Hotels are tapping into the $2.1 billion cannabis market with CBD room service

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Hotels like The James Nomad and The Standard are offering guests products infused with CBD oil, a derivative of the cannabis plant

Here’s one way to curb your late night munchies.

Hotels are offering guests cannabis-infused room service menus, featuring comfort foods like meatballs, ice cream sundaes and candies all made with CBD, a derivative of the cannabis plant.

CBD is one of the compounds found in marijuana plants but unlike THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) — which is the chemical compound in cannabis that gets users high — CBD is non-psychoactive. Instead, it may be able to reduce inflammation, relieve pain, stress and anxiety, research shows — the perfect midnight snack after a long day of travel that also happens to be legal.

At The James Nomad hotel in New York City, guests can order from the special CBD tasting menu. “We’re always researching new ways to help our guests relax,” James La Russo, a manager at the hotel, told Moneyish. “CBD extract is proven to have calming effects, easing anxiety and stress. With it being legal in all 50 states, we knew we wanted to get involved,” he explained. So, the hotel enlisted Los Angeles-based chef Andrea Drummer, a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu, who started cooking with cannabis to relieve her own joint pain. She created a menu of snacks and light bites and there’s also a list of CBD-infused beauty products like scrubs, lotions and lip balms on the menu for an added dose of R&R.

SEE ALSO: Weed-based beauty products could be worth a lot of green

CBD oil is tasteless, so eaters wouldn’t even know its in their food, says Drummer. Thinking up the menu was essentially a blank canvas comprised of all of her favorite foods.

“I like food that’s comforting, so I thought, ‘What do you want to eat when you’re vegging out in a great hotel room?’ Meatballs is one of those things, and I really love tater tots,” Drummer said of putting some of her favorite foods on the menu.

All of the dishes are made with between 10 to 20 mg of CBD oil and run a bit pricier than your average restaurant dish. Spicy meatballs, made with 15 mg of CBD oil, are $32; tater tots with sriracha mayo are $18 and contain 10 mg of CBD oil; and a butter lettuce salad with 20 mg of CBD oil is $20. On the dessert front, there’s an ice cream sundae made with caramel sauce and 20 mg of CBD for $14. The food menu features a list of CBD-infused beauty products guests can also order up. Highlights include a $32 CBD for Life eye serum and Virility Rose lip balm for $20.

Similarly, the Standard Hotel, which has a number of locations in cities like New York and Miami, has its mini bars stocked with CBD-infused Lord Jones candy gummies, in flavors like blood orange. And at the Petit Ermitage in West Hollywood, chef Christotel Tan hosts exclusive pop-up dinners for guests to consume a $120-per-person, seven-course CBD menu. Dishes include duck confit made with eight ounces of CBD oil that’s infused in the duck fat; asparagus with monkfish cheek and CBD puree, and salami for a charcuterie dish that’s cured with CBD oil.

“Everyone seems to have a good time with it,” Tan noted of diners. The next dinner is slated for the end of October, and if it continues to go well, Tan said he could potentially launch an in-room dining menu.

With the CBD market estimated to grow up to $2.1 billion in consumer sales by 2020, it’s no wonder the hospitality industry is trying to cash in.

Like hotels, more restaurants have been incorporating CBD into menu items and cocktails. At Los Angeles restaurant Spring, there’s a CBD Power Lunch menu with dishes like branzino with red quinoa, carrot-ginger soup and vanilla panna cotta all made with CBD. And the bar at The Williamsburg Hotel in Brooklyn has a cocktail called the If You Like Pina Colada mixed with CBD-infused Singani 63, rice whiskey, coconut juice and pineapple juice for $16. Vegan ice cream shop Van Leeuwen — with locations in New York City and LA — has a chocolate fudge sundae with CBD. And earlier this year, Chinatown cafe Oliver Coffee in New York City introduced three CBD infused drinks including a, an iced spiced chai latte spiked with fresh ginger made with an eight milligram dose of CBD.

The If You Like Pina Colada cocktail by bartender Rael Petit at The Williamsburg Hotel. (Courtesy of Rael Petit).

There is some scientific evidence that shows CBD has several health benefits, including an anti-anxiety effect and anti-inflammatory properties said to help treat skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis by minimizing the amount of redness and itching. And studies have shown that CBD can help patients that suffer from digestive diseases like inflammatory bowel disease and irritable bowel syndrome.

Doctors, however, warn that there has not been enough research to determine a safe dosage of CBD oil, especially in food.

“Everyone has jumped on the bandwagon, but all the research hasn’t been done yet,” Dr. Robert Glatter, an emergency physician at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City said, adding: “People think you take it and that’s it, but there are side effects of CBD oil. It makes you nauseous, it can make you feel fatigued, and it can make you feel really sleepy.Take it with a grain of salt.”

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