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Local café offers hemp-infused meals as option for customers

FORT MYERS, Fla. — A local cafe and shop is jumping into a growing trend by incorporating hemp and CBD into its dishes.

“You can really make pretty much anything and you can infuse the CBD or the hemp hearts,” said Head Chef and Kitchen Manager of Seed & Bean Market, Tika Saunders.

Saunders explained that one obstacle while working with hemp and CBD is making sure the temperatures of each dish remain within a certain range.

“You don’t want to go above…well between 320 and 356. I for one, I prefer to go low and slow,” Saunders said.

If you overheat your food, she said there’s a chance some of the chemicals from the hemp or CBD could be released.

“Cooking at a lower temperature you still get it baked but you’re not going to reactivate any other chemicals in the CBD. You’re not going to hurt yourself,” said Saunders.

At Seed & Bean Market, almost every menu item they offer can be infused with hemp or CBD. But some of their favorites include the turkey avocado panini, avocado fries, blueberry granola protein bites and a chocolate raspberry dessert.

“I love that freedom of creativity, you know, to express my culinary muscles if you will,” Saunders said.

Dr. Barton Hershfield, the owner of Medical Cannabis Physicians of Southwest Florida, and Dr. Krista Casazza, a licensed nutritionist at FGCU, spoke about the nutritional benefits of adding hemp and CBD to your daily diet.

“If you can find a nutritional product that you can eat and not have to take supplements, that is something that the public would want,” Dr. Casazza said.

“CBD has shown to help bone strength, calcium in the bones,” added Dr. Hershfield.

When it comes to hemp specifically, Dr. Casazza said one significant advantage that it offers is the presence of essential oils.

“It has a very high essential oil and so the essential oils are not made by the body and hemp has a real nice profile in terms of the Omega 6 balance,” Dr. Casazza said.

CBD on the other hand helps support our immune system.

“CBD helps stop our immune system from going overboard and attacking ourselves like it does in many what are called autoimmune diseases,” said Dr. Hershfield.

On top of that, it also protects our bodies from harmful chemicals.

“CBD has antioxidant activity like Vitamin C, which means it helps get rid of these harmful chemicals called free radicals that can damage cells and even cause cancer,” Dr. Hershfield said.

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