Williamsburg techie Michael Christopher wants to merge the cannabis industry with the herbal wellness movement and “tea renaissance.” With a name inspired by the Brooklyn loft culture, Loft Tea is a line of “natural remedy” teas infused with CBD — a non-psychotropic cannabinoid, or chemical compound found in the cannabis plant. Christopher publicly launched Loft Tea in June.
“We live in lofts, we play in lofts, we work in lofts in Brooklyn all the time,” Christopher tells the Voice. “Loft Tea sounds like 'lofty,' ” he says. Without using the word “cannabis,” Christopher says the brand name is meant to allude to an “elevated, enhanced tea experience. You’re not seeing ‘grape’ in every title of a wine company.”
While CBD (cannabidiol) and the better-known cannabinoid THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) are both used therapeutically, unlike THC, CBD doesn’t get you high. Cannabis with high amounts of CBD is known to be effective in alleviating epileptic seizures, muscle spasms, anxiety, inflammation, and pain. And if a cannabis plant contains less than .3 percent THC, it’s classified as hemp. While in most cases growing hemp is federally illegal (Loft Tea’s hemp comes from Denmark and the Netherlands), most hemp products are legal.