychoactive compound tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, hemp contains low amounts of THC and high amounts of CBD, or cannabidiol. Cannabidiol is not psychoactive, and is widely used to treat ailments like muscle pain, anxiety, insomnia and even epilepsy.

CBD oil is easily administered orally, and recently a number of Houston eateries have concocted deserts, beverages, and even cocktails using the oil. Though there is still a lot doctors don’t know about the compound, users report feeling relaxed, calm, and sometimes even sleepy after ingesting CBD.

Looking for a lemon-basil shake or a boozy cocktail with a little something extra? Check out these five spots serving up CBD-infused treats.

UB Preserv

The Chris Shepherd-helmed restaurant at 1609 Westheimer Rd offers a CBD Galaxy Brownie with 130mg of CBD oil from Ms Nice Girl Treats. Ms Nice Girl’s other CBD edibles include M&M cookies (containing only green M&Ms, naturally), and caramel popcorn. Get the brownie at UB Preserv by ordering online.

Poly Pop

In Lake Jackson there’s a tropical-style bar that goes beyond the vibe of the basic beach shack. Poly Pop, at 104 This Way A, serves up juicy cocktails alongside Viet-Cajun crawfish, ramen bowls, and spam and cheese sandwiches. The spirits-focused cocktail menu includes a whole section of CBD-enhanced drinks, from the classic coconut-and-lime Pain Killer to the Oaxacan High, made with Oaxacan rum, dragon fruit, lime and CBD oil. Order for pickup by calling (979) 292-8340.

Toot Suite

Toot Suite, the EaDo breakfast spot at 2001 Commerce Street that boasts more than 15 styles of coffee, also serves the perfect side to a cup of joe. Get a CBD chocolate shortbread cookie, and either dunk it in your drink, or savor bites between sips. Each cookie contains about 100mg of CBD. Order online or pick up from the counter for takeout.

Present Company

This Montrose bar, at 1318 Westheimer Road, mixes up colorful cocktails just as Insta-worthy as the building’s neon-drenched facade. The Under The SeaBD includes pineapple rum, kiwi syrup, lime juice and lemon CBD, all topped with Topo Chico, for $11. Patrons can add an extra shot of CBD for $3. Order curbside by calling (281) 974-4752.

Earthy Goodness Vegan Ice Cream

Typically parked just outside Vegan Soul Food at 2901 Emancipation Avenue, this ice cream truck specializes in creative combinations of non-dairy ice cream, all made with coconut milk. There are the basics — vanilla, strawberry and chocolate — plus flavors like lemon basil and purple yam cheesecake. Turn any flavor of ice cream into a CBD shake — $13 for 5 mg, and $16 for 10mg.

From CBD-enhanced cocktails to ice cream to baked treats, here are five Houston spots incorporating the ingredient into their menus

CBD is legal, but is it safe? Here’s everything you need to know about CBD-infused products in Texas

Honey infused with CBD for sale at Houston Hemp Lab in the Heights neighborhood on Wednesday, May 29, 2019 in Houston.

Elizabeth Conley, Houston Chronicle / Staff photographer Show More Show Less

Houston Hemp Lab owner Sophia Romo takes care of some business at the Heights neighborhood CBD store on Wednesday, May 29, 2019 in Houston.

Elizabeth Conley, Houston Chronicle / Staff photographer Show More Show Less

Gummies are a popular item at the Houston Hemp Lab in the Heights neighborhood on Wednesday, May 29, 2019 in Houston.

Elizabeth Conley, Houston Chronicle / Staff photographer Show More Show Less

Houston Hemp Lab owner Sophia Romo, center, with sales associate Nic Williams, left, and partner Ty Whitaker at the Heights neighborhood store on Wednesday, May 29, 2019 in Houston.

Elizabeth Conley, Houston Chronicle / Staff photographer Show More Show Less

Houston Hemp Lab sales associate Nic Williams sets up items for sale at the Heights neighborhood store on Wednesday, May 29, 2019 in Houston.

