Fermented products market Cultured South at the Lee + White complex in West End is adding a new kombucha to its taproom lineup — a grapefruit and rosemary kombucha infused with cannabidiol (CBD.) This is a first for owner Melanie Wade’s shop, which offers kombucha on tap made by her fermented tea company, Golda Kombucha. It’s also one of the first Georgia beverage companies to take advantage of the new Agriculture Improvement Act, signed into law by President Trump last month, containing provisions legalizing industrial hemp, from which non-psychoactive CBD is extracted.
Golda’s latest fermented tea incorporates CBD extracted from leaves, flowers, and the resins in hemp plants from an Atlanta CBD provider. Those who use CBD medicinally claim the health benefits of the hemp extract range from chronic pain relief to reducing diabetes symptoms. However, due to CBD’s fuzzy legal and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) status, Wade is only able to sell her latest kombucha at Cultured South.
FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb warns in a statement published in late December, “Selling unapproved products with unsubstantiated therapeutic claims is not only a violation of the law, but also can put patients at risk, as these products have not been proven to be safe or effective.”
Gottlieb further clarifies in his official remarks that three ingredients derived from hemp — hulled hemp seeds, hemp seed protein, and hemp seed oil — are safe as food ingredients and won’t require approval as long as producers do not claim CBD treats diseases or provides health benefits in any of their marketing.
Like many people, Wade believes in CBD’s medicinal properties. She takes at least ten milligrams of CBD daily in order to relax and combat her insomnia and anxiety.
“As a small business owner, I often have issues sleeping, relaxing and turning my brain off. In an attempt to provide relief from these issues, I found CBD, and have integrated it into my self-care routine,” she tells Eater Atlanta. “I thought pairing it with kombucha would be a great way to supercharge the effects of CBD. Kombucha is also known to give off a euphoric feeling and help with a wide array of health issues, on its own.”
For those unfamiliar with kombucha, the fermented drink is made from sweetened black or green tea and is slightly effervescent. It’s said to be filled with probiotics and vitamins meant to boost the immune system.
Wade describes Golda’s newest kombucha flavor as a “potent elixir” and believes it’s natural to pair the two together. Like Golda’s other kombuchas, she brewed the CBD-infused version with health benefits in mind. Grapefruit and rosemary supposedly act as anti-inflammatory agents and, in tandem with CBD, help lessen the effects of chronic pain, while also relaxing and calming the mind. The CBD-infused kombucha is currently available on tap and by-the-growler at Cultured South.
Golda Kombucha was founded in 2013. The company is named for Wade’s grandmother and uses her original recipe to create flavors from herbs and fruits grown in Georgia. Wade began selling kombucha in growlers at area farmers markets and created draft stations throughout the state.
Wade opened Cultured South as Georgia’s first kombucha taproom and brewery in May 2018. Golda’s flavors include strawberry mint, lavender lemonade, peach ginger, elderberry thyme, hibiscus blood orange, and blackberry basil with ingredients coming from local farms. The marketplace also sells Pure Abundance Cashew Cheese (raw, organic, dairy-, soy- gluten-free) along with other fermented products. The taproom serves kombucha cocktails, flights, and floats using Honeysuckle Gelato, and offers DIY kombucha and fermentation classes.
Open Tuesday - Friday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
1038 White Street, Atlanta. culturedsouth.com.