Mansfield mum launches CBD infused chocolate treats
It is a treat you might expect to find in one of Amsterdam's infamous coffee shops, rather than in a Mansfield health food shop.
But chocolates mixed with a cannabis plant extract are now being sold by a mum from Edwinstowe, in collaboration with a health shop in Mansfield Woodhouse.
Catherine Morris, 50, was approached by The Health Shop on Station Street, to produce a range of CBD-infused chocolate bars to sell nationwide.
CBD is a non-psychoactive compound found in cannabis plants which many believe can help with a range of conditions from anxiety to multiple sclerosis.
While almost all cannabinoids are controlled substances under the Misuse of Drugs Act, CBD is not and can be sold in the UK.
Catherine started her company, Free Spirit Luxury Bespoke Chocolate, in 2014 in the hopes of providing for her eight-year-old son, Joseph.
Catherine wanted to start a business that was in line with her own ethical values, and sources organic ingredients from local suppliers, and started the company in 2014.
Catherine, who was born and raised in Edwinstowe, was approached by The Health Shop, who provided the CBD oil, to infuse the oil with her bespoke chocolates.
She said: “I use local companies as much as possible, and I work closely with The Health Shop in Mansfield Woodhouse.
“Together we are creating a large range of CBD infused Belgian Chocolate, under the name CBD Edible Creations, which are now being sold countrywide.”
Cannabis oil has exploded in popularity recently, and can be found in a wide range of high street stores, from vape shops to coffee houses.
The mum of one has experienced the benefits CBD oil has to offer first hand.
She said: “I have been taking anti-depressants since 1996, and in the last two months I haven’t taken any. I never thought that could happen.
“A good friend of mine had a mastectomy to get rid of her breast cancer, and after her breast reconstruction she takes CBD oil and has the infused chocolates- she’s doing amazing now.”
Catherine started off making all her chocolates from her kitchen, which has a five star food rating.
Se also makes vegan and diabetic friendly chocolate, so no one has to miss out on a treat.
She is in the process of moving to a kitchen shared with her baker friend, Michelle Reed, at Millenium business park in Mansfield.
Michelle creates intricate, detailed chocolate cakes of realistic-looking dogs, that involve three layers of the finest Belgian chocolate, supplied by Catherine, with home-made cake and lashings of buttercream.
Catherine added: “After my son Joseph, was diagnosed with High Functioning Autism, and as a single parent, I wanted to build a future for us both, without losing my ethical values, which are so important to me.
As well as the CBD collaboration, Catherine comes up with a wide range of ideas for her chocolates, and has just launched a gin range in time for Christmas.
“We have a limited run of truffle flavours for Christmas, including violet gin, chocolate orange gin, prosecco, and real ale.
“I don’t know where the ideas come from – I keep a notebook next to my bed as they usually come to me in the middle of the night!”
Supporting local businesses and keeping plastic to a minimum is important to Catherine.
“I would rather earn less and do it ethically,” she added.
“I was born and bred in Edwinstowe, and Sherwood Forest has always been a big part of my life.
“I spent my childhood with my Dad, family, dogs and horses, and was up the forest most of the time!
“It gave me a lifelong love of nature, and the belief that the environment should be protected.
“I strive to use no palm oil in all of my products. I am very passionate about this, and the few products which do contain it, I ensure it is always RSPO Certified.
“Wherever I can, I don’t use plastic, and I use biodegradable packaging.”
These ethics have paid off, and Catherine now takes up to ten orders a week, including one order for 300 CBD bars.
She also supplies her chocolate to AJ's Farmhouse Furniture, who provide them as a thank you to customers who order bespoke, handmade furniture from their Ollerton workshop.
“Community is so important,” added Catherine.
“We all need to look after other local businesses.”