How to Choose the Best CBD Product for What Ails You

CBD is growing in popularity among all kinds of people with all kinds of symptoms, and for good reason. CBD has been demonstrated to help treat a variety of conditions without any of the mind-altering effects of THC. The non-psychoactive cannabinoid possesses anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anxiolytic, hypnotic, antipyretic, antispasmodic, and neuroprotective benefits, according to mounting research.

While CBD may be helpful to many people for symptom management, it can also be confusing or even intimidating to find the right products for you. This is because there are literally thousands of different products from hundreds of brands, each making different (and sometimes outlandish) claims about their ability to heal. In such a crowded market, it can be hard to choose the best CBD product for what ails you.

So, how do you navigate the crowded field of CBD products to find the best products for you and your body? Not to worry, we’re here to guide you each step of the way. Here, we’ll cover everything you need to know about how to choose the best CBD product(s) for your symptoms, body, and wellness goals. 

Before beginning in earnest, we open with a brief discussion of how CBD works with your body’s natural processes. We’ll then give some general guidelines for choosing the best CBD product for what ails you, then discuss individual CBD product types in detail. We’ll illuminate the types of symptoms each CBD product type might be best for, including tips and tricks to get the most from your dose. We’ll also drop a few product recommendations to help you in your search.

How CBD Behaves In Your Body

CBD has been shown to have widespread positive regulatory effects on the body’s processes. In layman’s terms, this means that CBD acts to help reduce extremes, supporting and improving homeostasis. It does this by interacting with your endocannabinoid system, a system of receptors and chemical messengers throughout your body.

CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system’s receptors to influence different processes in the body. It has been demonstrated to soothe and prevent seizures, alleviate pain, quell inflammation, calm anxiety, ease depression, and reduce inflammation throughout the body. 

This anti-inflammatory action is at the heart of most of CBD’s health effects. This is because inflammation is a common thread in many different diseases. In fact, some researchers believe that all disease is rooted in inflammation, called the Inflammation Theory of Disease. CBD reduces the severity of symptoms by alleviating the inflammation in different parts of your body.

Because the receptors CBD acts on are located throughout your body, there isn’t really a system that CBD can’t be used to help regulate. It can even be applied to the skin for fast-acting relief at the site of pain. While CBD acts consistently across different body symptoms, it may take different lengths of time to become effective depending on your dosing method.

How to Choose the Best CBD Product for Your Body

CBD behaves consistently throughout the body, but can be absorbed a couple of different ways to achieve these effects. This is the key difference between all the types of otherwise-equal CBD products. Onset time and duration are major considerations when choosing a CBD product for your needs and symptoms.

Generally speaking, vapor products and raw hemp flower have the fastest onset time of any CBD product. This is because these products deliver CBD to the bloodstream quickly through the soft tissues of the lungs, providing systemic relief from pain, inflammation, anxiety, depression, and other conditions. Relief is fast: people usually feel better within 15 minutes of using one of these products. 

Topicals also tend to take effect quickly (within 15-30 minutes) because of their interaction with endocannabinoid receptors in the skin. This property can make topical CBD very useful to provide targeted relief at the source of discomfort. It’s also good for alleviating sudden symptoms like muscle spasms or cramping. 

CBD tinctures and oils tend to take effect within an hour or so, depending on how they are formulated as well as how they are taken. Water-soluble formulas often have a quicker onset time than traditional oil-based tinctures, but relief can be accelerated by holding the product in the mouth as long as possible instead of swallowing it. This allows the tincture to be absorbed by the soft tissues of the mouth and makes tinctures and oils a very versatile choice.

Edibles like gummies, softgels, and capsules have the longest onset time of any CBD product. This is because they are absorbed through the digestive tract which, as anyone who has ever taken a THC edible can tell you, causes a highly variable absorption rate. While it may take up to two hours to feel relief with CBD edibles, they also provide long-lasting symptom relief. Many people report being using CBD edibles and softgels for all-day comfort, making these products ideal for chronic conditions.

CBD Softgels, Capsules, & Edibles

Long-lasting CBD products like edibles, capsules, and softgels are our favorite way to achieve consistent relief that lasts for hours. Since they’re absorbed through the digestive system, these products tend to take longer to absorb compared to other delivery methods. That long onset time, however, is also accompanied by hour after hour of comfort due to the long-acting nature of CBD absorbed via the stomach and intestines. 

If you like the idea of long-lasting comfort and wellness support but aren’t so into the thought of waiting two hours to feel better, we suggest pairing an edible dose of CBD with something that takes effect a bit quicker. For immediate relief, consider a vape pen, a bowl of organic hemp flower, or a topical CBD product to get the ball rolling. You might also take a look at tinctures, especially water-based formulas that are easier for your body to absorb. 

We especially like edible CBD for management of chronic conditions that don’t often have acute symptoms. These products are our favorite for preventing flare-ups and managing low-grade but persistent symptoms. While they all fall into the same category of effectiveness, edible CBD products are potentially useful because of their diversity — they quite literally offer something for everyone. Whether you’re a fan of classic softgels or enjoy the tasty treat offered by a flavorful gummy, there is an edible CBD product for you. 

We especially like the softgels from Joy Organics, but we’re also fond of the vegan capsules offered by cbdMD. If gummies are more your thing, you might consider the tasty vegan gummies offered by cbdMD. Made with tapioca starch instead of gelatin, you can feel confident treating your symptoms without supporting animal cruelty. We also like the CBD peach rings from Seabedee (or the sour gummy bears, if you’re so inclined) for a tasty and effective systemic dose of organic CBD.

Tinctures & CBD Oils

CBD tinctures come in many different flavors, dosage strengths, and formulations. Unlike edibles, which must be absorbed in the stomach, tinctures offer a bit more flexibility in CBD dosing. They can be taken sublingually (dropped under the tongue and held there for a minute or two) or ingested orally by either swallowing immediately or mixing with food or beverages. 

The versatility of tinctures makes them helpful in treating a wide range of symptoms, from pain and inflammation to fever to anxiety. They can also provide CBD newcomers more flexibility with their dosing. This makes it possible to “feel out” what dosing strategy works best for you without committing to multiple products immediately.

We enjoy the line of tinctures available from Joy Organics (the lemon flavor is our favorite!). We also like the traditional oil-based tinctures carried by cbdMD, which are available in a wide variety of flavors for all palates. If you find that water-soluble tinctures are better for you, we suggest taking a look at the tinctures offered by Binoid, which come in an array of flavors that mix perfectly with food and beverages.

Taking tinctures sublingually can greatly accelerate their onset time — within 30 minutes for many, as opposed to over an hour in some cases. However, that rapid onset time comes at a bit of a price. Usually, the longer a product takes to set in, the longer its effects last. 

Generally, water-soluble tinctures will take effect more quickly than oil-based CBD, though this may vary from person to person. We like using tinctures for balanced relief that acts relatively quickly and remains effective throughout our day. However, if you’re in need of immediate relief, you might consider CBD vape products or hemp flower

CBD Vapor Products & Hemp Flower

When you’re in need of immediate relief from severe symptoms, there are few things better than a CBD vaporizer or a bowl of organic hemp flower. Unlike oral dosing methods, inhaled CBD is absorbed directly into the bloodstream through the tissues of the lungs. This delivery method provides near-instantaneous relief, though the effects will only last about 4-6 hours or so.

We prefer to inhale CBD when we need to alleviate acute symptoms. These might include spasms, pain, seizures, and other rapid-onset symptoms. Inhaled CBD in the form of a vape or bowl offers the added benefit of convenient dosing. While it’s less precise compared to oral methods, it is easier to discern whether or not you need more to feel better.

We love the vape pens and cartridges from Joy Organics, but more CBD companies are starting to up their vapor game. CBDistillery carries an excellent line of flavorful vapor pens that are free of shady additives and unpronounceable ingredients. The physician-formulated vape from Earth Medicine is also worth checking out for vapor enthusiasts.

When reaching for hemp flower, we trust the organic buds from Canna Comforts. Created to look, smell, taste, and smoke just like cannabis without the high, the hemp flower from Canna Comforts is sure to provide soothing relief — with the quickness. Reach for a prerolled joint or palm wrap if you don’t have the time to load a bowl or roll your own

CBD Topicals

Another excellent option for fast relief at the site of discomfort, topicals are an integral part of symptom management routines for many people. These products act quickly because they interact with cannabinoid receptors in the skin, inducing faster effects. Especially when paired with beneficial botanical ingredients, topical CBD can be a game-changer for chronic pain management. These products may also benefit certain skin conditions as well.

While there’s lots of information to cover about CBD topicals (check out more details here), there are a few basic product types we can recommend. For severe pain, tension, and muscle spasms, we swear by the Freeze roll-on from cbdMD (get the 1500mg strength for maximum effectiveness — it’s worth it, we promise). 

For more skin-soothing benefits, we like the pain creams offered by Joy Organics and Canna Comforts. These creams are perfect for alleviating dry, itchy skin as well as soreness and stiffness in muscles and joints. For those with sensitive skin, we highly recommend the CBD pain gel from Earth Medicine — its lightweight formula absorbs quickly and is non-comedogenic.

Takeaway

Sorting through the different CBD products available online can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be impossible. Knowing just a couple of general principles can help you narrow the field considerably, finding the best CBD product for what ails you (or your loved ones). It may take a bit of experimentation to find your Holy Grail CBD products, but the relief is well worth the work it takes to get there. Check out our  CBD buyer’s guide for more information about how to choose the best CBD product for you — and skip the rest.

Which Local Drug Stores Carry CBD? A Guide to 5 Top Pharmacies

With more and more people reaching for CBD to manage everything from chronic pain to cardiovascular disease, popular retailers are starting to stock CBD products on their shelves. It’s likely a matter of time before CBD, a non-psychoactive cannabinoid, enters the mainstream in earnest. Signs of this popularization are evident on the shelves of major retailers, largely in the health and beauty industries. However, local drug stores are starting to get in on the action, too. A growing number of drug store chains carry CBD products on store shelves.

While the unclear legal status of CBD remains an obstacle for many national retailers, an increasing number of chain drug stores are stocking CBD in some states. Because of the patchy availability of CBD, finding which local drug stores carry CBD can be challenging. As a general rule, states with legal cannabis programs have more brick-and-mortar CBD buying options.

Here, we examine the availability of CBD at the top five drug stores in the US, taking a close look at CVS, Walgreens, Walmart, Rite Aid, and Kroger. We’ll find out which local drug stores carry CBD products, what types of products they offer, where to find them in stores, and which brands they work with. 

Which Local Drug Stores Carry CBD Products?

While CBD products aren’t quite mainstream yet, the tide is shifting that way quickly. Currently, CBD products are available in some capacity at each of the biggest national pharmacies. However, it isn’t quite that simple. Due to state restrictions and a lack of clarity at the federal level about the legal status of hemp, national chains sometimes face roadblocks to stocking CBD. For this reason, which local drug stores carry CBD depends largely on where you live.

Since all forms of hemp and marijuana remain illegal in South Dakota, Idaho, and Nebraska, you won’t be able to purchase CBD products of any kind in physical stores in these states. However, other states allow the sale of CBD in stores, though some have restrictions surrounding the licensing for would-be CBD retailers. 

These restrictions are the main reason that CBD isn’t (yet) available nationwide. Think about it: CBD is a booming industry, and businesses of all types are eager to cash in. In order to do so, however, they have to work with state regulatory agencies to sell CBD and hemp products legally. Companies take different approaches to this (which we’ll discuss individually), and consequently offer different products.

There’s an additional complication to consider when looking for CBD at your local drug store too: you may not be able to find what you need. Most major retailers only carry topicals at this time, not tinctures or other consumables. This is largely due to unclear FDA regulation of CBD ingestibles, which muddy the legal waters of CBD sales for pharmacies. 

Until the FDA decides to stop their nonsense (and we aren’t holding our breath there), you’re not likely to find CBD tinctures, gummies, or softgels consistently on drugstore shelves any time soon. However, that doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to find which local drug stores carry CBD in your area — just that it may take some hunting.

CVS

The single largest pharmacy chain in the nation, CVS is one of the chains of drug stores carrying CBD products in a number of states. These include Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, New Mexico, South Carolina, West Virginia, Tennessee, and Texas. The pharmacy giant is working continuously to make CBD available in more states across the nation.

CVS has elected to carry only CBD topicals at this time. We understand this (rather conservative) approach, whether or not we fully agree with it — they are a national retailer, after all. Don’t get it twisted, though; the store’s focus on topicals hasn’t stopped them from carrying a diverse array of formulas to suit a variety of needs and symptoms

While the selection of products varies from state to state and from store to store, CVS works with a variety of different CBD brands. These include brands we know and love, like PlusCBD Oil and Charlotte’s Web, that produce quality products at affordable prices. This gives us hope that CVS is sourcing their CBD products responsibly, focusing on quality over quantity.

That said, the ubiquitous drug store also has the quantity aspect covered pretty well, too. A cursory look at their selection of topical CBD products shows a little bit of everything. From pain creams to roll-ons to skincare products to hair and body treatments, CVS carries a little something for every need. 

We appreciate this move on the pharmacy’s part. While they’re taking their time stocking every component of a complete CBD regimen, they appear to acknowledge the diverse potential of CBD. This awareness is reflected in the variety of the products they stock, which includes everything from high-dosage pain products to bath and body care items.

Walgreens

Another dynamo of the local pharmacy industry, Walgreens offers CBD products in nearly 1,500 stores across 18 states. These include Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, Wisconsin, and Washington state. Walgreens continues to work with states to offer CBD in stores, and this list is likely to grow longer with time.

Like CVS, Walgreens has made the decision to limit their CBD selection to topical creams, sprays, and patches. This isn’t an outrageous stance, though we feel that the line the FDA and, consequently, major retailers appear to draw between topicals and edibles seems a bit, well, arbitrary. The company states that this is in the interest of offering a wider range of wellness products to their customers. 

However, we should note that Walgreens is less open about the CBD products and brands compared to other retailers. Compared to other drug stores carry CBD, we aren’t quite convinced yet. We can’t help but cock an eyebrow at this: none of their CBD products are listed on their website, so there isn’t really any way of knowing what your store carries without showing up there in person. 

We get it — get people in the door, and they’re more likely to buy since they’re already there and they want it now. That said, we’re a bit skeptical of this strategy. Rather than empowering buyers to make informed decisions, there’s something here that feels a bit disingenuous, sort of like they’re banking on people grabbing what’s available because they need it right then. This strategy doesn’t seem to account for product efficacy or quality, which makes us leery.

While we can’t speak to the CBD products offered at Walgreens, we feel a little weird about their strategy as it appears. As a group of people pretty devoted to increasing transparency, not being able to even view available products online feels kind of shady. 

While it may be convenient, we aren’t sure how much to trust Walgreens. Since there isn’t clarity about the consistency of products from state to state (or even store to store), what’s true at our local pharmacy may not be true at another across town, or across state lines. We aren’t saying you shouldn’t go to Walgreens for CBD, but we are saying that we’d sure like more publicly available information about the products they carry.

Rite Aid

A relative newcomer (and rather small player) in national CBD retail, Rite Aid launched a pilot program selling CBD in Oregon and Washington state. Since rolling out the pilot program in April of 2019, the company hasn’t yet voiced plans to expand the program to other states — but we think it’s likely they’ll eventually branch out across the nation. Beginning in legal states, Rite Aid is one of the growing number of drug stores carry CBD products.

Rite Aid has also decided to sell only topical CBD products and, frankly, had something  rather puzzling to say about their stance. “At this point in time,” said Chief Operations Officer Bryan Everett, “we’re only offering the topical solutions of creams, lip balms, [and] lotions.” 

That seems reasonable, but then Everett said something that was genuinely bewildering: “We won’t be carrying any of the injectables at any of our stores as part of the pilot.” Does the COO of Rite Aid actually think people are routinely injecting CBD? Is that how he thinks this works??

As CBD enthusiasts who have personally tested hundreds of hemp products, we can say with certainty that no company has ever pitched us an injectable form of CBD. Google was just as puzzled by Everett’s bizarre statement as we were: it asked, “did you mean ingestible CBD?” The few articles it did turn up for “injectable” used the term in relation to the potential of CBD to reduce overdose deaths and opioid dependence. 

We’re hoping that Mr. Everett misspoke, but his statement doesn’t give us much confidence about Rite Aid’s knowledge about the products they’re selling. The fact that the names of the brands they sell aren’t publicly available (at least, not readily) doesn’t help the case, either. While the availability of CBD at Rite Aid may be convenient for Washingtonians and Oregonians, we need more information before recommending them as a CBD source. 

Walmart

Walmart is sort of a technicality here, and we’ll tell you why: they do not carry CBD products in any of their physical store locations. We recognize this doesn’t quite fit the bill of this article, but we feel it’s worth noting, and watching, how Walmart handles the question of local drug stores carry CBD products. If there’s anything we can count on Walmart to do, it’s to seize whatever portion of the market they can. That seizure appears to be quite strategic — again, unsurprising — and begins online.

Walmart has chosen to sell CBD products online exclusively, likely to determine interest in advance of stocking products on shelves. They currently work with only two brands: Medterra and Procanna. The two brands are available through the store’s online sales portal, though the orders are fulfilled by discount supplement company VitaSprings.

The limited brand availability shouldn’t be mistaken as a lack of product variety, though. Since they’re only selling online and not in physical stores, Walmart has chosen to offer softgels, tinctures, and other ingestibles alongside topicals. They have also elected to carry pet products, a potential boon to pet owners. It’s notable that, at the time of this writing, Walmart is the only local drugstore carry CBD products to include items for pets. 

While the prospect of CBD availability at a retail giant like Walmart is exciting in a certain light, there’s still a ways to go. Stocking of CBD products on Walmart’s site is inconsistent, and items are frequently difficult to find. This isn’t unexpected — it sometimes takes a while to figure out what sells. That said, since the point of this article is to find products available in person, we’re not fully on board with Walmart’s approach to CBD products at this time.

Kroger

While they’re better known in the grocery industry, Kroger is also a major player in the world of local pharmacy chains. The retailer sells CBD products in hundreds of stores in states across the country. These include Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, West Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

Like other major pharmacies stocking CBD on store shelves, Kroger has elected to carry only topicals at this point. Available brands seem to vary from store to store as well as by state, but there appears to be a variety of different products available at many locations around the nation. Some of Kroger’s other local drug stores carry CBD as well, like Fred Meyer and Smith’s Food & Drug. While these stores also plan stock topical CBD products as part of Kroger’s new program, the consistency of this rollout isn’t quite clear.

While brands offered on Kroger store shelves vary from place to place, Charlotte’s Web and PlusCBD Oil are among the brands we trust known to work with Kroger. It’s hard to get a feel for what exactly is available, though checking online can help you decide which location to visit. Finding which Kroger drug stores carry CBD brands you love might take a bit of legwork.

One thing we should note about Kroger’s CBD program is that it’s a little different from other major drug stores. While it doesn’t appear consistent across all locations, some stores only offer CBD products over the counter. This means that CBD is only available for purchase at these locations during pharmacy hours, which tend to be shorter than general operating hours of the grocery store.

In a way, this approach might be a good thing, as it allows people to speak to a trained pharmacist about any concerns or questions they have about a product. However, we could also see this discouraging some people from requesting CBD products, either due to discomfort or inconvenience.

Takeaway

While CBD products are increasing in both popularity and availability, it will likely still be some time before any local store can be a good one-stop shop for your CBD needs. However, the growing body of drug stores carry CBD appears to be growing quickly. Selecting which local drug store to choose for CBD, if any at all, depends on your needs, symptoms, and physiology. Local drug stores carrying CBD topicals might be beneficial for many people, and we’re here for that, but we also acknowledge that they aren’t (yet) a comprehensive source for CBD wellness products. When it comes to finding which local drug stores carry CBD, we expect to continue to see the availability of these products change. 

2019 Black Friday & Cyber Monday CBD Deals Guide

The holiday season brings with it an almost baffling array of discounts, and CBD products are no exception. With special offers and deep discounts and limited-time coupons bombarding you at every turn, sorting through the roughage to find what you actually want can be daunting. As retail holidays Black Friday and Cyber Monday draw ever closer, the deals pile up. In a sea of percentages off and time-sensitive pitches, how do you sort out the best CBD deals?

Not to worry, dear friend. As cannabis educators and advocates, part of our mission is to help make buying decisions simpler for our readers. Life is complicated enough, after all. In order to streamline the decision-making process, we’ve done the deal-hunting for you with our CBD Deals Guide exclusively for Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2019. 

We’ve created this resource as a centralized location for the best Black Friday and Cyber Monday offers from the best brands. Here, we let you know who has the deepest discounts and when, along with any available discount codes or affiliate links you can use to save some extra cash. 

We’ll also recommend some of our favorite, most giftable products from each brand to give you ideas on how to treat a loved one (or yourself — we won’t judge). As deals change, we will keep this post updated accordingly. Consider this article your definitive Black Friday & Cyber Monday CBD deals guide.

Holiday CBD Deals & Discount Codes to Buy Online

Joy Organics

black friday cyber monday cbd deals guide 2019

  • The Deal: 35% off all items sitewide
  • How to Get It: use promo code blackfriday2019 at checkout
  • When it Starts: Friday, November 29, 2019
  • When it Expires: Monday, December 2, 2019

When it comes to quality CBD wellness products, Joy Organics is consistently superior. An outstanding example to CBD brands throughout the industry, Joy makes every effort possible to make products that are not just effective, but ethical as well. We especially enjoy their CBD vape cartridges (especially at this discount!) and softgel capsules for regular use. That said, we’d be remiss not to point out their skin care line in our CBD deals guide as well. 

It’s true that Joy’s skin care products are priced in line with high-end products, but your loved ones (and you) are worth the splurge. Available individually or as a bundle, each product in the line performs spectacularly against all kinds of common skin woes. We’ve used it to help with dryness, fine lines, dark spots, hyperpigmentation, cystic acne… all with resounding success. The Black Friday and Cyber Monday discounts make the price tag a bit more justifiable, especially if you’re shopping for a skincare junkie.

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Canna Comforts

  • The Deal: 40% off all items sitewide for Black Friday, 35% off for Cyber Monday
  • How to Get It: Enter code Blackfriday19 at checkout for Black Friday, or Cyber19 on Monday
  • When it Starts: Now!
  • When it Expires: Friday, November 29, 2019 and Monday, December 2, 2019 respectively

Don’t get us wrong, we love our CBD tinctures and gummies very much. That said, we also love flower, even if we don’t always love the psychoactive effects of THC. Enter Canna Comforts, our favorite source for delicious hemp flower strains that look, smell, taste, and smoke just like the top-shelf cannabis strains that inspired them. A staple of our CBD routine, our Black Friday CBD deals guide wouldn’t be complete without Canna Comforts.

Capable of converting even the most skeptical of stoners, the hemp flower from Canna Comforts is masterfully cultivated in Colorado according to strict organic standards. The raw flower is then tested for cannabinoid content, purity, and quality before being rolled into delightful joints and palm wraps, processed into CBD kief, or simply bagged as raw, dense nugs of CBD dankness to be enjoyed. 

While they won’t get you high (like, at all), we get the same benefits from this hemp flower that we do from our more civilian doses. We also get the experience of smoking a bowl of delicious flower, which we truly enjoy for reasons other than the high of THC. Of course, if you’re so inclined, you can also browse Canna Comforts’ tinctures, edibles, bath products, and lip balms for more familiar items. That said, we cannot recommend the hemp flower strongly enough, and this Black Friday deal is an excellent opportunity to test the proverbial waters.

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CBDistillery

black friday cyber monday cbd deals guide 2019

  • The Deal: 30% off all items sitewide
  • How to Get It: Enter promo code KEY2CBD30 at checkout
  • When it Starts: Now!
  • When it Expires: Saturday, November 30 at 11:59 pm MST
  • Cyber Monday Encore: Monday, December 2, 2019 at 12:00 am MST until 11:59 pm MST

CBDistillery is a consistently impressive brand with a lot to offer. Each product from their diverse line is made with organic, domestic hemp and without unnecessary additives. The company’s high standards are reflected in the quality of their products, which pack a therapeutic punch of CBD for effective symptom relief. 

We especially like the vape pens from CBDistillery — in fact, they’re some of our favorites we’ve tried to date. Available in a wide assortment of natural, terpene-rich flavors, the disposable vape pens contain no suspicious additives like propylene glycol or vitamin E acetate. While it’s true that reusable pens would be more sustainable, we’re willing to take the hit in the interest of preserving our pulmonary health (but do please dispose of the spent batteries responsibly).

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Hemp Bombs

Hemp Bombs CBD Oil Peppermint Flavor Tincture Product Review

  • The Deal: 33% off all items sitewide
  • How to Get It: Enter promo code SAVEBIG at checkout
  • When it Starts: Friday, November 29, 2019 at 12:00 am EST
  • When it Expires: Sunday, December 1, 2019 at 12:00 am EST

When it comes to creating innovative CBD products you don’t see every day, Hemp Bombs is our go-to brand. While we have other favorites, Hemp Bombs holds a special place in our hearts for their commitment to product diversity. And, since each item they offer is certified free of THC, their line is accessible to most anyone. Hemp Bombs is a key part of our holiday CBD deals guide for their bold and beneficial products.

With novel products like CBD relaxation shots, a hemp-infused beard care bundle, tattoo balm, and even a CBD lube, Hemp Bombs is an ideal resource for the CBD fan who has it all. Each of their unique products offers a creative way to give the therapeutic gift of CBD to your loved one. Furthermore, with their Black Friday discount, you can afford to treat yourself as well as that special someone!

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Earth Medicine

  • The Deal: 40% off all items sitewide plus Free Shipping
  • How to Get It: Enter promo code CYBERCBD at checkout 
  • When it Starts: Thursday, November 28, 2019 at 5:00 pm PST
  • When it Expires: Unknown at present, but expect the deal to last until at least 11:59 pm PST on Monday, December 2, 2019.

Earth Medicine is exactly the type of brand we love to support. Don’t let their limited product line fool you: each item is formulated with careful consideration and quality ingredients. They’re also created with credibility in mind; crafted with domestic, organic CBD, each product is individually evaluated, vetted, and recommended by a physician before going to market.

Rigorously batch-tested, meticulously formulated, and sustainably produced, Earth Medicine offers the total package. We especially like their vape, but their topical CBD gel is a standout product that’s especially good for oily skin prone to breakouts. While their Black Friday deal is a bit nebulous at this time, significant savings on CBD are assured for the duration of the sale and we felt the products warrant a spot in our holiday CBD deals guide.

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Savage CBD

Savage Full Spectrum CBD Tincture Product Review

  • The Deal: 40% off all items sitewide PLUS free domestic shipping on all orders
  • How to Get It: Use this link and enter code BFCM40 at checkout
  • When it Starts: Friday, November 29, 2019 
  • When it Expires: Sunday, December 1, 2019

Savage CBD has grown significantly as a brand since they first started out, and we’re proud of their evolution. They’ve poured much of their energy and focus into creating a diverse line of CBD topicals that differ from the usual roll-ons and balms (though they also have those). The collection includes products for both people and pets, with a focus on sun care and protection.

As a brand, Savage CBD has learned that transparency is immensely important to consumers. Since they do not perform their own extractions, the Savage team has implemented some heavy accountability practices with the suppliers they work with. This is exactly the type of accountability we want to see more of in the industry, and we feel it’s worth supporting (and a mention in our holiday CBD deals guide). This Black Friday, check out Savage CBD for the sun-loving someone in your life.

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cbdMD

black friday cyber monday cbd deals guide 2019

  • The Deal: Free 300 mg tincture of your choice with purchase of $50 or more
  • How to Get It: Simply add your chosen tincture to your cart: the discount will be applied automatically at checkout
  • When it Starts: Monday, December 2, 2019 at 12:00 am 
  • When it Expires: Monday, December 2, 2019 at 11:59 pm
  • Bonus Savings: This offer is valid in conjunction with our year-round promo code, KEY15, for 15% off your order at checkout

For reliably effective CBD products at reasonable prices, it’s hard to beat cbdMD. Each of the brand’s diverse items is formulated by medical professionals using premium CBD made from organic, domestic hemp. From topical pain relief products (the roll-on is DOPE) to powerful bath bombs to delightful gummies, cbdMD offers something for every CBD enthusiast. This variety and consistency cemented cbdMD’s spot in our holiday CBD deals guide. 

We especially like the flavor assortment from cbdMD. Our favorites include the berry and orange varieties, but the peppermint is a perennial favorite of ours as well. This consideration for flavor extends to their pet tinctures as well, which include flavors like peanut butter, catnip, and apple alongside unflavored offerings. Put their Cyber Monday deal to good use and check out cbdMD for your therapeutic CBD needs.

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Charlotte’s Web

charlottes web 2019 cbd sale

  • The Deal: 25% off all items sitewide 
  • How to Get It: Use this link and enter promo code BLACKFRIDAY25 at checkout
  • When it Starts: Now! 
  • When it Expires: Friday, November 29, 2019 at 11:00 pm

With a simple (but efficient) product line aimed at both humans and their animal companions, Charlotte’s Web is a perfect brand for pet lovers of all stripes. The company pairs their organic hemp extract with natural flavorings and minimally processed ingredients, yielding products that are as wholesome as they are effective.

The brand’s line of pet treats is exceptional among competitors and definitely merited a spot in our holiday CBD deals guide. Made with real meat and healthy supporting ingredients for calming and brain-boosting effects. The treats contain a hefty dose of therapeutic CBD and are competitively priced even at full retail. With their Black Friday sale, Charlotte’s Web offers the chance to spoil your loved ones — both two- and four-legged.

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Takeaway

While Black Friday is a notoriously hectic time of year, it doesn’t have to be exasperating. Skip the frustration (and the crowds!) by taking advantage of online CBD retailers’ Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals on the best CBD products. Take this opportunity to give your loved one (or yourself!) something that will help support wellness long after the tree sheds its needles. Our holiday CBD deals guide gives you everything you need to shop smarter, not harder.

