Life is stressful, but especially around the holidays. Travel, politics, global warming—no wonder everyone is racing toward a simple solution. Enter CBD, stage left. A recent report predicts CBD sales will nearly quadruple over the next four years, from $535 million in 2018 to over $1.9 billion by 2022. It’s only natural (pun intended), as CBD has been shown to be an effective tool for anxiety, restless sleep, and even pain management. It’s not only millennials who are dosing either, according to AARP website, as CBD has become a popular treatment for pain among baby boomers.
It’s legal, safe to consume, and absolutely everywhere—from a “high-vibrational latte” to a CBD massage to even CBD-infused gummies and olive oil. Basically, CBD works to activate receptors in the body to help the body achieve “homeostasis and optimize function” says Jewel Zimmer, founder of cannabis and CBD brand Juna.
It’s about to become a whole lot more accessible, too, thanks to a farm bill passed in Congress on Tuesday. The bill will fund food stamps, crop subsidies, and legalize industrial hemp, the main source of farmed CBD. This will make it easier for farmers to grow, sell, and export the crop, but it’ll also give researchers more access to study the effects of hemp oil products and thusly even possibly for healthcare providers to promote it as an alternative to opioids.
That doesn’t mean all plants are created equal though. “The process and evolution from seed to final formation in the bottle has a massive impact on efficacy and taste,” says Zimmer. “How the flower is grown, harvested, cured, and extracted all play a part in the finished product.”
Even though we’re reaching mass hype levels, dosing within CBD is still confusing. A good rule of thumb is to start small and see how you feel. “Start with a low dose and make sure there is no alcohol in your system the first time you try, as it’s important to understand how CBD makes you feel,” says Cindy Capobianco, cofounder and president of popular cannabis and CBD brand Lord Jones. Brands, like Lord Jones, offer 20 milligrams within each of its holiday-flavored gumdrops. That being said, to treat anxiety, it’s suggested to raise the dosage to around the 300 mg mark. It’s also good to remember that more is not necessarily better. “Dosing and efficacy can vary depending on the delivery mechanism, source (full spectrum or isolate), and quality, as well as the individual’s size, metabolism, and the ailment that is being targeted,” says Gabe Kennedy, cofounder of New York–based CBD brand Plant People.
Not sure what form of CBD is right for you or your friend? CBD will produce different effects depending on the method of delivery. Vaporizers, or vape pens, are super convenient and are more suited to occasional and acute health issues. In general, the vaporizer is perfect for users who are looking for fast relief from things such as stress, aches, and a busy mind before bed—however, the duration of the effect will be shorter, says Vancouver-based cannabis brand Wildflower. They’re especially great for those who have trouble falling asleep.
Capsules though, take longer for the effects to kick in because they need to be digested, but they produce much longer and sustained results. Capsules are great for those who experience poor quality of rest or trouble staying asleep. Confections, candies, and gummies are digested and processed through the liver, so the results are slower to take effect and are milder. It’s maybe ideal for a moment you’d like to reduce some slight anxiousness or anxiety while also getting a delicious treat. Tinctures or liquids in a dropper are absorbed sublingually (under the tongue) and quickly absorb into the body, so you’ll feel the effects quickly. Their dosage can be higher, too, so look to them if you need to quickly calm down after a high-strung meeting or want to calm your thoughts before heading to bed.
It’s vitally important to consume a high-quality CBD because hemp is a rather unusual plant. It actually helps clean the soil it’s grown in by absorbing metals and toxins from its surroundings. “People in the industry often liken the CBD market to the ‘Wild West,’ so it’s important to choose a company that uses third-party lab tests to ensure the quality, consistency, and safety of the product,” says Reyes. Quality should still be the utmost importance to you, so take a glance through for the nine magical elixirs that are Domino-approved.
Created by world-famous tattoo artist Scott Campbell and out-of-the-box business developer Clement Kwan, Beboe is known for its super-efficacious cannabis, usually with the THC. Thankfully, it has just released a pure CBD option for those of us not living in California or Colorado. The gold-coated vape pen has Campbell’s famous etching designs on it and is as sleek as it is effective. The 100 percent organic, GMP-certified, third party lab–accredited, Colorado-grown CBD comes in a potent 500 mg dosage. “You can enjoy it morning to night—while working, with family, whatever your scenario—without being concerned about feeling high,” says Kwan.
It’s the perfect gift for that friend who curated each and every item in their home but also wants to chill out.
