There are plenty of ways to take your CBD – straight oil, soft gels, vape – but arguably none as tasty as a new product coming out of Little Rock.
CB-Dulce is the first premium chocolate to be infused with Tree of Life Seeds full spectrum CBD oil. The product, which hit shelves May 15th, is sure to be a favorite among people looking to tap into the benefits of CBD while enjoying a decadent delivery system.
Carmen Portillo is a Little Rock native who became the state’s first certified professional chocolatier. Her company, Cocoa Belle Chocolates, has developed a national reputation for her luxury creations, produced out of a nondescript manufacturing space in Bryant. Not long ago, Tree of Life Seeds CEO and Cocoa Belle fan Jason Martin reached out to Portillo with an idea.
“I knew the quality of Carmen’s products and the care and craftsmanship she puts into her work,” said Martin. “We’d wanted to add a chocolate product to our line for a while now and when we reached out, Carmen was open to the idea of collaborating.”
“I knew of the CBD industry a little bit,” Portillo said. “I have a family member who benefits medically from CBD. I’ve seen it work. I’ve seen testimony of how it works in their life. So, it definitely piqued my interest in not only building a brand and being a good business move, but knowing how important it is to those who utilize CBD every day.”
CB-Dulce was in development for about five months and resulted in CBD-infused fudge in two varieties, German Chocolate Cake and Dark Chocolate. Made from premium ingredients, the fudge bites deliver five milligrams of CBD per dose, 60 milligrams per bag.
The development of two chocolate bars soon followed the release of the fudge bites: a Dark Chocolate and Super Omega 3 Dark Chocolate bar, which will be available for purchase mid-June. The bars each carry 100 milligrams (five milligrams per dose) of the company’s high-quality proprietary CBD oil.
“A lot of people don’t know that CBD actually contains omega fatty acids,” Portillo said. “The super omega bar is dark chocolate, which is high in antioxidants, and also has walnuts, almonds, pistachios, pumpkin seeds and cranberries. It’s not only the omega that you get from the CBD, but we’re cramming it full of omegas from all the natural nuts and berries, too.”
Portillo relied on other food science to create the products. She said adding CBD oil didn’t affect the consistency of the chocolate because the oil is highly concentrated. That meant it didn’t take much to deliver the intended dose of CBD’s beneficial properties. And, because chocolate cooks at a lower temperature than another tempting edible – such as baked goods – the CBD doesn’t break down like it can do in cookies.
“What I do with Cocoa Belle is more the gift luxury item; I’m known for my truffles, handmade delicacies,” she said. “For CBD people who would consume this on a daily basis to get their CBD intake, I really wanted this to come off as more relatable. I didn’t want it be just a gift, holiday or luxury kind of thing.”
“That’s why I chose fudge for the first product. I wanted to do something that was different in the market. You have a lot of cookies and you have the brownies and the gummies, but no one’s really doing the fudge. Plus, fudge is something that’s synonymous with the South, right? A lot of things I do traces back to my upbringing and my grandmother made amazing fudge. I wanted to have the quality of Cocoa Belle with the high-end luxury type of chocolate, but I wanted to make it more attainable by making it into a fudge.”
“Carmen has done an amazing job with CB-Dulce,” Martin said. “As CBD becomes more mainstream, manufacturers such as Tree of Life Seeds have to consider how consumers want to get their dosage. I can’t imagine anyone who likes chocolate not being blown away by this product.”
CB-Dulce is available through Tree of Life Seeds website, select Tree of Life Seeds retail locations, Portillo’s retail locations in downtown Little Rock at 108 West 6th Street (inside of Bella Vita Jewelry) and at The Shops at Brick City in Fort Smith.