Binoid Water Soluble CBD Wellness Drops (500 mg) Ginger Flavor Product Review

Binoid

Binoid Water Soluble CBD Wellness Drops (500 mg) Orange Flavor Product Review

Binoid Water Soluble CBD Wellness Drops (500 mg) Peppermint Flavor Product Review

Binoid Water Soluble CBD Wellness Drops (500 mg) Lemon Flavor Product Review

2019 Holiday Gift Guide for Cannabis Enthusiasts

With the holiday season rapidly advancing, it’s easy to get caught up in the gleam of tinsel, lights, candles, and … the intensive commercialism that accompany this mostly-magical time of year. Advertisers use this season to kick their campaigns into overdrive, and cannabis companies are no exception. 

Slick advertising is nice, but it doesn’t guarantee a good product. With cannabis and CBD growing ever more popular, more and more companies are seeking to make a quick profit on a booming market. That’s why we created our 2019 Holiday Gift Guide specifically with cannabis lovers in mind. 

We’ve put together a list of our favorite toker-friendly products ideal for gifting (or for dropping hints if you’re more about receiving). There’s something here for everyone, from the rugged outdoor stoner to the city-dwelling trendsetter — we even threw in a couple things for our furry friends as well. Our 2019 holiday gift guide offers a little something for everyone on your list.

Whether you need something for your Dead Head office Secret Santa or your sweet nan, who is skeptical of cannabis altogether but might use a bit of CBD for her arthritis pain, we’ve got you covered in our 2019 holiday gift guide for cannabis enthusiasts. We’ve also included items at varying price points to provide options for every budget. We’ll lay out what each item includes, where to find it, what we like about it, and who the item could benefit the most. 

2019 Holiday Gift Guide for Cannabis Lovers

Joy Organics Vape Pen

Joy Organics CBD Vape Oil Cartridge Lite Citrus Breeze Product Review

Perfect for even the most fastidious of CBD fans, the vape cartridges and pens offered by Joy Organics remain our favorites of the genre (and we’ve tried a lot of them). The oil within the high-quality cartridges contains MCT oil, full-spectrum CBD extract, and a proprietary blend of terpenes and flavonoids — and that’s it. No propylene glycol, no vitamin E acetate, no shady additives, just hit after hit of therapeutic CBD. The conscientious formulation of these vape cartridges makes them an absolute hit — and a necessity in our 2019 holiday gift guide

Our favorite flavor is the Citrus Breeze, which delivers a delicious puff of limonene and other soothing terpenes with each draw. Neither overly intense nor lacking in flavor, the Joy Organics vape cartridges are sure to delight even the most conscious of CBD consumers. They’re made with entirely organic ingredients using sustainable practices and minimal, recyclable packaging. Available individually or paired with a battery that’s ready to go out of the box, the vapor line from Joy Organics is truly a crowd-pleaser.

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Earth Medicine Micronized CBD Tinctures

Earth Medicine CBD lemon tincture

Ideal for the CBD skeptic in your life, the tinctures available from Earth Medicine are sure to please. Unlike traditional extracts, the CBD used in Earth Medicine’s lemon and mint tinctures is specially processed with bioavailability in mind. The resulting CBD is micronized, or broken down into tiny, tiny particles, making it much easier for your body to absorb and process. Our 2019 holiday gift guide wouldn’t be complete without these CBD tinctures.

The tinctures are available in two different flavors: lemon, for invigoration, and mint, intended to soothe. Both are equally delicious and can also be added to food and beverages for people who prefer ingestion over sublingual dosing. You could also use the tinctures to create a CBD care package in combination with their topical gel or  vapor kit. The entire product collection by Earth Medicine is individually physician-recommended and formulated with efficacy in mind.

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Joy Organics Skin Care Bundle

Joy Organics CBD Skin Care Bundle

For the skincare enthusiast (or the bougie Betty) on your list, nothing tops the Skin Care Bundle from Joy Organics. While it’s a bit pricey compared to most of our other 2019 holiday gift guide picks, the sumptuous bundle is worth the splurge. Geared toward those who take their skin care regimens seriously, each product is infused with a therapeutic dose of CBD to take self-care to a new level.

The bundle includes a hydrating day cream, a rich night cream, and two CBD-infused serums (one for the face, and another specially designed for the eye area). It also includes a sheet mask that combines organic CBD with humectant ingredients to soothe and soften skin. Perfect for pampering, the bundle is as beautiful as it is effective. 

If the entire bundle is a bit too much to throw down all at once, you can also purchase each component individually. It’s true that the products work most effectively together, but they still hold their own quite well. We especially like the night cream for dry skin, the day cream for normal or combination skin, and the serum for oilier skin types. You could also purchase a couple of sheet masks and bundle them with other pampering products to create a CBD spa experience on the go.

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cbdMD roll-on Pain Freeze

cbdMD CBD Freeze Pain Relief Roll-On 1500 mg Product Review

Our go-to product for near-instantaneous relief from chronic pain, the Pain Freeze from cbdMD is sure to be a useful gift. The product combines organic CBD with botanicals like peppermint, arnica, and tea tree to create a cooling sensation that numbs away pain quickly. The gel formula is contained in a convenient roll-on that places the product exactly where you want it, every time, without dripping or spilling. This roll-on is our top 2019 holiday gift guide pick for pain, inflammation, and swelling.

The product is available in varying dosage strengths, but we recommend the 1500 mg strength for the person on your list with pain that interferes with their daily lives. The hefty dose of CBD in this version provides more relief with less product — always a win. The lower dosage strengths might be a good fit for endurance athletes and others who routinely take their workouts to the limit. The goof-proof roll-on applicator also makes this topical an ideal gift for the accident-prone loved one on your gift list.

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Canna Comforts Prerolled Joints & Palm Wraps

Canna Comforts Preroll Hemp Flower Elektra Strain Review

For the die-hard stoner in your life who refers to CBD as “diet weed,” Canna Comforts might be a game-changer. The brand is dedicated to creating hemp flower strains that look, smell, taste, and smoke just like the top-shelf marijuana that inspired them. Select varieties of hemp flower are available in convenient prerolls, either as classic cones or luxurious palm wraps. A year-round favorite of ours, we couldn’t in good conscience leave Canna Comforts’ flower out of our 2019 holiday gift guide.

Canna Comforts carries an ever-evolving selection of quality hemp flower with varying cannabinoid profiles, so there’s quite literally something for everyone. If you don’t think a preroll is the way to go, you could test the waters with some CBD kief. It offers a perfect way to reap the benefits of CBD alongside any cannabis strain without committing fully to hemp flower — yet.

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Charlotte’s Web Pet Treats

charlotte's web cbd dog treats

If your holiday gift list includes a canine companion, the CBD pet treats from Charlotte’s Web might be just the thing for their stocking. The bite-sized soft chews go over well with even the pickiest of pooches and can be divided easily for small dogs. Made with a short list of  recognizable ingredients, the treats are also competitively priced, making them a win for your wallet, too.

Available in Calming and Cognition formulas, the treats contain 2.5 mg of CBD per serving. We like the calming version for nervous pups (or for scary situations, like thunderstorms and being home alone). The cognition formulation is intended to support brain health and development, making it a good choice for doggos young and old alike. 

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Hemp Bombs Tattoo Balm

hemp bombs tattoo balm

Perfect for that person who’s been hinting about wearing a size three hours in tattoos, the Tattoo Recovery Balm from Hemp Bombs will keep their ink looking pristine for years to come. The balm is formulated with dermatologist (and tattoo artist) approved ingredients to promote healing and keep colors vibrant. Our 2019 holiday gift guide wouldn’t be complete without this tattoo balm.

As ink enthusiasts ourselves, we’ve tested this tattoo balm pretty thoroughly, comparing it to our old standbys like Aquaphor and Cetaphil. We’re impressed enough to keep coming back to it again and again, for piece after piece. Pair the balm with a gift certificate for a session with a favorite artist to create a gift that they’ll actually treasure forever.

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Plus CBD Oil Softgels

PlusCBD Oil Gold Formula Hemp Softgels Product Review

Best suited for the regular CBD user who prefers to keep things simple, the CBD softgels from Plus CBD Oil have it all. Each softgel capsule contains a powerful therapeutic dose of CBD for lasting symptom relief without the herbal flavor. They’re vegetarian, vegan, and cruelty-free, making them accessible for people who choose not to consume animal products.

Available in varying dosage strengths, these softgels are also a good option for someone looking to try CBD, but unsure of where to start. The softgel format feels less intimidating than tinctures to many, and makes taking a daily dose of CBD feel more familiar. Pair them with a selection of delicious and wellness-conscious teas, snacks, or other treats for a thoughtful and supportive gift. 

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Restorative Botanicals Flavored Tinctures

restorative botanicals cbd tincture

While these tinctures offer many of the same benefits as other brands, it’s the flavor selection that brings them to mind for gift giving. The line of RestoreCALM CBD tinctures from Restorative Botanicals includes flavors like Chocolate Mint, Spice, and Chai, making them ideal additions to lattes, cappuccinos, and other beverages. The flavors are delightful and make these tinctures a shoe-in for our 2019 holiday gift guide.

The epicureans among us really enjoy these tinctures as an addition to snacks as well as beverages. They’re especially good for adding a therapeutic dose of CBD to otherwise civilian desserts and snacks. They can also help to spice up otherwise plain confections, like shortbread or butter cookies. With their organic formula and easy dosing, any of these tinctures will be a hit with the snack-happy stoner in your life.

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Seabedee Peach Ring CBD Gummies

seabedee cbd peach ring gummies

For a therapeutic dose of CBD in a familiar sweet, we love the CBD-infused peach ring gummies from Seabedee. Ideal for lovers of classic confectionery and old-school snackers alike, these peach gummies look, smell, and taste just like the candy shop staple. Unlike the sweet shop version, however, these contain a healthy dose of organic CBD to soothe and relax the mind and body.

These CBD gummies make a perfect treat that’s familiar without being too basic. An ideal intro to CBD for even the most reluctant person on your list, they’re a consistent crowd-pleaser. If your loved one isn’t into peach, you might consider the sour CBD gummy bears from Seabedee. Their neon colors and sour crystals give the gummies a bit of extra aesthetic flair that’s sure to delight.

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Canna Comforts Bath Bombs

Canna Comforts CBD Bath Bomb: Cavalier and Femme Fatal Product Review

For the self-care queen (or king!) in your life, few things beat the selection of bath bombs offered by Canna Comforts. Each bomb is crafted with organic, full-spectrum CBD blended with Epsom salts, essential oils, and skin-loving ingredients for a soak that’s therapeutic for body, mind, and spirit. 

Available in a broad selection of fragrances, each bomb contains a 20 mg dose of organic CBD for powerful relief. They hold up well against the competition, too, and could be a game-changer for even the most avid Lush fan on your list. Best of all, they’re competitively priced, so you can cop a few without breaking the bank. Add in a package of CBD salt soak or bath crumble for a complete CBD spa experience they’ll treasure.

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CBDistillery Vape Pens

CBDistillery CBD Vape Pen Grand Daddy Purp Product Review

For the OG stoner on your list, the Granddaddy Purp vape pen from CBDistillery is a guaranteed hit. The disposable vape pen combines organic CBD with a delicious blend of terpenes and flavonoids dissolved in triethyl citrate for safer vaporization. The result is hit after hit of sumptuous vapor that’s bursting with fruity Granddaddy Purp flavor.

Each pen contains 200 mg of organic CBD and costs under $35, with deals on multiple pens and occasional sales. Available in a variety of flavors, the pens can be purchased individually or in a sample pack of multiple flavors. These pens are ideal for providing a delicious and therapeutic dose of CBD that won’t break the bank.

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cbdMD Pet Tinctures

cbdMD CBD Oil for Dogs Product Review

CBD products for dogs and cats are growing in popularity, but what about other companion animals? Don’t get us wrong, we love our “basic” pets, but we also love guinea pigs, rabbits, goats, pigs, sheep, horses, donkeys, hamsters, rats, chinchillas, foxes… all the furry friends. With most CBD pet products targeted at only cats and dogs, where does that leave our other favorite critters? Our 2019 holiday gift guide wouldn’t be complete without something for them!

cbdMD’s line of pet tinctures is designed to benefit all creatures, great and small. In addition to their lines for dogs and cats, cbdMD also offers tinctures for small and large animals that allow any mammalian pet to reap the benefits of CBD. Our equine, bovine, and other ungulate friends love the apple flavor most, while smaller critters seem to prefer the natural iterations. cbdMD’s pet tinctures offer relief and comfort for companion animals across size and species.

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Hemp Bombs Beard Bundle

Hemp Bombs CBD Beard Balm Product Review

Perfect for beards from bushy to barely-there, the beard bundle from Hemp Bombs includes everything necessary to help your loved one elevate their beard care game. The bundle includes two components: a CBD-infused beard oil to hydrate hair for softness and shine, and a beard balm to improve texture and hold wayward hairs in place. Both products also help to condition skin, which can become neglected under a lustrous beard.

Both products can also be purchased individually, but we really like the way the oil and balm work together to improve manageability and support beard health (plus buying the bundle saves you a bit of coin). Easy on your budget and your loved one’s beard, this self-care bundle makes a great gift to keep the man in your life looking clean-cut and confident.

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Takeaway

There are plenty of wonderful gifts available for cannabis lovers of all stripes, from purists to early adopters and everyone in between. Our 2019 holiday gift guide offers a host of options for every type of person (or pet!) on your list. If you have a favorite product you think should make our ranks, drop us a line about where to find it and what you love about it. 

CBD Oil Tinctures for Sale

CBD Oil Tinctures For Sale

CBD oil tinctures are a liquid form of cannabidiol that are designed to be taken sublingually, or under the tongue. This delivery method offers the cannabinoid a direct path to the bloodstream through tiny blood vessels in the soft tissue of the mouth. This is said to increase efficacy and possibly decrease onset time by avoiding liver interaction.

However, we still lack research comparing this delivery method to others, and much of the research concerning CBD involves intravenous delivery of the cannabinoid. Still, CBD tinctures are probably the most well-known of all CBD products, and they offer the same anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving, system balancing effects that make CBD products so popular.

Each brand has its own take on CBD tinctures and some even offer multiple different formulas, potencies, and flavors. Tinctures are easily the most widely varying type of CBD product, which may be why they are the core of many people’s CBD wellness routine. 

You can get tinctures that feature a natural, whole hemp flavor, or choose one on the sweeter side. Find highly potent tinctures that offer doses of 100mg and higher, or try a milder tincture dose of 10mg to test the waters. Some CBD tinctures even include essential oils and other natural Ingredients to create targeted effects, so you can find CBD tinctures designed for symptoms related to anxiety, sleep, inflammation, and more.

Why Choose CBD Tinctures? 

CBD tinctures are a convenient dosing style in many ways, and they are probably the most popular dosing style for this reason. The liquid form of cannabidiol is easy to measure and dose as needed, so it’s a popular choice for beginners or anyone who wants to be able to micromanage their dosage. They also provide powerful, long lasting effects that make them a suitable choice for many symptoms of chronic conditions, and they are usually packaged in sturdy bottles with a measuring dropper attached that makes them useful for dosing on the go.

The peak onset time for tinctures can be up to 90 minutes, though you may begin to feel relief sooner. CBD tinctures have been known to offer impressively lengthy effects, and some may provide relief for 8 hours or more. For many people, two doses daily is enough to provide round-the-clock relief. 

CBD tinctures are systemic products that act as a hearty base for a multifaceted CBD regimen. When used with CBD topicals or vaporizers (which can bring near-instant relief), they may help provide relief from long-lasting, severe symptoms and sudden flares. 

CBD Tinctures Trusted Reviews

At Key To Cannabis, we think it’s crucial that consumers are well informed before making decisions regarding their CBD wellness routine. That’s why we carefully assess each brand according to strict guidelines before approval. Then, we really try each product so that we can write honest, trustworthy reviews. We hope that you can use the CBD tincture reviews below to help you discover  CBD products that truly make a difference. Then, try checking out other approved CBD products to manage ailments from other angles. 

Role of CBD for Cancer Pain Management: What Science Says

Cancer-related pain affects quality of life, routine activities, eating habits, sleep quality, and even the way you interact with loved ones. Pain management forms an important part of your overall cancer treatment, and opioid pain relievers are notoriously addictive and surprisingly ineffective against chronic pain. Medical cannabis, by contrast, shows promising potential against cancer pain.

Many cancer survivors will enthusiastically attest to the power of medical marijuana and CBD for cancer pain management. Their accounts share common themes: cannabis and CBD oil have been helpful in management of not just cancer and treatment-related pain, but also the side effects that accompany those treatments. It has even been claimed that marijuana can help cure cancer!

Those promises sound shiny and exciting… and maybe a bit too good to be true. Here, we turn to the most recent medical research on the role of CBD for cancer pain management. We’ll discuss the specifics outlined in the study and provide practical guidance for those interested in trying CBD as part of a pain management routine.

Research on CBD for Cancer Pain

Cannabis, which has been used as an herbal remedy for various illnesses for perhaps millennia, is now being embraced by Western medicine as a beneficial treatment for many different symptoms. With the exponential growth of the therapeutic use of cannabis and hemp products, researchers worldwide have engaged themselves in investigation of how cannabis can support the treatment of cancer.

Generally, the studies include both natural and synthetic cannabis products such as hemp oil, cannabis oil, and cannabinoids. Cannabinoids, the active ingredients present in marijuana, are complex substances derived from the cannabis plant. These help in regulation of our body’s biological functions by influencing the endocannabinoid system.

Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, better known as THC, is helpful in managing the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation. Cannabidiol, or CBD, is an non-psychoactive cannabinoid that has the potential to manage conditions such as cancer (and cancer-related pain) without the high THC gives.

Researchers have discovered that our bodies create their own cannabinoid-like chemicals called endocannabinoids. The cannabinoid receptors named CB1 and CB2 are present in different locations in our body and perform various functions when acted upon by endocannabinoids.

The CB1 receptors are concentrated in the brain and central nervous system, whereas CB2 receptors are found predominantly in the cells of the immune system. According to the researchers, both the endocannabinoids and cannabinoid receptors are involved in bodily processes like the heartbeat, regulation of the nervous system, pain signaling and perception, immune activity, and reproductive functions. This molecular multitasking allows these two receptors to mediate a wide range of symptoms and conditions ranging from neurodegenerative disorders to cancer. 

Recent Cannabinoid Research: CBD & Cancer

The research on whether cannabinoids can be used to treat cancer is ongoing and urgent. The cancer cells to be used in most of these studies are grown in the laboratory, in vitro. Animal models are also used to study the effect of cannabinoids on cancer cells. Recent research suggests that the cannabinoids have the following effects on cancer cells in the laboratory:

  • Stop cell division 
  • Trigger cell death through the apoptosis process
  • Prevent the spread of cancer cells by stopping cells from affecting the neighboring tissues
  • Accelerate the process of autophagy that leads to cell death

These effects, according to researchers, owe to the CB1 and CB2 receptors. Recent experiments conducted by administering high doses of THC to mice seemed to reduce the risk of spreading cancer cells. The use of high doses of THC can thus help in killing cancer cells. Existing scientific research suggests positive results after the use of cannabinoids derived from both cannabis plant and synthetic compounds. 

Complementary Cancer Therapy with CBD Oil

Generally, cancer treatment deteriorates the overall health of the patient, causing severe and often debilitating side effects. In such cases, the use of CBD oil can act as a complementary therapy to make the patient feel better. Most people undergoing cancer treatment claim that cannabis is helpful in management of side effects such as pain, poor appetite, nausea and vomiting, and cachexia.

There can be pain associated with cancer treatment, which is almost unbearable due to injury to the nerves, pressure upon the internal organs, and inflammation. Cannabis possesses anti-inflammatory properties and thus treats pain. THC works by acting on CB1 receptors and decreasing the pain that results from nerve damage. Apart from pain reduction, cannabis helps in reducing nausea and increasing appetite.

CBD oil can thus be very beneficial to cancer patients as a complementary treatment because it manages most of the side effects. It helps manage chronic pain, which in turn, enables patients to bear the cancer treatment process in a better way. 

 

http://theleafonline.com/c/politics/medical-use/2019/10/cannabis-and-cancer-what-does-the-research-show/

 

7 Amazing Anti-Aging Benefits of CBD

Aging, and particularly visible aging, is a complex topic in American culture. While some people embrace their laugh lines and gray hairs, whole industries are devoted to our desire to stay young in appearance. A relative newcomer to the beauty and skincare spheres, CBD may help to combat signs of aging. There are many anti-aging benefits of CBD waiting to be reaped in effective skin care routines. 

As we grow older, our trips around the sun start to show up more and more in our skin. Preventing the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, dark spots, and drooping can be daunting — and, in most cases, it’s impossible. Visible signs of aging are an inevitable part of life, but that won’t stop many of us from trying to delay them as long as we can.

While medical procedures like chemical peels, fillers, injections, and even surgery are used to reduce visible aging, these methods are invasive and expensive. As a result, many people are looking for new, healthy, natural ways to reduce the rate of visible aging without going under the knife (or needle).

While it’s usually thought of as a therapeutic ingredient, CBD appears to be a powerful tool to combat aging. The hemp-derived compound has many benefits for physical health, and these benefits may also apply to the skin. Even though it is best known for its analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and neuroprotectant properties, cannabidiol also plays a significant role in preventing aging. 

Here, we’ll break down the anti-aging benefits of CBD for skin and overall health, discussing the science behind each and offering some guidance on how to get the most from your dose.  

CBD Improves Sleep

Sleep is a significant factor when it comes to aging, and years of poor sleep add up on your face. Sleep deprivation can actually accelerate aging over long periods. Research suggests that individuals suffering from sleep disorders often appear older than those with better sleep habits.

This effect is likely due to the stress sleep deprivation causes to your cells and tissues, especially chronic lack of quality sleep.Studies indicate that lacking enough sleep can result in the degeneration of cells, accelerating the signs of aging and increasing the risk of illness — yikes! 

CBD helps improve sleep by encouraging relaxation, making it easier to fall asleep by reducing the heart rate and slowing racing thoughts. It also helps to keep your body in REM sleep, the phase of sleep during which you dream. REM sleep is crucial to waking up feeling rested and rejuvenated. That revitalizing feeling carries over to your skin as well, preventing damage and accelerating healing. 

CBD Induces Relaxation

Cannabidiol promotes relaxation, inducing a calm sensation of wellbeing and ease. It does this in three primary ways: first, CBD acts as an anxiolytic. It promotes a general sense of relaxation and soothes frazzled nerves, reducing the stress response by the mind and body. 

CBD has been found to reduce the body’s stress and inflammatory responses as well, which often show up in our skin in the form of breakouts, dryness, and hyperpigmentation. Topical CBD can help to address these issues directly in the skin, improving texture, tone, and brightness when used over time. 

Finally, CBD induces relaxation of muscles when applied to the skin. This action can help to prevent wrinkles when used over time, especially when applied to the face. And, while we’re on the subject of wrinkles in particular:

CBD Reduces Wrinkles

The most visible signs of aging appear on the skin in the form of wrinkles and fine lines. Starting as tiny crinkles in the skin, wrinkles gradually progress in depth and length over time. They exacerbate the loss of firmness and skin elasticity, making us look drastically older. 

CBD helps by increasing the production of collagen in the body. To do so, it reduces the rate at which collagen in the body is broken down. Since collagen is responsible for our skin’s elasticity, increasing collagen levels in the skin can lend a more youthful appearance.

Additionally, full-spectrum and broad-spectrum CBD contain essential nutrients that promote continuous cell regeneration, which improves your skin’s overall health and appearance. At the same time, it hydrates and adequately moisturizes the skin for a glowing, lit-from-within appearance.

CBD Protects Against Dementia 

Our skin is not the only area affected by aging. As we grow older, some of us will develop neurodegenerative conditions such as dementia, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s. Pharmaceutical therapies for these conditions can slow their progression, but often have severe side effects. Besides, there is no proven way to prevent diseases from advancing as we age.  

Medical marijuana high in CBD is demonstrated to reduce the symptoms of dementia and eliminate contributors that exacerbate neurodegenerative conditions. It stimulates different brain functionalities through its neuroprotective and regenerative properties. It is also rich in nutrients essential for brain health, including omega 3 and 6 fatty acids.

CBD Promotes Bone Health 

Bone health becomes an increasingly important issue as we advance in age. The body starts to synthesize bone minerals such as calcium differently, changing bone composition. This can lead to bone degeneration and other medical conditions, such as osteoporosis and arthritis.

CBD contains essential nutrients that help replace those lost to our changing metabolism. These include calcium and magnesium, as well as vitamin E, which helps make those nutrients bioavailable. CBD can help to alleviate the symptoms of osteoporosis and arthritis such as chronic pain and inflammation.   

CBD Relieves Inflammation

CBD aids in replenishing essential minerals in the body. It contains high levels of minerals such as calcium that improve healing and promote cellular regeneration. With additional nutrient content, full spectrum CBD promotes healing and recovery of the body from inflammation and injuries

Cannabidiol is an essential pain reliever due to its advanced interactions with the endocannabinoid system. The interactions help regulate different body systems and functionalities. As a result, they aid in reducing pain and provide relief from inflammation.

CBD Acts as an Antibiotic

The skin and body, in general, are continuously exposed to radical elements that can cause injury or infection. These include dust, extreme temperatures, rain, abrasion, laceration, and bacteria, among others. All these threats have different potential impacts on skin and personal health, but CBD may help to neutralize them. 

Cannabidiol contains antibacterial properties that aid in eliminating many types of bacteria from the skin;s surface. It cleanses and moisturizes, leaving skin protected from would-be invaders. CBD may help to relieve eczema, and studies indicate that it prevents overproduction of sebum. This action may also make it effective against many types of acne. 

Takeaway

Aging comes with many variables that are out of our control. However, that doesn’t mean that the aging process is totally out of our hands. The anti-aging benefits of CBD can be used to slow aging, improve quality of life, and support overall wellness. CBD delivers all of these anti-aging benefits with no severe side effects and zero risk of dependence or addiction. 

 

How Cannabis Helps With Arthritis

Arthritis is a common chronic health condition that refers to a number of distinct (but related) illnesses. By definition, it refers to a disease that causes joint inflammation and pain, often affecting the weight-bearing parts of the body. The common parts where arthritis is likely to attack are the spine, hips, and knees. However, other areas, such as the fingers, wrists, and toes, are also prone to attack. While the chronic joint pain is often resistant to pain management therapies, studies suggest that cannabis helps with arthritis pain and inflammation.

Contrary to what many people believe, arthritis can affect anyone of any age, from the very old to the very young. As a chronic condition, arthritis has no single cure. Instead, a selection of different medications and therapies are often prescribed to help manage the symptoms. If arthritis progresses unchecked, it can lead to impairment of movement and other body functions over time.

Numerous research and studies on medicinal cannabis brought to light its many health benefits. These benefits contributed to its increasing recognition as medication and growing legalization in the US. Here, we’ll discuss how cannabis helps with arthritis. We’ll lay out how the properties of medical cannabis can be applied to different types of arthritis to successfully alleviate symptoms.

Cannabis Acts as a Powerful Anti-Inflammatory

The two cannabis components (called cannabinoids) primarily responsible for the anti-inflammatory role of medical marijuana are cannabidiol (CBD) and caryophyllene. These two components differ from tetrahydrocannabinol (THC): they are not psychoactive, meaning that consuming them won’t cause a “high.” Caryophyllene and CBD function by activating the CB2 receptors, both directly and indirectly. These receptors are among the numerous receptors found in the endocannabinoid system

The endocannabinoid system is responsible for many vital regulatory functions within the body, such as sleep patterns, hunger and satiety, mood, immune response, temperature, pain perception and signaling, and inflammatory response. By acting on these receptors, medical cannabis can help to reduce the swelling associated with arthritis.

Science backs up the anecdotal reports of patients as well. A recent study demonstrated that the cannabinoids found in cannabis are up to 20 times more effective compared to aspirin at curbing inflammation. Additionally, THC can help in suppressing inflammation as it changes critical molecules during metabolism by the body.

Cannabis Helps to Manage Osteoarthritis (OA)

The term “osteoarthritis” refers to the damage of joint tissues (often over time, though causes vary). This damage can cause pain, and occurs when the cartilage wears off of the ends of bones, causing them to grind against each other. In healthy joints, the elastic cartilage serves to prevent these bone ends from friction against each other. In its absence, joints become painful, swollen, and stiff.

CBD oil, which can be derived from both marijuana and hemp, aids in the reduction of joint pain by acting as an anti-inflammatory and analgesic. CBD, and therefore cannabis, helps with arthritis pain by dulling pain perception and reducing the inflammation causing it. It also acts as a neuroprotectant, helping to prevent damage to nerves in osteoarthritic joints.

CBD also carries an added benefit for sufferers of rheumatoid arthritis (or RA). It works to suppress T-cell function, a major cause of the progression of RA (an autoimmune disease that causes the body to attack its own tissues). CBD can reduce this destruction of cartilage and joint tissues, protecting the body from further damage.

Cannabis Eases Anxiety & Depression

Arthritis is closely connected to anxiety and depression. This is because any form of arthritis can cause debilitating pain that can lead to feelings of despair. Also, anxiety and depression can worsen your arthritis. Thus, by managing anxiety and depression, you are on your way to curbing some of the common signs of arthritis.

Rates of anxiety and depression vary in people with arthritis depending on factors.  Some of the factors include the size of the population under study. Generally, the data points to the presence of anxiety and depression in two people among ten with arthritis. It is easy to understand why this pain has depressing effects on an individual.

People with medical cannabis prescriptions in many countries are allowed to grow their own hemp plants. Authentic sources such as ILGM US seed bank and many other stores have been allowing patients to grow these plants and utilize their pain-relieving effects to treat their severe anxiety caused by chronic pain.  

