You can smoke it, eat it, or slather it all over your skin, and the number of people who extol CBD’s virtues seems to grow by the day. CBD, a cannabis and hemp plant extraction, has been touted as a miracle cure, and hemp is now officially legal.
CBD stands for cannabidiol, the second most prevalent of the building blocks of cannabis. Like THC (one of the more potently psychoactive cannabinoids), CBD interacts with the brain and receptors in the endocannabinoid system. It can be derived from cannabis plants (allowing for some psychoactive effects, depending on the percentage of THC) or industrial hemp. Hemp is a variety of the plant that has been bred specifically to produce fiber, oil, and other byproducts, and contains little to no THC. Cannabis is the variety that has been bred to produce a psychoactively potent flower.
Cannabis can be used recreationally or medicinally, but CBD is mostly used in a healing, medicinal manner. It should also be noted that all of the CBD you can buy online that is shipped between states is processed from industrial hemp and not cannabis, and has zero THC in it (i.e. so that CBD-enriched face mask will NOT get you high!). But, like with any new supplement, consult your health care provider if you have any questions or concerns or before using new products.
The benefits touted by CBD enthusiasts seem to be limitless. It is used for everything from anxiety to sleeplessness, arthritis and chronic pain. While more studies are needed, there is already evidence that CBD does indeed boost your mood and energy, aids memory and cognitive functions, bolsters the immune system, and helps to reduce pain and inflammation. Recently, the FDA approved a new medication derived from CBD that has been proven to help epilepsy patients.
One of the great things about CBD is the variety of ways to enjoy it. I start my day with (ginger flavored!) drops of CBD tincture in my water. While I was quitting cigarettes, I used a CBD oil vape pen. It gave me the physical feeling of smoking while also reducing my anxiety. While I’m a case study of one, I can say that I have only seen positive results from my CBD use, as have many of my friends. At best, it really can cure or alleviate many ailments, at the worst, it’s a bunch of placebo effect.
That said, with any so-called “miracle cure,” there are some crappy products on the market. One of the main issues with CBD is the inability to regulate what is being sold, as it hasn’t been under the purview of the FDA (something that may change). Anyone can pop open a shop claiming to sell high quality CBD, but some products contain heavy metals or chemicals.
There are two important factors to consider when deciding which CBD products to purchase:
How the hemp is grown: Purer CBD comes from plants that were grown in clean conditions, which means no pesticides, chemical fertilizers or heavy metals, and ideally following organic and sustainable growing practices.
How the CBD is extracted: The brand you’re considering should explain how the CBD (if it is an oil) was extracted. A C02 extraction yields uncontaminated and higher quality CBD, though it is an expensive method. Other methods, like the use of liquid solvents, can introduce carcinogenic material into the oil.
With all of this to consider, it can be overwhelming to decide what brands and products to try. We did some of the legwork for you (in fact, I have tried everything myself except the dog treats!). While all of these are available to purchase online, look to see if you have any local CBD retailers—this is a great opportunity to support local and learn more about where the CBD came from and how it was extracted!
Here are six of our favorite CBD products:
DRAM Adaptogenic CBD Drops and Drinks
Colorado-based DRAM Apothecary is already known for award-winning craft herbal bitters, syrups and teas. So when they launched an Herbal Adaptogenic CBD Line, nobody was surprised that they ended up creating products that are both delicious and effective.
Each flavor of their drops has a different effect. Gingergrass (my favorite!) reduces inflammation, promotes immunity support, and increases resilience to stress. This is the perfect product to have in your carry on bag for when you’re traveling! Sweetgrass can reduce your stress and anxiety, melt muscle tension, and help promote restful sleep.
DRAM also is hopping on the CBD drink train, infusing sparkling water with their drops (something you can mimic at home if you have the drops and a Soda Stream!)
One of my absolutely favorite indulgences is soaking in a steaming, hot bath filled with bath salts. The magnesium in salt does wonders for relaxing tense and tired muscles, and bath salts that come with CBD pack in even more healing power. BELLA’s bath salts use pink himalayan salt and 250 mg of CBD per jar. Your bathtub will transform into a mini spa, providing the ultimate in relaxation. Your muscles will feel much better and you should have an easier time falling asleep after a BELLA bath!
There are so many wonderful products from The Healing Rose, that it’s almost impossible to figure out where to start. The fabulous CBD infused bath salts? The roll on relief blend? The healing salve that is my husband’s go to after a day of exhausting yard work? These products are made with skill, care, and high quality ingredients, and it shows. The Healing Rose’s CBD lip balm is one of my favorites, CBD or not. It’s luscious, moisturizing, and comes in a variety of delicious flavors, including grapefruit eucalyptus and sweet orange. Each balm contains 10mg of CBD.
Trying to quit smoking or just want to enjoy CBD via VAPE? KURED, based out of Colorado, is a great place to start. They have three different flavors available, “Moonlight – OG Kush” Indica, “Sunshine – Pineapple Express ” Sativa, and “Anytime – Strawberry Diesel” Hybrid. The Anytime pen is great for daytime use, and was what helped me when I was quitting cigarettes, without resorting to any nicotine based solutions. The CBD in the oil helped me destress, while I still enjoyed the similarity to actual smoking (must be an oral fixation thing!). Despite having quit the cancer sticks, I still turn to the KURED vapes for a quick release “hit” that helps calm me down while still leaving me with a clear mind.
With its anti-inflammatory properties, CBD can be an excellent addition to your skin care routine. CannaCeuticals has a 7 step skincare system, with everything from cleanser to toner to moisturizer and more. The hemp is grown and the CBD is sourced and tested with the highest standards, so it’s pricey. If you don’t want to invest in the entire line, try their Repairing Night Cream, which offers a powerful botanical punch, with CBD, aloe vera, coconut oil, rose oil, neem oil, and more. Slather some on at bedtime and you’ll wake up with soft, revitalized skin!
CBD isn’t just for people anymore! More and more folks —and vets— are talking about the benefits of CBD for your pets. CBD oil can help dogs in some of the same way it benefits humans: pain relief, anti-inflammatory effects, help with anxiety and nerves, bettering skin conditions, etc… Just like CBD for people, make sure you’re getting quality products for your pets! Various products are available from chews to oils, but if you’re going to spend the money, go straight for an oil. You can either give it to your pup directly, or add it to their food (it is non flavored so shouldn’t be an issue with them declining it). And remember, the more regularly you use the product, the more positive change you’ll see!