In Honor of National CBD Day: we’re sharing some of our favorite Products.
Jeanne Croteau, Forbes, August 8th, 2019
It can be a little intimidating to talk about CBD, but as CBD shops crop up across the country, we can’t hide from the topic any more. Around the world, many praise the benefits of CBD and how it has changed their lives. Yet, the debate still rages on.
As someone who has lived with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) my entire life, I’ve been experimenting with different ways of managing my anxiety. Over the past year, I’ve discovered that thrill rides could be a form of therapyfor me and many others. I’ve also started experimenting with different brands of CBD. I’ve seen how it has positively impacted the life of someone very close to me, and it has given me hope.
Still, I’m very new to this world and the last thing I want is to add to any confusion. For truly amazing articles on the subject, please check out the work of my fellow writers, Sara Brittany Somerset or Iris Dorbian. In the meantime, my goal is to provide some very basic information about CBD along with an overview of a variety of products.
To be clear, I’m not endorsing the use of cannabis or hemp — that’s a personal decision — but in honor of National CBD Day, let’s look at the wide scope of products that many have incorporated into their daily healthcare routines (read this article about how CBD topicals are helping seniors). As a note, always do your own research and verify the authenticity of any products you buy. Any reviews are not intended to be endorsements and should be seen as personal opinion.
What Is CBD?
There’s a lot of misunderstanding and misinformation out there about CBD, otherwise known as cannabidiol. As one of the active ingredients in cannabis, you’ll find it in medical marijuana, but it won’t get you “high.” As Harvard Health Publishing explains, this is because cannabidiol is “derived directly from the hemp plant, which is a cousin of the marijuana plant.” CBD is not marijuana,though it is a component of it.
Some worry that consuming CBD oil can lead to addiction or impairment, but that’s not really a concern. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential… To date, there is no evidence of public health related problems associated with the use of pure CBD.”
To clarify, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) are the main chemicals found in marijuana. As explained by WebMD, “THC also produces the "high" people feel when they smoke marijuana or eat foods containing it.” Some CBD products do contain THC, but typically in very small amounts (0.03% or less).
Full Spectrum, Broad Spectrum & Isolates
If you’ve started exploring the world of CBD, you’ve probably come across three major types of CBD products — full spectrum, broad spectrum and isolate. It’s important to understand the difference before buying anything so you can make an informed decision.
Full spectrum, sometimes referred to as “whole plant,” means that the products “contain CBD, terpenes (essential oils found in all plants), and other cannabinoids such as CBG, CBN and trace amounts of THC.” Full spectrum products are the most popular, as the therapeutic benefits of the individual components are magnified by the “entourage effect.” Because full spectrum products contain a very small amount of THC, they could be detected on a drug test.
For something that offers the benefits of cannabinoids and terpenes but doesn’t contain THC, look for broad spectrum products. These items will have either gone through additional processing to remove the THC or they are isolate-based products with added cannabinoids and terpenes.
Anyone concerned about failing a drug test, or wanting to avoid THC for other reasons, should probably stick to isolates. These products tend to be labeled as “pure CBD” because the cannabinoids have been isolated from all other components. For those concerned about anything showing up on labs, be sure to find the purest isolates (99.9%) because purity can vary by company and product.
How Is CBD Oil Used?
When deciding how to use CBD, it’s important to consider bioavailability. Simply put, you’ll want to think about how much of the product will make it into your system. Each delivery method — sublingual, inhalation, oral, topical, transdermal and suppositories — will have a different level of bioavailability, which you’ll need to weigh before making a choice.
When most people think of cannabinoids, they think of CBD oil. These oils are typically taken sublingually and held under the tongue for 60-90 seconds. This allows the products to be absorbed by the mucous membranes and comes with a bioavailability of 20-30%.
Not only can you get a pretty accurate dosage this way, but the CBD will go directly into the bloodstream. The effects can be felt relatively quickly with this method, which is preferred by those with chronic conditions. Flavored oils can be helpful to sublingual users who don’t like the natural taste.
Some people use CBD for instant relief (from a panic attack, for example). Vaping/inhaling the product sends it straight to the lungs, where it’s quickly absorbed into the bloodstream. The effects can be felt immediately, which can be reassuring to those in distress.
The bioavailability associated with this method can be between 30-40%, with the benefits lasting several hours. Again, flavored CBD can be used in a vaping device for those who prefer to mask the natural taste.
Another option is to eat or swallow CBD. In addition to gel caps and capsules, a range of edibles, including chocolate bars and gummies, can be consumed to reap the benefits. While this can be a convenient option for some, especially while traveling, the bioavailability is just around 5%.
The upside is that, while it takes longer to kick in, the effects of consuming CBD this way can last up to eight hours. If this is your preferred method, you may need to take more in order to reach an optimal dosage, which can get quite expensive.
Got a dry patch of skin or a sore knee? Applying CBD topicals directly to the spot could be helpful. These products come as creams, salves, balms and lotions and are designed for targeted relief. As such, it should come as no surprise that the bioavailability associated with this method is low or non-existent.