CBD Oil is rising in popularity due to its effectiveness in calming anxiety and depression. It does this by engaging with the brain’s receptors. CBD triggers the release of serotonin, a neurotransmitter responsible for regulating social behavior and mood. The effectiveness of CBD in calming anxiety can be seen in its reduction of social anxiety symptoms among people with a social anxiety disorder. The consumption of CBD oil not only reduced the anxiety in these patients but also altered how their bodies responded to stress.

Cannabis Helps with Arthritis & Sleep

Sleep deprivation is very prevalent among people with arthritis, affecting over 80% of sufferers across all types. It is mostly due to the stiff and aching joints, which makes it hard to get comfortable, fall asleep, and sleep through the night.

Poor sleep can increase your arthritic pain and also expose you to the likelihood of developing depression and disability. Sleep disruption affects pain. It is because sleep disruption leads to abnormalities in pain processing and its pathways. Hence, arthritis patients end up having a tougher time trying to sleep. 

You can use CBD for sleep to ease your anxiety, relieve your pain and inflammation, and it also interacts with melatonin in your system. Melatonin is a hormone produced by the pineal gland in the brain. Melatonin is sometimes referred to as the ‘darkness hormone’ because its production is triggered by darkness. The anxiolytic and hypnotic effects of CBD help reduce emotional and subconscious anxiety. Its anticonvulsant effects create a sense of relaxation in the body by minimizing muscle tension. Thus, the combination of CBD and melatonin can be very beneficial in improving sleep for people with arthritis.

Takeaway

Cannabis offers a safer and more natural approach towards managing different types of arthritis and the symptoms accompanying them due to its useful components. There are numerous ways you can consume Cannabis, depending on your preference. For pain in the joints, you may apply CBD Oil creams and gels on the skin. You can also ingest CBD by taking capsules or tinctures orally. Furthermore, you can have a bath rich in CBD products for extra refreshment. To manage your arthritis and any other medical condition, ensure you get the best CBD products available in the market from licensed sellers.

Conditions

You’ve probably heard  people raving about CBD’s effect on pain, inflammation, anxiety, or any of a number of other conditions. A highly beneficial cannabinoid with a number of therapeutic potentials, the evidence for the efficacy of CBD in treating inflammatory conditions is mounting. The reason CBD works for us (and for all other mammals) is the way it interacts with our bodies — specifically, with our endocannabinoid system. CBD engages with receptors of the endocannabinoid system (ECS), a complex system of receptors and chemical messengers that plays a role in most of the body’s regulatory and immune functions. 

Everyone has an endocannabinoid system, which has been linked to just about every crucial human function and process. These include memory, pain (both signaling and perception), the regulation of sleep and wakefulness, stress response, appetite, reproductive functions, temperature regulation, inflammatory response, and more. Once we understand the intimate relationship between the ECS and homeostasis (or equilibrium), CBD’s therapeutic potential starts to become more apparent.

This knowledge inspired researchers all over the world to begin closely examining CBD, a non-psychoactive component derived from cannabis, to see exactly how it acts on the body. Although research is still limited and more is always necessary, our team of cannabis experts and advocates work to maintain this selection of conditions that may respond positively to CBD. This includes not just sourcing and vetting information, but also updating it in accordance with emerging research.

In light of our mission to provide cannabis education and trustworthy CBD recommendations, we have intensively researched each condition below, providing links to each and every study we reference (and plain-language explanations of the findings). We’ll illustrate the scientific principles behind the benefits of CBD, defining any unfamiliar terms before explaining their significance to the therapeutic potential of CBD.

The heavily researched benefits of using CBD for some conditions, like pain, inflammation, and related conditions like arthritis, are fairly straightforward. Such conditions are relatively easy to discuss; epilepsy is one such condition for which CBD is gaining acceptance as an effective treatment.

Some conditions, however, may not have as immediately apparent a connection with the therapeutic potential of CBD. These might include conditions like ADHD, diabetes, depression, or certain skin care concerns. That isn’t to suggest that these conditions will not respond positively to treatment, however. For these conditions, we will discuss the mechanisms by which CBD acts on the affected systems of the body, and how this action might help to alleviate symptoms. 

Many conditions have piqued researchers’ interest, especially with mounting anecdotal reports of success with CBD flooding the media. Some research regarding the impact of CBD on these conditions already exists. Ongoing research is predicted to help explain why so many people are finding success when using CBD alongside cancer treatments, to manage concussions and brain injuries, or to manage disrupted sleep patterns due to insomnia or PTSD

After outlining the research, we take things one step further and provide our own recommendations for when and how to use CBD for each condition. This guidance includes ways to customize your CBD regimen to get the most from your dosing strategy. We’ve also included some product suggestions to guide you, selecting the most trusted items from our ever-evolving list of reviewed and approved CBD products. We also discuss multiple dosing strategies and how to combine them to most effectively target and eliminate symptoms.  

We aren’t doctors or medical professionals—just cannabis advocates and avid CBD users hoping to make a difference by sharing our experiences and knowledge with readers everywhere. We invite you to explore the menu below, browsing information on your symptoms to help give you the tools you need make radical changes in your health and wellness. If you have questions or concerns (especially about a chronic condition), reach out to our experts or try talking to your doctor about CBD

 

Is CBD Syrup Legal and Safe?

Since CBD products started gaining leverage, manufacturers have found hundreds of different ways to package this cannabis-derived molecule. From tinctures to topicals, consumers have plenty of different options for using CBD, and each delivery method has its own set of unique characteristics and benefits. 

One popular product is CBD syrup, a cough syrup-reminiscent remedy that is loaded with wholesome cannabidiol. But with all the buzz surrounding CBD’s parent plant, cannabis, people are skeptical and confused about what CBD products are, whether they are legal to buy, and how safe they may be. So, is CBD syrup legal? More importantly, is it safe? We’re here to clear up the cloud of confusion surrounding CBS syrup supplements so that you can find the best CBD products for you on your journey to all-natural wellness. 

What is CBD Syrup?

is cbd syrup legal and safe

CBD syrup is pretty much what it sounds like: a cannabidiol-infused supplement that’s the consistency of cough syrup. The liquid formulation makes this type of CBD product unique, as it’s more suitable for the elderly or children who need CBD but cannot easily take pills or use other types of products. For many, CBD syrup is a comfortable dosing method, since it is measured and taken just like other popular liquid medications. When using CBD for elderly people, the syrup is a straightforward and familiar delivery method that doesn’t invite anxiety the way that tinctures or vaporizers can. 

CBD syrup comes in all sorts of flavors and potencies, and you can find a CBD product that is the right strength for you to easily adjust doses to meet your needs. CBD syrup’s liquid formulation gives manufacturers a unique opportunity to use CBD nano-molecules, or smaller versions of the CBD molecule, which increases the bioavailability of the supplement. Some CBD syrups include additives and other natural ingredients that work with the CBD to target specific symptoms. For instance, you may find CBD syrups that are made for managing pain, while other CBD syrups may be designed for nighttime use and improving sleep. 

Is CBD Syrup Legal?

is cbd syrup legal and safe

The legality of CBD products is still a bit fuzzy for most, probably because of its relation to marijuana, which is still unfortunately labeled as a schedule one drug in the United States. However, updated regulation (mainly the Hemp Farming Bill of 2018) cleared away much of this confusion by separating “hemp” from “cannabis.” Hemp and cannabis are not one and the same, and CBD products sourced from industrial hemp (which contains less than 0.3% THC by definition) can now be legally manufactured and purchased in all 50 states. 

Does CBD Syrup Have Side Effects?

is cbd syrup legal and safe

In addition to confusion surrounding CBD’s legality, consumers are concerned about the safety of these types of products. Fortunately, the potential side effects of CBD are mild and rare. According to research, the most common side effects reported are tiredness, diarrhea, and changes to appetite and weight. Most often, CBD is regarded as safe, and most sources suggest that the benefits far outweigh any risks. For many, CBD boasts an array of beneficial health effects that helps them cope with daily ailments. 

Some people have even found success swapping out their pharmaceuticals for CBD, like using CBD for pain instead of opioids. Of course, you should never stop taking medications without your doctor’s approval, and your doctor’s guidance is the key to using CBD syrup and other CBD products safely and effectively. 

How to Safely Use CBD Syrup

is cbd syrup legal and safe

If CBD syrup sounds like the cannabidiol product for you, there are a few steps you can take to better ensure your safety and the efficacy of your CBD routine. First, always make changes to your health and wellness routine with your doctor’s guidance. Your doctor will be able to help you decide if CBD is right for you and what benefits you could reap from the supplement. 

Once you and your doctor have decided to move forward with a CBD routine, you can choose your CBD syrup. If you are new to CBD, you may want to choose a low potency syrup, which will make it easier to slowly adjust your dose. When you start taking your new CBD syrup, you can start slowly. Some sources recommend doses as low as 1mg per 10 pounds of body weight, but you can work with your doctor to choose a dose that works to fit your needs. 

When you start taking your CBD syrup, start with one dose. If starting with a low dose (and not a higher dose chosen by your doctor), you could slightly increase the dose every few days, giving plenty of time in between to monitor the effects. You may want to consider keeping a journal on your CBD experiences, which will provide a great reference for you and your doctor later if the dose needs to be adjusted. 

Although it is rare, drug interactions with CBD are possible, so you should be wary of taking CBD alongside any medications without your doctor’s approval. If you experience any adverse reaction after using CBD syrup, notify your doctor before continuing with your regular CBD doses. With careful consideration, CBD syrup offers a dosing method that could be suitable for anyone who benefits from CBD and could be just the wellness supplement you’ve been looking for. 

Takeaway

CBD syrups provide a refreshing break from the landscape of tinctures and softgels, offering a therapeutic dose of CBD in a familiar and palatable format. Syrups can be especially helpful to the elderly and very young, who can be a bit choosy. When considering a CBD syrup as a part of your wellness regimen, we suggest starting off at a lower dose (about 1 mg per 10 pounds of body weight) and increasing as needed. This strategy will help you find your ideal dose without wasting product unnecessarily.

Best CBD Companies of 2019

Perhaps you’ve been taking CBD for months or even years, or maybe you’re just beginning your foray into researching the cannabinoid for yourself. Regardless of your level of familiarity with CBD, you’ve likely heard a lot about it recently, and seen even more. But where can you find the best CBD companies and products in such a crowded market?

CBD is growing in popularity among the health-conscious community, especially as people seek alternatives to pharmaceutical drugs laden with side effects and potential for abuse. This surge in popularity has companies rushing to get while the proverbial getting is good, but how do you differentiate the substandard cash-grabbers from the best CBD companies with quality products?

While research is still ongoing, existing studies support broad potential applications for CBD; thus far, it has been shown to possess anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anticonvulsant, anxiolytic, antidepressant, antipyretic, and hypnotic (sleep-inducing, not trance-inducing) properties. Of course, more studies are needed (there is hardly such a thing as too much data), but the preliminary findings are compelling.

There is good evidence to support the efficacy of CBD against a wide range of symptoms, but these benefits can only be achieved with a quality CBD product. Therein lies the problem: with so many manufacturers out to make a quick buck off of health-conscious consumers and little to no regulation of CBD, it’s up to the consumer to do their homework before selecting a product.

That sounds nice in theory, but it works out to a lot of work for consumers. You can spend a lot of time sifting through companies selling garbage in a bottle before finding one that’s worth your while, and most of us just don’t have that kind of free time. To help take the guesswork out of your CBD search, we’ve compiled our list of the top 3 absolute best CBD companies out there. Here, we’ll briefly outline our selection criteria before detailing what we love about each company, our favorite products from each, and what makes them stand out from the competition. 

Our Selection Process

best cbd companies of 2019

In the interest of full transparency, we want to begin by outlining our criteria for selecting the best of the best of CBD providers. After all, it’s only fair that we’re all operating under the same definition of “best.” First, each of the companies here uses only domestically sourced, organic, non-GMO hemp for their products — and a few go so far as to grow their own hemp entirely. 

Second, the CBD used in the company’s products must be extracted using a safe and effective method. This includes an organic ethanol wash, as well as both subcritical and supercritical CO2 extractions, but not hydrocarbon extractions, which utilize potentially harmful chemicals like butane or propane to strip plant matter of its CBD. 

Third, the carrier oils used in the products must be safe and effective. These may include MCT oil, coconut oil, hemp seed oil, olive oil, or grapeseed oil. If a product does not contain a carrier oil (and isn’t formulated to be water-soluble), it doesn’t stand a chance against your symptoms, as the body cannot absorb CBD efficiently unless it is dissolved in an oil or fat, like MCT or coconut oils.

Fourth, each product the company produces must be batch tested for quality, purity, and potency. This means that every bottle should be 1) traceable to the batch it came from, 2) contain the level of CBD and other active ingredients it claims, and 3) free of harmful compounds like heavy metals or pesticides. Furthermore, these results should be confirmed by an independent (not affiliated with the company or any of its subsidiaries) laboratory — we’re all for in-house testing, but it must be confirmed through independent analysis to be considered valid.

Finally, as a vapor-specific consideration, any vapor products the company creates must be free of PG. Because of its tendency to degrade into known carcinogens like formaldehyde, arsenic, and benzene at high temperatures, we avoid PG (the abbreviation for propylene and polyethylene glycol) in vapor products altogether and encourage our readers to do the same. Each vapor product from the brands listed below is free of PG and other compounds currently understood to present health risks.

Joy Organics

best cbd companies of 2019

Joy Organics is a standout among CBD providers for a couple of reasons: for starters, they’re part of a movement among the CBD community committed to creating products entirely free of THC. Joy Organics accomplishes this through a proprietary technology which removes THC from their extracts while leaving CBD and other cannabinoids, along with the hemp’s terpene and flavonoid profile, intact. 

The result is a “broad spectrum extract” that’s somewhere between full spectrum and isolates. For people concerned about the potential impact of CBD on a drug test, choosing THC-free products like those from Joy might be the perfect solution. Joy’s line packs an intensive therapeutic punch, from their softgels and oils (the lemon flavor is seriously delicious) to their high-end skin care line.

Oh yeah, did we mention that Joy Organics makes a complete line of CBD-infused products for your skin? While there are CBD skin care products out there, many do not live up to the hype or don’t contain the same ingredients and concentrations their labels claim. Joy’s line is different — each product contains an intense dose of CBD (triple or even quadruple the amounts in competing products) combined with organic, botanically-derived supporting ingredients to improve the look, feel, and general health of your skin.

While it’s true that the line is a little pricey, our bougie side enjoys the indulgence — and the products don’t play. The anti-inflammatory properties of CBD really shine when applied to the face, reducing redness, hyperpigmentation, and puffiness while improving skin texture and condition. We especially like the Day and Night Creams, and the CBD Sheet Mask is the perfect skin pick-me-up before a big event. If you’re into high-end skin care, slide the Tatcha and La Mer to the side for a week and give Joy Organics a try. 

Based in Colorado, Joy uses organic, non-GMO hemp and a food-grade ethanol extraction process (one of the only companies in the world to use food-grade ethanol) to produce their broad spectrum extracts. That extract is then pressed to remove undesirable plant solids like waxes or resins, then subjected to a nanoemulsion process that substantially improves the bioavailability of the finished product. Then, the resulting extract is used to formulate their oral, vapor, and topical products. In the case of their vape oils (which are some of the best we’ve tried to date), a proprietary blend of terpenes is added to enhance the flavor of the CBD oil within. 

Joy Organics’ founder, Joy Smith, created the company in response to the lack of regulation that dominates the CBD industry. Joy holds her company to exceedingly high standards of quality, purity, and potency, using organically derived, all-natural ingredients in support of the therapeutic doses of organic CBD in each product. We’ve had exemplary results with Joy’s products and, while they’re on the higher end of the CBD pricing scale, they’re well worth every cent.

Canna Comforts

best cbd companies of 2019

Where most CBD companies focus their efforts on extracting CBD from hemp to make their products, Canna Comforts seeks to give it to their customers straight from the source as hemp flower that looks, smells, tastes, and smokes just like the top-shelf, high-THC strains that inspired them. Organically grown in Colorado using sustainable agricultural practices, each of the strains offered by Canna Comforts are surprising in the best way — we’ll admit, we were skeptical going in, but our opinion changed in a hurry.

Jamie Evans founded Canna Comforts in Colorado after using high doses of cannabinoids to defeat a cancer that doctors had told him would require him to be on chemotherapy for the rest of his life. Rather than resign himself to life in and out of a hospital, Jamie went to Colorado and teamed up with medical and cannabis experts to treat his cancer with cannabis, monitoring his condition and the cannabinoid profiles of the treatments they were using. 

The intensive treatment process got Jamie interested in the therapeutic benefits of not just CBD, but CBN, CBG, and CBC, as well as the terpenes and flavonoids that make up the complete profile of the hemp flower. As he healed, he began to create his own strains of hemp flower, focused on a broad-spectrum terpene profile and an unparalleled smoking experience. 

Each of Canna Comforts’ strains (Wife is a favorite of ours for general purposes, with Special Sauce for pain and Elektra for anxiety) delivers an enjoyable user experience and a powerful dose of therapeutic cannabinoids. While they also make an excellent range of extract-based products (check out the bath bombs or the grapefruit salt scrub for an indulgent and restorative soak, or have a gummy to soothe pain), their flower is exceptional and one of our favorite ways to quickly and effectively alleviate pain without the intoxicating effects of THC.

Canna Comforts tests each harvest of their flower, as well as the finished products they make with it, and holds their products to high standards of quality. The company is also committed to sustainable business and cultivation practices, operating in a way that is ecologically conscious. 

A bowl of hemp flower from Canna Comforts guarantees a flavorful, pleasurable, medicinal experience packed with beneficial cannabinoids and terpenes. The diverse array of cannabinoid profiles provides the opportunity to match your strain with your needs and symptoms, creating more variety and the chance to customize your CBD experience. Canna Comforts’ products are organic, sustainable, potent, full-spectrum, effective, and affordable — the total package.

CBDistillery

CBDistillery CBD Vape Pen Grand Daddy Purp Product Review

CBDistillery was founded by a group of Colorado natives (are you noticing a pattern here?) to provide affordable, high-quality CBD to patients everywhere. Focused on providing safe, organic, potent, plant-based medicine at a price that makes it possible for everyone to safely and effectively treat symptoms associated with a wide variety of conditions, CBDistillery carries both full-spectrum and isolate-based products in a wide variety of formulations — there is, perhaps literally, something for everyone.

CBDistillery’s process begins with organic, sustainably farmed, US-grown, non-GMO hemp, which is tested for cannabinoid content and any contaminants prior to extraction. After extraction (using an organic ethanol process for isolate-based products and supercritical CO2 extraction for full-spectrum products), the resulting concentrate is used to formulate CBDistillery’s wide array of oral and topical products.

CBDistillery is interesting in that it has so many different products available. There are the usual suspects like CBD softgels and tinctures, along with topical pain creams and PG-free vape pens (disposables here). However, their line also includes Terpsolates, a blend of 99% pure CBD isolate and beneficial terpenes, both wax and slab CBD dabs, and even a CBD suppository (which we giggled at to begin with, but could actually be a hugely beneficial way to alleviate severe symptoms very quickly in some consumers). As an added bonus, CBDistillery has a discount program for veterans and active duty military personnel (find details on the program here).

For those seeking potent, pure, organic, botanically-derived medicine, CBDistillery is an excellent source of therapeutic products at a reasonable price. Their attention to detail and customer-focused product line creates many opportunities for customizability and allows you to choose the perfect product for your needs and symptoms. The CBDistillery team is committed to helping their customers change their lives for the better with CBD they can trust.

Takeaway

With so many different brands and products vying for your dollar, choosing the best CBD brands can be difficult. We at Key to Cannabis seek to help narrow the field, making choosing the best CBD company easier for our readers. Whether you’re in need of CBD tinctures, softgels, topicals, or organic hemp flower, our top CBD companies have everything you need to take charge of your health and wellness today.

 

Best CBD Gummies of 2019

We are firm believers that, while CBD possesses well-documented therapeutic properties, not all CBD products are created equal. So, just how should consumers discern what is of high quality and what is potentially useless — or even actively harmful? What are the best CBD gummies of 2019, and what are just, well, the rest?

With very little federal regulation for CBD companies, we have made it our mission to make brand accountability a priority by independently testing all types of products from a consumer’s perspective. We have a strict vetting process that brands are required to pass before we recommend them to consumers to ensure their CBD is not only safe, but of top notch quality:

  1. Companies must use an organic starting material.
  2. They must implement safe and effective extraction methods.
  3. Carrier oils must also be safe and effective.
  4. Companies must batch test their products for potency and safety.

Using the above criteria, as well as testing every product ourselves, we are able to curate a list of what we believe are the best CBD gummies of 2019.

What is a CBD Gummy?

best cbd gummies of 2019

Like other ingestible forms of CBD, gummies are an easy way to get your daily measured dose of CBD that lasts for several hours – perfect for managing pain and acute flare ups, as well as for regulating mood. However, because effects come as the body metabolizes the CBD, it will take about an hour or two to start feeling the full benefits of relief.

Moreover, CBD gummies are a delicious and fun way to ingest CBD. Gummies come in all different shapes, sizes, doses, and flavors, so odds are there’s a CBD gummy out there to fit your needs. We suggest taking one to two gummies every morning as a daily supplement to encourage overall health and well-being.

Our Favorite CBD Gummies:

Canna Comforts Full Spectrum CBD Gummies

best cbd gummies of 2019

Why We Love It:

We love Canna Comforts as a company for their commitment to responsible, sustainable policies throughout their business model. The strains they grow are organic and non-GMO, and loaded with medicinal benefits and cannabinoids.

As for the Full Spectrum CBD Gummies, the onset of effects is a smooth transition, as gummies are a relatively small dose of 10mg of CBD. If you’re looking for stronger effects, it’s perfectly safe to take two gummies together – you’ll notice more uplifting effects that last a few hours longer.

Unlike many CBD products, these gummies are full spectrum, meaning they include a wider range of cannabinoids present in the hemp plants rather than a pure CBD isolate. Cannabinoids offer different medicinal effects, meaning that full spectrum products can provide greater relief than just CBD, depending on the ailments you’re trying to treat. This varied cannabinoid profile, combined with their delicious taste and conscious creation, make these some of the best CBD gummies of 2019.

Best Used For:

Keep in mind that these Full Spectrum CBD Gummies will take about 90 minutes to take effect. They can be useful for insomnia or easing pains that prevent sleep, but make sure to take them far enough in advance that effects are felt at the desired time. While these are great for all-day relief, Full Spectrum CBD Gummies are not recommended for patients who need immediate relief.

Because it doesn’t offer targeted relief like topical applications of CBD, these gummies are felt in about 60 minutes and can last for about eight hours. If you take one in the morning and feel the effects wear off come afternoon time, feel free to take another gummy to keep you going.mmies are great for managing multiple conditions thanks to CBD’s anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving, and relaxing effects that last half the day or more.

Nature’s Script Hemp Extract CBD Gummies

best cbd gummies of 2019

Why We Love It:

Nature’s Script’s products easily pass our vetting process, thanks to their quality and effectiveness. The company’s products are made of pure CBD isolate and contain no THC, making them legal in all states. They also use organic hemp grown sustainably and responsibly by experienced hemp farmers.

When it comes to the Hemp Extract CBD Gummies, they’re not only delicious, but also have noticeable effects even after ingesting just 15mg. Nature’s Script also adds white and willow bark and turmeric, which are known for their natural pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory effects.

Best Used For:

These gummies are particularly useful for anxiety, depression, and stress, offering an overall sense of well-being and calm. Besides mental wellness, they also helped to ease chronic pain and inflammation associated with conditions such as arthritis, muscle tension, and menstrual cramps.

Pure Relief Cannabidiol Night-Time Gummy Bears

best cbd gummies of 2019

Why We Love It:

Pure Relief’s entire line of products also come with the full-spectrum benefits of a complete cannabinoid profile. Everything they sell is legal, and their potent CBD offers lasting relief from a variety of ailments and symptoms.

Their CBD Night-Time Gummy Bears are great for providing an overall sense of relaxation, while helping to easy aches and pains to aide you in drifting off to sleep. They’re loaded with 30mg of CBD per gummy – a strong dose that will offer intense relief.

Best Used For:

CBD Night-Time Gummy Bears contain melatonin – a hormone naturally produced in the body that helps to regulate the sleep cycle. In this way, they are definitely best used to help you get a good night’s sleep. Effects will take one to two hours to kick in and last for over four hours. If you plan on incorporating these into your daily bedtime routine, be sure to take them as you would a regular sleeping pill, about an hour before bedtime.

 

Best CBD Capsules of 2019

As a company, we believe that while CBD has demonstrable health benefits for many, not all CBD products carry equal therapeutic potential. Through the use of different extraction methods, varying soil conditions, and certain corporate values, CBD comes in all sorts of qualities. How do you discern the best from the rest? Here, we examine the best CBD capsules available on the market.

Because there’s very little federal regulation for CBD companies, we have made it our mission to make brand accountability a priority for this industry. We independently test all types of products from a consumer’s perspective, using a strict vetting process that brands are required to pass before we recommend them to consumers. By following these guidelines, we ensure that CBD is not only safe, but of top notch quality:

  1. Companies must use an organic starting material.
  2. They must implement safe and effective extraction methods.
  3. Carrier oils must also be safe and effective.
  4. Companies must batch test their products for potency and safety.

Using the above criteria, as well as testing every product individually, we have created a list of the best CBD capsules of 2019. We’ll talk about what makes them special, where to find them, and how they can help you achieve your wellness goals. 

What is a CBD Capsule?

best cbd capsules 2019

CBD capsules (or gelcaps) typically use an organic medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) coconut oil carrier along with a CBD extract. The MCT oil allows cannabinoids to more easily and quickly interact with the body. Like a tincture, CBD capsules are ingested orally – however, gel caps can be considered simpler to take, similar to taking a multivitamin every day.

The effects of CBD capsules last for several hours and can be felt throughout the day. However, it should be noted that relief is not usually felt for at least an hour. While relief is long-lasting, it is certainly not immediate.

Our Favorite CBD Capsules

NutraCanna CBD Daytime Tablets

best cbd capsules 2019

Why We Love It:

As a company, we appreciate NutraCanna for their commitment to working with small, sustainable family farms and their focus on minimizing their environmental impact. They use locally sourced hemp from organic, non-GMO farms that is held to rigorous testing standards.

When it comes to their CBD Daytime Tablets, we think they’re particularly useful first thing in the morning. Each tablet comes with 10mg of CBD and should be thought of similar to a cup of joe – while they won’t make you jittery the way caffeine will, some of us require more coffee than others to begin feeling the effects. Because it is virtually impossible to overdose from CBD, feel free to experiment with the number of tablets that provide you with desired effects.

Unlike traditional gel caps, these CBD Daytime Tablets are fast dissolving, and effects can be felt in about 15 minutes. We started to feel an enhanced sense of focus as well as more energetic. When taking just one tablet, CBD was effective for about five hours – giving you plenty of time to ease your way into the afternoon. And if you find you still need a little boost come lunch time, it’s perfectly safe to take another dose and still make it to bed on time.

Best Used For:

As implied by the name, the CBD Daytime Tablets are best taken as a morning supplement. Keep in mind that they kick in faster than most CBD capsules, making them a scent-free, non-inhaled alternative to products such as CBD flower or vape carts.

Tablets are made using CBD isolate rather than a full-spectrum product, meaning they are completely THC-free and will not show up on a drug test.

Biofield CBD Gel Capsule

best cbd capsules of 2019

Why We Love It:

Biofield uses only organic, US-grown, non-GMO hemp to extract a CBD isolate used for all products. Everything they sell is certified THC-free, proven through batch testing by an independent laboratory.

Compared to the NutraCanna CBD Daytime Tablets, these CBD Gel Capsules are much stronger at 25mg of CBD in each dose. The effects of CBD can be felt within an hour or two and last for up to six hours.

Best Used For:

Due to their strength, these CBD Gel Capsules are extremely helpful when it comes to stress and anxiety, offering patients an overall improvement of mood. Moreover, they can help with full-body pain relief when a topical CBD application would be ineffective.

As a gel capsule, it’s also an efficient way to give a precise dose of CBD – which is particularly useful with conditions such as autism, epilepsy, and neurological and inflammatory diseases that require constant monitoring.

Joy Organics CBD Soft Gel

best cbd capsules 2019

Why We Love It:

As a brand, we proudly support Joy Organics  for their organic, sustainable CBD growing techniques. Their domestic, locally-grown hemp is extracted using an organic, food-grade ethanol wash for safety, purity, and potency before being lovingly formulated into therapeutic products like these.

These CBD Soft Gel capsules are available in both 15mg and 25mg strengths. Effects can be felt after about 45 minutes and last a bit longer than the other two CBD capsules we’ve mentioned – up to eight hours, depending on your metabolism.

Best Used For:

These CBD Soft Gels are great for mood enhancement and relaxation – while you may feel tension release from your body, they are not quite strong enough to make you feel sleepy or sedated.

These Soft Gels are also good for treating chronic, constant conditions, such as anxiety, depression, inflammation, PTSD, and pain. Because effects last so long, we suggest taking one in the morning and redosing only if necessary throughout the day.

 

Best CBD Pain Salves of 2019

We firmly believe in the therapeutic potential of CBD, but we also understand that not all CBD products are as effective as they claim. So, how do we discern the best from, well, the rest? How do you separate the best CBD pain salves from the ones that aren’t worth your time or money? 

With very little federal regulation for CBD companies, we at Key to Cannabis have made it our mission to make brand accountability a priority by independently testing all types of products from a consumer’s perspective. We have a strict vetting process that brands are required to pass before we recommend them to consumers to ensure their CBD is not only safe, but of top notch quality:

  1. Companies must use an organic starting material.
  2. They must implement safe and effective extraction methods.
  3. Carrier oils must also be safe and effective.
  4. Companies must batch test their products for potency and safety.