Elizabeth Conley, Houston Chronicle / Staff photographer Show More Show Less

A chart on the effects of CBD oil at Houston Hemp Lab in the Heights neighborhood on Wednesday, May 29, 2019 in Houston.

Elizabeth Conley, Houston Chronicle / Staff photographer Show More Show Less

CBD Gummies and Hard Candies are two of the wide selection of SUNMED products offered at your CBD store at 4027 FM 2920 in Spring.

Jerry Baker, Houston Chronicle / Contributor Show More Show Less

Jennifer Harris, co-owner of Your CBD Store, works with a customer, Thursday, March 7, 2019, in Willis.

Jason Fochtman, Houston Chronicle / Staff photographer Show More Show Less

Houston Hemp Lab owner Sophia Romo, center, with sales associate Nic Williams, left, and partner Ty Whitaker at the Heights neighborhood store on Wednesday, May 29, 2019 in Houston.

Elizabeth Conley, Houston Chronicle / Staff photographer Show More Show Less

With a wall of artificial marijuana buds and a skeleton in a lab coat, Houston Hemp Lab, adds a lighter touch to the CBD shopping scene in the Heights neighborhood store on Wednesday, May 29, 2019 in Houston.

Elizabeth Conley, Houston Chronicle / Staff photographer Show More Show Less

Houston Hemp Lab owner Sophia Romo, center, with sales associate Nic Williams, left, and partner Ty Whitaker at the Heights neighborhood store on Wednesday, May 29, 2019 in Houston.

Elizabeth Conley, Houston Chronicle / Staff photographer Show More Show Less

Houston Hemp Lab sales associate Nic Williams sets up items for sale at the Heights neighborhood store on Wednesday, May 29, 2019 in Houston.

Elizabeth Conley, Houston Chronicle / Staff photographer Show More Show Less

Houston Hemp Lab in the Heights neighborhood on Wednesday, May 29, 2019 in Houston.

Elizabeth Conley, Houston Chronicle / Staff photographer Show More Show Less

The origin story of the Houston Hemp Lab, a store specializing in CBD products in The Heights, starts with eavesdropping.

Sophia Romo, 23, already owned Erotic Cabaret Boutique in Montrose, when she overheard two bartenders discussing a CBD-infused cocktail. A lightbulb lit up inside her, she said, because she was interested in the hemp-derived CBD oil business but didn’t know exactly how to break into the market.

That was in October.

By January, Romo and the bartenders, Ty Whitaker and Zack Sims, both 25, drew up a business plan for a shop that would sell only lab-tested and certified CBD-infused products. The products would contain no THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, which is the main active ingredient in cannabis.

THC is the psychoactive ingredient that gives users a high; tests show that CBD, or cannabidiol, does not. It’s touted for its alleged health benefits, which span pain regulation, anxiety disorders, depression and various seizure disorders.

Four months later — on April 20, of course — Houston Hemp Lab was open for business on West 19th Street. The aesthetic is that of a laboratory, complete with a skeleton wearing a lab coat standing in the corner.

Where to find CBD oil in Houston

Houston Hemp Lab, 238 W. 19th Street, Houston

Houston’s Original American Shaman CBD, 9203 South Texas 6 No. 100, Houston

VapeRX Hemp/CBD, 6720 Chimney Rock Road Suite V, Houston

Elevated Wellness, 5716 Bellaire Blvd Suite D-1, Houston

Sacred Leaf Wellness Studio, 2521 Rice Boulevard, Houston

The Smoking Pot Coffee Shop, 8510 Long Point Road, Houston

CBD Med, 4607 TX-146, Baytown

Ojas CBD, 1902 Rayford Road, Spring

Your CBD Store, 4027 FM 2920 Road, Spring

Sacred Leaf locations, 12621 Texas 105 West, Montgomery; and 2575 Eldridge Road Suite B, Sugar Land

Source: KPRC and Houston Chronicle

The three owners, and sales associate Nic Williams, 23, have found reputable vendors nationwide to fill the store with everything from CBD-laced topical creams, oils and edibles and non-alcoholic drinks to dog treats for pups with achy joints.

