Pittsburgh restaurants and bars

Leona’s limited-run CBD ice cream sandwiches are coming to Lawrenceville

The 60 sandwiches go on sale Wednesday at Hippie & French.

CBD lemon cream on ginger molasses.

CBD lemon cream on ginger molasses.

Courtesy of Leona's
Rossilynne Culgan

Popular sweet treat vendor Leona’s Ice Cream has teamed up with a new Lawrenceville CBD boutique to create cannabinoid-infused ice cream sandwiches, the business owners told The Incline today.

An initial limited run of 60 sandwiches — lemon cream ice cream containing 20 mg of high-quality full spectrum CBD oil on ginger molasses cookies  — will go on sale Wednesday at Hippie & French.

CBD is a cannabinoid found in the hemp plant, basically the non-intoxicating part of the marijuana plant, said Lindsay French, owner of Hippie & French, which provided the CBD for the ice cream.

“We tasted the oil and it definitely has an herbal flavor, almost like an herbal tea, and thought, we have to think carefully about what’s going to mesh with that flavor, and we thought immediately — our lemon ice cream,” Leona’s co-owner Katie Heldstab told The Incline. “We started experimenting, and the flavor turned out beautifully. It tastes exactly like our lemon ice cream sandwich and has an herbal finish.”

The CBD ice cream sandwiches will be sold exclusively at Hippie & French, Heldstab said, because she wants to make sure people are “very aware” of what they’re buying. Labels will state the amount of CBD, and sandwiches will be priced at about $10 to $12, she added.

“There’s a lot of misconceptions about (CBD), so we wanted to keep it to my customers since they’re already familiar with CBD,” French said. “It helps with sleep, but really if you take the correct dose, it’s like a really nice body relax without that heavy head high that you might get from a marijuana product.”

The collaboration began when French reached out to Leona’s with the idea, and if it goes well, Leona’s plans to try new recipes, including a chocolate flavor, said Heldstab, who owns Leona’s with her business partner and spouse Christa Puskarich.

“CBD food and beverage is going to be the next biggest thing, and I really wanted to collaborate with someone locally, and I wanted it to be a fellow female-owned business,” French said. “They seemed like the perfect company.”

CBD in food hasn’t gotten much attention on Pittsburgh menus yet, but local experts predicted it as a major movement this year.

Hippie & French sells full-spectrum CBD in a variety of forms — oils, capsules, bath and beauty products, coffee, and even a pet line. French said she started the company in November 2018 because she noticed bad products on the market in places like vape shops.

Anybody 18+ can shop at the store — there’s no need for a prescription or a medical marijuana card, French said. She credits CBD with helping relieve her migraines and anxiety, while Heldstab lauds its relaxing and anti-inflammatory effects.

However, some places are cracking down on CBD. Several cities and states — including New York City, California, Maine and Ohio — ordered restaurants to remove CBD from lattes, smoothies, muffins and other foods, The New York Times reported. The F.D.A. still considers CBD a drug, so “it cannot be sold in foods or drinks or as a dietary supplement,” the Times reported.

Even so, a Philadelphia ice cream shop introduced a vegan CBD-oil ice cream a few months ago, and a Wisconsin store debuted two ice cream flavors with CBD earlier this week.

French said she’ll continue to operate as-is, looking for clarity on the farm bill’s “gray area.” Heldstab, too, said it seems like the rules are changing every day — “I feel like the whole country’s in a wait-and-see.”