Using the above criteria, as well as hand-testing every product individually, we’ve put together a list of what we feel are the best CBD pain salves of of 2019. We’ll tell you what we like about them, where to find them, and who they’ll benefit most.

What is a Pain Salve?

best cbd pain salves of 2019

Salves are CBD infused creams or gels that get applied directly to the skin, or “topically.” They offer relief to specific areas of the body that may be suffering from pain and inflammation, and even chronic conditions such as eczema.

Patients opt for pain salves when treating muscle and joint pains in specific, localized areas of the body. Relief from CBD in this form can be felt in 10 to 15 minutes – significantly faster than the 45 to 60 minutes it can take for ingested CBD in the form of an edible or gel capsule to take effect. Relief from pain salves can last for hours, and because there is no chance of overdosing on CBD, they can be re-applied throughout the day as necessary.

We suggest pain salves for patients suffering from general aches and pains, as well as those suffering from more serious chronic conditions such as arthritis, cancer, or autoimmune disease.

Our Favorite Pain Salves

Joy Organics CBD Salve

best cbd pain salve of 2019

Why We Love It:

As a brand, we proudly support Joy Organics for their organic, sustainable CBD growing techniques. They use Colorado-grown organic hemp for each product and easily passed our strict vetting process.

The effects of their CBD salve are strong and noticeable. Effects can be felt in as little as five minutes, with full effects delivered after about 20 minutes. We suggest applying a good amount of the salve on the affected area – the more you apply, the longer the effects will last.

Unlike some CBD Pain Salves, this one does not produce an icy/hot sensation – making it less noticeable but just as effective. We also appreciate that this salve uses organically grown hemp as a starting material. Further, all ingredients are plant derived, meaning there are no chemicals involved in the making of this product.

Best Used For:

We like to use the CBD salve rub on strained and tired muscles. Whether returning from a tough workout at the gym or simply feeling the effects of aging, this product offers quick, lasting relief to targeted areas on almost any part of the body.

While salves that include THC as well as CBD have been found to be more effective, we still stand behind the CBD salve from Joy Organics and appreciate the fact that it is a CBD-only product.

Biofield CBD Rapid Cooling Pain Cream

best cbd pain salves of 2019

Why We Love It:

Biofield is committed to using organic, US-grown, non-GMO hemp and ensures that the CBD isolate it uses is at least 99% pure. Their products are completely THC free, and the CBD they use is legal in all 50 states because it’s sourced through a federally protected hemp program that requires third-party testing.

As for their Rapid Cooling Pain Cream, we love this product because it uses menthol, which offers additional relief in the form of a cooling, analgesic effect. It also uses aloe, making it effective not only as a strong pain reliever, but also useful for flaky, dry skin. Effects are felt almost immediately and last throughout the day, as CBD is absorbed into the skin and goes to work on specific affected areas.

Best Used For:

Not only is the Rapid Cooling Pain Cream useful as a strong pain reliever, but it also helps with rashes, dryness, and other skin conditions that cause inflammation. It’s full of hydrating ingredients, making it useful for conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, and even bouts of poison ivy.

We suggest using this product for bodily aches and pains where and when it’s needed. Due to the use of menthol, it is particularly effective in helping to reduce joint pain and sore muscles.

cbdMD CBD Recover Inflammation Cream

best cbd pain salves of 2019

Why We Love It:

cbdMD also uses hemp that’s organically grown in the United States. When plants are harvested and transported for testing, cbdMD carefully tracks each batch in order to ensure every product it produces meets their strict quality standards. Moreover, cbdMD encourages responsible cultivation that produces the lowest carbon footprint possible, making them sustainable as well.

As for the CBD Recover Inflammation Cream, we love this product for how gentle it is on damaged skin. It contains aloe vera and coconut oil, which help to soothe the skin and lock in moisture for severely dry and irritated skin. Relief can be felt within just a few minutes, leaving targeted areas feeling refreshed and pain relieved for up to six hours.

Best Used For:

Because it doesn’t give off a cooling sensation offered by products with menthol, like the Biofield Rapid Cooling Pain Cream, it is particularly useful for sensitive ailments like burns, healing scrapes, and irritated skin rashes caused by different medical conditions.

No product should be applied to open wounds, but we find this product particularly useful for dulling itchy, inflamed skin around healing cuts and sores. The CBD Recover Inflammation Cream also helps to reduce redness and swelling, and best effects are reached when applied regularly.

 

Best CBD Tinctures of 2019

At Key to Cannabis, we believe in the therapeutic power of CBD. At the same time, we also recognize that the explosive growth of CBD in health and wellness spheres has encouraged all kinds of companies to enter the market — including some that are less than reputable. How are you supposed to separate the best from, well, the rest? Through the use of different extraction methods, varying soil conditions, and certain corporate values, CBD comes in all sorts of qualities. How, then, can you be sure you’re using the best CBD tinctures, salves, gummies, and other products?.

Due to the lack of comprehensive federal regulation for CBD companies, we have made it our mission to make brand accountability a priority for this industry. We independently test all types of products from a consumer’s perspective, using a strict vetting process that brands are required to pass before we recommend them to consumers. By following these guidelines, we ensure that CBD is not only safe, but of top notch quality:

  1. Companies must use an organic starting material.
  2. They must implement safe and effective extraction methods.
  3. Carrier oils must also be safe and effective.
  4. Companies must batch test their products for potency and safety.

Using the above criteria, as well as testing every product ourselves, we have created a list of the best CBD tinctures of 2019 We’ll discuss what makes them stand out, why we support the product, and who might benefit the most from it.

What is a CBD Tincture?

best cbd tinctures of 2019

A CBD tincture is a liquid CBD concentrate that is taken orally with an under-the-tongue application. While some tinctures use an alcohol base, we recommend products that use a coconut or MCT oil base that allows for easy and quick absorption of CBD into the body.

Tinctures are applied under the tongue because it’s the quickest way for CBD to absorb into the bloodstream. Hold the liquid under the tongue for a few seconds before swallowing. While it starts getting to work within seconds, effects of CBD usually take anywhere from 15 to 60 minutes to fully kick in – and they can last anywhere from four to eight hours.

Our Favorite CBD Tinctures:

Canna Comforts CBD Iso Oil 1000mg

best cbd tinctures of 2019

Why We Love It:

We love Canna Comforts as a company for their commitment to responsible, sustainable policies throughout their business model. The strains they grow are organic and non-GMO, and loaded with medicinal benefits and cannabinoids.

When it comes to the CBD Iso Oil, we love this product for its strong, long-lasting effects. It’s suggested that you start with a half dropper-sized dose to start, or 20mg. Relief is strong for over an hour, with lingering effects for several hours to follow. It can easily be taken along with your morning orange juice or coffee to help you get your day started.

While there are other CBD isolate products on the market, we like the Iso Oil for its easy and mess-free application compared to powdered forms.

Best Used For:

As a 1,000mg tincture, this CBD Iso Oil is stronger than many products on the market, so its pain relieving and anti-inflammatory effects are very noticeable and hard-working. It’s great for many chronic conditions thanks to its strength, and patients can distribute accurate dosages with the dropper.

Because it uses a CBD isolate as well as added terpenes for more medicinal benefits, the product is completely THC-free and won’t show up on a drug test.

CBDistillery CBDrop Full Spectrum CBD Oil

best cbd tinctures of 2019

Why We Love It:

As a company, we recommend CBDistillery for their high-quality, affordable, hemp-derived CBD products. The hemp they use is grown organically outdoors according to sustainable agricultural practices. All plants are free from pesticides and herbicides and are non-GMO.

The CBDrop Full Spectrum Oil utilizes the whole-plant hemp extract, meaning it offers slightly different and arguably stronger effects than a CBD isolate product. However, CBDrops contain no more than 0.3% THC, so don’t expect any psychoactive effects. It’s also flavorless, making it easy to add to drinks or smoothies for a more tasty application.

Best Used For:

Effects are felt within 30 to 90 minutes and last around 6 hours. Effects are both calming and uplifting, offering an overall sense of mental wellness and relaxation.

Moreover, the Full Spectrum Oil helps to relieve chronic pain and soothe inflammation that topical creams cannot help with. Effects are felt all over and for several hours, and patients can re-dose throughout the day as necessary. CBD tinctures are easy to use, making this a viable option to treat chronic illnesses such as neurological disorders as well as cancer-related pain and sickness.

Joy Organics CBD Tincture 500 mg

Why We Love It:

We appreciate Joy Organics for their commitment to the diligent testing of both extracts and finished products. Everything they sell is organic, non-GMO, and made from American-grown hemp.

This 500mg CBD Tincture offers a relatively lower dose compared with other products (about 17 mg per dropper dose), but it’s perfect for some patients who only need subtle relief to keep them going throughout the day. 

Best Used For:

Effects can be expected slightly sooner than some tinctures of higher dosages, with relief felt in about 30 to 45 minutes and lasting for around eight hours.

While it’s not a turbo-strong tincture, its effects are definitely noticeable. It’s great for mild pain and inflammation, or for helping to relieve symptoms of anxiety. The CBD Tincture can be taken first thing in the morning to help get you through the day, or before bed to help ease you into a peaceful sleep.

 

 

How to Choose the Best CBD Company

CBD is a huge topic of discussion among the health-conscious community; as many Americans look for alternatives to opioids, benzodiazepines, antidepressants, and other pharmaceuticals, the non-psychoactive cannabinoid has garnered attention for its efficacy and safety. Finding the best CBD company, however, can be daunting.

While there are still many questions to be answered about the specific mechanisms by which CBD affects the body’s systems, current research indicates that CBD possesses anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anxiolytic, antipyretic, antidepressant, and neuroprotective properties that may be used to treat a wide variety of symptoms (for more on the effects of CBD on the body, check out our in-depth article on the molecule’s uses and applications). 

Because of its potentially broad application, many people are eager to cash in on their corner of the CBD market. If you’ve searched for CBD online, you’ve likely noticed an overwhelming abundance of retailers, each claiming that their product is going to cure you whatever is ailing you. However, many of those slick marketing campaigns are not to be believed — inside that spiffy packaging are often inferior products, and even ingredients that could be harmful to consumers.

Since CBD is treated more like a supplement than a medication (and therefore not regulated by the FDA for purity and potency), it’s not advisable to trust what you see on the label or a company’s website. But if you can’t believe what you see or hear at face value, how can you be certain that you’re receiving a product that is safe, effective, and lives up to its label?  

Here, we’ll lay out our top criteria for choosing a CBD supplier. We’ll give you insight into what specific words and phrases to look for, how to use independent lab results to learn more about the product, and potentially problematic practices and ingredients to watch out for. We’ll also lay out the “why” for each of our criteria, so that you are able to make an informed decision based on what is most important to you.

First: Use Only Domestic, Organically Grown Starting Material 

how to choose the best cbd company

We list this criterion first because it is important for several different reasons: first, the use of only organic hemp material minimizes your risk of exposure to potentially harmful pesticides, herbicides, or heavy metals in the finished product. By choosing to purchase organically-grown CBD over products of questionable origin, you are protecting yourself from trace compounds that could be harmful to you or your family and selecting a safer product. 

Secondly, organically grown plants are better for the environment and more sustainable than industrial farming. This is because these plants are grown without pesticides and herbicides, which often necessitates more natural forms of pest and weed control that are gentler on local ecosystems (or even work to actively support them). Organic farming helps to incentivize the adoption of sustainable agricultural practices, helping companies reduce their impact on the environment and the communities they serve. 

We always appreciate when a company demonstrates their commitment to sustainable agriculture and energy sources, but simply choosing to grow hemp organically (or to only purchase hemp from certified organic farmers) is an excellent way to reduce a company’s environmental impact — and therefore the carbon footprint associated with consumption of their products. 

While it’s true that 71% of carbon emissions are produced by just 100 companies in the world  and no level of responsible personal consumption is enough on its own to offset that impact, choosing organically derived products (CBD included) helps keep you and your loved ones safer while supporting companies that are working to address sustainability concerns. 

We specify that the hemp should come from a US grower because the standards for organic produce in China and the EU (the two most commonly listed sources for CBD products) are not as rigorous as those of the United States. Hemp from these places may be contaminated with substances disallowed under US regulations, potentially raising your risk of an adverse reaction. We prefer not to gamble with our health and opt for domestically sourced CBD every time.

Second: Employ Safe & Effective Extraction Methods

how to choose the best cbd company

This is a big one, though it might take a little bit of research to find (and you should absolutely be wary of a manufacturer who is cagey about answering directly): what method does the company use to extract the CBD from its hemp material? While it might seem a bit nitpicky on the surface — surely extracted CBD is the same, right? — it’s actually a very important question to answer before placing your order.

What you’ll likely see frequently is the phrase “hydrocarbon extraction,” and it should be a red flag. We’ll explain: if you’re a cannabis consumer, you might be familiar with BHO, or butane hash oil. These THC concentrates (which include wax, budder, shatter, honey, and other dabbable substances) use butane — or another hydrocarbon like propane — to separate the THC from the organic solids and plant waxes, resulting in a thick, gooey concentrate. 

While these icky sticky substances produce intense highs, they’re nearly always contaminated with residual hydrocarbons. In layman’s terms, this means that when you use one of these products, you’re also consuming the leftover butane (or propane, methane… y’know, the type of compounds used as lighter or camp stove fuel) in every hit. While the exposure to trace hydrocarbons may not cause adverse effects 100% of the time, we’re not convinced that it’s fully safe, either — and, consequently, we think it’s best to skip these products.

So, if hydrocarbons are out, what is the best, safest way to extract CBD from hemp? There are two different methods we consider acceptable for CBD products: organic ethanol wash extraction and supercritical (or subcritical) CO2 extraction. An organic ethanol wash strips the organic material of its CBD and dissolves it into the ethanol. Next, the ethanol is evaporated away completely (unlike hydrocarbons, which remain trapped within the extract), leaving behind only CBD and other cannabinoids, which may then be processed further and purified into different types of extract.

CO2 extractions work similarly, though the results are subtly different. Both supercritical and subcritical extractions are executed using CO2 (carbon dioxide) that has been heated and pressurized so that, in simplified terms, it possesses the properties of both a liquid and a gas at the same time. This allows it to enter porous materials, extracting CBD and the hemp plant’s trichomes and terpenes. The CO2 then evaporates completely, leaving only the extract behind. 

The two methods are generally comparable, though subcritical CO2 does a better job at leaving the terpenes and trichomes of the hemp material intact. Ultimately, choosing among ethanol and CO2 extraction is mostly a matter of preference; each of these methods will produce an extract that is potent and free of any residual solvent. So long as you avoid products extracted using potentially harmful hydrocarbons, you’re on the right track.

Third: Products Formulated with Safe, Effective Carrier Oils

how to choose the best cbd company

This one requires a little basic chemistry to explain, so bear with us — we’ll keep it brief. Molecules, just like the earth or a magnet, have poles, or areas with a positive or negative electrical charge. The polarity of a molecule (the difference between the strength of its charges) determines what it can and cannot dissolve in, and solubility has a lot to do with how nutrients are absorbed by the body — CBD included. 

Polar liquids can dissolve polar molecules (like salt in water, for instance), but nonpolar molecules will not dissolve in a polar solvent (hence the separation between the nonpolar oil and polar vinegar of a salad dressing). Since your body is mostly water, a polar liquid, it’s hard for it to absorb CBD, a nonpolar molecule, effectively. 

So, how do CBD manufacturers resolve this dilemma? Easily: with carrier oils. Carrier oils (often MCT or fractionated coconut oil, hemp seed oil, or olive oil) are able to bond to CBD, and their chemical structure creates a kind of fatty “handle” that your body can grab onto and metabolize, bringing the CBD along with it. Carrier oils are included to ensure that you are able to absorb as much of the CBD in the product as possible (often discussed as having high bioavailability).

At a cursory glance, it might seem like most any oil would work. After all, all oils are nonpolar and will get the job done, right? While that’s technically true, there are definitely right and wrong oils to use. MCT oil is preferred (also sometimes labeled as fractionated coconut oil) because its medium-length molecules are easier for the body to metabolize (as opposed to longer, more difficult to process molecules from other fats). That said, hemp seed oil, olive oil, and grapeseed oil are also relatively common carrier oils that are perfectly safe and effective, so don’t despair if you have a coconut allergy — there are plenty of other options.  

However, steer clear of products that do not list the carrier oil they use, or utilize PG (more on that in a moment) to dilute their products. Transparency is key when choosing a CBD supplier, and any manufacturer who won’t be candid about the ingredients they use isn’t worth your money.

We should note that some CBD products are specifically formulated to be water-soluble. While these products contain CBD that has been made easier for your body to absorb compared to oil-based products, they tend to be a bit pricey compared to their old-fashioned counterparts. However, the tradeoff may be worthwhile for you, and that’s okay. If you choose water-soluble CBD products, you won’t need to worry about carrier oils the same way.

Fourth: Products Are Batch Tested for Quality, Purity, & Potency

how to choose the best cbd company

This final note is exceedingly important, as you can use it to verify the information you gathered earlier: all products should be batch tested for quality, purity, and potency. When we say “batch tested,” we mean that each product should be traceable to the batch it was produced in, and the lab testing results for that batch should be publicly available. An independent lab is one not affiliated with the company or any of its affiliates — in-house testing is wonderful, but nothing beats independent analysis.

While more thorough tests are obviously preferable, a good lab report will contain the product’s CBD, THC, and THCA content, as well as any contamination with heavy metals. If the product is listed as being THC-free, then the lab report should reflect that result. The lab should also list its credentials and certification status on the report for full accountability. Some reports may choose to list other cannabinoids like CBN, CBG, or CBC, but this is not necessarily a requirement unless you’re looking for a highly specialized cannabinoid profile.

A Specific Note About Vapor Products

how to choose the best cbd company

Vaping is growing ever more popular among the cannabis community, and CBD is no exception. There are literal tons of CBD vape products out there, with oodles and oodles of oils in every flavor under the sun (and a few we think they just made up). However, just like with their nicotine-infused cousins, there’s a problematic ingredient that’s very common in CBD vape oils: PG.

PG, the standard abbreviation for propylene or polyethylene glycol (both behave similarly under conditions of regular use, so we’ll treat them as one entity for simplicity’s sake), is often used as a thinning agent for vape oils and juices. Since it’s generally considered safe for use in food, beverages, and cosmetics, it’s been largely assumed that the same must be true for vaping.

Emerging research, however, shows that PG may not be as safe as we thought. At the high temperatures needed to vape, PG begins to degrade into known carcinogens like formaldehyde, arsenic, and benzene. These compounds are not only known to cause cancer in humans after prolonged exposure, they can also produce toxic effects at high doses. 

While the scientific community is still uncertain about the long-term effects of PG and vaping, we feel it’s best to play it safe. We prefer to use vaporizers that contain only CBD and a carrier oil, with perhaps a terpene blend or essential oil for flavor. That said, products containing vegetable glycerin, or VG, are not shown to be unsafe at this time and are also acceptable in CBD vapor products. 

Takeaway

Sifting through all the different CBD manufacturers out there can be daunting, but don’t sweat it — there are simple criteria you can use to separate the good from the bad and the downright ugly of the bunch. It may take a little research, but we promise that your efforts will be rewarded with potent, pure, effective CBD. Don’t gamble on a shady product for the sake of a bargain — your health is worth more than what’s essentially a coin toss. Vet your CBD supplier thoroughly; your body will thank you.

 

Topical CBD for Wound Care: Healing with Hemp

CBD has been shown to possess potent anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and antioxidant properties that have been successfully applied to treatment protocols for many diverse conditions, from arthritis to dementia to diabetes to high blood pressure. Research also indicates that CBD may be effective at promoting wound healing, making it a natural choice for wound care applications as well. Topical CBD products can be used to care for wounds like burns, cuts, scrapes, bites, and broken skin, but [not all CBD topicals are created equal].

While CBD itself can be highly beneficial when applied to wounds, those benefits can be reduced (or potentially even negated) by the wrong supporting ingredients. Quality carrier oils and botanicals absolutely have a place in CBD wound care products, but since CBD isn’t regulated by the FDA the way that pharmaceutical medicines are, a few extra precautions are necessary.

There are many balms, salves, ointments, creams, and gels formulated with CBD available, designed to help treat everything from sunburns to cuts to abrasions to fresh tattoos. While many can be used effectively, some may contain questionable ingredients or potential allergens. Your skin works pretty hard to keep you healthy, and a break in the barrier can be a major stressor for the integumentary system. Using inflammatory ingredients can inadvertently add to that stress and prolong healing time.

Here, we’ll dissect the science behind effective wound care and the role CBD topicals can play in staving off infection and promoting healing. Next, we’ll discuss the role of supporting ingredients (beginning with carrier compounds, followed by botanicals and a cursory examination of common additives) individually, noting the potential benefits and risks of each. We’ll close with a couple of notes concerning sanitary practices for wound care and sustainability in wound healing, providing a bit of guidance to help you choose products that reflect your values and ethics.

How Does Wound Healing Work?

topical cbd for wound care

Wound healing is a highly intricate and complex process involving collaboration between many different types of cells and different body systems. While it’s impossible to convey every detail of the process here, there are a few key principles to know. Wound healing tends to happen in stages: inflammation, proliferation, and maturation. Each of these phases marks a focus on different cellular activities. 

The inflammation phase is the most well-known, as it’s a phase that’s often quite painful. Inflammation is the body’s immediate response to a wound: raising the alarm, heightening sensitivity, sending lots of immune cells to the site of the wound, and setting off frequent (and sometimes intense) pain signals. 

After a few days of inflammation, the proliferation phase begins. This is the time when the body begins to close the wound and is usually marked by wound contraction. During this important period, the body is building a matrix of new cells, collagen, and other tissues to replace the damaged or destroyed cells. Blood vessels and nerve connections re-establish themselves at the wound site during this time, making it more likely that [neuropathic pain] will arise during this period (though it may not be permanent).  

Finally, when it has closed fully and the supporting tissues have regenerated beneath the new skin, a wound is considered mature. At this point, there may be considerable scarring, but the wound will continue to mature for many weeks after closure. Over time, the scar tissue will soften and become less visible, itching and tingling tend to diminish, and discoloration starts to fade. 

The main goal of most wound healing technology is centered around accelerating the healing process, which can be accomplished in a number of ways. Reducing inflammation at the site helps the skin to move from the inflammatory to the proliferation stage more quickly, yielding faster wound closures and improved appearance of scarring. Promoting cellular movement and activity is also key to successful wound healing, as the healing process depends on high levels of oxygen

Wound care also requires ingredients to keep the area clean and free of harmful bacteria and other microbes. Finally, most topical wound care products also typically include some ingredients intended for pain management, reducing the alarm signals sent by damaged nerves at the site of an injury.

The Role of CBD In Wound Care & Healing

topical cbd for wound care healing

CBD, the common name for cannabidiol, has been shown to have many medical applications across a wide variety of conditions. The compound possesses potent anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and antimicrobial properties (among many others) that make it especially beneficial for wound healing. It acts as a vasodilator, helping to improve oxygen supply to the wound and accelerating healing time. Together, these properties make CBD a promising therapeutic ingredient in wound care and healing products.

As with most CBD science, more research is necessary to determine the exact mechanisms that make CBD a good promoter of healing activity. However, emerging research is sufficiently compelling that many people are opting for CBD over old standbys from the pharmacy. While minor wounds likely do not present a safety concern for most people, more severe injuries may demand special consideration in product choice to avoid inadvertently causing additional inflammation and delaying healing.

If you prefer to use CBD alone (a completely respectable position that may be necessary for people with serious allergies or sensitivities), we recommend using a CBD tincture with no flavorings or additives. You could also dissolve some pure CBD isolate into the carrier oil of your choice (just be sure everything is clean!) to accomplish the same goal: CBD and oil, the end. However, if you are interested in using botanical ingredients and other bioactive compounds to accelerate wound healing, we invite you to consider the ingredients listed below.

Topical CBD Carrier Oils for Wound Care

topical cbd for wound care healing

Carrier oils determine the consistency of the product and help to amplify its skin-protecting properties. We highly recommend opting for ointments, balms, or salves for wound care over roll-on or lotion products. This is for two primary reasons. Firstly, roll-ons and lotions are often formulated with alcohols that can damage the bonds between skin cells — pretty counterproductive when you’re trying to support your skin’s healing processes. Secondly, roll-on products in particular are not possible to use in a sanitary way on broken skin. If you really need something formulated with an alcohol, try to reach for sprays over roll-ons. 

One benefit that salve and ointment formulas offer over their high-alcohol counterparts is their ability to create a physical barrier over skin. This helps to keep bacteria and other microscopic irritants out of your bloodstream while also protecting your skin from damage and moisture loss as it works to heal itself. We prefer to use products made with ingredients that specifically confer skin barrier benefits. 

These might include beeswax (which possesses antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties), shea or cocoa butter (both yield anti-inflammatory benefits to healing skin), coconut oil (another anti-inflammatory oil popular in CBD formulas), and lanolin (a compound beloved for its skin-protecting properties that may also help promote healing). Olive, safflower, pumpkin seed, and grapeseed oils may also help to promote healing, though they do not offer the same skin barrier benefits as heavier oils and plant butters. 

Ointments are sometimes formulated with compounds like petroleum jelly (also called petrolatum), which is derived from fossil fuels. Because petroleum is a nonrenewable resource and its processing has some pretty detrimental effects on the environment, we prefer to steer clear of petroleum-based formulas. That doesn’t mean you have to, of course, but it might be something worth considering.

Supporting Topical CBD Ingredients for Wound Care

topical cbd for wound care healing

Because the skin is broken or damaged in the case of a wound or burn, wound care products have a special potential to contribute to the inflammation they’re meant to fight, especially in people with sensitive skin. If you have any skin sensitivities or allergies, please take special care to avoid ingredients that could cause an adverse reaction. If you aren’t aware of any allergies but find a product causes itching or redness, listen to your body and seek out a gentler alternative. 

A few common culprits of inflammation include ingredients like capsaicin, cinnamon oil, and menthol, which can cause pain and discomfort when applied to wounds. Though these compounds all act as anti-inflammatories on the skin’s surface, they behave a bit differently when applied to broken skin. Even seemingly innocuous ingredients like goldenrod or chamomile may trigger a reaction in some people when applied to wounds, so we advise being very picky about your wound care topicals, CBD and otherwise. 

  • Aloe Vera – Aloe vera (sometimes called aloe barbadensis on product labels) is a desert-dwelling succulent with well-known healing properties. The gel contained within its elongated leaves has been used by many cultures throughout human history to soothe burns and speed skin repair. The plant has been demonstrated to yield antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic properties that help it to heal skin damage, soothe pain, and reduce inflammation in injured skin. Clinical studies have shown aloe vera to be well-tolerated and hypoallergenic, making it an excellent healing option for many people. It is especially helpful for minor thermal burns and sunburns, reducing pain with a gentle cooling sensation and rehydrating damaged skin.
  • Chamomile Chamomile is a staple of soothing teas and aromatherapy products, but studies have demonstrated that it can confer significant benefits for wound healing as well. Chamomile flower extract acts as an anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and antimicrobial when applied to broken or damaged skin. This allows it to help to reduce pain and inflammation while protecting skin and underlying tissues from harmful bacteria and microbes that can hamper the healing process and cause infection. A potential caveat: chamomile is a member of the family Asteraeceae, which includes ragweed and other common allergens, and can cross-react in those with ragweed allergies. However, the benefits likely outweigh the risks for most people without significant ragweed sensitivity.
  • Goldenrod – Goldenrod is a bit tricky to discuss, as it’s quite a common allergen and wreaks seasonal havoc on sinuses from coast to coast. This is because it belongs to the same family as ragweed and therefore frequently cross-reacts in people with ragweed allergies. However, in people without ragweed allergies, goldenrod has been shown to promote healing by acting as a powerful anti-inflammatory, reducing pain, swelling, and redness in the wake of an injury. This effect may make goldenrod particularly useful in the first few days of wound healing, when inflammation is at its peak. Goldenrod may also help to reduce pain and soreness as skin heals, including the nerve pain and discomfort that often arises as the healing nerves form new connections.
  • Lavender – Lavender carries many different therapeutic applications, inducing relaxation and reducing inflammation throughout the body. These properties also extend to wound care — when applied to broken or damaged skin, lavender reduces inflammation, dulls pain, and improves circulation to the affected area. It also possesses powerful antimicrobial properties that can be especially beneficial for people or wounds prone to infections. While it’s no replacement for a rabies or tetanus vaccine, lavender contains compounds that neutralize many types of bacteria and fungi that can hamper wound healing or cause infection. Lavender may also be applied to wounds in the proliferation stage to help address the pain and tingling that results from mending nerve cells.
  • Marigold – Also labeled as calendula, marigold flowers are an autumnal favorite with an abundance of beneficial bioactive compounds. Extracts of the plant and its blooms can contribute to wound healing, acting as an anti-inflammatory agent to soothe damaged skin and reduce pain. The plant also possesses antimicrobial properties that can protect skin from harmful bacteria and other microbes, preventing infection and further damage to the affected tissues. It is generally well-tolerated, but may trigger a reaction in people with an allergy to marigold or calendula.
  • Neem – Neem oil is derived from the neem tree (also known colloquially as Indian lilac) and is a popular health and wellness ingredient in much of Southeast Asia. The oil is rich in bioactive compounds, conferring powerful antimicrobial and antifungal benefits. This allows neem to help protect wounds from infection by fending off harmful bacteria and microbes. Neem can also help to alleviate pain at the site of injury. That said, it is a very intense oil and should only ever be applied diluted. Even in its dilute form, neem may cause an adverse reaction in some people, so exercise caution and be mindful when using neem for wound care.
  • YarrowYarrow has been used as a supplement and wellness ingredient by many cultures throughout human history. It is shown to act as an anti-inflammatory and analgesic, reducing pain and inflammation when used on broken skin. It may also help to reduce bleeding in wounds, making it especially helpful for cuts and gashes (though it is not a substitute for medical attention in the case of severe injuries). 