CBD infused topicals can be beneficial for the areas onto which they are applied, but if you’re trying to alleviate symptoms associated with anxiety or a migraine, they are not ideal. These are intended for treating targeted physical concerns, and because they don’t get absorbed into the bloodstream, are unlikely to be detected on a drug test.
Typically found as patches, creams and lotions, transdermal CBD products are similar to topicals in that they are applied to the skin, but transdermal formulas are designed to be absorbed. As a result, the bioavailability is around 70% minimum.
While they are more expensive, they can provide both local pain and whole body relief (including mental and neurological conditions) for between eight to 12 hours.
Although less common, CBD suppositories are available. These are ideal for those who cannot swallow, are experiencing nausea or vomiting or need higher doses of CBD. The bioavailability is between 80-90%, which is the highest you can get. Suppositories work very quickly and can last for up to eight hours.
What Method and Dosage Should You Take?
While I’ve made an effort to cover some of the basics surrounding the use of CBD, I’ll stop short of providing recommendations about methods of delivery or dosage. This is a deeply personal decision and will depend on your needs, as well as how your body responds to CBD.
One form of usage might work perfectly for someone, while others might combine several methods. Truth be told, you’ll probably need to experiment a little to find the right fit. It’s best to start low and gradually increase the amount you’re using every few days until you find the optimal dose. This article on CBDOilUsers.com could be helpful during this process.
Choosing a Brand
As with any supplement, you should always be careful about where you buy your CBD. It’s usually best to order directly from the manufacturer, as counterfeit products have begun to infiltrate the market. In addition to this great article about How to Shop for CBD, you should consider the following questions:
How was it extracted? If it was processed using toxic materials such as butane or propane, you should probably move on.
Where was the hemp grown? Is the company sourcing their hemp from overseas, or is it coming from a local farm? The answer to this question will say a lot about the quality of the product you purchase.
Does the company use third-party testing? To ensure a product is high quality and safe, non-company personnel should conduct tests. Look for brands that make lab results available to consumers.
What are people saying about the product?Always look for reviews from consumers as well as reputable sites dedicated to CBD education.
Does the website look legit? Visit the website of any brands you’re considering. If the information seems outdated or the contact information is missing or suspicious, it could be a scam.
How was it extracted? If it was processed using toxic materials such as butane or propane, you should probably move on.
TIPS FROM YOUR GREENLIGHT CREW!
Want to try some of the best CBD products out there? Here are a few of Our Favorites!
Highborn NYC : We choose ingredients for a very specific reason, yes they smell lovely + transcend us but it was + is about MORE. We create each blend as special as an individual prayer. With each use, each breath in, you are blessing + energy lifting yourself + space. We work exclusively with farmers who maintain organic practices + source all of our ingredients consciously. Whether you’re up against life stress, carrying tensions or trying to become more present, know that we’ve been there, too. (Truthfully, we’re still there at times.) We’re lucky to have discovered the natural beauty + calming effects of essential oils + C B D extract, + are committed to sharing the benefits of making HIGHBORN part of your daily practice.
Sisters of the Valley : The Sisters sustain their farm operations and their compassionate activism by making products for the people in a spiritual environment. They respect the breadth and depth of the gifts of Mother Earth and work hard to bridge the gap between her and her suffering people. The Sisters prepare all of their products during moon cycles, inspired by ancient wisdom. They are activists on a mission to empower people to heal themselves.
Cannuka : Cannuka is the first legitimately new idea in the beauty and health category in decades. It’s both modern and timeless; it combines some of the purest, most natural elements on Earth in a way that reflects the changing needs and interests of consumers. Together, the unique healing properties of cannabis (CBD derived from hemp) and Manuka honey provide a daily skin therapy that both calms and heals skin — for your face, lips, cuticles, elbows, and anywhere else there’s dryness or inflammation.
Vertly : Vertly blends the backgrounds of husband-and-wife duo, Claudia and Zander. Zander’s family has been involved in the cannabis industry for over a decade—from farming to manufacturing to investing—and he has personally used it for years to treat pain from athletic injuries and knee surgeries. Cannabis, and its many healing benefits, was a common topic for the family, but it wasn’t until Claudia, a former fashion editor, began studying herbalism that their concept fully came together. She began handcrafting formulas that blended CBD with fresh healing plant extracts from the garden—and Vertly skincare was born.
Fine Healing Goods : Our line of healing goods are created and cultivated from a family-owned farm and lab in Loveland, Colorado. We believe in taking the guesswork and exclusivity out of the hemp wellness stigma – making it a friendlier, more-embraced option.
We believe in awareness and transparency around health and wellness. We do this by creating natural products with quality ingredients while making their benefits clear and accessible. We believe you don’t have to sacrifice pampering for effective self-care.
We believe in using full-spectrum hemp extract for its healing properties. It’s made from the whole plant but without the mind-alteration – helping you feel relaxed but still sharp.
Check them out! We highly recommend it.