For thousands of years mankind has discovered and benefited from the use of medicinal plants as foods and medicines. Indeed, nearly 2500 years ago Hippocrates is attributed with the saying “Our Food should be our Medicine and Medicine should be our Food”. At Cloud 9 we work with nature leveraging on our many years of professional experience of studying nature and developing successful consumer products.
Our purpose is to leverage the healthy virtues of botanicals in our products to improve our overall Quality of Life. Hemp is a common denominator in all our food products. Hemp is the name given for the varieties of the Cannabis Sativa L plant that have been cultivated for centuries for their fibre, seed and oil content and since the last decades for their cannabinoid content. The main cannabinoid found in Hemp is called Cannabidiol or CBD.
Today, there is a wealth of published scientific evidence and here we outline only a few of the healthy virtues of the botanicals we use in our Chocolate.
The Healthy Properties of Hemp:
Hemp seeds contain about 30% oil and 25% protein. The oil is obtained through cold pressing without the use of chemicals. We use the oil in our products and typically, 80% of the oil contains polyunsaturated fatty acids also known as the “good fatty acids”. Hemp Seed oil is rich in the essential Omega Fatty Acids, notably Omega-3 (alpha-linolenic) and Omega-6 (linoleic). In fact hemp seed oil is one of the richest vegetable sources of Omega-3. Of particular merit to hempseed oil is that the amounts of Omega-3 to Omega-6 are in a ratio of 1:3 which is considered the ideal ratio for the body. What that does is to help the body reduce the imbalance caused by our modern diet that can lead to chronic inflammation.
Cannabidiol or CBD is a natural anti-inflammatory and belongs to a group of compounds with anxiolytic, antidepressant, antipsychotic, and anticonvulsant properties, among others.
Why has CBD become so popular? Well, similar to our body’s central nervous system we also have what’s called an “Endocannabinoid System” (ECS) which acts as a complex signaling system whose role is to ensure Homeostasis or Balance of our body. Homeostasis is the state of optimal functioning of our body. Our body already produces natural compounds called Endocannabinoids that interact with the Receptors of the ECS. Although CBD was first identified in 1940 and the psychoactive cannabinoid delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol or THC in 1964, it was only in 1990 and 1993 that the primary receptors of the ECS were elucidated. So, it is only relatively recently that the world is learning about the different cannabinoids, how the ECS works and how that affects the health and wellness of our body.
The first Endocannabinoid was discovered in 1992 and was found to act as a neuro-transmitter involved in the feeling of happiness. It was named Anandamide from the Sanskrit word Ananda meaning “Bliss or Joy”. In fact, Cocoa also contains trace amounts of Anandamide which likely contributes to Chocolate (especially dark) making you feel happy. We can now understand that dark Chocolate and CBD is a perfect combination!
|Besides the bliss molecule Anandamide, cocoa and dark chocolate are a rich source of polyphenols and flavanols which are powerful antioxidants and play a positive role in heart health and the cognitive health of the elderly. Another benefit was skin health. A 12 week consumption of dark chocolate was found to increase skin density and hydration improving tolerance to the sun’s UVB rays.|
|Moringa oleifera Lam also called the “Miracle Tree” is indigenous to India and cultivated in many tropical and subtropical parts around the world. It has numerous nutritional and medicinal properties, namely its high protein content, rich in vitamins and minerals support it as a promising plant to combat malnutrition. It has been reported that the leaf can be supportive with Type 2 diabetes due to its glucose lowering effect in the blood.|
|Ginger (rhizome of Zingiber officinale) is another ancient plant with well documented medicinal properties. It is very well known for its use in alleviating intestinal disorders, stomach cramps due to its carminative effects. Oral consumption of ginger containing gingerols which are a potent anti-inflammatory was also able to reduce pain and improve mobility of people suffering osteoarthritis.|
|Peppermint extracts and oils have found uses topically and in aromatherapy for the relief of headaches and migraine pain and have a mild antimicrobial use. Their use in food is mainly as a flavouring ingredient. However, in the most comprehensive meta-analysis to date with 835 patients in 12 randomized trials, peppermint oil was found to be a safe and effective therapy for pain in adults with irritable bowel syndrome.|
|Like peppermint above, the use of orange peel in confectionery products is for their flavouring properties. However, the peel has a wide range of nutrients and is 10x higher in vitamin C content than the juice. It also contains active compounds that counter the production of histamine in the body that cause allergic reactions and have anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory flavonoids which have anticancer activities.|
The philosophy of our VIVA Chocolates is to combine the healthy and aromatic virtues of the different botanicals to create a healthy and tasty product for you to enjoy!