Not Pot CBD Gummies, $39.99
If you want your CBD with a side of social justice, these are your gummies. They look unassuming, but they mean business. The low-dose 10 mg full-spectrum hemp taste like strawberries but has no artificial flavors, and the company gives back in a major way. “We wanted to create a CBD brand that can not only delivers great results but also pushes the limit on certain conversations within our society—especially those related to our criminal justice system,” says Not Pot founder and CEO Kati Holland. “Our mission is to #freeplantsandpeople aka destigmatize hemp and end mass incarceration through cannabis education and criminal justice reform.” The brand is working alongside organizations committed to reforming the criminal justice system, starting with The Bail Project. Profits for Not Pot pay for bail for those in need. “We’re not patting ourselves on the back—we just think it’s the right thing to do,” says Holland. People are taking notice too. The gummies are so popular that currently, the company has to limit three jars per order.
If you want to put it on and forget about it for the day, try a CBD patch. The Good Patch is applied onto skin and can be left on up to 24 hours. The 15 mg of organically farmed hemp has a dose of menthol, which temporarily relieves stress and aids with aches and pains. The brand is all about targeting specific problems—it makes eight different patches focused on addressing specific needs from sleep to PMS to hangovers.
Juna Nude Hemp Drops, $75
If farm-to-table is your philosophy, then Juna is right up your alley. The new cannabis brand is founded by Jewel Zimmer, a fine-dining pastry chef and certified sommelier, who created Juna to approach THC and CBD with the same gastronomical focus as she would with her desserts or wine. The brand is also hyperfocused on microdosing, even with the CBD, saying the drops are meant to allow you to be in the moment and present, versus that cliche “escaping from it all” POV. Zimmer suggests a variety of uses: putting a dose in your morning coffee for focus, post-workout to restore, under the tongue for a quick lift mid-afternoon, or to even add drops to food for a subtle flavor and mood boost.
Perhaps no brand is more synonymous with CBD and efficacy than Lord Jones. The brand was created by Cindy Capobianco and her husband, Rob Rosenheck, after they saw medical patients’ lives change thanks to the cannabis plant. Wanting to normalize and regulate the industry, they created Lord Jones to help users address issues like chronic pain, anxiety, and sleeplessness without the use of chemical pharmaceuticals.
The capsules are perfect for someone who really needs some effective help, and each capsule contains a subtle 25 mg of full-spectrum CBD, which will give slow but long-term relief.
Recess CBD Selzer, $39.99 for an eight-pack
Forget La Croix and grab or gift a seltzer that secretly chills you out. The currently sold-out concentrates contain 10 mg of hemp oil, along with a long list of organic juices and super powders like ginseng. This is perfect for someone who wants to kick their high-sugar habit but doesn’t want to drop the fizzy drinks.
Mineral Robyn for Sleep, $160
If CBD isn’t unique enough, try CBN, the key ingredient in this tincture. CBN is part of the cannabis plant but is newly discovered and already praised for helping to induce sleep, making it a game changer for insomnia. While it’s extraordinary and predicted to be the next generation of CBD, it’s also incredibly difficult to extract, which is why we’ve yet to see it take off. Mineral is grown in small batches and constantly tested for efficacy, making it perfect for the person who loves indie beauty and wellness brands but is also like, “What is sleep?!”
NYC-based Plant People creates organic CBD with a focus on (as the name might hint at) connecting people to the power of plants. Its variety of CBD runs the gamut: from tincture drops for stress to a high-potency salve for sore muscles to high-dose capsules for everyday pain and olive oil. Its 200 mg CBD olive oil reduces stress and inflammation and is the perfect gift for someone who loves to cook but also needs to relax. The brand is serious about giving back to plants, too, as for each product sold, it plants a tree.
Wildflower CBD Vaporizer, Aches, $59.99
This is perfect for the millennial in your life who is over their designated shade of pink but still loves CBD. Wildflower’s vape pens are chic with their mint green shade, but the brand is focused on ailments, with an “aches” option for pain and an “immunity” pen for colds and headaches with a blend of CBD with eucalyptus, thyme, and myrrh essential oils. Wildflower is created in Canada, where cannabis is legal, but the brand also has a wide range of CBD-potent products for those of us outside of weed-legal territories. Its CBD is derived from mature hemp stalk and seed extract and is grown on clean soil without fertilizers or pesticides. Another beloved favorite for the brand is the CBD+ Cool Stick, which the CEO inspired after constant muscular and joint aches from being a lifelong athlete.