Food News

Mary Gains Nutrition's CBD Protein Bars Ready to Get a Workout

New Year's resolutions often involve exercise or some other healthy concern, so why not use CBD-fueled nutrition to really kick-start that new workout plan?

Getting a post-workout boost was just what Marcus Roberson envisioned when he and a few partners started Mary Gains Nutrition, a Denver-based food company that's started churning out protein bars filled with oats, almonds, protein, 20 milligrams of hemp-derived CBD...and no THC. The line was inspired when Roberson found himself too tired to cook after a workout and started chatting about the problem with friends.

"We wanted to figure out how to make some post-workout snacks in bulk that would keep us through the week," he remembers. "Once we got the taste down, it was a matter of getting some decent texture."

Taking inspiration from Rxbars, the Mary Gains team wanted to keep the number of ingredients low. While they soon came up with a good-tasting combo, they discovered that creating protein bars involves more than finding the right flavor. "At first, it literally looked like shit — a turd. So we had to infuse more oats and almonds to get a better texture," Roberson says. "But we figured it out pretty quickly, and the feedback we've received from friends and family has been great."

Courtesy of Mary Gains Nurtition
Hemp was just legalized nationwide, and the plant and its derivatives will fall under Food and Drug Administration regulations if added to food or health supplements. But Colorado's hemp industry has been legal for five years, and state laws already allow the sale of hemp and CBD foods. Mary Gains currently sources its CBD from European hemp, but the company is now looking for a Colorado provider to help with anticipated growth.

Several local CBD boutiques plan to sell the bars, and one of the state's largest dispensary chains is on the verge, says Roberson, who declines to name names; right now, the bars are only sold online, where Roberson pushes their anti-inflammatory benefits.

The gluten-free snacks are intended for an active consumer, he says, but could also help with daily aches and pains. "I try to explain it as almost like an Advil effect," he notes. "You don't feel any different, just feel less sore. It's not like a muscle relaxer or a THC edible. You're still functioning with the same energy levels."
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Thomas Mitchell has written about all things cannabis for Westword since 2014, covering sports, real estate and general news along the way for publications such as the Arizona Republic, Inman and Fox Sports. He's currently the cannabis editor for
Contact: Thomas Mitchell