Sanitary Use of CBD Salves & Balms for Wound Care

topical cbd for wound care healing

While there are a handful of ointments, creams, and other wound care products packaged in tubes, most of our favorite go-tos come in pots or tubs. This presents a bit of a dilemma, as it’s much more difficult to keep these products sanitary during regular use. Many products are sufficiently effective that we don’t mind taking a few extra precautions to use them for wound healing, but we hope to see more variety in packaging to make sanitary application of CBD topicals easier. 

To ensure that a salve, balm, or other CBD topical packaged in a jar or pot remains free from contaminants during its usable life, we suggest using a cotton swab or other applicator tool to dispense the product, as opposed to a fingertip. Hands are wonderful for many things, but using a single-use applicator (or a recyclable equivalent if you’re about that low-waste life) instead of your hands for wound care helps reduce the chance of something undesirable ending up in your ointment — or in the wound, for that matter.

If your preferred product comes in a jar or pot, we suggest using a sanitary tool like a cotton swab or scoopula (which can be sanitized after use) to remove your desired amount of product from the container. Once you’ve taken what you need, you can apply the product to the wound using your chosen applicator tool and dispose of or sanitize the applicator accordingly after use. You could also apply the product to a sterile bandage or dressing, or — in the case of a sunburn, new tattoo, or thermal burn — distribute the product over the skin using clean fingertips. 

Taking care to avoid contaminating your chosen wound care product(s) is important to supporting efficient and healthy wound healing. Salve and balm formulas can be just as effective as tube-packaged ointments, they just need a bit of extra finesse to function at their best from start to finish. 

A Note On Sustainability & Supporting Ingredients

topical cbd for wound care healing

While there is a growing consciousness surrounding where the products we use come from, we collectively pay fairly little attention to the sustainability of our purchases. Part of our mission of consumer education includes helping people learn to discern sustainable ingredients that allow them to take control of their health while making buying choices that are better for the planet. 

We also acknowledge that “better” doesn’t equate to “perfect,” and we aim to provide information in a way that educates without condescending — or worse, condemning — our readers for their decisions and lifestyles. Making conscious purchases can be difficult for many reasons, and we recognize the highly personal nature of those choices. No one is capable of single-handedly halting climate change or ecological damage by choosing one bottle over another, just as no one is the sole reason for habitat destruction or environmental pollution. Nonetheless, we believe that there is value in selecting sustainably sourced and manufactured products where possible.

We strongly prefer to reach for plant-based ingredients over animal products (and the same is doubly true for formulas made with petroleum products). This has to do with sustainability as well as concern for animal welfare, as sustainably-farmed plant products tend to have less of an environmental impact next to large-scale industrial animal husbandry. Plant-based ingredients are also generally well-tolerated and (with a couple of freaky exceptions like figs) vegan by default.

While we tend to prefer plant-based products, there are some animal-derived ingredients that can be hugely beneficial for therapeutic purposes (things like collagen, honey, beeswax, and lanolin). These ingredients are not vegan, but that does not mean that there aren’t ethical (or at least more ethical) ways to use them. Some people consider these ingredients an important component of their symptom management regimen, and that’s valid. Again, this stuff is very personal, so listen to your gut and do what is right for you.

We’ll close with a brief comment on the word “vegan.” A vegan product is one that is not derived from animal products in any way and includes non-food items like clothing, shoes, and cosmetics. Vegan products are becoming increasingly popular, with many brands choosing to make their entire product lines strictly vegan.

You may notice, however, that the above definition doesn’t include a requirement that the product’s components must be plant-based. This means that decidedly environmentally unfriendly products like plastics, petroleum products, and synthetic fabrics are considered vegan despite a demonstrably negative environmental impact. We don’t mean to imply that looking for vegan formulas is useless, just that it isn’t an automatic guarantee that the product in question is sustainable.

Takeaway

CBD is a promising ingredient for wound healing that can promote regeneration while reducing pain and inflammation in the skin and underlying tissues. However, because wound care products are applied to broken and damaged skin, it’s important to be choosy about the ingredients you incorporate into your medicine cabinet. Be conscious of any allergies or skin sensitivities you may have, use sanitary handling and dressing practices, and feel empowered to reach out to companies with questions before making a purchase. You can also consult with a medical professional about the safety of a particular product if you are unsure — it’s much better to play it safe with wound healing.

 

Topical CBD for Nerve Pain: Managing Neuropathy with CBD Topicals

Anyone who has experience with neuropathy knows that it’s a uniquely unsettling experience. The electric tingling, burning, stinging, and pinprick sensations tend to happen in the extremities, but can occur anywhere in the body. Nerve pain is unique in that it is caused by damage to the nerves themselves (be it from a slipped disc, a compressed nerve, chronic conditions like multiple sclerosis, or damage sustained in an injury) and not the surrounding tissue. Therefore, neuropathic pain is the result of a misfiring of your body’s pain perception system.. 

Because the damage is done to the nerve cells, the cells your body uses to relay signals to and from the brain, neuropathic pain can produce strange and unnerving sensations that make sleeping, eating, and other day-to-day activities difficult — or even impossible. Nerve damage is notoriously difficult to heal (though much research is devoted to the topic), and many conventional painkillers are of little help.

Cannabidiol, or CBD, has been shown to impart neuroprotective, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antioxidant, and antispasmodic effects that may be successfully applied to a neuropathic pain management regimen. Derived from hemp and known for its effectiveness without risk of addiction or dependence, CBD can be consumed orally, inhaled, or applied topically for relief from neuropathic pain.

Because of their ability to manipulate sensations in the skin and body, many people find CBD topical products to be particularly helpful at soothing and alleviating neuropathic pain. Topicals offer faster relief than oral dosing methods, as well as a greater degree of customizability. Supporting ingredients like  cinnamon, ginger, peppermint, and capsaicin can change the way nerve cells fire, reducing or eliminating nerve pain when applied to the skin. 

While these supporting ingredients open many doors for more effective pain relief, they also raise the risk of adverse reactions, especially in people with sensitive or allergy-prone skin. CBD topicals have a place in neuropathic pain management, but the wrong supporting ingredients for your skin type can reduce (or even entirely negate) their benefits. 

Here, we’ll illustrate the physiology of neuropathy before discussing the role of topical CBD in alleviating it. Then, we’ll talk about the best carrier and supporting ingredients to soothe neuropathic pain, including how they work, what they’re best for, and any risks associated with them. Finally, we’ll close with a short note on sustainable ingredients.  

What Causes Neuropathic Pain?

topical cbd for nerve pain neuropathy

Your nervous system is made up of a couple of different key players: neurons, myelin, and glial cells. Neurons are like your body’s electrical wiring, carrying signals to and from your brain. They’re long, branching cells that use charged molecules to move signals down the length of the cell before relaying it to the next one.

Some neurons are covered with a substance called myelin, a protective coating that helps accelerate the movement of chemical messages. Cells called glia help to support the nerves and keep them functioning normally. In a healthy nervous system, these different types of cells work together and ionic messengers flow smoothly across synapses (the gaps between neurons that facilitate chemical communication between them).

Neuropathy occurs when any of these nerve cells are damaged. This damage can result from many different causes. While injuries like herniated discs or nerve compression can cause physical strain and injury to neurons, they aren’t the only possible cause. Chronic conditions like multiple sclerosis, diabetes (even pre-diabetes), and cardiovascular disease can lead to nerve cell damage by changing the body’s chemical environment or causing immune cells to mistakenly attack neural tissue.  

So, why is nerve damage such a big deal, and why does it cause such strange and severe pain? Think of your nerves and their myelin like an electrical wire coated with rubber. If that rubber coating is damaged, electricity will no longer flow neatly down the wire, but can cause short circuits, sparks, or even stop altogether. Your neurons work very similarly, and a damaged neuron is more likely to send errant pain signals in the absence of a problem; the more severe the damage to your nerves, the more intense neuropathy is likely to become.

How Can CBD Help to Manage Neuropathic Pain?

topical cbd for nerve pain neuropathy

This may sound a bit bleak so far, but stay with us. It’s true that the science of repairing nerve damage is still a ways out, but that doesn’t mean that relief is out of reach. While the research is still preliminary, current studies suggest that CBD possesses neuroprotective and antispasmodic properties that may help to calm frazzled neurons and ease neuropathic pain. 

The exact mechanisms of this action are still being studied, but what we do know is that CBD has a positive regulatory effect on many of the body’s systems, including the nervous system. This means that CBD can help to reduce the frequency and intensity of neuropathic pain signals by quieting overexcited neurons and reducing inflammation and pain often associated with them. It may also reduce the tingling, burning, stabbing, and prickling sensations common in neuropathy, as well as spasms and involuntary contractions often associated with the condition. 

Ongoing research suggests that topical CBD may more effectively manage neuropathy than traditional therapies, including opioid pain relievers. Because of the higher number of supporting ingredients relative to oral CBD, however, topicals carry a relatively higher risk of adverse or allergic reaction. Their effects can also vary substantially from product to product depending on the carrier and supporting ingredients it contains.

Topical CBD Carrier Oils for Nerve Pain

topical cbd for nerve pain neuropathy

Carrier oils and other base ingredients have a significant impact on the overall effect of the finished product, and especially its sensory effects. Because sensation is so important to effectively addressing and calming neuropathic pain, we feel that a bit of education around carrier ingredients can help our readers more easily navigate the baffling variety of topical CBD products available and find the best formula for their needs.

Because CBD is a nonpolar molecule, it doesn’t dissolve in water, a polar molecule. This makes it hard for our bodies to absorb and metabolize — we are over 70% water, after all, and it’s the solute for many of our biological processes. While it isn’t readily soluble in water, CBD does bond well to lipids like oils, fats, and plant butters. When it’s attached to these compounds, CBD is much more readily absorbed by the body, improving its effectiveness drastically. This applies to both topical and oral CBD products. Because of their oily composition and emollient properties, these ingredients tend to support soothing and warming sensations best.

Lipids aren’t the only type of molecule that can help make your CBD dose more bioavailable, though; other molecules with a relatively weak polar charge can also be effective. These compounds might include things like aloe vera gel, different types of alcohol, or glycerol. In contrast to the heavy, oily feel of lipid products, these “polar lite” molecules tend to evaporate more readily, making them ideal for supporting cooling, tingling, or numbing effects.

If your nerve pain tends to feel like burning, stinging, or pinpricks, a cooling product might help to regulate the firing of the damaged nerves, reducing pain. We suggest choosing products made with aloe vera, glycerol, or cetyl alcohol where possible. This is because other alcohols, such as isopropyl, stearyl, or ethyl, can cause damage to the bonds between skin cells over time, increasing dryness and triggering discomfort. Cetyl alcohol, by contrast, is a fatty alcohol derived from coconut that may be less damaging (though it should be avoided by those allergic to coconut).

If you desire something with more warming, relaxing properties to help ease spasms, we recommend opting for products formulated with oils, waxes, or plant butters. Oils from plants like olive, avocado, safflower, argan, jojoba, grapeseed, almond, and coconut can be used alongside plant butters like shea, cocoa, and mango for creamy formulas, while carnauba or beeswax can lend a firmer, more salve-like consistency. We find that more emollient formulas keep warming ingredients like ginger, cinnamon, and capsaicin active for longer periods, extending symptom relief.

If you prefer to refrain from using products that manipulate your sensation and perception, that’s okay! There are plenty of helpful CBD topicals out there that produce no thermal sensation whatsoever. We suggest selecting a carrier based on your skin type and avoiding ingredients that tend to produce changes in tactile sensation. These tend to be things like menthol, capsaicin, cinnamon, and ginger, but can sometimes include milder extracts like lavender or arnica, so listen to your body on this one. 

If you want to try topical CBD for nerve pain but have very sensitive skin that balks at most mainstream ingredients, don’t lose hope just yet. Instead of reaching for a topical formula with a lengthy ingredient list, try using an unflavored CBD tincture made with only CBD and a suitable carrier oil. You can apply it safely to your skin without worrying about hidden allergies while still reaping the analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and antispasmodic benefits of topical CBD. If you decide to try a topical formula, we suggest a salve or balm, which tend to contain fewer common allergens than cream, lotion, or roll-on formulas. 

Topical CBD Supporting Ingredients for Nerve Pain

topical cbd for nerve pain neuropathy

  • Capsaicin – The chemical that gives chili peppers their signature spice (and pepper spray its notorious burn), capsaicin certainly has the potential to cause inflammation. However, in small doses, the fiery compound can actually act as an anti-inflammatory, encouraging circulation and reducing pain and swelling. It also causes a warming sensation when applied to the skin (again, well-diluted) that may be beneficial in alleviating some types of nerve pain. Researchers believe that this analgesic effect may be due in part to this sensation, which helps to desensitize the skin and, therefore, the sensation of pain. Capsaicin is used in very tiny doses in topical CBD pain relief products and is generally well-tolerated. However, those with an allergy to peppers should take care to avoid it.
  • Clove – While it may not be as effective for deep-seated neuropathy in the fascia, clove oil works very well to soothe the sensation of neuropathic pain in the skin and superficial tissues. Clove is a small but mighty spice with surprisingly powerful analgesic properties. Clove oil has been demonstrated to be as effective as benzocaine at relieving pain when applied topically. There is also some evidence to suggest that clove may have a positive regulatory effect on nerves, helping to regulate their firing and, potentially, reducing the intensity and sensation of pain. Clove has an autumnal, spicy scent and is generally well-tolerated, but should be avoided by those with a clove allergy.
  • EucalyptusEucalyptus is widely used for its analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties (and its ability to clear stuffy noses). The extract of the fragrant tree native to Australia, eucalyptus may have a role to play in alleviating neuropathic pain. While the precise mechanism is not yet understood, two factors appear to be at work. Eucalyptus shows analgesic properties when applied topically and may help to reduce the sensitivity of damaged nerves, regulating their firing. Second, the aroma of eucalyptus may have an effect on the central nervous system’s processing of pain signals, reducing pain perception. Those with asthma should be advised that eucalyptus can trigger attacks in some people (though it may be helpful to others).
  • Feverfew – The name of this plant comes from its traditional use in treating pain and inflammation. Also known as bachelor’s button, feverfew leaves and flowers produce compounds that reduce muscle spasms and the burning, tingling, pins-and-needles feeling associated with neuropathic pain. It has been demonstrated to possess analgesic and antispasmodic properties when applied to the skin, though it isn’t fully understood how these effects are produced. Emerging research suggests that this may be due to the terpenes, flavonoids, and other bioactive compounds within feverfew extract. If that is the case, these terpenes and other phytochemicals could help to support the dose of CBD in a topical pain reliever.
  • Ginger – A piquant favorite in cuisine, ginger’s use as an anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and antiemetic has been well-documented throughout history. Extract from the root of the plant may help to alleviate neuropathic pain and soothe inflamed nerves when applied topically. It can also induce a gentle warming, tingling sensation in the skin, which may help to numb neuropathic pain while desensitizing damaged nerves, regulating their firing. These benefits are also apparent when ginger is consumed (though a separate supplement should be used), indicating that it may be beneficial to the diets of people struggling with neuropathy as well. Those with a ginger allergy or certain sensory integration issues should exercise caution before using topical CBD products made with ginger.
  • Peppermint – Peppermint (and other members of the mentha genus like spearmint) contains menthol, a popular ingredient in topical pain products for the cooling sensation it produces when applied to the skin. Some people may find menthol in particular to be helpful in managing their neuropathic pain. This may be due to menthol’s effect on receptors in the skin, sensitizing them to cold sensations and, therefore, potentially alleviating burning or stinging types of pain. Limonene and carvacrol, two other primary components of peppermint extract, have also been shown to help relieve pain and inflammation when used externally. To receive the full therapeutic benefit, look for products that list peppermint extract rather than just menthol among their ingredients — and keep any substance containing peppermint or menthol far away from mucous membranes. Exercise caution with peppermint (and other mints) if you are allergic or have especially sensitive skin.
  • Rosemary – A culinary darling popular in cuisine traditions across the globe, rosemary is a shrubby herb rich in terpenes, flavonoids, and other phytochemicals that may be effective against neuropathy. The plant has historically been used against pain, fever, and seizures, and current research suggests that it may possess antispasmodic properties. One study showed rosemary to be effective at relaxing smooth muscles (the muscles you don’t have conscious control over; they contract involuntarily and can cause debilitating pain due to their proximity to organs and bones). This characteristic may make rosemary a soothing antispasmodic addition to topical CBD products for neuropathic pain.
  • Turmeric – A brightly-colored root popular in Southeast Asian cuisine, turmeric is exceedingly high in a compound called curcumin. Curcumin has been utilized to combat pain, fever, and inflammation, and research suggests it may be helpful against neuropathic pain as well. While further study is needed, curcumin acts on receptors that can help block neuropathic pain signaling, relieving pain. When applied topically, curcumin may be able to regulate the activity of damaged neurons, reducing the frequency and intensity of neuropathic pain. It’s generally well-tolerated, but should be avoided by those with a turmeric allergy.

A Note On Sustainability

topical cbd for nerve pain neuropathy

Our goal at Key to Cannabis is to help our readers find CBD products that support their health and wellness goals, largely through consumer education. This includes not just the science behind CBD products, but their environmental impact as well. As our society grows more conscious of our relationship with (and dependence on) our planet and the ecosystems it supports, sustainability of ingredients is increasingly important to many people (ourselves included).

We recognize that, while there is value in making better buying decisions, “better” doesn’t really ever mean “perfect.” Our intent is not to shame anyone for making the decisions that they feel are best for them (in fact, those are exactly the decisions we want to support), but to encourage conscious consumption where possible. What that looks like to you is fully up to you, and we always want to empower you to define that for yourself.

Wherever possible, we prefer to select plant-based ingredients for CBD topicals, particularly over petroleum products. This is for two primary reasons: first, petroleum is a finite resource with a massive environmental impact at every stage, from extraction to refining to transportation to consumption. Second, a connection has been established between long-term use of some topical petroleum products and cancer later in life.

We also prefer plant products to those derived from animals, though we recognize that not everyone feels the same way. Some animal products, like beeswax, lanolin, and gelatin, are important components in the wellness lifestyles of many of our readers, and that’s valid. While it’s true that there are vegan alternatives to these ingredients, they aren’t viable options for everyone. Also, there’s some nuance to the label “vegan.”

The vegan description on a product label indicates that the product contains no animal products. However, it doesn’t necessarily denote a more sustainable product. Microplastics, pleather, plastic fur, polyester, and petroleum products are considered “vegan,” but aren’t exactly more environmentally friendly than their animal-derived counterparts. We don’t mean to imply that the vegan label is meaningless, but we are suggesting that it isn’t the sole criterion by which to measure a product’s sustainability.

Takeaway

Neuropathic pain is notoriously difficult to treat, but CBD may be able to provide relief where other treatments have failed. Topical CBD may be especially beneficial for peripheral neuropathy, soothing the tingling, burning, stabbing pain often associated with nerve damage. While CBD has strong therapeutic potential for neuropathic pain, the right ingredients can make a world of difference to your wellness experience. We encourage you to be choosy about what’s on the label of your go-to CBD topicals — when in doubt, reach out to the manufacturer with any questions or concerns.

 

Topical CBD for Muscle Pain: Alleviating Pain & Spasms with CBD

Muscle pain and discomfort is a fact of life for everyone at some point, and topical products are often a first line of defense against it. Whether it’s caused by tension, injury, an especially intense workout, or chronic illness, many people find relief from muscle pain by using topical pain relief products. When occasional pain becomes chronic, however, it often becomes more difficult to treat. Topical CBD can help to treat chronic pain even more effectively than opioids in some patients. 

Chronic muscle pain (and honestly, chronic pain in general) is especially difficult to address effectively, and many people feel forced to turn to opioid painkillers (transdermal and otherwise) and other pharmaceutical products for relief. Not only are these interventions often ineffective at curbing chronic pain, they also carry a high risk of addiction and a number of unpleasant side effects.

A growing number of chronic pain sufferers are looking to manage their symptoms without resorting to opioids, turning instead to CBD. CBD, the common name for the molecule cannabidiol, has been shown to be an effective remedy for chronic pain — more effective than opioid pain relievers. Derived from hemp (a close cousin of cannabis), CBD has anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anxiolytic, antispasmodic, hypnotic, and antiemetic properties, among many others, and may be applicable to therapies for a diverse array of conditions and symptoms. 

While CBD is often taken orally in the form of tinctures or softgels, its medicinal properties extend to topical application as well. This allows CBD to be used to treat pain more directly, at the site of soreness or tension, alleviating symptoms more quickly than oral delivery systems. It may also help to soothe muscle spasms and cramping when used topically. 

Topical CBD products offer many different opportunities for people to manage (and even eliminate) chronic muscle pain, tension, and spasms safely and effectively, especially in combination with a systemic dose of CBD. However, topical products often contain many more supporting ingredients than oral formulas. This makes them more likely to be made with potentially inflammatory or allergenic ingredients that can reduce the effectiveness of the CBD they contain — not to mention wreak havoc on your skin.

Here, we’ll cover everything you need to know about the most effective supporting ingredients for topical CBD pain relief. We’ll discuss the science of CBD topicals and their role in pain management before explaining how to use temperature therapies to manipulate pain perception. Then we’ll move on to discussing topical CBD supporting ingredients in detail, from carrier oils to botanicals to additives. We’ll examine the benefits different ingredients offer, along with any risks associated with their use. Finally, we’ll close with a note about sustainable ingredients and the environmental impact of CBD topicals. 

The Science of Topical CBD & Pain Management 

topical cbd for muscle pain

While more research is needed, CBD is demonstrated to possess potent anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and antispasmodic effects in humans. These benefits aren’t limited to oral consumption or inhalation, either — CBD acts on many of the same pathways in the skin when applied topically. This can help to alleviate pain, reduce cramps and spasms, and release tension from sore or overworked muscles.

Existing research shows CBD to be a promising ingredient in topical pain relief products, and while many of the exact mechanisms are still unclear, the results are pretty compelling. What we know so far suggests that CBD engages with endocannabinoid receptors in the skin, helping to promote circulation, relieve inflammation, reduce spasms, and alleviate pain in muscles. 

Because they are applied at the site of pain, CBD topicals are quicker to provide relief than an oral dose of CBD. For this reason, it may be especially beneficial for people looking to manage symptoms that come on suddenly or rapidly spike in severity, such as cramping or muscle spasms. Topical CBD can also aid muscle relaxation and soothe tension, making it a good addition to massage oils and salt soaks as well. 

Because of the wide variety of product types that can incorporate the benefits of CBD into their formulas, there are many ways to customize your CBD experience to get the most pain relief possible from your dose. Product formulation plays a major role in this (which we’ll discuss in a moment), but there’s another significant factor that can dramatically impact pain relief: temperature sensation

Temperature & Pain Perception

topical cbd for muscle pain

There is a reason that temperature therapy is so commonplace in pain management. Ice packs, hot water bottles, warm salt soaks — even bags of frozen vegetables can help to manage pain and inflammation. If you’ve ever injured yourself, you were probably given the RICE protocol — rest, ice, compression, and elevation — to manage your pain and reduce the severity of the injury as much as possible. 

These principles are often applied to pain management as well, and not without reason. It turns out, temperature affects not just the way our body processes and responds to pain, but also the way we perceive it. This means that we can manipulate temperature to help support our bodies as they heal, but it also means that we can use compounds that create the sensation of temperature change without actually subjecting our cells to extreme temperatures for prolonged periods of time.. 

Unlike actual temperature fluctuations, these ingredients can influence cells to reduce pain without the side effects brought on by extreme temperatures. These compounds can also help to boost the anti-inflammatory action of CBD, aiding relaxation and reducing tension by alleviating the inflammation within the muscle. Cold sensations can help to numb pain and discomfort, while warm sensations can help to facilitate muscle relaxation and alleviate cramping or spasms.

Bengay, IcyHot, Tiger Balm … each of these drugstore standbys utilizes ingredients that manipulate your sensation of temperature with the goal of reducing pain perception. Ingredients like menthol, capsaicin, cinnamon oil, ginger, and others can be combined in different proportions, yielding sensations that range from warm to sensitive to tingling to icy (and lots of places in between). When utilized correctly, these sensations can help to dull pain while addressing some of the factors (like tension, inflammation, and swelling) that contribute to pain.

While these products often work well for some, they can also be quite intense — everyone knows someone with a disastrous IcyHot story after the product found its way to a sensitive area. For some people, especially those with sensitive skin or sensory processing issues, these products may be a bit much for regular use. However, many people find that their pain perception is dulled when they use products that manipulate temperature sensation, and this effect can often be achieved without causing discomfort.

Topical CBD Carrier Ingredients for Muscle Pain

topical cbd for muscle pain

Because temperature sensation is such an important factor in relieving pain, it will also be a central feature in our discussion of carrier ingredients. This is for a couple of reasons. First, the carrier ingredients a product is made of can help to extend or mitigate the effects of any warming or cooling ingredients it contains. Secondly, the carrier oil(s) of choice can alter the way the product feels on the skin, affecting the efficacy of the product.

Finally, carrier ingredients have the most potential to cause skin problems in some people, especially those who are prone to breakouts or have allergies. If your skin is sensitive or prone to things like dryness, itching, or breakouts, it’s especially important to be mindful of the stuff you put on your skin. Remember, the goal of all this is to find what works best for you.

Topical hemp products tend to be more subject to individual variation than oral CBD because of these supporting ingredients. Even the best CBD topical could work terribly if it’s made with stuff that doesn’t agree with you, and using the wrong products could actually negate the benefits of the CBD within them. For more on the role of skin health in overall wellness (and how to use CBD to support your goals), check out our dedicated article [here].

Cooling ingredients like menthol and arnica are demonstrated to help reduce the severity and intensity of pain sensation in many people. If this is true for you, we suggest reaching for products formulated with ingredients like aloe vera gel, cetyl alcohol, mango butter, or vegetable glycerin (propylene glycol also falls in this category, and while it isn’t our favorite, it is a safe topical choice for many people). 

These ingredients help to intensify the effects of cooling ingredients as they evaporate from the skin. The way it works is similar to the way sweat cools your body; heat energy is released when the product evaporates, creating a cooling sensation on the skin. While this isn’t the same mechanism by which cooling ingredients like menthol work (more on that a little later), it does contribute to the overall cooling effect, intensifying and extending it. 

We like to reach for aloe vera gel wherever possible, as it’s great for the skin and possesses anti-inflammatory and healing properties of its own. Vegetable glycerin (also labeled as glycerol) is also well-tolerated by most people and will help to get the most mileage out of your CBD experience. While we generally advise avoiding most alcohols (they tend to break down the connections between skin cells, leading to dryness in some people), cetyl alcohol is a possible exception. It is a fatty alcohol derived from coconut that contains emollient compounds that may help belay the damage done by its more astringent components.

Mango butter is another good choice (and gentler on the skin) because it carries cooling properties of its own, which can help to amplify the effects of other cooling ingredients. Mango butter is an excellent choice for people who desire a cooling effect without the potential dryness often caused by alcohol and other compounds. 

Warming ingredients like capsaicin and cinnamon, on the other hand, tend to be enhanced by oil-based formulas. If you’ve cooked with hot peppers or carry pepper spray on your runs, you might intuitively understand how this works. Oils work to keep warming ingredients active on the skin by making them more absorbable at the molecular level — very similarly to the way they help to improve the bioavailability of CBD. Since your skin is able to absorb and metabolize more of the warming ingredient when it’s attached to oil molecules, those soothing effects will be more pronounced.

Good carrier ingredients for warming compounds might include coconut oil, beeswax, shea or cocoa butter, carnauba wax, and oils from plants like olive, safflower, jojoba, argan, and grapeseed. With the exception of beeswax, each of these compounds are vegan, and most possess mild anti-inflammatory properties of their own. They are also more hydrating, making them better options for people with dry skin. 

We prefer to stay away from petroleum-based products, partly because of their environmental impact (which we’ll talk more about later), and partly because of the link established between use of products like mineral oil and cancer. In the interest of preserving your long-term health, we strongly advise avoiding petroleum products where possible, especially for the skin.

If you prefer to avoid products that affect skin sensation entirely in favor of more neutral topicals, there are still options for you. We suggest selecting milder formulas made without ingredients that trigger sensory discomfort for you. These are likely to include compounds like capsaicin, cinnamon, menthol, and ginger, but may also extend to ingredients like clove, arnica, and lavender. Listen to your body on this one — it may take some trial and error to find your balance, but you’ll find it all the same. 

If traditional topical formulas simply do not work for you (due to severe allergies, restrictions, or other reasons), you might try applying an unflavored CBD tincture to your skin instead. Since the CBD is bonded with oil in the tincture, you’ll reap its benefits without having to worry about the impact of supporting ingredients.

