Food

Potli’s CBD Honey Melts Daytime Stress and Eases Me Into Restful Sleep


This is Highly Recommend, a column dedicated to what food people are eating, drinking, and buying right now. Next up, contributing writer Jean Trinh makes a very relaxing case for CBD honey.

I’ve struggled with anxiety forever. It comes in waves, and at its worst manifests as constant worrying, nervousness, and poor sleep. When the pandemic came along, all of those issues went through the roof. Like many others I was on high alert all the time, trying to navigate how to exist with a deadly virus running rampant while also getting regular life stuff done (in my case, juggling work with taking care of my toddler 24/7). My usual outlets for relieving stress, like going to the gym and grabbing lunches with friends, weren’t as easy to do in this new reality—and I needed help falling and staying asleep throughout the night.

That’s where Potli—an Asian American–founded company making CBD (cannabidiol) honey—comes in. I first noticed the brand mentioned in a marketing email. As a writer my inbox is often drowning in pitches about products that I mostly archive straightaway, but I found this one particularly intriguing. I seemed to be the exact target audience for Potli’s Feel Good Premium Hemp Raw Honey, which the website claimed would “promote soothing, calm feelings.” Plus, I’m a sucker for a good story, and Potli CEO Felicity Chen had one that resonated with me.

When I was growing up in a Chinese household, my family often turned to Eastern medicine to treat ailments—which is exactly what it seemed like Chen’s family was doing. She and her college roommate came up with the idea for the Feel Good honey—Potli’s first product—when she moved back home from college in 2015 and noticed that her mother, who has asthma, had been experiencing terrible coughing spells due to her allergies. Chen’s father had begun beekeeping to produce hyper-local wildflower honey he hoped would help her mother. And that’s when Chen had her light bulb moment: “I knew with all the inflammation that was going on in her lungs, CBD would absolutely help and also calm her down,” she says.

If Chen was able to convince her conservative Chinese mother to try anything cannabis-related, I had a feeling the honey had to be good. Upon opening my jar one night, the smell was fragrant and earthy, like I had just ventured into a botanical garden. I scooped out a golden teaspoon of the thick honey (which has 10 mg of CBD) and stirred it into a cup of Sleepytime Tea. After adding a squeeze of lemon, I cozied up under some blankets and surrendered myself to The Great British Bake Off. The first sip was floral, lightly sweet, and truly delightful. After downing the mug, I noticed I did feel calmer. After repeating this routine a few nights in a row, I found myself drifting off while Kim-Joy was shaping dozens of choux pastries into adorable turtles.



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