The ointment is made from infusing high-quality cannabis flowers in some kind of quality oil—coconut or olive typically—which extracts the active compounds, either CBD, THC, or both depending on the type of hemp used. This oil is then blended with other therapeutic herbs, like arnica or lemongrass essential oils, that are well-known pain relievers.
CBD topicals include balms, salves, lotions, and oils that are infused with active cannabinoids and are applied to and absorbed directly through your skin. These cannabinoid-infused topicals have become a heavily demanded commodity in both the beauty and medicine worlds thanks to their soothing and rejuvenating effects. The popularity of topical CBD products has grown massively in recent years, with CBD and other cannabinoids making their way into various skin creams, lip balms, shampoos, and more. Choosing a topical can be overwhelming, so we’ve rounded up our ten best CBD products to get you started:
When compared with the effects of caffeine, one could go out on a limb and say that CBD and caffeine are on different sides of the spectrum. Sure, they’re both anti-inflammatories, but you’re not as likely to fall asleep in your cereal after chugging a mug of coffee. You can see where I’m going with this, right? CBD coffee is a liquid contradiction.
Flower Power, which sells CBD-infused coffee to cafes like Caffeine Underground in New York City, puts 5 mg of CBD in each serving of coffee. The company, like many involved in the sale of CBD, is extremely careful about what it says regarding CBD’s effects for fear of FDA intervention. The standard language for CBD packaging and website documentation is similar to that of many supplements (think: milk thistle, echinacea, elderberry, turmeric) and is some variation on: “These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or ailment.”
Additionally, as many as 26/46 samples (57%) had a THC content > 1%, with one sample peaking at 57.5%. In 18/46 samples (39%) the oil contained virtually only THC (with CBD < 0.1%). Although many of the samples analyzed were purposely made to contain a high THC content, it is unclear whether oil consumers are always aware they are consuming THC, and thereby exposing themselves to the adverse effects of this psychotropic compound, such as intoxication, panic attacks, or disorientation. It should be noted that although the exact legal status of CBD may be debatable, THC-rich extracts are strictly prohibited in virtually all countries.
Like many of my fellow New York City residents, I’ve recently grown aware of the presence of CBD in my surroundings. In particular, CBD at coffee shops. It started when some friends of mine were discussing a pilgrimage out to Flower Power Coffee Co., known for its “artisanal CBD-infused coffee.” Then, at a fancy matcha cart I went to for Instagram-related purposes, I noticed that alongside health food add-ins like oat milk was the option to include a one-dollar shot of CBD. I didn’t do it, because weed in most forms tends to make me sleepy and it was 1 p.m. on a Saturday in the middle of Brooklyn's trendiest neighborhood.
Inhibited liver function: The liver regulates the way different drugs are metabolized within the body; this process is known as hepatic drug metabolism. Higher-than-average doses of CBD oil can slow the hepatic drug metabolism process. As a result, users may not be able to process other drugs as quickly. This is particularly concerning for CBD oil users who also take prescription medications.
If your state has legalized both compounds, look for a cream with 1:1 CBD to THC as well as another cannabinoid BCP (beta-caryophyllene) if possible, which manufacturers have seen better results with, Gerdeman suggests. Try Apothecanna's Extra Strength Relieving Creme ($20; apothecanna.com) or Whoopi & Maya's Medical Cannabis Rub (yes, that's Whoopi Goldberg's line), which was designed specifically for menstrual aches and pains (whoopiandmaya.com).
Food and beverage products containing CBD were introduced in the United States in 2017. Similar to energy drinks and protein bars which may contain vitamin or herbal additives, food and beverage items can be infused with CBD as an alternative means of ingesting the substance. In the United States, numerous products are marketed as containing CBD, but in reality contain little or none. Some companies marketing CBD-infused food products with claims that are similar to the effects of prescription drugs have received warning letters from the Food and Drug Administration for making unsubstantiated health claims.
New methods of cannabis consumption are bringing us further away from the notion that marijuana belongs solely in a bong or joint – or that it has to get you high, for that matter. Cannabis-infused topicals are an example of how new modes of consumption are revolutionizing perceptions of marijuana as their accessibility, safety, and efficacy invite even the most unlikely patrons into the world of medical cannabis.