Topical CBD Supporting Ingredients for Muscle Pain

topical cbd for muscle pain

    • Arnica – Also known colloquially as mountain daisies, arnica flowers have been used traditionally to ease pain and reduce inflammation. While the exact mechanism is not yet clear, there are studies that suggest arnica may possess anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties when applied topically. Arnica extract may help to support the actions of CBD, improving the intensity and duration of relief. However, as a member of the (beautiful and often-problematic) Asteraceae family, arnica may be cross-reactive in people allergic to ragweed and related plants. 
    • Basil – A staple of both spice cabinets and herb gardens alike, basil is understood to possess anti-inflammatory benefits when applied to the skin. It reduces inflammation and calms cramping, acting as an antispasmodic and analgesic. These properties make it a good option for those recovering from injury or overexertion, as well as people who suffer from spasms and severe muscle tension — and it may help to alleviate soreness after intense physical activity or a medical event like a seizure.
    • Capsaicin – A fiery compound that produces severe inflammation in high doses, capsaicin is interesting in that it behaves very differently in small amounts. Capsaicin is responsible for both the kick in your chili peppers and the debilitating burn of pepper spray, but in very low concentrations it actually helps to reduce inflammation, opening blood vessels and improving circulation while oxygenating tissue. These properties can help to release muscle tension, dispel soreness, and relax away cramps and spasms. Most topical preparations that include capsaicin use very minute amounts, but even that little bit can trigger an adverse reaction in a small proportion of people. If your skin is on the sensitive side, proceed with caution.
    • Chamomile – Chamomile, a small yellow flower favored for use in relaxing teas and supplements, demonstrates anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and antimicrobial properties when applied to the skin. The plant’s extract has been used to reduce pain, [promote healing], and quell inflammation while easing spasms and cramping. As such, it may help to bolster the anti-inflammatory and analgesic actions of CBD, though there is a potential caveat to consider. Chamomile belongs to the same family (Asteraceae) as ragweed, a common allergen, and often cross-reacts in people with ragweed allergies. It may not be a good option for those allergic to ragweed, but it may offer an added benefit to people who are able to use it: chamomile is shown to help reduce pain perception when used for aromatherapy. Like lavender, it demonstrates a soothing effect that subjects reported helped to diminish their pain after use.
    • Clove – An unsung hero of pumpkin spice season, cloves pack a surprisingly potent analgesic punch. One study found that clove oil was just as effective as benzocaine at alleviating pain during a dental procedure — the kind of acute pain that’s more intense and harder to soothe. This finding suggests that clove oil might make an extremely beneficial addition to topical CBD pain management products, especially for sharp, stinging, or burning sensations that often come on acutely (and can be very distressing).
    • Lavender – Lavender flowers and the extract produced from them are perennial favorites in spheres ranging from cuisine to gardening to beverages to essential oil enthusiasts. It’s an immensely popular fragrance for body and home alike and has received attention from medical experts for its ability to ease stress and reduce pain. Studies have shown lavender oil to possess anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antimicrobial, and anxiolytic properties when applied topically, and these effects align perfectly with the properties of CBD. Lavender can help to alleviate pain and soreness, promoting muscle relaxation while easing the anxiety often associated with chronic pain. While those with a lavender allergy should avoid it, we find it very helpful at alleviating chronic pain when used in conjunction with CBD on the skin.
    • Lemongrass – A hearty grass with a piquant citrus flavor, lemongrass is rich in phytochemicals and bioactive compounds that can help to bolster the effectiveness of CBD against muscle pain. The herb possesses analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties in its own right; these effects can help to support the pain-relieving action of CBD. Emerging research suggests that lemongrass may be beneficial to injured muscles, helping to support athletic recovery and recuperation after an injury. 
    • Magnesium – Don’t let the name fool you — transdermal magnesium isn’t some weird synthetic compound. It’s been used to treat muscle soreness, pain, and cramping in the form of Epsom salts for many years, and for a reason. Magnesium is a compound crucial for the coordination and regulation of muscle contractions (both voluntary and involuntary). It is absorbed through the skin when dissolved in water, so the best way to use it is in a [CBD salt soak] or [bath bomb]. Try to soak for at least fifteen minutes, though you’re welcome to relax as long as you need to feel relief. 
    • Marjoram – To us, marjoram doesn’t get the credit it deserves. Often relegated to a dusty, untouched bottle on the back of the spice rack, marjoram is a delightful herb that’s packed with bioactive compounds that can enrich the effectiveness of your topical CBD dose. Studies reveal marjoram to possess antispasmodic and analgesic properties on its own; these actions can support relaxation and pain relief, especially in combination with CBD. As a fun and unnecessary bonus, the plant also smells wonderful, complementing other common herbal ingredients like lavender and lemon balm nicely.
    • Peppermint – The mother of menthol, peppermint (and other members of the mentha genus like spearmint) produce antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic effects when applied to the skin. The extract also induces a cooling sensation by sensitizing receptors in the skin to cold signals. This action, in turn, causes the nerves to relay messages to the brain saying “it’s cold over here!” The body then reacts to reduce swelling and slow activity in the area, much like it would if you were exposing it to actual cold temperatures. For this reason, we strongly advise against using mint of any kind near mucous membranes or adding it to a bath, as the potential for overstimulation of the skin is very high. With peppermint, less is definitely more. 
    • Tart Cherry – While research is still in its early stages, there is some evidence to support the use of tart cherry extract to treat muscle pain. One study found that tart cherry juice helped to alleviate soreness and muscle fatigue after an intense workout, and another found that compounds in tart cherry extract may help to calm inflammation and relax muscle tension, reducing pain in turn. As a stone fruit, tart cherry should be avoided by people who are allergic to peaches, nectarines, plums, and other drupes.
    • Willow Bark – The herbal ancestor of aspirin, willow bark (and maritime pine bark) contains compounds that reduce inflammation, pain, swelling, and muscle tension in humans. These benefits extend to both oral and transdermal dosing, making willow bark a natural accompaniment to the analgesic and anti-inflammatory actions of CBD. While it’s relatively rare, an aspirin allergy or sensitivity could cause an adverse reaction to topical  willow bark, so be aware of labeling if your body does not respond well to aspirin.

A Note on Sustainability

topical cbd for muscle pain sustainability

Our primary goal here at Key to Cannabis is to give our readers the information they need to make the best CBD purchasing decisions for their wellness and lifestyle goals. To that end, we feel it’s important to address the sustainability of different [types of ingredients] used in CBD products. As we’re collectively becoming more conscious of our relationship to our planet (and everything else on it), sustainably sourced ingredients are of huge importance to many people (ourselves included). 

We want to help educate people on how to make better buying decisions while acknowledging that “better” never quite means “perfect.” It’s true that no single consumer decision is going to make or break the planet, but nevertheless, we feel that there is still value in making the best choices we are able to, both for our health and for our world. 

We prefer to reach for plant-based ingredients wherever possible, especially over petroleum products (which are absolutely not sustainable, have a massive environmental impact, and have been linked to illness in humans when applied to the skin).  We also prefer them over animal ingredients, though we’re not strictly opposed to their use. 

It’s true that there are vegan alternatives to many things, but there are a few caveats to this. Firstly, the word “vegan” doesn’t necessarily mean that a given product is entirely plant-based. Polyester, microbeads, rayon, pleather, and other plastic products are also considered “vegan,” yet have a much greater environmental impact than their naturally-derived counterparts.  We don’t mean to imply that vegan labels are a meaningless distinction, but to illustrate the idea that the meaning of the word in labeling might be different from the idea of veganism as being plant-based. 

Second, the vegan alternatives available (especially for topical products) don’t necessarily work universally. Carnauba wax is an excellent example of this. Used as a vegan substitute for beeswax, carnauba wax causes an allergic reaction in some users and therefore isn’t a viable option. Finally, and most importantly, the decision whether or not to use animal products is a deeply personal one, and we don’t intend to shame people for making that choice. When they’re raised and harvested as ethically as possible, there is a valid place for animal products as part of a healthy lifestyle, which is what we’re here to support in the first place.

Takeaway

Topical CBD products can make a powerful addition to your muscle pain management regimen, but you’ll need the right supporting ingredients to get the most from your CBD dose. When choosing a product, consider the type of sensations (if any) that contribute to pain relief for you, then select carrier oils and ingredients that support your wellness goals. If you’re uncertain about something you see on the label, feel free to reach out to the company for clarification.

 

Topical CBD for Dry Skin: Healing Sensitive Skin with Hemp

Cannabidiol, or CBD, demonstrates significant anti-inflammatory benefits that have been successfully applied to therapies for a broad range of conditions. A growing body of evidence suggests that topical CBD products can be hugely beneficial to many of these conditions, whether applied alone or in combination with systemic CBD therapy. Many of these benefits create a compelling case for the applicability of CBD for dry skin, a common condition affecting millions of people.

While we tend to think of CBD as a predominantly therapeutic compound, and for good reason. More research is needed, but emerging studies support the application of CBD and other cannabinoids for the treatment of a diverse array of conditions and symptoms. Chronic pain, autoimmune conditions, dementia, cardiovascular disease, neuropathy, type II diabetes, psoriasis, arthritis, and many other conditions have been shown to respond positively to CBD, helping people lead healthier, happier, more comfortable lives without the expense and potentially harmful side effects of pharmaceutical drugs. 

CBD (and other beneficial cannabinoids) possess clearly evident therapeutic use, but they may also be beneficial to people looking for relief from dry skin. This might seem a bit obvious (after all, CBD is usually taken dissolved in an oil, and oils are commonly used to treat dry skin), but there’s a bit more to the relationship between CBD and skin health than you might expect.

Here, we’ll examine the causes of chronically dry skin before breaking down the science of how CBD acts on different parts of the skin to modify crucial processes. Then, we’ll discuss the secondary ingredients (which are [very important] to the effectiveness of topical products especially) to look for to get the most relief from using CBD for dry skin. We’ll talk about how and why some ingredients work, what works best, and what to avoid to keep your skin looking and feeling its best.

Why Does Our Skin Dry Out?

To understand how to heal dry skin, we need to know a little bit about what’s causing it. Everyone’s skin gets a little dry now and again — you’ve likely experienced chapped winter skin or scaly knees at least a time or two. These isolated instances are often due to climate or a sudden change in environmental conditions, but chronically dry skin may be rooted in a different cause (or even a few of them).

Our skin can grow dry when we become dehydrated, from over-cleansing with harsh soaps and detergents, after taking a long, hot bath or shower, in relation to chronic illnesses, or due to an underlying skin condition like psoriasis or eczema. Sometimes, however, our skin just tends to be on the dry side.

The moisture levels in your skin are largely maintained by the sebum, or oil, produced by your sebaceous glands. When these glands are overactive, we often see oily skin, large pores, and persistent acne. When they under-produce oil, however, our skin dries out, feels tight, and begins to crack, developing a rough, scaly texture. If left untreated, dry skin can actually result in open wounds in the skin, so addressing dryness at the first sign is important, especially for people with sensitive skin (including children and the elderly).

Topical CBD for Dry Skin: the Science

CBD has a regulatory effect on many of the body’s processes, including sebum production. A 2014 study found that topically applied CBD had a positive regulatory effect on sebaceous glands. In patients whose skin was overly dry, researchers found that application of CBD helped to stimulate their sebaceous glands to produce more oil. This, in turn, led to higher cutaneous moisture levels (a measure of skin hydration) and improved skin health for study participants. 

There is also evidence to support the idea that topical application of CBD affects the skin differently compared to oral or inhaled CBD, especially in treating skin conditions. This is because CBD engages with receptors in the skin in different ways than when it is absorbed through the lungs or digestive tract. While we still have much to understand about the specific actions by CBD on different receptors, emerging evidence indicates that CBD has a regulatory (or homeostatic) effect on skin in general, alleviating itching, soothing inflammation, protecting against environmental damage, reducing hyperpigmentation, and maintaining hydration

Topical CBD Carrier Ingredients for Dry Skin

When using CBD to address dry skin specifically (or choosing topical products for therapeutic reasons when you have dry or sensitive skin), the supporting ingredients are of special importance. If you’ve struggled to find a go-to moisturizer on drugstore shelves, you probably understand why: many common ingredients in lotions, creams, serums, and other topical moisturizers contain ingredients that can actually dry out your skin even more. An otherwise outstanding CBD product won’t effectively address dry skin symptoms if it’s formulated with the wrong carrier ingredients.

Moisturizers tend to fall into one of four categories: humectants, emollients, ceramides, and occlusive moisturizers. Humectants include things like aloe vera, glycerin, and honey that attract moisture to the skin throughout the day, helping your body hold onto hydration in the environment more easily. Emollients serve to fill in the gaps between skin cells, improving texture and alleviating much of the sensation of dryness. Emollient ingredients include things like shea and cocoa butters, plant oils like olive, sweet almond, and avocado, and lanolin (a waxy molecule commonly derived from sheep’s wool). 

Ceramides are a class of waxy lipid compounds found in skin cells that help the body to repair bonds between cells, improving skin condition and preventing moisture loss through damaged skin. Occlusive moisturizers, which include things like mineral oil, beeswax, argan oil, and jojoba oil, work by creating a barrier that helps skin retain more moisture throughout the day. Some compounds (including beeswax, argan oil, jojoba oil, olive oil, shea butter, cocoa butter, and safflower oil) work by two or more of these mechanisms, which may make them more effective.

If dry skin is your primary concern, there are a few carrier ingredients to steer clear of. Alcohols are major offenders common to lotion and cream formulas. Alcohol possesses strong astringent properties and is consequently used in many lotions to help break down bonds between skin cells to help the product penetrate better. This may be fine for oilier skin types, but it can be a real nightmare for dry skin. 

We recommend avoiding stearyl, ethyl, and isopropyl alcohols because they tend to be the most drying. If you must reach for something formulated with an alcohol, try to opt for cetyl alcohol, a fatty compound derived from coconut that is far less damaging to skin. If cetyl alcohol triggers an allergic reaction for you, stearic acid (a large lipid molecule found in cocoa butter) might be a better alternative, though products formulated with it may feel more buttery than creamy.

Supporting Topical CBD Ingredients for Dry Skin

    • Almond Oil – Almond oil makes a good moisturizer for sensitive skin, as it’s non-comedogenic and demonstrates anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties. This makes it an especially good choice for people prone to acne, as it can help reduce redness and inflammation associated with cystic acne while reducing bacteria on the surface of the skin. Almond oil also possesses some occlusive moisturizing properties, protecting skin from excessive water loss throughout the day. 
    • Aloe Vera – The clear, jelly-like substance contained within the leaves of the aloe plant (also commonly called aloe barbadensis) possesses powerful hydrating properties for the body and skin. Many cultures have used it traditionally to heal burns and scrapes, but it may also be applied as a moisturizer. Aloe possesses antimicrobial and antioxidant properties that can help speed healing and protect skin from environmental damage due to sun exposure. The plant extract may also help diminish signs of aging, improving skin texture and tone by increasing the moisture content of skin cells at the surface. 
    • Argan Oil – Made from the nuts of the argan tree (native to Morocco), argan oil has become something of a cosmetic darling in recent years. It possesses impressive antioxidant effects (potentially helpful for people who spend a substantial amount of time in the sun) as well as high levels of  vitamin E, which is shown to promote healing and hydrate skin. It also acts as an anti-inflammatory, making it a good option for many with skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis. However, it may cause breakouts in some people, especially those with tree nut allergies, so approach with caution if your skin is especially sensitive.
    • Beeswax – While it isn’t strictly vegan, there are some compelling arguments to be made for the use of sustainably harvested beeswax in skin products. Beeswax has been used throughout human history to soothe and heal dry skin, protecting it from damage while helping it retain moisture. It truly is a powerhouse of skincare, forming a strong barrier on the skin’s surface while nourishing and helping to restore bonds between skin cells. It acts as a humectant, drawing moisture into the skin from the environment, and confers powerful antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory benefits. It is also well-tolerated among users with sensitive skin and does not clog pores, even when used in acne-prone areas of the face and body. That said, it can cause an allergic reaction in a small proportion of users, especially those who are allergic to poplar trees, from which most beeswax is derived.
    • Carnauba Wax – Derived from the leaves of a palm tree native to Brazil, carnauba wax behaves very similarly to beeswax and is often used as a vegan alternative. It does offer many of the same skin-protecting and occlusive benefits as beeswax, and carnauba helps topical products stay solid and glide on smoothly as well. However, there’s a bit of a catch: carnauba wax tends to be more associated with breakouts compared to beeswax, and some people are allergic to it. It’s also important to use sustainably harvested carnauba wax, as the trees die if too many leaves are harvested at once.
    • Cocoa Butter – A product of cacao processing, cocoa butter is a thick, rich, highly emollient plant butter that is popular among people with dry skin — and for good reason. While it may be too heavy for more delicate skin (and especially the face), cocoa butter yields a rich texture and lasting protection from the elements. Its characteristic richness comes from its high fatty acid content, which provides both emollient and occlusive hydration. Like the cacao it comes from, cocoa butter also contains lots of antioxidants and yields anti-inflammatory benefits. 
    • Coconut Oil – Coconut oil has emerged as something of a darling in the health world, touted as a cure-all for a myriad of ails. While it isn’t exactly a miracle oil, coconut oil (and its sister in the beauty world, Monoi, which is coconut oil infused with the Tiare flower of Hawaii) does confer some powerful moisturizing benefits. Coconut oil is composed largely of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which act as both emollient and occlusive moisturizers to improve skin hydration. Coconut oil also shows to have anti-inflammatory properties when applied to the skin and may be beneficial in wound healing. It is a heavy oil, however, and may cause some people to break out, especially with continuous use. Coconut is also a potential allergen for some folks, so be sure to check the label — especially on products like salves and balms, which often heavily feature coconut oil.
    • CucumberOne of the few botanicals on our list, cucumber packs a surprising punch of moisture without oils or buttery compounds. The hydrating and anti-inflammatory properties of cucumber come from its balance of antioxidants, flavonoids, vitamin C, and lots of good old-fashioned water. Cucumber may help to protect skin from environmental and sun damage, promote healing, reduce redness and puffiness, and alleviate itching while improving the skin’s ability to retain moisture. While it may not be heavy enough to do the job on its own, cucumber extract can work very well alongside more emollient moisturizers to hydrate without smothering the skin. It’s generally well-tolerated, though those with cucumber allergies should avoid it.
    • Grapeseed Oil – Grapeseed oil is, in our opinion, rather an underrated carrier oil. Unlike many of the other oils listed here, grapeseed oil (derived from the leftover seeds from wine grapes) absorbs nearly instantly into the skin, leaving behind no greasy residue. It’s also non-comedogenic and well-tolerated among sensitive skin types. Grapeseed oil has been shown to possess anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties as well, and may help to promote healing while protecting skin from damage. Of course, take care to avoid grapeseed oil if you are allergic to grapes.
    • Jojoba Oil – While jojoba oil (derived from the nut of the North American desert-dwelling jojoba plant) has historically been used by many indigenous cultures, it’s a relative newcomer to mainstream Western beauty and hygiene products. The oil possesses antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties thanks to its high vitamin E content, and it acts as a humectant, drawing in moisture all day long. It’s also non-comedogenic (it’s quite similar in composition to the body’s natural oils) and suitable for sensitive skin. It is generally considered to be hypoallergenic, though there are a few rare exceptions.
    • Mango Butter – Pressed from the pits of the tropical fruit, mango butter is similarly rich in texture to shea and cocoa butters. However, its composition is subtly different, conferring many of the same benefits without causing breakouts. Mango butter is non-comedogenic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and hydrating to the skin. It can also yield a cooling effect, helping to soothe the itching and discomfort often associated with severe dry skin. While mango butter may be beneficial to many different people, it should be avoided by anyone with a mango allergy.
    • Neem – Also known colloquially as Indian lilac, neem trees yield a potent oil rich in bioactive compounds that may help soothe skin. However, because it’s quite strong, it may cause inflammation in some people. Like any essential oil, neem should only be applied diluted (and should be avoided if it produces an adverse reaction). That said, it demonstrates powerful antibacterial, antifungal, and antioxidant properties that may help protect skin from environmental and microbial damage. Preliminary research has shown it to be effective at reducing the severity of psoriasis symptoms when used consistently in diluted form, and it may be effective against some types of acne as well.
    • Papaya – A tropical fruit popular in Southeast Asia, papaya contains high levels of vitamin C and lycopene. These compounds give the fruit extract antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Papaya may help to reduce inflammation, itching, and dullness associated with chronically dry skin. However, it may be best reserved for the occasional application, as it can contribute to dryness in a small proportion of people. 
    • Pumpkin Seed Oil – Pressed from the seeds of the favorite autumnal gourd, pumpkin seed oil contains antioxidants, fatty acids, and phytonutrients that may help promote healing while hydrating and protecting the skin. These include linoleic acid, an occlusive moisturizer, alongside the antioxidant compounds called sterols and tocopherols. Pumpkin seed oil is non-comedogenic and may help to reduce redness, itching, and swelling. It’s also generally well-tolerated, though those with a pumpkin or squash allergy should opt for other ingredients instead. 
    • Shea Butter – Shea butter has been historically used by African cultures to hydrate, soothe, and protect skin and hair. A richly emollient substance derived from the nut of the African karite tree, shea butter is high in antioxidant polyphenols and essential fatty acids. It acts as an occlusive and emollient moisturizer that can help shield skin from environmental damage while encouraging healing and improving skin texture and elasticity. It is a rich, intensive plant butter that is generally well-tolerated, but may be associated with breakouts in some users. 
    • Tamarind – Tamarind, a piquant fruit popular in cuisine around the world, may possess antioxidant properties that can help promote healing and prevent skin damage when applied as a prophylactic. While the precise mechanisms aren’t yet completely clear, preliminary studies demonstrate tamarind seed extract to be beneficial to the skin, helping prevent the damage caused by the sun’s UVA rays. Tamarind extract may also help to promote healing in severe dry skin, though it could cause an allergic reaction in some people, particularly those who suffer from peanut allergies.

A Note About Sustainability

In a consumer environment where relatively little attention is paid to the sourcing and sustainability of ingredients, making conscious buying decisions can be a challenge. While we want to use our platform to help people choose products that are better for both them and the planet at large, we also recognize that “better” often doesn’t mean “perfect.” 

We want to empower our readers to make their own decisions, and part of that conversation involves an understanding that individual values differ from person to person. In the spirit of education, we’d like to offer some general advice for choosing better (though not necessarily perfect) products where possible. None of us can single-handedly change the world with our purchasing decisions, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t value in choosing to support sustainably sourced products where we can.

We prefer to use plant-derived ingredients over animal products wherever possible, and certainly over petroleum products. This is largely to do with sustainability, as petroleum is a nonrenewable resource and animal products require a great deal of resources to produce. In general, plant-derived products have a lower impact on the environment (especially when farmed organically) and tend to be well-tolerated by most skin types. They’re also vegan, with a few weird (but cool!) exceptions like figs.

That said, there are a couple of animal-derived ingredients like collagen, honey, beeswax and lanolin that are able to be harvested sustainably. While these ingredients are not considered vegan, some people may find that they play an important role in managing their symptoms. If this is true for you, make the decisions you feel are most appropriate for your situation. 

Lastly, about that word “vegan” — it may not mean what you think it means. You might have seen the term vegan applied to cosmetics, clothing, shoes, and other non-food items.  In labeling, “vegan” indicates that no animal products were used to make the product, but that doesn’t mean that it’s necessarily better for the earth. Vegan materials include things like pleather, acrylic, polyester, and rayon, which are made of petroleum-based plastics — not exactly natural or great for the planet. We advise you to closely examine products labeled as “vegan;” they may not be as environmentally conscious as they appear.

Takeaway

Topical CBD can be highly beneficial for soothing and healing dry skin, but its effects can be reduced by the wrong supporting ingredients. When searching for a topical CBD product to alleviate dry skin, look for plant-derived ingredients with emollient and hydrating properties over synthetic or petroleum-based ingredients. Be mindful of any special concerns you may have, such as sensitivities or allergies, when examining product labels to find the best CBD topicals for your skin.

 

CBD Topical Ingredients by Condition: Finding What Works


Roll-ons, salves, balms, creams, sprays, gels — there is no shortage of variety with CBD topicals. If you’ve looked into using CBD for pain relief, you’ve probably seen half a dozen of each of these formulations, each with different carrier and supporting ingredients. There are even CBD topicals dedicated to addressing skin care, wound healing, and other concerns outside of pain management. Even within the pain management sphere alone, topical products can be used to produce varying sensations to alleviate different types of pain, from aching joints to tingling neuropathy to pulled muscles.  

This variety is due largely to the supporting ingredients a particular product is formulated with. While the active ingredient (CBD) remains the same across these formulas (provided they meet our CBD Buyer’s Guide criteria), the carrier and supporting ingredients can modify its effects, enhancing certain effects by acting in concert with CBD. This broad range of potential products presents some potentially wonderful outcomes for patients and consumers (which we are absolutely here for), but not without some potential pitfalls.

Part of our mission at Key to Cannabis is a commitment to helping our readers make informed purchasing decisions that support their well-being in both the short and long terms. In that spirit, it’s important to us to share the current science of topical CBD products. This includes details about how different ingredients work as well as what symptoms they might help alleviate. Skin plays a significant (and often overlooked) role in overall wellness, and we believe strongly in empowering our readers to treat it — and themselves — more kindly.

Here, we break down supporting ingredients by condition, highlighting the most effective product formulations, herbal extracts, and minerals for your symptoms. We’ll also discuss potential concerns associated with topical use of these ingredients, focusing on sensitive skin types and common skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis. If you’d like to read up on the general purpose and usefulness of topical CBD products, check out our article [here].

CBD Topical Ingredients by Condition

Below, you’ll find a list of different symptoms beginning with types of pain before addressing symptoms of injury like swelling and broken skin. We close with dry skin because it’s such a common issue (check out our article on CBD and skincare for skin-specific concerns). We’ve chosen to limit this discussion to medicinal use, as there’s quite a bit of ground to cover. For a more detailed breakdown of ingredients for a certain symptom, look for links to our dedicated articles on CBD topicals in each listing. 