While some merchants and point-of-sale companies have denied to work with the young entrepreneurs, the store is on its way to making profit in its first two months of operation, Whitaker said.

“There’s no track record for CBD businesses, therefore it’s ‘high-risk,’” he said. “But it’s worth the risk with us. Other states have had so much success with CBD that obviously when everything does finally fall even, we’ll be glad we got in so early.”

Texas clarifies hemp law

CBD-infused products are sold in many stores now, but it wasn’t until this week that state regulation defined which marijuana- and hemp-related products are legal to buy and sell.

After a few years of what legal experts have called the “Wild West of CBD,” hemp is legal to buy and sell in the state of Texas if the product contains less than 0.3 percent THC, said Luke Williams, a Fort-Worth based criminal defense lawyer.

On June 10, Gov. Greg Abbott signed House Bill 1325 into law, which modifies the Texas Agriculture Code for regulation and sale of hemp and hemp-related products, as well as sections of the Texas Health and Safety Code to exclude hemp from the definitions of “controlled substance” and “marijuana.”

Hemp is now defined as “the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of that plant, including the seeds of the plant and all derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts and salts of isomers, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis,” according to the new law.

The bill helps clarify the industry in a way that allows manufacturers, farmers and entrepreneurs to expand their businesses, as well as protect consumers from being charged with a possible felony-level offense for possession of a product with any amount of THC, Williams said.

Does this mean you can have CBD oil products in your car and not get arrested if you’re pulled over? Yes, but it could still be tested by law enforcement.

The bill amended the agriculture code to allow for a law enforcement officer to “inspect and collect a reasonable-sized sample of any material from the plant Cannabis sativa L found in a vehicle to determine the THC concentration of that material,” Williams said.

“Unless the officer has probable cause to believe the plant material is marijuana, the officer may not seize the plant material or arrest the person transporting the plant material,” he said. “This would include hemp-derived CBD oil containing 0.3 percent THC.”

This new legislation is the first marijuana regulation in Texas since Texas Senate Bill 339, the Texas Compassionate Use Act, was signed in 2015. That law related to the medical use of low-THC cannabis and regulated organizations that obtained licenses to dispense low-THC cannabis.

The new law significantly clarified the previously confusing state of the law concerning CBD products in Texas, Williams said, but it’s important for people who are selling, buying and possessing them to read the fine print of the bill.

CBD: New Age snake oil?

On May 31, the Food and Drug Administration hosted a public hearing on scientific data and information about products containing cannabis and cannabis-derived compounds.

“There are real risks associated with (THC and CBD) and critical questions remain about the safety of their widespread use in foods and dietary supplements, as well as other consumer products — including cosmetics, which are subject to a separate regulatory framework,” said FDA Commissioner Ned Sharpless. “Given the new interest in marketing cannabis products across the range of areas FDA regulates, we will need to carefully evaluate how all these pieces fit together in terms of how consumers might access cannabis products.”

While there is an “explosion of interest in products containing CBD,” Sharpless said, there is still much the agency does not know about it. And while the FDA’s rules typically prohibit companies from adding unregulated compounds to food or dietary supplements, that hasn’t stopped the market from growing.

The commissioner said the “unique complexities” in CBD regulation have left the agency with many unanswered questions related to its safety. The agency will take public comments on CBD through July 2, but Sharpless said that implementing new regulation could take years.

So, while Texas law has been clarified, the jury is still out on the health benefits of hemp-derived products.

Dr. Victor Sierpina, who specializes in family, holistic and integrated medicine at the University of Texas Medical Branch, said CBD is not addictive and is mostly used for pain, nausea, loss of appetite, depression, anxiety and insomnia.

CBD could aid in the opioid epidemic, he said.

“In terms of pain medicines, this will be your least addicting process, compared to opiates and other types of narcotic medications,” Sierpina said.

In an email, Sierpina said CBD-infused products may be a safer way in dealing with the opioid crisis and for pain management, but more clinical and product research is needed.

The hemp industry has been clarified with a new Texas law. What could this mean for…