NEW YORK -A bar in Astoria, Queens, has added a special ingredient to their cocktails. Adriaen Block is offering its customers drinks infused with CBD.
Adriaen Block is a bar named after the famous explorer who sailed Hells Gate, a narrow tidal strait in the East River. Block sailed right past the area now known as Astoria. Zsolt “George” Csonka, the bar’s owner, used Block as the inspiration for naming his establishment. Csonka is an immigrant from Hungary and came to the United States in 2009. He went on to graduate with a degree in economics from John Jay College in Manhattan. Csonka noticed a marketing opening as more and more consumers seemed to be seeking products that promoted well being over excessive intoxication.
“These people, they don’t want to get a hangover from hard liquor, they want to have one or two drinks… and tomorrow they still want to go to the gym,” Csonka told the Gothamist.
Adriaen Block offers several varieties of CBD cocktails, with some containing no alcohol. The idea is to make sure customers are not overpowered by the drinks.
“CBD will not get you high, but you may experience a calming sensation,” according to Csonka.
Despite Csonka’s confidence, the verdict on combining alcohol and CBD is still out within the science community.
“On CBD, you’re very chill, very lighthearted, mellow. The alcohol will make that more intense,” James Giordano, professor of neurology and biochemistry at Georgetown University Medical Center, told Vice. “If you’re a happy drunk, then CBD could make you a happier drunk,” Giordano explained. “If you’re an angry or violent drunk, the CBD may certainly disinhibit some of that.”
However, Adriaen Block has rules in place that should help prevent customers from overindulging. The bar’s wait staff has been trained to enforce a two-drink limit for CBD cocktails. Adriaen Block also offers CBD infused whip cream and dipping sauce. But customers are not able to skirt the rules by ordering CBD infused food. If they order the sauce or the whipped cream then are limited to only one infused drink.
Csonka is not the first to make CBD cocktails. He researched how cannabis enthusiasts in the western United States and decided to err on the side of caution.
“There are different potencies of CBD oil tinctures, so for each drink at they follow manufacturer’s recommendations and use half of the suggested daily amount.”
Of course, one of the first questions that may come to mind is whether or not this is legal. In NY, CBD infused food and beverages are legal if the CBD is hemp derived and not extracted from cannabis. Other states, such as California, do not allow for the sale of food and beverages infused with CBD, even if they are derived from hemp, to be sold.