A Synergistic relationship
It's that time of year when Easter is upon us and chocolate becomes the food stuff on everyones lips. Given we're all at home, possibly struggling with what to do, what better way to enjoy some Easter treats than making them yourself or with the kids. Chocolate and CBD (Cannabidiol) go together like peanut butter and jelly, or like bread and butter, or milk and cookies (you get the idea) so it's a fun, tasty and enjoyable way to get your daily dose. Plus if you happen to be able to get yourself some raw cacao (as opposed to already processed chocolate) then you'll also be getting the benefits of all the incredible compounds found in cacao. Don't get me wrong, ready made chocolate has loads of benefits too (especially if it's dark chocolate, The Full Circle Hemp Family reckon the darker the better!) but raw cacao is another level altogether with over 1000 active compounds that work beautifully with CBD. Here are some of the benefits that are in chocolate of a 65%+ cocoa content:
- Loaded with vitamins and minerals such as magnesium which can help to prevent high blood pressure, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, mentrual cramping to name but a few; iron which can help prevent iron deficiency which causes anemia and copper which can help prevent strokes and cardiovascular issues. It also contains manganese, potassium, phosphorous, selenium and zinc.
- Bursting with antioxidants. To put it into perspective that's 8 x the amount found in strawberries in a 65% dark chocolate. The darker the chocolate, the more antioxidants. If it's raw then so much the better. Here's a study comparing Cacao fruit with other fruits...it bypassed all fruits by a country mile.
- Studies have shown that dark chocolate reduces blood pressure and cholesterol.
- Dark chocolate stimulates the production of endorphins, those lovely little chemicals we so love that are produced in the brain. It's the same endorphins that get released when we exercise...you know, the ones that bring that feel good factor.
Flavanoids increase blood flow to the brain and heart so that your brain power is sharper and potentially more focused and your heart actually opens energetically. This may sound weird but the increased blood flow feels like your heart opens more, it feels warm and you may experience increased feeling of love and wellbeing.
Basically we have an awesome super food loaded with nutritional goodies that have many benefits to our wellbeing both physically and emotionally (don't forget we're talking dark chocolate here not milk chocolate). Now that we've looked briefly at chocolate and cacao, what does adding CBD Oil to your chocolate do? How is this relationship synergistic?
Let's look at how CBD interacts with our system. Cannabidiol (CBDs long name) is a naturally occuring cannabinoid found in Hemp that interacts with the Endocannabinoid System in our body. This system has the key function of maintaining bodily homeostasis or maintaining balance and harmony in the body against environmental changes, whatever they may be. Some of the processes it plays a role in are regulation of pain, sleep, memory, mood, stress, appetite, metabolism, immune and reproductive function. Pretty amazing right?
Why don't we look at the one aspect we're most interested in and the one that can be the most noticeable. Our bodies naturally produce an endocannabinoid (endo meaning within) called Anandamide. Ananda means bliss in sanskrit and for good reason as it may help to improve mood and governs motivation and reward. However, there's a catch. It's weak, so to speak, and degrades very quickly. An enzyme called FAAH is responsible for metabolising anandamide and guess what? CBD does one very important thing when it come to FAAH...it inhibits it which leads to increased levels of anandamide in the body. And guess what? Cacao also contains small amounts of anandamide! So the combination of CBD and Chocolate can bring anything from a lightness of being to a joyful or even verging on euphoric feeling of openness. You get all that natural feel good of chocolate but with a boost!
Here's how we use CBD Oil in our chocolate:
(By the way if you don't have any raw cacao paste (cacao nibs pressed into a block is called paste or liquor) or cacao butter then see the links below or contact us directly. We have plenty of Balinese Cacao and it has a phenomenal flavour profile.)
Recipe 1: Soft Raw CBD cacao Bites
A bit like fudge these raw CBD cacao bites are so good you'll have to stop yourself from munching them all in one sitting. It's literally a melt in your mouth experience. I've put this recipe first as it's just so incredibly tasty and really easy to make but you probably won't have all of the ingredients on hand so I suggest experimenting! You could substitute the cacao paste for the darkest chocolate you can find and substitute the cacao butter with coconut oil, but a little less of it, and substitute the raw CBD paste for CBD Oil. Better yet, wait until you have the cacao paste and cacao butter to get the best possible fudgy goodness! It's so worth it!
Here's what you'll need:
- 250g raw cacao paste
- 75g cacao butter
- 175g date or agave syrup
- a few drops of vanilla or orange or mint essential oil for flavour
- a pinch of salt
- raw CBD paste/hemp paste
Place the cacao paste and cacao butter together in a bowl and heat gently over a pan of boiling water until melted. Add the syrup and salt and blend with a hand blender until nice and smooth. Add the essential oil and mix well.
