Queen City Hemp Uses the Cannabis Compound Cannabidiol in its Novel CBD Seltzer

CBD fans say the trendy oil has many therapeutic and health benefits and this local company put them in fizzy water.

What do you drink in the morning? Smoothies? Boring. Coffee? Predictable. How about a CBD Seltzer? No, it isn’t a marijuana thing. Although it may sound a bit like a bougier version of La Croix reserved for hipsters and hippies, it’s actually more akin to taking your morning vitamins than it is a vice.

The seltzer is the creation of Queen City Hemp, a Cincinnati-based company that was born in 2015 after talking to patients who could have benefited from medical marijuana who were left high and dry after legislation failed to legalize it in Ohio. Originally hoping to break into the cannabis industry, the company’s focus turned to hemp, selling CBD oils for vaping and taking sublingually (aka under the tongue). CBD seltzer has only been on the market for a year, but the plan for the product was there from the get-go.

“No one was doing it,” says Nicholas Balzer, Queen City Hemp’s CEO. “At the time there were a few companies in legal states doing it with cannabis and they were subpar. They weren’t stable. They had varying effects. The consistency wasn’t there. The quality of the science wasn’t up to snuff, in our opinion. (The drinks) usually had some artificial ingredients in them, like artificial sweetener and flavor. It was kind of like ‘Bleh. It can be better than this.’”

And Balzer and his company worked to make it better. Now, Queen City Hemp rolls out its CBD Seltzer from Findlay Kitchen, a “food business incubator” that is home to other Cincinnati staples like Eli’s BBQ and Babushka Pierogies. From there, the cans are sent to local markets as well as markets in 16 other states across the country.

Since Ohio isn’t a state where marijuana is legal, you won’t find any psychoactive ingredients in this seltzer. (Sorry.) There’s a common misconception that CBD is the same as marijuana but using CBD oil isn’t going to have the same effect as smoking a joint.

“CBD is just one of the compounds in the plant,” Balzer says. “It’s a cannabinoid. CBD stands for cannabidiol, and cannabidiol is easily found in hemp and cannabis. THC is one of the well-known cannabinoids. They’re different in that THC has a psychoactive effect and CBD does not. That’s a big thing.”

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