  • CBD Topicals for Joint Pain – There are many potential causes of joint pain and swelling, from  sprains and injuries to chronic conditions like rheumatoid, psoriatic, or osteoarthritis. Regardless of the root cause, the pain and swelling you feel in your joints is the result of damage to the joint capsule itself, which causes debris to create friction within the joint and induces an inflammatory response that disturbs the fluid balance of the joint. This can lead to pain, stiffness, and mobility problems and may be influenced by factors like barometric pressure, humidity, and temperature.
    • Topical CBD Carrier Types for Joint Pain – Because of the nature of joint pain, temperature sensation is of special concern — and different temperatures can work differently to alleviate joint pain. 
      • Most of the time, we tend to prefer warmth over cooling on our joints, as the temperature can help encourage better circulation and fluid movement. To that end, we prefer oil-based or waxy products, like salves or balms, for use on joints. We find that these formulations better support the warming action of ingredients like ginger or capsicum, aiding circulation and extending relief. Our preferred ingredients include:
        • Plant oils like those from coconut, olive, grapeseed, and avocado make for nourishing and sustainable carrier oils that maximize the absorption of CBD.
        • Beeswax is a heavier ingredient that hydrates and soothes skin while providing a protective barrier over the surface. It isn’t vegan, but can be collected sustainably, so use your discretion here.
        • Natural butters like shea or cocoa have long been used to hydrate skin, and their lipid-rich compositions make them ideal carrier ingredients — just know that their intensive emollient properties may be a bit heavy for oilier skin types.
      • When we’re looking for a cooling sensation to ease swelling and freeze away pain, we reach for a product with a lighter formula. While alcohols like stearyl and cetyl are often used (and may be effective for some people), they can be quite drying for others, especially when used regularly. Our preferred carrier ingredients for cooling products include:
        • Aloe vera juice provides plenty of hydration while contributing to cooling by evaporating quickly — the benefits of alcohol without the skin damage.
        • Vegetable glycerin (sometimes noted as glycerol or just plain glycerin) is often used to improve the texture of products like roll-ons, thinning and smoothing them for better application while providing some skin-soothing and hydrating benefits. Propylene glycol may also be used for this purpose, which is mostly fine for topical products (though it may negatively affect some people in high concentrations). 
        • While we prefer to skip alcohol-heavy products, we’ll definitely choose cetyl alcohol over stearyl or isopropyl any day. This is because cetyl alcohol, a fatty alcohol derived from coconut, has a high lipid content that can help return moisture to the skin, minimizing the potential drying effects of alcohol.
    • Supporting CBD Topical Ingredients for Joint Pain
      • Aloe Vera – While we tend to think of aloe vera for burns and other acute injuries, there’s evidence to show that it may have joint pain-relieving properties as well, and that these benefits are available when the plant is used topically. Aloe vera extract also helps hydrate, soothe, and protect the skin, and is well-tolerated by most people.
      • Capsaicin – You might know this molecule as the stuff that gives peppers their heat (and yes, it is the active ingredient in pepper spray), but it’s more than just the kick in your hot sauce. Capsaicin is excellent at improving circulation in the skin and underlying tissues when applied topically — in low concentrations, of course. This compound can produce a warming sensation that helps soothe pain while it dilates blood vessels and increases the ability of fluids to move through your tissues, making it potentially highly effective at addressing joint pain and stiffness (especially the pain caused by weather changes and cold snaps).
      • Cat’s Claw – This is a tricky one, so use with awareness and caution. Cat’s claw is an herb that has been shown to possess anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties, which may be beneficial to many people suffering from joint pain. However, there’s a potential catch for rheumatoid arthritis patients in particular, as that immune-boosting power might send an already-overactive immune system into full-on beast mode, worsening symptoms as the body attacks its own tissues. Cat’s claw may work well for people with osteoarthritis, but those with rheumatoid arthritis should proceed with caution.
      • Epsom Salts – Don’t overlook bath salts for joint pain! Epsom salts can help soothe soreness, and some evidence suggests that they might be useful in helping restore electrolyte and mineral balance to joints and muscles. They also combine well with heat therapy to alleviate pain and help improve mobility.
      • Eucalyptus – Eucalyptus is another plant with wide-ranging medicinal benefits, including pain management. Eucalyptus contains a hefty dose of tannins, which help reduce the inflammation and swelling that exacerbate joint pain. If your joints are especially swollen and painful, eucalyptus may help alleviate inflammation and restore balance to your tissues.
      • Frankincense – Also known as Boswellia, this plant resin may be especially beneficial to sufferers of rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune illnesses. This is because frankincense helps block the action of leukotrienes, chemical messengers for the immune system that increase inflammation. This action may help support the anti-inflammatory action of CBD, especially when used consistently over a longer period of time.
      • Ginger – Sometimes called zingiber on product labels, ginger has been used in traditional medicine for millennia to treat a wide range of symptoms, including joint pain. When applied to the skin, the extract can help improve blood flow and circulation to the skin and underlying tissues. This action, in turn, can support the body’s ability to clear tissues of excess fluid and promote healthy circulation. This effect may produce the secondary benefit of reducing swelling when ginger is applied topically.
      • Green Tea – One of the world’s most popular beverages, the anti-inflammatory action of green tea has been used for medicine by many cultures and traditions throughout human history. While the specific mechanisms are still being studied, researchers believe that compounds called polyphenols help reduce inflammation and oxidative stress throughout the body, both when ingested and when applied to the skin. Green tea is about 30% polyphenols by weight, and extracts from the plant are full of these helpful molecules.
      • Turmeric – Not just for culinary use, turmeric (sometimes labeled as its active ingredient, curcumin) has long been used to help soothe pain and inflammation, both internally and topically. Emerging evidence suggests that turmeric may be useful in slowing the advance of rheumatoid arthritis, and its soothing properties may help alleviate swelling and inflammation, thereby reducing pain and stiffness in sore joints. 
      • Willow Bark – This one goes back to the days of Hippocrates, who described patients chewing the bark to relieve pain and swelling. The plant can help alleviate pain and inflammation when ingested, but evidence suggests that these benefits may also extend to topical application. While willow bark is usually taken orally, we’re starting to see it added to topicals more often. 
  • CBD Topicals for Nerve PainNerve pain can be symptomatic of a variety of conditions ranging from diabetes to cancer to autoimmune conditions. The root cause of nerve pain is damage to your body’s nerve cells, which causes them to misfire and behave erratically. Nerve pain often feels sharp, like pinpricks, and may have an electric element to the sensation, making it potentially very disrupting and debilitating. Fortunately, topical products can be very beneficial for neuropathic pain, reducing the severity and frequency of pain. 
    • Topical CBD Carrier Types for Nerve Pain – Ultimately, the best type of product for you will depend on how your nerve pain feels. Different products will produce different sensations, which can be helpful to counter the pins-and-needles feeling of neuropathic pain.
      • For burning or stinging pain, you might prefer lighter products with a cooling sensation. We find that products formulated with things like  aloe vera juice, cetyl alcohol, or vegetable glycerin produce a stronger cooling effect than heavier, oil-based products.
      • If you prefer more of a warming effect, we recommend using products with a base made of oils, plant butters, or waxes. The lipid-dense composition of ingredients like avocado oil, shea butter, and beeswax can help amplify and extend the effects of warming ingredients, helping you feel better longer.
    • Supporting CBD Topical Ingredients for Nerve Pain
      • Capsaicin – While it isn’t for everyone, products that feature small amounts of capsaicin (the compound that gives chili peppers their characteristic heat) may help soothe some types of nerve pain. Researchers believe that capsaicin may have a desensitizing effect on the skin, helping to temporarily reduce the sensation of pain.
      • Clove Oil – The humble clove is a botanical pain relief powerhouse; one study found its oil to be as effective as benzocaine at alleviating pain during a medical procedure. While the exact mechanism remains poorly understood, researchers think that the analgesic properties of clove oil may be due in part to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. 
      • Eucalyptus – The analgesic properties of eucalyptus may extend to nerve pain as well, though current research suggests that this may have more to do with its aromatherapeutic application than through transdermal use. Eucalyptus can trigger asthma attacks in some people, so it’s best used well-diluted and with caution.
      • Feverfew – Long used to treat fever and pain in traditional medicine, the leaves and flowers of the feverfew plant (also known as Bachelor’s Button) may help reduce muscle spasms and the tingling or burning often associated with neuropathic pain. This may be due to the terpenes and flavonoids within the plant, according to emerging research.
      • Ginger – Ginger has been used to treat pain and inflammation for centuries, and its anti-inflammatory properties may benefit people struggling with nerve pain. Research suggests that the plant can help soothe pain and inflammation, whether consumed or applied topically
      • Lavender – A darling of the aromatherapy world, lavender is prized for its soothing, anxiolytic, sleep-inducing properties. However, the plant also possesses antifungal, antibacterial, and analgesic properties. Current research shows that lavender can help alleviate migraines compared to placebo, and may be applicable to other types of nerve pain.
      • Peppermint – Peppermint contains, among other compounds, menthol, which is well-known for the cooling sensation it gives when applied to the skin. This cooling may be helpful for some types of nerve pain, providing a pleasant numbing effect. Limonene and carvacrol, other major constituents of peppermint, may also help alleviate pain and inflammation when applied topically.
      • Rosemary – Current research suggests that this beloved culinary herb may be used to treat seizures and pain. Rosemary has been demonstrated to help relax smooth muscle (the muscles that contract automatically, without your control), which may help to reduce the pain caused by erratic nerve firings.
      • TurmericCurcumin, the active compound in turmeric, possesses powerful anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. In fact, turmeric was found to be as effective as ibuprofen for pain relief when used over a period of weeks.
  • CBD Topicals for Muscle Pain – Muscle pain can result from a number of common conditions such as stress, injury, strain, or overuse. The pain is caused by trauma to the muscle fibers themselves, which send pain signals when the tissue is flexed or stretched. Topical CBD products may help support healing within the muscles while alleviating inflammation and pain in the immediate term. Evidence suggests that topical CBD can help relieve muscle pain, support athletic recovery, and ease inflammation in injured muscles.
    • Topical CBD Product Types for Muscle Pain – Your preferred product will likely vary depending on the severity of your pain and the sensations you most enjoy: cooling, warming, a combination of the two, or neither of them. For people looking for the most neutral experience possible, we recommend cream- or oil-based products with minimal added ingredients.
      • For patients seeking a cooling or tingling sensation, we suggest a lighter product formulated with something like cetyl alcohol. The more volatile base means that the product will evaporate quickly, amplifying the cooling sensation and increasing immediate numbing and pain-relieving effects.
      • If you desire a more warming product, we recommend something formulated with a heavier base like coconut oil, cocoa butter, or olive oil. These base ingredients will help extend the warming effects of other supporting ingredients, thereby prolonging relief.
    • Supporting CBD Topical Ingredients for Muscle Pain
      • Basil – Research has shown basil, a common garden herb and spice cabinet staple, to possess anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties. When applied to the skin, basil oil can help reduce cramping and soreness, as well as aid in recovery.
      • Chamomile – You might know chamomile flowers from your tea cabinet. Often used to promote sleep, chamomile can also provide soothing benefits when applied to the skin. Evidence suggests that chamomile may possess antispasmodic properties, soothing cramps and easing tension.
      • Capsaicin – Capsaicin, the chemical compound that gives hot peppers their fiery taste, is a vasodilator that promotes circulation and widens blood vessels. This can be very beneficial for muscle pain, especially pain resulting from an injury or overuse.
      • Lavender – A perennial favorite among essential oil enthusiasts, lavender acts as an anti-inflammatory and analgesic when applied to the skin. Research shows it to be effective at reducing muscle pain and tension when used topically (diluted, of course).
      • Lemongrass – Lemongrass, a staple herb of Thai cuisine, may have analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties. When applied to the skin, emerging research showed lemongrass to reduce pain and inflammation in injured muscles. 
      • MagnesiumTransdermal magnesium has been used to treat muscle pain for many years in the form of Epsom salts. Magnesium is crucial for regulation of muscle contractions, and a 15-minute soak can help relieve pain and cramping in sore or injured muscles. 
      • Marjoram – Marjoram is a bit of an unsung hero of the spice rack. The herb possesses antispasmodic and analgesic properties, helping to alleviate pain and reduce cramps and spasms when applied topically. 
      • Peppermint – Peppermint oil possesses antispasmodic, analgesic, and anti-inflammatory effects when applied topically. It also produces a cooling sensation that can help numb pain within a few minutes of application (again, diluted!).
      • Tart Cherry Juice – Emerging research shows that tart cherry juice may help reduce pain in both the short and long terms. Participants using tart cherry extract in a recent study reported less pain 24 and 48 hours after a strenuous exercise session compared to participants using a placebo. 
  • CBD Topicals for Swelling – Swelling is, essentially, an inflammatory response that causes the body to retain fluid. While this often occurs in the extremities or at the site of an injury, swelling can also affect mobility, quality of life, and general physical comfort. Topically applied CBD has shown to be effective at helping to reduce swelling, both in the skin and in the underlying tissues. 
    • Topical CBD Carrier Types for Swelling – Cooling to neutral products tend to be more effective against swelling compared to warming topicals, though there are some exceptions. We recommend starting with a product formulated to emphasize cooling and anti-inflammatory effects, then gradually moving toward warming products if you feel they are more effective for you.
      • To amplify cooling ingredients like peppermint or arnica, we suggest choosing a more liquid formula like a roll-on. These products tend to be made with things like cetyl alcohol or sunflower seed oil, which absorb more readily into the skin and evaporate relatively quickly, soothing pain and swelling in the immediate term.
      • If you find that warming ingredients like capsaicin and turmeric are better suited to your body, reach for oily or waxy product formulas. These might be made with coconut oil, shea butter, or beeswax and may help extend the effectiveness of warming ingredients as well as amplify them.
    • Supporting Topical CBD Ingredients for Swelling
  • CBD Topicals for Wound Care & Broken Skin – CBD can be applied to cuts, burns, sores, and other injuries that break the skin’s surface, but you should be especially choosy about carrier and supporting ingredients. While there are benefits to applying CBD to a wound, those benefits could be reduced or even negated by ingredients not intended to be applied to broken skin. If you’re in doubt about a product’s safety, opt for a pure CBD oil with no added flavorings or colorings.
    • Topical CBD Carrier Types for Wound Care – We strongly recommend using ointments or balms for wound care over roll-ons or other fluid products. This is for two reasons: first, roll-on applicators in particular are not sanitary for use on broken skin. Second, the oil-based nature of ointments and salves helps to create a protective barrier over the skin that supports healing. Gels and liquids do not offer this benefit as strongly (though they may be used effectively for things like mild burn or sunburn).
      • When looking for a CBD product to apply to broken skin, seek out something specifically formulated for broken skin. The best carrier ingredients for wound care tend to be things like coconut oil, beeswax, shea butter, or lanolin. These ingredients will help protect your skin from irritants while promoting healing activity in skin and underlying tissues.
    • Supporting CBD Topical Ingredients for Wound Care – This is probably the situation where individual skin sensitivities have the most potential to cause discomfort or other issues, so knowing your body is important. Also, there are some ingredients to avoid. These include capsaicin, cinnamon, menthol, and other intense ingredients — it’s best to stick to gentler botanicals (if you choose to use them at all). These may include:
      • Aloe Vera – One of the gentlest botanicals available, aloe vera gel has been used throughout human history to treat burns, cuts, scrapes, and other forms of skin damage. The gel within the plant’s leaves has been shown to possess skin-healing and protective properties, making it an ideal addition to wound healing CBD topicals. 
      • Goldenrod – While it often gets a bad rap for causing allergies (like chamomile, it’s in the same family as ragweed and may cause reactions in some people), goldenrod can help promote healing activity by reducing inflammation at the site of injury.
      • Lavender – The soothing properties of the  lavender plant extend to wound healing as well — not only can lavender extract reduce inflammation in injured skin, it can also help keep infection at bay while a wound closes. This is because lavender possesses antibacterial properties alongside its anti-inflammatory and analgesic compounds.
      • Marigold Marigold flowers, also known as calendula, are favored among landscapers, but the plant and its blooms may provide wound-healing benefits beyond their aesthetic appeal. Research suggests that marigold flowers may promote skin healing through anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial actions.
      • Neem – Neem oil is widely used in southeast Asia for skin, hair, body, and even oral hygiene products. Neem is a powerful antimicrobial and antifungal, helping protect wounds from infection. It may also help to reduce inflammation and promote healing in injured skin.
      • Yarrow – Yarrow, a plant used by many cultures to reduce pain, inflammation, and anxiety, may help promote healing and reduce bleeding when applied to wounds. 
  • CBD Topicals for Dry Skin – Topical CBD can be very beneficial to dry skin, especially parts like elbows and knees that are more prone to flaking and scaliness. When combined with hydrating and humectant ingredients (more on those below), CBD can help alleviate itching while soothing skin, protecting against free radical damage while improving symptoms like hyperpigmentation and rough texture. 
    • Topical CBD Carrier Types for Dry Skin – When using CBD to treat dry skin, it’s crucial to select products made with quality carrier ingredients. It’s best to choose emollient ingredients like shea butter, coconut oil, cocoa butter, or olive oil for intensive, lasting hydration. As an added benefit, these ingredients will help to create a protective barrier over the skin’s surface (beeswax is especially good for this), helping to heal damage and prevent further injury. 
      • It’s best to avoid products formulated with isopropyl or stearyl alcohols for dry skin, as they can actually exacerbate the problem. This is because alcohols chemically break apart the bonds between the cells on your skin’s surface. While this is intended to help hydrating and humectant ingredients penetrate deeper into the skin, it can do more harm than good in very dry skin. If you must use a product with alcohol, opt for cetyl alcohol, a fatty alcohol derived from coconut that is shown to be less damaging to the skin. 
    • Supporting CBD Topical Ingredients for Dry Skin
      • Almond Oil Almond oil is an excellent option for people with very sensitive or acne-prone skin. This is because almond oil possesses antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties that can help to soothe cranky skin. Almond oil is ideal for dry skin because it hydrates in the short term and protects from excessive water loss in the skin in the long term, maintaining moisture balance throughout your busy day.
      • Aloe Vera – A favorite for burns and scrapes, aloe vera is an intensive, non-comedogenic (won’t clog your pores) hydrator that restores moisture to skin quickly and effectively. Aloe vera gel also gives the added benefit of absorbing well into skin while still creating a protective barrier over skin, shielding it from damage that can occur when the top layers of skin are dehydrated.
      • Beeswax – Beeswax acts as a very effective skin protectant and can help attract moisture to the skin throughout the day, promoting long-lasting hydration. Because of its intensity, beeswax may be best used in areas prone to dryness, such as elbows, knees, and hands.
      • Cocoa Butter – Richly emollient cocoa butter is a good option for skin that is very prone to dryness and cracking, though it may be a bit too heavy to use all over for many people. Cocoa butter is demonstrated to be an effective moisturizer and skin protectant, and its thick consistency gives it a luxurious feel.
      • Cucumber – There’s a reason that cucumber slices are such a pervasive component of spa treatments: the vegetable contains compounds that help restore hydration to the skin’s surface. Cucumber also helps your cells to retain the moisture it imbues them with and is especially gentle for sensitive skin types.
      • Grapeseed Oil – A sort of dermatological powerhouse, grapeseed oil offers a plethora of skin-nourishing benefits. First, it’s non-comedogenic, hypoallergenic, and gentle for even sensitive skin types. Second, it contains high levels of vitamin E and linoleic acid, two compounds shown to help reduce scarring and hyperpigmentation while improving skin tone and texture. Grapeseed oil also possesses mild anti-inflammatory properties and helps to reduce the appearance of spider veins, hyperpigmentation, and other inflammatory skin conditions over time. 
      • Mango Butter – Mango butter is shown to provide intensive, lasting hydration to skin, especially in people prone to dryness. The butter, extracted from the pit of the mango, contains high levels of vitamins A and C, which may help brighten dull skin and improve overall texture and tone. Because of its richness, mango butter is likely best kept away from the face and any areas of the body prone to breakouts.
      • Neem – Neem oil is demonstrated to hydrate skin while extending anti-inflammatory benefits that may be especially helpful for people with dry, itchy skin. The oil also possesses antifungal and antimicrobial properties, making it a good option for people looking to protect skin damaged by severe dryness.
      • Papaya – While it’s less common in the West, many cultures have historically used papaya to nourish skin, fight aging, and reduce inflammation. Papaya is rich in antioxidants, as well as vitamins A, C, and E, all of which play important roles in restoring and maintaining skin health. Papaya may help to soothe inflammation, itching, and redness while hydrating dry skin.
      • Pumpkin Seed – A tasty byproduct of Halloween Jack-o-lanterns, pumpkin seeds are high in skin-protectant, anti-inflammatory components like linoleic acid, tocopherols, and sterols. These compounds are found in high concentrations in pumpkin seed oil, which can confer both nourishment and protection while alleviating red, itchy skin.
      • Shea Butter – Shea butter is a richly emollient plant butter that possesses anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It may also provide skin-protecting benefits, though further study is needed.
      • Tamarind Seed – A tangy fruit popular among many cultures and cuisines across the globe, tamarind seeds may possess antioxidant properties. While the exact mechanism isn’t yet fully understood, early studies show tamarind seed extract to be effective at preventing skin damage from UVA rays. 

Takeaway

While CBD can be used to effectively treat pain, inflammation, injury, and a variety of skin conditions, its effects can be modified and enhanced by the ingredients working alongside it. When searching for a topical CBD product, be mindful of the label and reach for formulas that are targeted to alleviate your symptoms. Selecting the best formula for your needs can help ensure a more satisfying experience that supports your health and wellness goals.

 

CBD for Skin: Making Sense of CBD Topicals

If you’ve been looking into (or even actively experimenting with) using CBD for pain relief, you’ve likely seen topical products like roll-ons, balms, and creams. These products are usually marketed towards people seeking pain relief, but as the CBD market continues to grow, products targeted toward skin care, wound healing, and other concerns are starting to emerge. As an ingredient, there’s plenty of evidence to suggest CBD for skin health is effective, but using CBD for skin may not be that straightforward.

To improve their effectiveness, many of these topical products include supporting ingredients that help modify the effects of CBD to amplify the desired effect(s). This makes for more diverse choices and greater customizability for CBD users (and we’re here for that!), but it also makes navigating the field of available products more difficult. How can you know which product to choose? 

We at Key to Cannabis seek to help our readers make informed purchasing decisions that support both their immediate and long-term wellbeing. To us, part of this mission includes providing information about the current science of topical ingredients and their potential impact, both on symptoms and on overall health. The role of skin in wellness is often-overlooked, and we feel that consumer education can help support healthier lifestyles for our readers and the CBD community as a whole. CBD for skin can be a valuable part of a treatment plan for a variety of conditions, and we seek to support that.

Here, we talk about why being conscious of what goes on your skin is so important and break down a little bit of the science of how your skin supports homeostasis. We’ll then discuss CBD topical supporting ingredients by condition, highlighting what works and what to watch out for. We’ll close with a special note for people with skin allergies or sensitivities that highlights common inflammatory culprits and provides some guidance for navigating product labels when searching for CBD for skin.

Your Skin & You: Promoting Homeostasis

topical cbd for skin care

If you’ve researched the ways that CBD affects different systems within the body, you may have noticed the term homeostasis popping up repeatedly. Homeostasis is the term for your body’s natural equilibrium — sweating when you’re hot to bring your temperature down, signaling hunger when your blood sugar is low, and even your inflammatory response to stress or an injury are all examples of your body attempting to maintain homeostasis. CBD has a regulating effect on many of the body’s systems, including the skin — and that’s important, because your skin works hard to support your health.

Your skin really doesn’t get enough credit. We tend to take it for granted, but it’s responsible for much more than just containing your insides and defending your body from damage, pathogens, and debris. Your skin is an organ — in fact, it’s the largest organ you have — and, as such, its duties are vast and diverse. It helps regulate your body temperature, synthesizes important hormones and vitamins, senses and relays information to your brain, and absorbs beneficial nutrients and hydration from the things it comes into contact with.

Your skin shields you from UV rays, pollution, and environmental contaminants. It’s constantly changing throughout your life, and it helps keep your body in balance as you go about your day. It plays an obvious role in things like temperature regulation and sensation, but it’s also the site of synthesis of a couple of important compounds that have widespread effects on the body. 

The first is the hormone vitamin D (yup, it’s correct. Sometimes scientists name things before they’re understood), which is crucial for bone strength and may play an important role in gut health. The second, melatonin (involved heavily in sleep and wakefulness regulation) plays an important role in protecting your cells from damage due to oxidative stress, the kind of stress environmental factors like pollution and solar radiation inflict on your body. If your skin is stressed, inflamed, or damaged, your body’s ability to synthesize and process these two critical hormones may be compromised.

Because of the composition and intimate connection to other systems of the body, the skin can also provide early warnings of underlying problems. The skin can serve as a sort of “canary in the coalmine” of systemic inflammation, showing signs of underlying illness before other symptoms become apparent. If you’re having skin issues, there may be other forces at play under the proverbial surface — and if you’re having trouble controlling pain and inflammation, don’t neglect your skin! Topical CBD for skin can help to support your integumentary system as well as what’s underneath it. 

Why Do Topical Ingredients Matter?

topical cbd ingredients

We tend to assume that, as long as our skin isn’t cut, burned, or broken out, it’s fine, and that’s not exactly wrong. However, it isn’t exactly the whole story, either. Your skin keeps lots of stuff out, but it’s more permeable than it appears, especially at the molecular level. If you’re using products with inflammatory ingredients, you may inadvertently sabotaging yourself. CBD can be very effective against muscle and joint pain, inflammation, and neuropathic pain, but its benefits could be reduced (or even negated) by the wrong stuff.

Product formulations also play a role in how the ingredients behave and function in a practical setting. For example, an alcohol-based roll-on won’t double as a massage oil the way a heavier, oil-based salve might. Something made of volatile (meaning “quick to evaporate,” like isopropyl or ethyl alcohol) carriers that evaporate more readily will have a stronger cooling effect than an oil-based formula (and the reverse is also true: an oily product will produce a more lasting warming effect than something alcohol-based). In this way, two products with otherwise very similar supporting ingredients might behave very differently when the basic formulation is changed.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, everyone’s skin is different! There are, quite literally, as many different skin types as there are people on earth, and everyone has different needs and concerns. Knowing the composition of the topical products you use helps you avoid things that don’t agree with your body and choose products that support your individual health goals. 

In the spirit of serving individual goals, conscious consumption also helps keep you from inadvertently compromising your values through your purchases. Knowing the origin of the ingredients can help you make safer, more ethical, more sustainable buying decisions that align more closely with your values. This could include buying vegan, kosher, cruelty-free, certified organic, non-GMO, local, and any number of other criteria that are important to you.

Carrier Ingredients: What Type of Product Do You Need?

topical cbd ingredients for your skin

The main difference between different product formulations and consistencies is the carrier ingredients they utilize. A carrier ingredient is one that is used to dilute the active ingredients in a product while making it more absorbable into the skin. Carrier ingredients are also used in oral CBD products (usually MCT oil, though hemp seed, olive, almond, and other oils may also be used), but our focus here is on topical carriers.

Since CBD is lipid-soluble, the most effective CBD skin care carrier ingredients tend to be non-polar molecules like fats, oils, and alcohols. While petroleum jelly and other oil products are sometimes used, the high environmental impact of these ingredients inclines us to pass on them.

For salves, balms, lip products, and other intensely emollient formulas, carrier ingredients often include things like coconut oil, shea or cocoa butter, beeswax, mango butter, and other plant-derived oils. The consistency of formulas based in these ingredients ranges from waxy to whipped to creamy, and they often feel rich and heavy on the skin. Some absorb fairly quickly, while others take on a tacky or oily texture for some time after application. 

Because of their characteristic heaviness, these ingredients may cause some skin types to break out (coconut oil is a particularly common offender) when used all over, especially on the face. For dry skin, however, heavier formulas may be preferred to lighter products. Effects like the warming sensation brought on by capsicum or the tingling induced by peppermint tend to be extended in these buttery formulas. This may be especially helpful to people seeking to manage pain or relax muscles.

For hydration and skin protection without the waxiness, we suggest reaching for formulas that use plant-derived oils as a base. The options are pretty broad here; you’ll likely see oils from sources like olive, safflower, apricot seed, hemp, grapeseed, sweet almond, avocado, jojoba, argan, Monoi, and others. These oils will do a good job of extending the effects of warming or cooling products, though olive and Monoi may contribute to breakouts for some skin types. 

These ingredients yield products ranging in consistency from very fluid oils to more viscous lotions. Some absorb quickly without much residue, while others may leave a lingering oily feeling on the skin after application. To minimize greasiness, we suggest reaching for products that blend plant-derived oils with an even lighter ingredient like aloe vera juice or cetyl alcohol.

The lightest and most volatile (quick to evaporate) carrier ingredients aren’t oils at all, but a sort of semi-polar group of ingredients that include aloe vera juice, vegetable glycerin, propylene glycol, and alcohols like isopropyl, stearyl, or cetyl. Of these, we strongly prefer aloe vera juice, vegetable glycerin, or cetyl alcohol, which tend to be gentler on the skin than alternatives. This is because propylene glycol, while generally safe for topical use, may be inflammatory for some skin types.

Isopropyl and stearyl alcohols have a tendency to dry skin over time due to their impact on the bonds between skin cells. These ingredients may be okay to use once in a while, but we prefer to stick to products we don’t have to second-guess reaching for again and again.

Cetyl alcohol, a coconut-derived fatty alcohol, is less damaging to skin due to its higher emollient content. Aloe vera juice is a very well-tolerated and non-comedogenic moisturizer for even the most sensitive skin types. Vegetable glycerin, like cetyl alcohol and aloe vera, evaporates quickly and is gentle enough for general use, even for sensitive skin. Since these ingredients evaporate from the skin more readily, they’re ideal for enhancing the cooling effects of things like peppermint, arnica, and chamomile. 

Plant-Derived Compounds & Botanicals

topical cbd ingredients botanicals

In the interest of sustainability, we prefer to opt for plant-derived ingredients wherever possible. Additionally, the terpenes found in plant extracts may help improve the efficacy of CBD and other cannabinoids. Terpenes can modify the effects of CBD by amplifying specific effects or adding complementary properties of their own. 

We should note that just because an oil or extract is natural doesn’t mean that it’s completely without risk for everyone. Undiluted essential oils like peppermint, tea tree, and cinnamon can cause chemical burns if applied undiluted to the skin, for instance, and chamomile may provoke a potentially dangerous allergic reaction in people sensitive to ragweed or other members of the Asteraceae family. “Natural” ingredients are equally capable of producing an adverse reaction as synthetic ingredients, so don’t assume a product labeled “vegan” or “all-natural” is automatically safer by default. We love our botanicals, but they aren’t fully risk-free.

One of the main therapeutic effects of CBD is its ability to act as an anti-inflammatory, reducing excess inflammation and taming related symptoms like redness, fever, swelling, and pain. The natural world is full of anti-inflammatories — aspirin is derived from willow bark, for instance — that may be utilized to enhance the soothing properties of CBD. These may include green tea, turmeric, ginger, capsaicin (extracted from chili peppers), lavender, chamomile, frankincense, resveratrol, arnica, peppermint (or any other variety of mint), cinnamon, clove, lemon balm, and other plant extracts. 

Many of these compounds also possess pain-relieving properties when used topically, including willow bark (and some types of pine bark), turmeric, ginger, lavender, frankincense, arnica, clove, lemon balm, and cinnamon. In addition to analgesic effects, many herbs can produce temperature sensations in the skin that may help to reduce pain perception.

For example, herbs like peppermint, arnica, frankincense, and lemon balm yield cooling, tingling sensations that may help to reduce swelling. Plants like ginger, peppers, and cinnamon can induce a sensation of warmth, helping muscles to relax and ease tension. Herbs with differing effects can be combined to produce more of a tingling sensation that can help stimulate nerves in a way that reduces nerve pain in many people. 

Because there are so many different compounds that work through so many diverse mechanisms in the body, herbal ingredients are often a major source of difference in function between otherwise comparable products. The scent produced by a particular blend may also be a benefit, as there’s some pretty compelling evidence to suggest that scent is important to how we perceive pain. Eucalyptus, lavender, chamomile, citrus, and cinnamon are popular in aromatherapy circles, but you should use whatever you find soothing or comforting.

Vitamins, Minerals, & Unpronounceables

topical cbd ingredients for your skin

While some products (usually salves and balms) consist solely of CBD, a carrier oil or two, and a few botanical ingredients, products like roll-ons, lotions, sprays, and other more modern formulas will have at least an ingredient or two that looks a little intimidating. These might include things like L-ascorbic acid (vitamin C, a skin brightener and antioxidant), niacinamide (vitamin B3, a humectant and skin protector), retinol (vitamin A, an antioxidant that helps fight signs of aging), or alpha tocopherol (vitamin E, used to restore moisture to the skin and protect it from damage). 

For the most part, these ingredients are included for a reason and likely bring some skin-nourishing benefits to the table. That said, you may need to be on the lookout for things like phthalates and parabens (plasticizers used to emulsify ingredients that can cause adverse reactions in some skin types), DMDM hydantoin (a preservative known to release formaldehyde over time, which is irritating to most skin types), and phenoxyethanol (a stabilizer linked to allergic reactions in some consumers). 

These are some of the most common causes of allergens in topical products, so try to avoid them if you are prone to breakouts or skin allergies. That said, it isn’t an exhaustive list — sodium laureth sulfate (and other sulfates), fragrances, dyes, and other compounds can also act as irritants in some people. If you have a bad reaction to a product, discontinue use immediately and monitor your symptoms. If they persist longer than a day or two, visit your doctor to make sure there isn’t an underlying problem at work. 

Other additives might include something like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide (mineral sunscreens that form a barrier between skin and damaging solar radiation). Thickeners or emulsifiers may also be used to maintain product texture (hydroxyethylcellulose is one, but others might include xanthan gum, guar gum, carrageenan, or potassium sorbate). These ingredients aren’t necessarily anything to panic about, but may cause adverse reactions for those with especially sensitive skin. For this reason, we recommend exercising caution with unfamiliar compounds and researching them when necessary.  

Takeaway

CBD topicals can be therapeutic beyond their active ingredient alone. Especially with topical products, the supporting ingredients added to the formula have the potential to substantially modify the effectiveness of the CBD they contain, helping make less potent products more effective and maximizing the therapeutic potential of high dosage strengths. Learning to utilize supporting ingredients can help you maximize the benefit of your dose of CBD while avoiding problematic ingredients and allergens. 

