Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard the letters CBD more than a few times lately. Not sure what it is or what all the fuss is about? We’ve got you covered. First, let’s get something straight: No, it will not get you high, and yes, it is legal in most states.
The benefits of CBD, or cannabidiol, have been praised for decades as a remedy for many common ailments including pain and anxiety. Nearly 7 percent of Americans are using CBD, a figure that is projected to grow according to investment firm Cowen & Co. After recent state regulation, suddenly it is sold everywhere in Illinois, including coffee shops, and infused in cocktails at bars and in products at high-end boutiques. In California and other states where recreational and medical marijuana is legal, CBD derived from the cannabis plant is taxed and regulated, and can only be sold legally at dispensaries.
So, what exactly is CBD? It is one of the 104 chemical compounds known as cannabinoids extracted from the cannabis plant, Cannabis sativa. Unlike THC, which also comes from the marijuana plant, it does not have mind-altering effects. Instead, it touts medicinal properties that according to Verywell Health, “might affect your health by attaching to receptors in the body’s endocannabinoid system — a complex biological system involved in maintaining certain aspects of your health.” This includes anxiety and depression, pain, acne, sleep, and even neurological disorders.
Sound interesting? Before you try a CBD product, there are a few things to know:
- Check with your doctor if you are taking other medications.
- Read the label: Cannabis Sativa Oil and Hemp Seed Oil are not CBD. Look for products that say Whole Plant Hemp, Cannabis Sativa Extract, and Cannabidiol. You will often find CBD in a carrier oil.
- There are different ways to dose CBD depending on the ailment. For instance, if you have muscle pain, you’ll want a relief balm rather than a gummy. Read more on ways to use CBD here.
- Although usually well tolerated, you should know the side effects: some include loss of appetite, diarrhea, and fatigue.
- Know that the research about CBD is still ongoing, and it is not a cure-all.
The CBD market can be overwhelming. There are gummies, tinctures, lip balm, drinks, and more. How do you choose? Here are eight CBD-infused products to try:
This might just replace your LaCroix. Made in Wisconsin, this CBD-, superfoods-, and fruit-infused drink says it will give you a natural boost so you can be the very best version of you. You can even find it locally in Chicago at Foxtrot Market and Left Coast Foods.
This whipped salve has a calming effect on common skin irritants and can reduce eczema, psoriasis, rashes, inflammation, sore muscles, and more.
These strawberry-flavored vegan gummies deliver a daily dose of full-spectrum “happy hemp.” Even better, they use profits to pay bail for one person in need each month.
Draw a calming warm bath and pour in this soak to ease muscle aches and pains.
Apply these CBD and plant-based patches to your skin for 12 hours to help with sleep, a hangover, period pains, and anxiety.
If you are looking to use CBD for its beauty benefits, try this lavender sleeping mask that contains 28 active botanicals and cannabis sativa, which is rich in vitamins E and A, and has antioxidants that can help inflammation from acne.
Tinctures are one of the fastest ways to experience the effects of CBD. Dram offers five different blends for a calm sense of well-being, with the added benefits of apoptogenic herbs.
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These Instagram-worthy chocolates come in four different flavors, using all-natural ingredients like raw honey, red wine, and coconut oil. It is a delicious way to take your daily dose of CBD.
Macaire Douglas lives in Chicago with her husband and two sons. She proudly supports Share Our Spare, a local nonprofit that collects goods for children in need.