At this point you can add your CBD paste or oil but we like to pour the mixture into some molds and then add in a dose of CBD paste and mix it in well. This way you know exactly how much CBD is going into each finished chocolate.
All that's left is to stick it in the freezer for an hour and then enjoy! So simple, so quick and crazy delicious.
Great Flavours to ADD
There are so many ways you can play around with this simple recipe and a wealth of diferent flavours to add. Adding other super foods just adds to that nutrient richness.
How about adding some chopped up goji berries, or some chopped nuts? For total decandence add a drop or two of rose oil. Chilli works really well and adds to the stimulation of endorphins. Cinnamon is a classic and cardamon is a favorite here.
Recipe 2: Raw CBD-Choc Brownies
Oh my goodness, I'm excited for you! These are another delicious recipe and with easy to source ingredients I guarantee you'll be making these over and over especially as there is no actual cooking involved!. Makes about 20 standard brownies although you can easily halve the recipe. Adjust the CBD content as needed, the paste works very well here too. Here's what you'll need:
- 50g cacao powder
- 100g coconut oil
- 150g ground almond (I just grind almonds roughly)
- 100g walnuts
- 400g chopped dates (fresh are better than dried but you can place dried dates in some water and let them soak for a bit. Keep the water, we'll use it)
- 3 tsp your sweetener of choice. We like to use coconut sugar or jaggery but xylitol crystals are good too
- 20g agave syrup (or honey works well too)
- 50ml water (this is where the date water can be used)
- 5ml 5% CBD Oil (equivalent to 5 drops/12.5mg per brownie)
- pinch of salt
Melt your coconut oil and add to a blender with the cacao powder, roughly ground almonds, half the walnuts, the chopped dates, sweetener of choice and the salt. Blend until it becomes a thick brown mixture. You may have to help it along by pushing the mixture that gets stuck on the sides into the centre.
Spoon the brownie mix into a bowl and mix in the syrup and water until it's sticky and gooey (see photo above). Now's the time to add your CBD Oil and mix well. Spoon this yummy mixture into a cake mold (you can grease it or line it with baking paper if it's not non stick) and smooth the top with the back of the spoon.
Pop it in the freezer for 20-30mins so that it's firm, remove and eat to your hearts content.
A fruit based icing:
If you're feeling adventurous and have some cacao butter then this icing is easy to make. Add it when the brownies come out of the freezer then pop back in the freezer for 10-15mins to set.
Here's what you'll need:
- 60g cacao butter
- 75g cashews (cashews are the creamiest nuts to use)
- 4 tsp sweetener of choice
- 90g fruit; Berries work brilliantly with the chocolate. try blueberries or raspberries
Melt the cacao butter in a bowl over a pan of boiling water. Next, blitz the cashews in a blender until they become like a flour. Add the melted cacao butter, sweetener and fruit and blend until smooth. Spoon onto the brownies and place back in the freezer. Simple!
There are so many ways to enjoy CBD and Chocolate, all it takes is some key ingredients, a little imagination and a sense of play. Don't be afraid to experiment! You can make loads with just some cacao powder, coconut oil and CBD. What kind of flavours do you like? Nuts work well, nut butters are an excellent ingredient to add cacao to; berries never fail; other super foods like lucama, maca, goji berries, matcha all work great with chocolate and CBD. Have fun and bliss out!
These are our top choices for adding to chocolate or cacao
5% CBD oil
The 5% CBD Oil is our everyday go to and great for all the family. Available in 10ml & 30ml.
10% & 20% CBD Paste
The 10% Paste is our best seller with the 20% Paste a close second. Excellent terpene profile.
Educate, Empower & Share
With so many CBD Shops it's more important than ever to be well informed about how to buy CBD Oil in Ireland and elsewhere. Unfortunately not all CBD Oil is created equal. When Full Circle Hemp first began in 2015 Full Spectrum CBD Oil was the norm. Now we have a huge variety of choice from Full Spectrum Oil, to Broad Spectrum Capsules to Isolate. There weren't very many of us around a few years ago and quality was pretty much high across the board. These days there can be huge disparity between products and it serves to know your stuff. We believe in sharing educational material, it serves everyone to keep the standard high and to keep our extended family of friends and customers well informed. We try to do this in a fun and easy way so that you're not just learning but having fun doing it! Please follow us on Instagram where we share lots of information on a regular basis. Signing up to our news letter (click the link and scroll to the bottom of the page) will also keep you abreast of the latest developments in the industry as well as CBD recipes, informative blogs and more. We very much look forward to welcoming you to the Full Circle Hemp Family.
Products FROm our friends
These are perfect to use for cooking. Raw cacao nibs pressed into a paste and ready to use
Premium edible natural cacao butter. This butter has a wonderful chocolate aroma & taste.
Organic and delicious! Full of magnesium, potasium and calcium.
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