CBD products have skyrocketed in popularity since the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill that legalized industrial hemp production across the country. This opened the door for companies to start incorporating cannabidiol, which science folks call CBD, into all sorts of products.
Now when you pop online, you’ll find a ton of different products. Everything from classic CBD tinctures to lavender-scented CBD body lotions are available. And this can sometimes be a little overwhelming!
In this article, we’ll give you a quick rundown on what CBD is and then launch into a cheat sheet guide describing the different forms of CBD available, how to take them and what their benefits are.
A Quick CBD Primer
CBD is what’s known as a cannabinoid. Those are a group of unique molecules that can be found in hemp plants. They’re unique in the way that they can interact with our bodies to produce some health-related benefits.
According to a poll done by Gallup, Americans who’ve used CBD have done so to treat pain, relieve anxiety and combat sleep issues and insomnia, among other reasons.
But as we said, CBD isn’t alone. The other major cannabinoid you might have heard of is THC. That’s the intoxicating one that can make you feel high, give you red eyes and spur on the craving for fatty foods like pizza and everything fried. CBD, on the other hand, is non-intoxicating and doesn’t have any of these adverse effects.
Other cannabinoids exist as well and are being researched for different reasons. You may come across some while trying to pick out the best CBD products for you. They include CBN, or cannabinol, which is generally used for sleep-related solutions and CBG, cannabigerol, the mother cannabinoid, which is great for focus.
When you’re buying CBD products, you may see some different designations in the packaging as well. If it’s full spectrum, that means it will include CBD along with other cannabinoids and beneficial compounds from the hemp plant, including THC (but only 0.3 percent maximum by law). Broad spectrum CBD products will be the same as full, minus the THC. And CBD isolate is just CBD with nothing else.
Why the variations? Some folks don’t want any THC in their products, so they go the route of CBD isolate. But some folks want all the benefits of everything in the hemp plant working together in what’s known as the “entourage effect.” So they go for full spectrum. And others try to dip their toes into both ponds and settle on broad spectrum.
There’s no right or wrong here, and it all comes down to personal preference.
The Most Popular CBD Products
CBD products are generally going to fall into the following categories. Check them out to help you decide which is best for you and which you’d like to try next.
CBD Oil/CBD Tinctures: These are those little amber bottles with droppers you see everyone using. They’re usually made from a CBD extract mixed with a carrier oil like MCT oil or hemp seed oil. Naturally, full spectrum oils have an earthy, nutty or grass-like taste, but nowadays, companies release them in delicious flavors. You’ll find them in various concentrations from 10 mg to 80 mg, so suitable for CBD novices and experts alike. The easiest way to take them is sublingually (under the tongue), which ensures efficient and quick CBD delivery into your system.
CBD Softgels and : You’ll generally find CBD capsules and softgels are a quick and easy way to take your CBD either at home or on the go. With varying serving sizes, check bottles carefully to make sure you’re getting the concentration you need. Unlike oils or tinctures, it’s not easy to adjust the amount you’re taking. However, the convenience factor more than makes up for it. Ingesting your CBD also means it takes a bit longer to work its way into your system, as it needs to go through more processes before it enters circulation. This is a benefit for some folks looking to delay the effects a little.
CBD Balms, Lotions and Roll-ons: These are all topical applications of CBD, meaning you’re putting the product directly onto your skin. This is really great for muscle aches or joint pain. People also apply them to their temples for headaches. While less CBD enters your overall system, localizing the application gets it working right away on a specific area. For this reason, CBD topicals are generally used on an as-needed basis.
CBD Bath Products: There are a lot of different CBD bath products being released. They’ve become very popular and for a good reason. Soaking in a warm bath opens your skin’s pores. This allows for quicker absorption into your system when using products like CBD bath bombs. They also incorporate other beneficial and calm-inspiring ingredients, making for a fantastic way to nourish your body and engage in much-needed self-care.
Unprocessed Hemp Flowers: Unprocessed, or raw , hemp flowers contain CBD and all the other wonderful cannabinoids and beneficial compounds we mentioned when talking about full spectrum hemp. This makes them a fantastic ingredient for more experienced CBD users to incorporate into their routines. Popular ways to use them include cooking and smoking.
CBD for Pets: CBD can benefit your pets in many of the same ways it can you. There are tons of great CBD products for pets. The most popular are CBD oils and tinctures that can be added to their usual meals, and CBD treats. It’s essential to keep track of how much you’re giving, though, and when in doubt, consult your vet for guidance.
Buying CBD Products
Now that you know more about CBD products, it’s time to buy some!
Shopping for CBD products online, or at a local health food store are both great options. Shopping online is great because it gives access to companies across the country, in addition to being easy and discreet, while shopping in stores can be a great way to support local businesses, and get recommendations from knowledgeable staff members.
Be sure to do your research.
Look for the company’s third-party lab results so you can see the CBD concentrations in the products you’re buying and make sure they’re good quality products. Also, take a moment to learn more about the company itself. Many will have pages explaining their story, allowing you to learn more about the processes they use.
This is important. Some companies purchase their CBD on the commodity market but the best companies are there from the beginning, owning their own farms and following the production process from seed to shelf. Getting that information will help you decide who you want to support.