In fact, the law is pretty unclear when it comes to CBD’s state-by-state legality and people (mostly people of color, because a hard-to-interpret law is ripe for racist mishandling) are occasionally charged with possession for carrying CBD. There is a bill in the works (spearheaded by Senator Mitch McConnell, no less) that seeks to get rid of hemp restrictions federally, which would make at least one facet of the law easier to interpret. But TBD on what that means for CBD. So unless you live in a state where marijuana is cleared for recreational use and you’re over the age of 21, the answer to whether or not CBD is legal where you live will vary. And avoid transferring even the most harmless of CBD over state lines. Per Quartz:
I tried a high CBD caplet with no THC. Unfortunately, I found it to be ineffective as a sleep aid, although it eases my chronic pain. Therefore, I take it when I arise for the day. I found an over-the-counter (Washington State) tincture called “beauty sleep” is working for me as a sleep aid. It costs me about $3.00 per night. It tastes yucky, but it works. I put two droppers full of the tincture under my tongue and keep it there for as long as I can before swallowing it. I am able to sleep about 7 hours per night with only one interruption to use the bathroom. This tincture contains 57% THC, which I was trying to avoid, but it is worth it. I do not use it to fall asleep, but to stay asleep. I wait to take it until I am really sleepy. It takes about 90 minutes for it to take effect, which is when I am already sleeping. Without it, that is about when I would be waking up and not being able to get back to sleep. If I take it before I am really sleepy, it just gives me the munchies and I do not need the extra calories. I feel kind of stoned when I wake up to pee, but I get back to sleep a lot better than I did before I started using the tincture. I have not built up a tolerance to it (so far) which is a concern because I do not want to be needing increasingly more as time goes by.. I have been using it for about four months now and am hopeful that it will continue to be effective without needing to increase the dosage. Maybe BEAUTY SLEEP will work for you. It sure has improved my quality of life. Now I am not so narcoleptic and low-energy during the day. Good luck finding a solution to your sleep issues.
Cannabidiol is currently a class B1 controlled drug in New Zealand under the Misuse of Drugs Act. It is also a prescription medicine under the Medicines Act. In 2017 the rules were changed so that anyone wanting to use it could go to the Health Ministry for approval. Prior to this, the only way to obtain a prescription was to seek the personal approval of the Minister of Health.
Fewer hangovers is also the sales pitch at Adriaen Block, a bar in the Astoria neighborhood of Queens that whips up CBD-infused negronis and old-fashioned cocktails. “You can maintain a conversation and know what you are saying,” said Zsolt Csonka, who owns the bar and mixes drinks there. “After two or three drinks, you’ll be able to go to the gym the next day.
Sativex, an oral spray containing both CBD and THC, can treat MS-induced pain. During one study, researchers gave Sativex to 47 participants with MS. Results were largely positive. Patients who used this spray felt notably better. Their muscle and walking spasms decreased, and they felt pain relief. Thanks to studies such as this one, several countries approved using Sativex in MS treatment.
In September 2018, following its approval by the FDA for rare types of childhood epilepsy, Epidiolex was rescheduled (by the Drug Enforcement Administration) as a Schedule V drug to allow for its prescription use. This change applies only to FDA-approved products containing no more than 0.1 percent THC. This allows GW Pharmaceuticals to sell Epidiolex, but it does not apply broadly and all other CBD-containing products remain Schedule I drugs. Epidiolex still requires rescheduling in some states before it can be prescribed in those states.
The Health effects of cannabis and cannabinoids: the current state of evidence and recommendations for research. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; Health and Medicine Division; Board on Population Health and Public Health Practice; Committee on the Health Effects of Marijuana: An evidence review and research agenda. Washington, National Academies Press, 2017.
Our Editor’s Pick is the tincture from CBDistillery. This tincture is available in five strengths ranging from 250mg to 5,000mg, which accommodates a wide range of THC preferences, as well as 15 and 30 milliliter containers. The tincture has a price-point that is slightly below average, making it a good option for value seekers. The tincture, which is non-flavored, routinely undergoes third-party testing to ensure safety and high quality; the testing results are available on CBDistillery’s product pages.