CBD-dedicated bar the newest Lan Kwai Fong highlight

Top News | Bowie Tse 28 Oct 2021

People will have a new spot to chill out in Lan Kwai Fong without getting high as a new CBD bar has opened.

"Unbothered," the first cannabidiol bar in the city, will provide CBD dim sum, oil, sweets, cocktails and tea.

Cannabidiol is a non-psychoactive chemical compound extracted from cannabis or industrial hemp. While often mistaken for the addictive marijuana, the World Health Organization says there is no evidence its recreational use causes public health problems.

Scientists have claimed that the chemical from the cannabis would boost collagen production, making muscles and skin firmer.

It is legal to consume, purchase and import CBD in Hong Kong and it is not controlled under the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance, says the Department of Health.

But people have to be careful taking CBD with other medication, as a health expert at Harvard Medical School, Peter Grinspoon, said it may increase the risk of unwanted symptoms.

Unbothered founder Connie Lee, also a licensed CBD adviser, said she hopes to provide an escape for people in the city with soothing beverages or products containing the chemical, serving as an alternative to Western medicine or caffeine-containing beverages. "I would like to educate the public about CBD and unveil the mysteries of CBD," Lee said.

The bar will host collaborations with other clubs to promote CBD, she added.

The new bar serves items containing CBD from skin care products and cocktails to dim sum such as siu mai, spring rolls. Cocktails come with 15 to 30 milligrams of CBD for people who have never tried it to start with a small amount.

Lee advised first-timers to try 20mg to 30mg and build up their tolerance along "the odyssey of searching for calm and tranquility" through CBD.

Consuming big doses of CBD can cause diarrhea or drowsiness.

Lee recommended two of the featured teas in the bar - "Beauty Collagen Tea" at HK$78 and "Undrunkable" at HK$148.

"Mixed with alcohol, CBD reduces the intake of alcohol in the bloodstream. You can enjoy drinking without having to chase after alcohol or having an excruciating headache afterward," Lee said. She said she first came across CBD when she was taking care of her father who had throat cancer and reckoned it would ease her father's pain.

Prompted by the aging population in Hong Kong, Lee wanted to provide a more holistic way or alternatives for elderly who don't like taking Western medication, like her father.

"I did an interview earlier and the feedback was encouraging. There were middle-aged men and women queuing outside my previous CBD cafe, hoping to purchase CBD oil for relieving stress or tackling amnesia," she said.

Such encouragement from people pushed her to open the bar, Lee said.

Lan Kwai Fong Group chairman Allan Zeman was exhilarated by the opening of a CBD-focused bar.

"CBD is a new lifestyle, a new world," he said.

"I think the concept can do very well and I look forward to people coming in and getting 'hooked.'"

He also shared his personal experience with CBD - it eased his torment with eczema and amnesia.

A customer, George Biegelow, who has been taking CBD for sleep and stress relief, said he was overjoyed by the increasing publicity that CBD has been getting. He said the city has been awakening to

CBD as people are now more concerned about the extensive use of the hemp-extracted compound rather than asking what CBD is.

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