Buffalo Fermentation is creating quite a buzz with its HempBucha; a mashup of kombucha and cannabidiol.
Kombucha (fermented tea) and cannabidiol, or CBD (cannabis extract), are two of the trendiest consumer products on the market.
"Many think of hemp and CBD and automatically think of marijuana," said Todd Salansky, a co-founder at Buffalo Fermentation, which is known for its Bootleg Bucha brand.
But while hemp comes from the same family as marijuana, the active ingredient in marijuana is THC, and Bootleg Bucha uses THC-free CBD, he said. It does not have the mind-altering effects of marijuana.
The first test batch of the low-sugar, probiotic, carbonated beverage launched last week and sold out in three hours. The presale for the second batch sold out in less than 24 hours. The third batch, which comprises 200 cases, is on sale now. A case, which includes a dozen 12-ounce bottles, runs $42. It comes in original, ginger and pineapple flavors.
"We've had preliminary conversations with our retail locations and they are eager to carry it," Salansky said. "However we are working internally to map the best path as it uses a different production method than our other flavors."
The first batch of HempBucha contained 10 mg of CBD per bottle, while the second batch contained 25 mg. The company is tweaking the amount according to taste and health benefits, it said.
The industrial hemp is grown on Weiss Farm in Eden and processed at Plant Science Laboratories in Buffalo. The hemp is THC compliant, which means it contains less than 0.3 percent THC. HempBucha is produced at Buffalo Fermentation's 10,000-square-foot facility, which is located next door to Resurgence Brewing Co. at 1250 Niagara St.
The company's other popular line of kombucha, Bootleg Bucha, is sold at Wegmans and Tops, as well as other specialty and health food stores. It is marketed as having a milder taste than average, since kombucha's sour flavor has been known to turn some consumers off.
Buffalo Fermentation was founded by Jeff Empric, Heather Lucas and Salansky.