Saturday Sweets: The Chocolate Spectrum Launches CBDulce Chocolates
The Chocolate Spectrum Café and Academy, a retail operation that trains and employs individuals with special needs such as Autism, has just launched a new line of chocolate, CBDulce, which includes CBD, a cannabinoid from the Hemp plant. This natural, legal substance is known to have a variety of health benefits such as reducing stress, anxiety, pain and inflammation, as well as helping with sleep issues and reducing seizures.
Cannabidiol —the second-most abundant cannabinoid in the cannabis plant after THC — is also found in the hemp plant and is known to have soothing, anti-inflammatory properties. The human body has an endocannabinoid system (ECS) that receives and translates signals from cannabinoids. It produces some cannabinoids of its own, which are called endocannabinoids. The ECS helps to regulate functions such as sleep, immune-system responses, and pain. CBD is not psychoactive, meaning it does not produce a "high" or change a person's state of mind, but it influences the body to use its own endocannabinoids more effectively.
Chocolate Spectrum owner Valerie Herskowitz’s son Blake, a 27-year old with Autism and employee of The Chocolate Spectrum, has spent many years dealing with severe anxiety. Though he takes pharmaceutical medications, he still has periodic outbursts resulting in self-injurious behavior. Herskowitz began researching the benefits of CBD and started incorporating small doses when Blake was suffering significant attacks.
After just a small dose, Blake’s anxiety would dissipate within 15 minutes. The difference was so drastic that Herskowitz repeated the CBD treatment another dozen or so times before being convinced that it was the CBD that was helping her son regain his composure. Convinced of the effectiveness of CBD, Herskowitz decided to take courses from Ecole Chocolat in cannabinoid infused chocolate-making and is now introducing CBDulce.
The Chocolate Spectrum’s CBDulce products (dulce means “sweet” in Spanish), is available both in the physical shop in Jupiter, Florida as well as in the Chocolate Spectrum’s online store.
We sat down to have a quick chat with Valerie to learn more about The Chocolate Spectrum and CBDulce — here’s what she had to say:
Did you run into any challenges while trying to develop the perfect recipe?
Yes, we ran into challenges. It's not really a recipe, it's more knowing how to dose the CBD supplement correctly. I took classes so I had an idea of how to do it. It's not a matter of putting CBD into chocolate. There's a lot of mathematical calculations that go into it, so it was challenging. It's very precise. When you're dosing the CBD, it's in Grams and you have to be extremely precise. You have to make sure you get the exact right amount and have to know how to take the CBD product and process it to get it to the point where it's ready to be infused so that it's the exactly right consistency to blend perfectly into the chocolate is challenging also. It has to be very evenly distributed. The CBD chocolate is solid chocolate.
Which truffle is your favorite flavor?
At the moment, our truffles do not contain CBD but are absolutely delicious. Eventually, we will have CBD truffles. My favorite truffle flavor is dark chocolate salted caramel. We make our own caramel here in the shop, which is unusual. Most shops buy caramel pre-made. I love the combination of salty and sweet and blended with dark chocolate...yum!
Where do you see yourself with The Chocolate Spectrum in 5 years?
At this point, our goal in developing CBDulce is to become a sustainable company. In five years, I hope that sales of our chocolates will more than cover our expenses and our training costs. One of the biggest reasons we're moving into the CBD market is that we believe this will generate enough revenue to become a sustainable company.
How are the CBDulce chocolates sold?
The Chocolate Spectrum’s first product in the CBDulce line is a box of 9 chocolates with 15 mg of pure CBD in each chocolate. The chocolates are embellished with a hemp leaf on each one. These are also available in 4 pieces. The Introductory price is $24.99 for the 9 piece box and $24.99 for two boxes of the 4 piece.
The Chocolate Spectrum is a groundbreaking enterprise, offering adults and teens with Autism and other developmental disabilities the chance to learn a unique skill and be involved in a lifelong, purposeful experience. The company was founded by Valerie Herskowitz in 2013. Currently, 25 students attend training programs at The Chocolate Spectrum and the retail operation employs several graduates.
The Chocolate Spectrum Café and Academy, 6725 West Indiantown Road, Suite 38 in the Jupiter West Plaza at I-95 and Indiantown Road, Jupiter, Florida. Store hours are Monday through Friday, 11:00 a.m.- 6:00 p.m. and Saturday from 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.