One Aberdeen-based firm specialises in CBD liquor: rum and gin infused with hemp and CBD.
So, you’ve tried the UK’s best CBD beer, but now you’re keen to try something with a little more kick? Wee Hemp Spirits have exactly what you’re looking for. It’s not only a first for the UK but possibly the world at large.
THIS SCOTTISH COMPANY COMBINES CBD AND LIQUOR
The people behind the first CBD liquor are husband and wife team Calum and Rebecca Napier. They also run The Wee Hemp Company, a CBD-based firm which won Scotland’s Micro Business of the Year in 2019’s FSB Awards. We spoke to Calum about the origins, development and future plans of their journey in CBD spirits.
The Wee Hemp Company was launched in May 2018, largely thanks to Rebecca’s inspiring experiences with CBD.
“Rebecca has suffered with Crohn’s disease since she was five years old, and in 2016 she was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, a chronic illness that causes pain all over the body,” said Calum. “I did some research and found that in America many people were using CBD to help with fibromyalgia so we took a weekend trip to Amsterdam and purchased some.”
The changes were remarkable. “Over the next few months Rebecca regained her life back,” said Calum. “She changed her diet, did intolerance tests and had great success using CBD. We then trialled many different CBD products before jetting off to a lab in Europe to create our own product line and start our own company.”
In these early days the duo looked into growing four acres of hemp in Aberdeen, but the UK government made it near-impossible to gain the appropriate licenses. Then they had the idea of experimenting with hemp as a botanical in distilling spirits.
WORLD FIRST CBD LIQUOR AGING TECHNIQUE
“We contacted a local distillery and they were more than happy to let us do some experimenting with our hemp in their facility. Over the next few months we perfected the recipes and Wee Hemp Spirits was born!”
Wee Hemp Spirits currently offers hemp-infused Canna’B Gin and Canna’B Rum, with a full spectrum limited edition CBD-infused Canna’B Spirits about to be released.
“All spirits have hemp seeds and hemp plant material as botanicals,” said Calum. “The rum has been aged in charred hemp stalks. This is a world’s first aging technique that gives our rum a subtle smoky yet sweet finish, and a beautiful golden colour.”
The name ‘Canna’B’ is a smart play on Scottish dialect, pronounced ‘cannae be,’ as in ‘cannot be.’ It also serves as a neat reference to the cannabis sativa L plant and the bees which provide the honey used in these CBD liquor products.
EVEN THE WATER IS THE BEST AVAILABLE
This impressive attention to detail even goes as far as the H2O used to create the spirits.
“The water used in each of these is from the Cairngorms,” explained Calum. “It’s been filtering through the cracks and rock formations for 50 years before ending up in Canna’B.”
According to Calum, the special water gives the flavors in his CBD liquor “more depth.”
When it comes to the actual creation of these spirits, it’s a multi-layered process, simple in parts, complicated in others, that serves to create a wonderful handcrafted artisan product.
“The hemp seeds and plant material are steeped with our other botanicals to give more depth of flavour before it is distilled in small 250 litre batches,” said Calum.
“The rum is then aged in charred hemp stalks giving it the smokiness and glorious golden colour. When the spirits are ready, a percentage are infused with our full spectrum water soluble CBD and sent away for cannabinoid profile analysis, before Rebecca and I begin the process of bottling, corking, sealing, labelling and quality checking each and every bottle.”
PLANS FOR THE FUTURE
And it doesn’t stop there. The founders have big ideas for the future.
“Our plans are to expand our Canna’B product line into many more spirits, utilising our unique ageing technique,” said Calum.
“Rebecca has been experimenting with CBD-infused vegan chocolates and full spectrum CBD-infused Canna’B rum and raisin fudge — which, I might add, is next level!”
Calum has his sights set on more than just CBD liquor:
“Wee are not just a CBD company however. Hemp can be used for just about anything, so expanding our portfolio is on the horizon. We’re looking at a solution for the plastic crisis with biodegradable hemp plastic, hempcrete for sustainable housing projects with local building companies, and fashion from 100% hemp fabrics – these are just a few areas we wish to expand into. We want this ancient plant to make a big comeback. And why not, after decades of demonisation it deserves it.”
THE LEGAL TIDE IS TURNING
In a sign that the UK government is finally coming round to the idea of CBD oil products, Calum and Rebecca found the legal process of bringing their products to market surprisingly easy.
“There have been zero issues,” explained Calum. ”In fact the response has been very welcoming, and everyone is excited to try and stock Canna’B. It appears the stigma is being broken down day by day.”
The tide is certainly turning, not just in the UK but worldwide. Some of the biggest alcohol companies in the world are investing many millions of dollars in acquiring cannabis producers and research facilities. It’s clear this crossover market is on the verge of exploding and boutique companies like Wee Hemp Spirits are right at the cutting edge. If you’re a CBD user and enjoy a drink, the future is set to be very bright indeed.
You can buy Canna’B products online and in various stockists across the UK (see their website for more details). Wee Spirits are looking at expanding into other markets around the world, depending on local laws.