Cantera introduces CBD cocktails into the posh mixed drink mix

by Lis MacLaughlin

Cantera on Main Avenue in Durango emanates the artisanal, from the stunning blown glass artwork to the elaborate, aesthetically pleasing cocktails. And now, in a new partnership with the local company Kind Hemp Co, they’re bringing big city posh to downtown by offering high quality CBD oil as an additive to drinks. Infusing CBD oil into cocktails adds a healthful and pleasantly herbaceous quality, and also helps supports the local, ethical, sustainable hemp farm run by Kind Hemp. When paired with a craft agave spirit like tequila or mezcal, these cocktails also support Mexico’s cultural production and sustainable agave farms – but we’ll touch on this later.

If you’re thinking “…Whoa… a marijuarita, brah? I’m gonna get F*%&ed up!” your misconceptions are about to have a knowledge bomb dropped on them. Allow the powers of science to combat misinformation about CBD oil (as in you won’t get high).

There is an important distinction that must be made between marijuana and hemp, and at the same time, two constituents of cannabis: THC and CBD. Allow Savannah Hargis, owner and founder of Kind Hemp Co, to explain.

“Marijuana and hemp are two varieties of the same plant,” Hargis said, referring to the plant known as Cannabis sativa.

Harvard Health Publishing describes hemp as a “cousin of the marijuana plant.” The important difference, Hargis said, is that “marijuana has around 20 percent THC, (and) legal hemp has to have less than 0.3 percent THC.”

Kind Hemp Co had their CBD tested in June by a third party lab, and the tincture test results came back at 0.02 percent THC , which is far below the legal levels. Even a paranoid straight-edger adding it to a mocktail can drink in peace. Allow the assurance of a reputable source of excellent renown, Harvard, to put you at ease: “While CBD is a component of marijuana (one of hundreds), by itself it does not cause a ‘high.’”


CBD also has an incredible reputation for safety, or so says The World Health Organization. “To date, there is no evidence of public health related problems associated with the use of pure CBD.”

According to The Department of Neurosurgery at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, “a comprehensive safety and side effect review of CBD in 2016 on both animal and human studies described an excellent safety profile of CBD in humans at a wide variety of doses.”

You may be asking, “Why pay more to not get high, man?” I will again leave the answer to science. According to The Department of Neurosurgery at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, “numerous physical, psychological, and emotional benefits have been attributed to marijuana” and the cannabinoid CBD, the subject of many studies. An additional perk if you are adding it to an alcoholic beverage is that it may help alleviate the hangover effects.

Aaron Brandes, general manager of Cantera, expressed his enthusiasm for the pairing of CBD in Cantera’s cocktails.

“It is one of the oldest folktales in Mexico that they gave tequila to jimadors to make them happy, not to get them drunk… so you couple it with CBD, which can also reduce anxiety. The marriage of those two things, to make someone happy and healthy – it’s perfect,” Brandes said.

So what are these alleged health benefits and how do they work? Well, there are two explanations outlined below: the cursory, get-to-the-point-I-have-the-attention-span-of-a-goldfish understanding, and the basic scientific understanding with references for independent research for the dork lords out there.

Padawan understandingThe bottom line from Derek MacGuffie, co-owner and founder of Kind Hemp Co, is that “CBD is going to help promote your body to heal on its own.” Enjoying one of Cantera’s signature cocktails – or mocktails with CBD oil may provide a ton of benefits.


Dork Lord understanding Cannabidiol (CBD) is, in the words of Hargis, “a cannabinoid.” Or, more specifically, “It’s a phytocannabinoid…. There are two types of cannabinoids, there are phytocannabinoid and endocannabinoids. Phytocannabinoids are found in plants, but the most concentrated form of it is found in hemp…. Endocannabinoids are already naturally in our body…,” she said.

Think about Latin roots: phyto meaning plant, and endo meaning inside. The endocannabinoid system (or ECS) is an endogenous signaling system. This internal system is comprised of “cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2),” which are found throughout the peripheral and central nervous systems.

“The [ECS] maintains all the systems in your body, promoting your body to be in a healthy homeostasis. A healthy endocannabinoid system properly regulates your stress, memory, mood, inflammation, energy, sleep, metabolism, appetite, pain response, and nerve signaling,” said Hargis. “Endocannabinoids tell our tissues how many inflammatory messenger molecules to release or withhold… others tell specific brain centers to release or withhold transmitters. So basically, your cannabinoids are working with your [ECS] to tell them to release this or hold this to help regulate whatever in your body is in need of those cannabinoids.”

Both phyto and endo cannabinoids act as messengers, sending excitatory or inhibitory messages to the cannabinoid receptors. If the ECS is in an unbalanced homeostasis, taking phytocannabinoids can unlock the cannabinoid receptors and quite possibly help the ECS return the body to a healthy homeostasis.

A scientific study concluded that evidence suggests “phytocannabinoids have a powerful therapeutic potential in a variety of ailments primarily through their interaction with the ECS.”


Sustainable FarmingMacGuffie and Hargis run their hemp farm ethically, organically, and sustainably on the Piedra River. Their passion for health and environment is important to their crafting of small batch CBD oil. “It’s about as legit of a product as you can get in Durango,” said Brandes.

MacGuffie compared the hemp oil to “farm fresh fruit. The quality is in the benefits that you’re getting from it.”

“We don’t use any pesticides or any chemicals because we believe it is important. This is a medicine. This is something you are taking into your body,” said Hargis. That’s why Cantera chose to source CBD oil from Kind Hemp Co. “We believe in it, and we know it,” said Brandes.

Not all CBD products are created equally, though. The legalization of CBD in all 50 states makes it easily accessible.

“They sell it at the gas station now. It’s pretty irregulated,” Hargis said, and it has become unclear as to “where to find [a] reliable product” free of dangerous chemicals.

“Everyone’s trying to sell it, some people are like us, farmers that… believe in what they do” adversely, “there are a lot of companies that are untrustworthy,” MacGuffie said.

The same is true in the world of tequila. Not all agave is sourced from sustainable farms, and not all distillation practices are ethically trustworthy. A distillation method known as a diffusor has created a sustainability problem with agave crops and an ethics problem with distillation practices.

“This industrial process involves harsh chemicals,” and “the use of diffusers is threatening [the jimador’s] well-being and our cultural product,” David G Suro Piñera, President of Siembra Spirits, said.

In a world where humans seem to be losing sight of craft products and turning their attention to cheap, convenient products, it is important to take the time to consider the impact individual consumer support has on the world.

By ordering an artisan CBD cocktail at Cantera, the consumer can support sustainable farms and healthful products. For a wholly sustainable drink, be sure to request an agave spirit from Cantera’s bar that is crafted in the traditional, artisan methods.

Lis MacLaughlin


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