The Canna Kitchen is a vegan and vegetarian restaurant that opened at the end of 2018 in Brighton, England. It’s also the UK’s first restaurant to infuse their dishes with CBD and other similar cannabinoids.
Brighton has long been regarded as one of the UK’s most bohemian and forward-thinking cities. It makes perfect sense for this location to be the origin of what promises to be a groundbreaking development in the world of food and CBD. We spoke to the founder of The Canna Kitchen, Sam Evolution, about the evolution and execution of his one-of-a-kind CBD restaurant.
THE UK’S MOST BOHEMIAN CITY IS THE IDEAL HOME FOR HEMP AND FOOD
“I’ve been involved with hemp for over eleven years,” said Sam Evolution. “Owning businesses that specialised in creating hemp-based products such as dermatological creams and food products.”
Like many people involved in this relatively new industry, Evolution has a strong appreciation for just how revolutionary CBD and hemp can be for the world at large.
“I’ve always been inspired by the rich history of hemp,” Evolution agreed. “Particularly its potential to revolutionise agriculture, industry and health.”
But when it came to combining CBD with a sit-down restaurant concept, the idea came from some good old-fashioned home testing.
“The initial idea came about a year ago when doing some personal experimentation with friends, involving food and flavonoids from the plant,” Evolution said.
Then the idea came to combine cannabinoids with high quality organic foods, which led to the complex and exciting menu The Canna Kitchen offers today.
HEALTHY AND WELL-BALANCED VEGAN AND VEGETARIAN DISHES INFUSED WITH CBD
These dishes includes a classic vegan buddha bowl, featuring seasonal roast root vegetables, homemade hummus and fresh salad, with a CBD-infused tahini cream drizzled across the top. Or the canna sandwich, which offers a choice of harissa tofu or haloumi, on locally-sourced sourdough bread, paired with a salad and CBD dressing. For dessert, you can finish off your meal with the canna Snickers bar, loosely based on the well-known chocolate bar, put together using homemade cake, layered with date caramel on top of a hemp brownie biscuit base, then coated with dark chocolate and nut sprinkles.
“Our mission is to change the way people think about the cannabis plant.” — Sam Evolution, founder of The Canna Kitchen
From a personal perspective, Evolution has had impressive results using CBD.
“I’ve found that CBD to be extremely effective at helping to manage pain,” he told us. ”It decreases aches in the body due to its anti-inflammatory properties and interaction with the bodies endocannabinoid system. Many people report assistance dealing with stress and anxiety, and some find it can help with sleep.”
CBD RESTAURANT IS FIGHTING AGAINST UNHELPFUL STEREOTYPES
The misconception that CBD and hemp are tied up with a darker drug culture is something Evolution and The Canna Kitchen are keen to dispell. Indeed, the mission statement on the website states clearly, “We at The Canna Kitchen aim to redress dated stereotypes mislabelling this extraordinary natural resource purely as a recreational substance.”
This meant taking a cautious approach when it came to the legal sides of setting up a CBD-based restaurant.
“I had to present my plans concisely to local authorities, and my approach was very carefully considered,” Evolution said.
The hemp used in preparing the dishes used at The Canna Kitchen is also carefully sourced. CBD business-owners must have a delicate touch in the UK when it comes to working with this product, as the authorities remain wary of its legal status.
“Our hemp is grown for us organically in Spain and Switzerland,” said Evolution.
“And we ensure any trace elements of THC are within legal limits,” showing just how careful the UK hemp-user must be when working with this plant.
THE QUALITY OF THE FOOD IS OF EQUAL PRIORITY
But it’s not all about the potential health benefits of CBD. Evolution made it clear that the ideas and flavour balance behind the food are equally important:
“Our food is contemporary and fresh, using locally sourced and organic produce wherever possible. Our mission is to change the way people think about the cannabis plant by creating beautiful vegetarian dishes which are tastefully complimented with its infusion.”
The process wasn’t easy, at least not at first.
“There was certainly an amount of trial and error in the beginning,” said Evolution. “Finding balance between flavours has been the most challenging aspect for us but we now feel that we have a good understanding of this, and we’re continuing to experiment in new and interesting ways.”
A FULL MEAL PROVIDES A RELAXING DOSE OF CBD
But how much CBD could you expect to consume over the course of a meal? Evolution estimated this at “between 20 and 30mg of CBD, depending on the drinks that are ordered and any sides.”
Indeed, their website has a tongue-in-cheek disclaimer: “The optional infusion of cannabinoids such as CBD, CBG and CBN with food, may lead to a sense of relaxation, peace and well-being.”
THE SKY’S THE LIMIT FOR UK’S FIRST CBD RESTAURANT
When it comes to future plans, Evolution is cautiously optimistic, taking care not to move too quickly, despite the success so far.
“We are in talks currently with potential partners and investors,” he said. “And we’re planning to roll the idea out over the UK in franchise form.”
It’s clear that The Canna Kitchen won’t be the last CBD restaurant to open in the UK. We’re already aware of numerous cafes popping up offering similar products. The UK is finally waking up to the eco-friendly nature of hemp and the helpful effects of cannabinoids, and the public demand is set to grow and grow.
Visit The Canna Kitchen
14 Duke St, Brighton BN1 1AH, UK