By noting which botanicals, carriers, and other supporting ingredients work best for you, you can find a product (or even a full regimen) that is effective for you. When considering the right products to choose, take a look at our breakdown of CBD topical ingredients by condition for an idea of what to look for on product labels and how to navigate the different choices available. We also have more detailed articles available addressing the specific mechanisms of different ingredients, again broken down by symptom. CBD topicals offer strong therapeutic potential for a broad range of symptoms.

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CBD For Cardiovascular Disease

How Does Cannabis Help With Cardiovascular Disease?

Cardiovascular disease is one of the most common ailments in America; heart disease is the leading cause of death in the US, causing nearly 1 in 4 deaths annually. Nearly fifty percent of Americans have one or more risk factors for heart disease, which include diabetes, a history of tobacco use, obesity, and a largely sedentary lifestyle. Many different pharmaceutical interventions are prescribed for cardiovascular disease, from ACE inhibitors to anticoagulants to antiplatelet agents to cholesterol-reducers like statins and cholesterol absorption inhibitors.

If you’ve been diagnosed with cardiovascular disease, you may have a veritable armada of medications in your arsenal. Many of these medications can interact with both other medicines and the food you eat, making accommodating them in your life difficult. They can also produce nasty side effects and make you feel, well, crummy!

While we don’t advise discontinuing these medications outright (a terrible idea for your heart) without consulting your doctor and keeping a careful eye on your lab results (it’s important to continue to monitor your condition, and blood testing provides an excellent picture of your cardiovascular health), there is evidence to suggest that CBD can help alleviate the hypertension and inflammation underlying cardiovascular disease, reducing your risk of heart attack and stroke.

So, how does CBD help with cardiovascular disease? First, we’ll need to discuss the roots of cardiovascular disease—what it is, what causes it, and how to prevent it, or mitigate it if you’ve already been diagnosed. Then, we’ll explore the science of how CBD acts on your system to reduce hypertension and relax your blood vessels.

We’ll close with a recommended CBD regimen to help alleviate your symptoms and improve your health markers; work with your doctor to assess the effectiveness of your CBD regimen by watching your progress on your blood tests. You may find that CBD is enough to manage your condition effectively!

When reduced to its most basic elements, cardiovascular disease is like so many other illnesses in that it’s a disease of inflammation. Your blood vessels can become inflamed just like other tissues of your body, restricting blood flow and potentially blocking vital pathways, causing a heart attack or strokeHypertension, or high blood pressure, is a symptom of this inflammation: the blood vessels constrict as they become inflamed, forcing blood through the smaller openings at higher and higher pressures, sort of like putting your thumb over the mouth of a garden hose. This not only stresses the walls of your blood vessels, it also strains the heart, which has to work harder to pump your blood through your constricted and inflamed system.

This is one of the reasons aspirin is commonly prescribed as a preventive measure to people approaching middle age, the time of life when we expect to see cardiovascular disease arise. Aspirin works in two main ways to help stave off heart disease: it is a blood-thinner, meaning it makes your blood less likely to clot within your blood vessels and produce a heart attack. It is also an anti-inflammatory, and helps reduce the inflammation within your blood vessels that is contributing to your high blood pressure.

CBD can also accomplish this relaxation of blood vessels, as it’s also a potent anti-inflammatory that has been shown to relax blood vessels themselves (more on the biomechanics of that action in a moment!). CBD also reduces the cardiovascular response to different types of stress, which means it can help regulate your heart rate and decrease your risk of a sudden cardiac event.

Before we begin talking about the science of how CBD helps improve cardiovascular health, we need to make a note: CBD is no different from other medications in that it won’t magically undo or negate poor lifestyle choices. Cardiovascular disease affects your whole body, so you’ll need to consider your whole body when treating it in order to be effective.

If you’re going to add CBD to your regimen, that’s wonderful! That said, if you’re looking to get the maximum effect from your dose, you’ll need to pair your CBD routine with healthier lifestyle choices. This doesn’t just mean quitting tobacco, reducing alcohol intake, and avoiding fried foods—like anything else in life, the more you put into your lifestyle changes, the more you’ll get out of them.

It’s a good idea to increase your physical activity—try making small changes like going for a morning walk or taking the stairs to your office instead of the elevator—as well as making responsible dietary choices. There is mounting evidence to support the theory that the standard American diet—high in sugar and carbohydrates, low in fat—is hard on your system and promotes systemic inflammation, so talk to your doctor about how to make changes to your diet that will support your heart health.

Diet is tricky because so much of the existing research is influenced by the sugar and wheat industries (who have a vested interest in downplaying the harm their products cause), so it’s important to do your research while paying close attention to who funded the studies you’re reading.  We advise working with your doctor in conjunction with doing your own research, and don’t be afraid to seek a second opinion!

What Studies Exist to Support the Use of CBD for Cardiovascular Disease?

While there are a fairly small (from a scientific perspective) number of studies available on the specifics of how CBD acts on the cardiovascular system, there’s a lot to unpack within them. We’ll be focusing on a study conducted in 2013, which found several phytocannabinoids (including CBD) to be effective in inducing vasorelaxation, or relaxing the tissues of blood vessels to increase their diameter, thereby improving blood circulation. CBD was also found to act as an agonist (a compound that boosts the effects of a different compound in the body) for a compound called PPARγ, which helps clear blockages in the arteries and reduces blood pressure.

This means that CBD acts on the cardiovascular system in (at least) two ways: it relaxes the blood vessels themselves, and it helps boost the activity of compounds that reduce blood pressure and gradually clear blockages. There are also other studies, performed on both humans and rats, that show CBD to produce vasorelaxation through a receptor located in the endothelium (the inner layer of cells lining your blood vessels). The full discussion gets a little complicated here, but the main point is that researchers found evidence that CBD acts on a receptor in the endothelium to help relax and expand blood vessels. While that receptor has yet to be specifically discovered, scientists have shown us where we should be looking, so researchers are getting warmer!

The anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) effects of CBD can also benefit cardiovascular health by decreasing cardiac response to stress, reducing the likelihood of a sudden cardiac event, like a heart attack. CBD can help regulate an irregular heartbeat, further reducing your risk of heart attack—especially if you’ve been diagnosed with an arrhythmia. These studies suggest that CBD has a regulatory effect on heart rate, and it does not appear to raise heart rate (unlike THC).

Which CBD products help with Cardiovascular Disease?

As you design a cannabidiol-infused wellness regimen to help combat symptoms of cardiovascular disease, you should note that CBD should be used regularly for maximum relief. In other words, using CBD as a preventative is the first step to total symptom relief. After establishing a regular dosing routine, then you can use CBD to manage acute flare-ups as well.

There are multiple CBD products that you can choose from, but for managing cardiovascular disease, we recommend ingesting full spectrum CBD oil daily in the form of tinctures or gel capsules.

These two products feature the same main ingredient—full spectrum CBD oil. Choosing between the two means determining which dosing style works best for you. Tinctures are easily dropped under the tongue, and gel capsules are swallowed, just like any other pill. Just be sure the product you choose also utilizes high-quality MCT oil, which is crucial to the body’s ability to effectively break down and absorb CBD.

After establishing a preventative routine, you may find that you still need an easy way to use CBD for managing acute flare-ups. There are many products that may help you achieve relief from these sudden symptoms, and choosing is based on your own preference.

Whether it’s caused by stress, a big life event, or something else  – we recommend vaporizing CBD isolate to combat these acute flare-ups. CBD isolate is a version of CBD that is 99% pure, and when vaporized it can deliver fast-acting relief to the entire body.

Additionally, you can simply increase your regular dose of CBD gel capsules or tinctures to manage these acute flares. Just keep in mind that they will take significantly longer to take effect than the 10-minute onset achieved with vaporized CBD.

What is the correct CBD dosage to help treat Cardiovascular Disease?

Choosing the best dose for you requires careful consideration of your unique biological factors, like weight and tolerance to cannabinoid-based supplements. Additionally, you may need to increase your dose for more severe cases of ADHD or ADD or to manage severe flares.

We suggest those suffering from cardiovascular disease start with 15mg per day of CBD. If this dosage doesn’t bring complete relief, we suggest increasing by 5-10mg until the desired effects are achieved. CBD tinctures make it easy to measure doses in small increments, so they may be a great option for those who are testing out different doses.

CBD gel capsules, however, offer pre-measured doses that make it convenient to take CBD daily. There’s no harm starting with the lowest dose (like a ten-milligram capsule) and increasing by that increment since you can’t overdose on CBD and it poses no risk of serious side effects.

From here, you can increase your dose slowly until you experience complete relief. Don’t forget that with ingestible CBD products you’ll experience a delayed onset time – it can take up to 90 minutes for the effects to peak. That means you need to allow plenty of time between doses to the effects before you make any adjustments to the amount of CBD you are taking.

CBD vaporizers require a slightly different approach, as it can be difficult to measure the exact potency of CBD in every puff. Instead, try measuring the amount needed to experience relief from symptoms by the “number of puffs” needed. This is simple because vaporized CBD kicks in quickly, usually in ten minutes or less. This offers a great opportunity to slowly monitor the effects and stack on doses until you learn how much CBD you need.

A Note About CBD and Drug Interactions

Before starting to use CBD for any specific purpose, you should understand that CBD is most effective when used regularly.  While it can absolutely be used to manage acute flare-ups, its primary purpose is as a preventive, so you’ll need to be consistent with it! Consider it like any other medication or dietary supplement: you want to establish a baseline concentration in your body for maximum effect.

Daily Maintenance

To help support your cardiovascular health, we recommend ingesting full-spectrum CBD oil each day, in the form of tinctures or softgel capsules. Both products contain organic, non-GMO, hemp-derived CBD dissolved in MCT oil for maximum biovailability (the ability of a compound to be absorbed by your body); the only real difference is that the softgels are contained within a gelatin capsule and the tinctures are in liquid form. We like the softgels for convenience, but the tincture makes a great addition to coffee or smoothies if you don’t like the taste of it by itself.

When it comes to figuring out what dose works for you, be prepared to do some experimentation. We recommend starting with 5-10 mg of CBD per day to start, building up from there by 5-10 mg at a time if you don’t experience relief at a low dose. Tinctures can be dropped a few milligrams at a time and the softgels are available in 15 mg and 25 mg dosage strengths, so you can easily adjust your dose.

There is no harm in taking more than you need: you cannot overdose on CBD, it carries no serious side effects, and it does not cause your body to develop a tolerance to it.  Ingested CBD will last up to 8 hours—many consumers find that their dose gets them through the whole day!  That said, be advised that it also takes longer to kick in: between 45 and 90 minutes to feel full effects, depending on your body and the dose.

Managing Acute Flare-Ups

In addition to the daily maintenance program discussed above, you may want to supplement your regimen with vaporized CBD.  Unlike ingested CBD, vaping the compound takes effect almost instantly and can help soothe acute episodes of high blood pressure or a racing heart. We recommend either using CBD vape oil or dabbing pure CBD isolate in these instances, soothing your cardiovascular system quickly and effectively. You can also use tinctures or softgels for these situations, but bear in mind that you’ll have to wait longer for relief than you would if you inhaled CBD.

Conclusion

The potent anti-inflammatory and anxiolytic effects of CBD can provide major benefits to your cardiovascular system, reducing your risk of heart attack and stroke. CBD can perform some of the functions of commonly-prescribed medications to soothe inflammation and bring down blood pressure. If you’re interested in more research about the applications of CBD for cardiovascular disease, check out our free case studies to see how CBD can help you take control of your health.  If you’d like more information about replacing your current pharmaceutical regimen with CBD, consider our CBD ebook, which covers everything you need to know to make the switch successfully.

 

 

Weed Guide: A Visual Glossary of Cannabis Terminology

This comprehensive visual guide will help you navigate the often-confusing cannabis terminology. It is important to note that because cannabis has been illegal for so long, many of the terms have no formal ‘Websters’ definition. Many words have multiple meanings and some can be used interchangeably. Please keep in mind that while some of these words may have a slightly different meaning depending on your geographic location, I have done my best to address the common nuances of each term.


Backroll

See Inside Out


Baseball Bat

See Cone


BHO

An acronym for Butane Hash Oil (BHO) used to identify cannabis concentrates extracted with butane as the solvent. This type of cannabis concentrate can take on a variety of consistencies including shatterbuddersnap n’ pull, and sap.


Blunt

A blunt is a cannabis cigar. The term originated from the Phillies Blunt brand cigars but has since been used to refer to any inexpensive cigar or cigarillo that is hollowed-out and then re-rolled using ground cannabis or organic hemp flower. Learn how to roll a blunt.


Bong

A bong, also known as a water pipe, is a filtration device used to smoke cannabis or organic hemp flower. As the user inhales, the smoke passes through the water and bubbles up into the chamber prior to being cleared, filtering the smoke for a smooth hit. Bongs are typically comprised of at least two pieces, the larger tube (that holds the water) and a smaller bowl piece where the ground buds are loaded.  That said, there are many different types of bongs that may include multiple chambers with percolators, ice catchers, and more.


Bowl

A bowl is the part of a smoking pipe or bong that is used to hold ground cannabis for smoking.


Bud

The bud sites and associated flowers produced by the cannabis plant. Also refers to the dried, trimmed, and cured flowers familiar at the consumer level.


Cannabis

Cannabis can refer to the hemp plant itself and/or the various parts of the plant from which psychotropic drugs are prepared. Commonly (and unless otherwise specified on our blog), it refers to bud. The cannabis plant is tall with a stiff upright stem, divided serrated leaves, and glandular hairs.

Cannabis is a genus of flowering plants that includes three different species, cannabis sativa, cannabis indica, and cannabis ruderalis. These species are native to Central Asia and the Indian Subcontinent.  Industrial hemp is technically a subspecies of the cannabis family, but in the interest of clarity we’ll refer to it as organic hemp flower unless otherwise specified.


Carb Cap

A carb cap is a tool used to helpfully vaporize cannabis concentrates or CBD isolate at lower temperatures. The carb cap is typically dropped on top of the nail, creating a partial seal. Think of it as creating a tiny oven for optimum vaporization of concentrates.


Cannabidiol (CBD)

CBD is one of over 85 active phytocannabinoids identified in cannabis. It is non-psychoactive and is considered to have a wider scope of medical applications than THC.  CBD is available in many concentrated forms, but it can also be consumed in the form of organic hemp flower, just as you would traditional cannabis buds.


Cannabinoid

Cannabinoids are a class of diverse chemical compounds found in cannabis (and in the human body — these are referred to as endocannabinoids) that act on cannabinoid receptors in the body. There are over 85 identified phytocannabinoids, the most prevalent being THC and CBD. These are the compounds responsible for the therapeutic effects associated with cannabis.


Canoe

A term used to describe a joint that burns unevenly. Typically, a portion of the cherry burns faster than the rest of the joint, creating a long run of burnt herb in the joint.  Typically, this is the result of an improperly rolled or lit joint. For more on how to avoid this annoyance, try our tips for rolling better joints.


Caregiver

Individuals allowed to assist specific, state-registered medical patients by cultivating medical cannabis on their behalf.


Cherry

The burning portion of bud in a joint or bowl that stays lit without further ignition.  Ideally, it should be round and compact to prevent canoeing or torching the bowl.


Chillum

A chillum is a straight, usually one-hitter pipe with an end-to-end channel. A chillum does not have a carb like a traditional pipe, providing a direct hit each time for maximum smoking efficiency.


Cola

A cola refers to the part of a female cannabis plant where the flowers or buds grow together tightly. This is known as the terminal bud in plant physiology.


Collective

See Dispensary


Concentrate

The separated or extracted resin obtained from cannabis; synonymous with hash.


Cone

A joint shape that flares from a small base to a larger-diameter tip.


Crutch

A device, typically made of wood pulp or glass (but easily MacGyvered from just about any paper or card stock material), that is incorporated in the joint rolling process to create a mouthpiece. Also known as a filter or tip, you can learn more about their benefits in our crutches guide.


Dab

A dose of cannabis concentrate. See dabbing.


Dabber

A tool used to collect cannabis concentrate and apply it to a heated nail, skillet, or chamber. They are typically made of titanium, stainless steel, or glass. Be mindful of materials, as using a sub-par dabber could allow heavy metals to leach into your dab — yikes!


Dabbing

The process of dropping a dose of cannabis concentrate onto a heated water pipe attachment (known as a nail) and inhaling. jAlso applies to using a more traditional pen-style vape to consume cannabis concentrates. Looking for tips to help maximize the flavor of every dab? We can help!


Dab Rig

A dab rig is a water pipe specifically designed for consuming cannabis concentrates as opposed to ground buds. The primary difference is that a dab rig generally has a male joint as opposed to the female joint usually found on a bong (male joints are ideal for most nails). Typically, a dab rig is also smaller than a traditional bong.


Dankrupt

To be out of cannabis.


Dispensary

A legal clinic, medical and/or recreational, that provides cannabis products to medical cardholders and/or recreational users.  As CBD becomes more popular, this term is also being applied to stores that sell CBD products in accordance with federal regulations.


Draw

To suck or take in air; inhale.  Also referred to as a hit.


Dry Sift

Dry sift is a form of solventless hash that involves using a series of taught silk screens of varying microns to separate the trichome head (where all the good stuff is) from the stalk and plant matter.


Filter

See Crutch


Flower

See Bud


Grinder

A grinder is a device designed to break the bud or organic hemp flower into fine, evenly ground bits. For more on grinders click here.


Hash

Hash, also referred to as hashish, is the oldest term still currently in use to refer to a cannabis product composed of separated or purified trichomes. Hash is considered to be a form of concentrated cannabis. There are many separation and extraction methods; both solvent and non-solvent based.


Hemp

Hemp refers to high-growing, industrial cannabis plant varieties, and their products. Hemp is grown primarily for its fiber, oil, and seed, but increasing attention is being paid to creating high-quality organic hemp flower strains that look, smell, taste, and smoke just like their high-THC counterparts. Hemp is low in THC, typically less than 0.3 % according to federal regulations.


Ice Water Hash

Ice water hash is a form of solventless hash that is extracted using ice and water to break the brittle trichome heads off of the plant material.


Indica

Cannabis plants of the indica variety grow short and bushy. Indica leaves are short, wide, and deeply serrated. Cannabis indica plants typically mature in 6 to 8 weeks. The effect of cannabis indica is typically described as a body high and is characterized by physical and mental relaxation, sleepiness, and often “the munchies.”


Inside Out

A European rolling technique also referred to as a backroll, in which the orientation of the rolling paper is flipped and the excess paper is torn off after completing one rotation around the rolled cannabis. To learn how to roll inside out, check our step-by-step instructions.


Joint

A rolled cannabis or hemp flower cigarette created with paper, as opposed to a tobacco, palm, or hemp leaf wrap.


Kief

Kief is a grade of dry sift that contains a mixture of trichome heads, stalks and cannabis plant matter. Kief often accumulates in grinders with chambers for that purpose, but it can also be sifted from dry cannabis or hemp buds with a mesh screen, sieve, or similar tool. Kief is an Arabic term meaning ‘pleasure or intoxication’.


Live Resin

Live resin refers BHO made from freshly harvested, flash-frozen plant material (as opposed to dried and cured buds/trim). Live resin captures the terpenes and flavonoids — and the resulting aromas and flavors — present in the living plant immediately after harvest, many of which would be lost in the curing process.


Nail

A nail is water pipe attachment for dabbing, typically made of titanium, quartz, or ceramic materials for safety at high temperatures. It is heated using either a torch or an electric coil for the purpose of dabbing cannabis concentrates.


Pearled

A term used to describe a perfectly rolled, visually appealing joint.


PHO

An acronym for Propane Hash Oil (PHO) used to identify cannabis concentrates extracted with propane as the solvent. Although others are possible, the consistency of PHO is typically budder/wax.


Pinner

A thin, straight, cigarette-shaped joint, as opposed to a cone.


Pipe

A narrow tube, typically made from glass (though metal, ceramic, wood, bone or antler, and even silicone are also common), with a bowl at one end for containing burning cannabis, the smoke from which is then drawn into the mouth through the other end of the tube.  Many pipes feature a carb, but some do not.


Pre-Roll

A pre-formed rolling paper that’s manufactured in a cone shape. This term may also apply to pre-rolled cannabis or hemp flower joints or blunts. For more on pre-rolls click here.


Resin Gland

See Trichome


Roach

The remaining end of a jointblunt or spliff after most of it has been smoked.


Rolling Paper

Rolling papers are small sheets, rolls, or leaves of paper that are sold for rolling cigarettes, joints, or spliffs either by hand or with a rolling machine. Learn more about sizes and material types to find the right paper for your rolling style.


Rosin Tech

Rosin, also referred to as rosin tech, is a solvent-free process used to extract concentrated cannabis resin from either dried flower/budor solventless hash using heat and pressure. It’s safe and easy to make at home!


Run

See Canoe


Sap

A term used to describe the soft, viscous, sticky consistency of some cannabis concentrates. This consistency is typically pliable, oily, and forgiving to work with.


Sativa

Cannabis plants of the sativa variety grow tall and lanky. Its leaves are long, narrow, and narrowly serrated. Cannabis sativa plants typically mature in 10 to 16 weeks. The effect of cannabis sativa is typically described as a cerebral high.


Scooby Snacks

A common term for bits of ground cannabis and resin that get sucked through the bottom of the bowl or end of the roll and enter the mouth when inhaling. Scooby snacks are typically the result of not using a crutch or screen.


Shatter

Refers to cannabis concentrates of a hard, smooth, glass-like consistency. As the name indicates, this type of cannabis extract breaks easily into shards and is often referred to as being ‘stable.’  That said, it’s not as forgiving as softer concentrates.


Snap N’ Pull

As the name indicates, snap n’ pull refers to concentrates with a consistency between shatter and sap (the two extremes), similar to a taffy. It can stretch or snap when pulled based on ambient temperature and amount of force used, making it exceedingly forgiving and easy to work with.


Spliff

A cannabis cigarette mixed with tobacco.


Strain

Cannabis strains are either pure or hybrid varieties, typically of sativa and indica. Varieties are developed to intensify specific characteristics of the parent plants. Strains are named for purposes of identification.  There are also strains of organic hemp flower as CBD grows in popularity.


Tips

See Crutch


Terpene

Terpenes are the aromatic compounds found in plant resins (trichomes), including those from cannabis and organic hemp flower. There are thousands of terpenes found in the plant kingdom and more than 100 found in cannabis alone. Terpenes provide the aroma and flavor of cannabis varieties and may support the action of THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids in the body.


Trichome

A trichome is a small hair or other outgrowths from the epidermis of a plant, typically unicellular and glandular. In the case of cannabis and hemp flower, the trichomes contain the beneficial phytocannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids. To learn more about trichomes in the context of cannabis, read this article.


Twax

A term coined by @WA5280 to describe applying hash or concentrates to the inside, outside, or tip of your rolls/bowls in any way shape or form. View our step-by-step guide showing how to twax your joint or blunt!


Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)

THC is the primary chemical responsible for most of the psychoactive effects associated with cannabis. It is found in the trichomes or resin glands of the cannabis plant.


Vaporizer

A vaporizer is a device that heats cannabis or hemp buds and/or concentrates to 315-440°F (157-227°C), which causes the cannabinoids stored in the plant’s trichomes to evaporate into a gas without combusting any plant material. It’s a healthy alternative to smoking cannabis.


Wax

This term refers to cannabis extracts that have been whipped into a creamy, buttery consistency. The consistency is comparable to a soft wax and tends to crumble when being handled. Also referred to as budder or crumble.

How to Use CBD for Alzheimer’s Disease & Dementia

The number of people living with Alzheimers is growing rapidly—in fact, every 65 seconds someone in the U.S. develops Alzheimers disease (AD). Many are familiar with the symptoms of this disease, which include memory loss and confusion. However, the limited effectiveness of current therapies against AD has spurred further research into developing new agents for preventing and slowing the disease process. In this article, we’ll analyze the latest research to see if CBD provides a viable alternative to traditional treatments for AD and dementia. These studies evaluated CBD’s medical efficacy in treating those who suffer from AD and dementia. We will address the results below.

Study Results

A 2004 study highlighted the neuroprotective effects of CBD they relate to AD. “Alzheimer’s disease is widely held to be associated with oxidative stress due, in part, to the membrane action of beta-amyloid peptide aggregates…Our results indicate that cannabidiol exerts a combination of neuroprotective, anti-oxidative and anti-apoptotic effects against beta-amyloid peptide toxicity…” In other words, CBD helps prevent the onset of AD by limiting the effects of beta-amyloid peptide toxicity, the major cause of the disease.

Learn more: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15030397

A 2012 study evaluated the therapeutic potential of the endocannabinoid system for Alzheimers disease. “Based on the complex pathology of AD, a preventative, multimodal drug approach targeting a combination of pathological AD symptoms appears ideal. Importantly, cannabinoids show anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective and antioxidant properties and have immunosuppressive effects. Thus, the cannabinoid system should be a prime target for AD therapy…Furthermore, the phytocannabinoid cannabidiol is of particular interest as it lacks the psychoactive and cognition-impairing properties of other cannabinoids.”

Learn more: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22448595

A 2014 study found that long-term CBD treatment prevents the development of social recognition memory deficits in Alzheimer’s disease transgenic mice. “Control and AD transgenic mice were treated orally from 2.5 months of age with CBD (20 mg/kg) daily for 8 months…This study is the first to demonstrate CBD’s ability to prevent the development of a social recognition deficit in AD transgenic mice. Our findings provide the first evidence that CBD may have potential as a preventative treatment for AD with a particular relevance for symptoms of social withdrawal and facial recognition.”

Learn more: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25024347

A 2017 study looked at the evidence for therapeutic properties of CBD for Alzheimers Disease. The studies “demonstrate the ability of CBD to reduce reactive gliosis and the neuroinflammatory response as well as to promote neurogenesis. Importantly, CBD also reverses and prevents the development of cognitive deficits in AD rodent models. Interestingly, combination therapies of CBD and THC, the main active ingredient of cannabis sativa, show that CBD can antagonize the psychoactive effects associated with THC and possibly mediate greater therapeutic benefits than either phytocannabinoid alone. The studies provide “proof of principle” that CBD and possibly CBD-THC combinations are valid candidates for novel AD therapies. Further investigations should address the long-term potential of CBD and evaluate mechanisms involved in the therapeutic effects described.”

Learn more: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5289988/

Another 2017 study evaluated CBD’s effect on the expression of Alzheimer’s Disease-related genes in stem cells. “CBD pre-treatment in GMSCs [mesenchymal stem cells derived from gingival] modulated the transcriptional profile of these cells by attenuating the expression of genes implicated in the etiopathogenesis of AD. In conclusion, this preliminary in vitro study has demonstrated that GMSCs preconditioned with CBD have better therapeutic potential compared to CTR-GMSCs cells, and we believe that their transplantation in the early stage of AD may play a role in preventing or attenuating the disease onset.”

Learn more: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5297661/

A 2018 study demonstrates for the first time that “cannabidiol (CBD) acts to protect synaptic plasticity in an in vitro model of Alzheimer’s disease…Our data suggests that this major component of Cannabis sativa, which lacks psychoactivity may have therapeutic potential for the treatment of AD.”

Learn more: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29574668

As indicated by the studies above, CBD has neuroprotective properties that are effective in preventing and treating AD and dementia.

Recommended CBD Regimen for Alzheimer’s Disease

When formulating a CBD regimen for a specific disease or illness like Alzheimer’s disease, it’s important to understand that CBD should be used regularly for maximum relief. Meaning it should be used as a preventative first – it can also be used to manage acute symptom flare ups, but the preventative maintenance is most important! Think about it like any other dietary supplement or medication, you want to establish a baseline concentration in your system.

Daily Maintenance

In order to manage the symptoms associated with AD and dementia, we recommend ingesting full spectrum CBD oil daily in the form of Tinctures or Gel Capsules. The ingredients in the two products are the same; the only difference between the two is the form factor and dosage – pills vs. sublingual tinctures. We suggest those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease start with 15mg per day of CBD. If relief is not felt at this dosage, we suggest increasing by 5-10mg until the desired effects are achieved. You’ll notice that the Gel Capsules are pre-filled and contain either 15mg or 25mg of CBD per pill. There is no harm in starting above the 15mg CBD threshold as you cannot overdose on CBD, nor are there any serious side effects. These ingestible products provide sustained symptom relief for several hours – many people find they provide relief for the whole day! The one thing to keep in mind with ingestible CBD products is the delayed onset time – it can take up to 90 minutes for the full effects of the tinctures or capsules to be felt.

Managing Acute Symptom Flare Ups

In addition to the daily Alzheimer’s disease management program outlined above, many people find they still need a safe way to manage acute flare ups. Regardless of the triggers, we recommend vaporizing CBD to combat these acute AD and dementia flare ups. The benefit of vaporizing or dabbing CBD is that the relief can be felt almost instantaneously. We suggest either the 99% pure CBD isolate or the pre-filled CBD vaporizer cartridges because they provide a wave of relief that can be felt throughout the whole body.

You can also ingest more CBD in the form of tinctures or gel capsules to combat these episodes; just keep in mind that the onset time will be significantly longer than vaporizing.

A Quick Note About CBD & Drug Testing

Much of the data we have about CBD is anecdotal, and its potential impact on drug testing is no exception.  There are very few peer-reviewed studies on the subject, and the ones available paint a rather murky picture:  avoiding full-spectrum products containing traces of THC can reduce the risk of a false positive, but that may not eliminate that risk entirely.

If you are concerned about your loved one’s ability to pass a drug test, you’ll need to consider this potential risk when deciding whether CBD is right for them. To learn more about the science of CBD and drug testing, check out our article for a more thorough discussion of how to minimize the risk of a false positive.

CBD For ADD & ADHD

How Does Cannabis Help With ADD and ADHD?

Both adults and children seek out CBD to help deal with the symptoms of ADD and ADHD. Attention Deficit (Hyperactivity) Disorders are extremely common, affecting between 6% and 11% of U.S. children in America.

The most common medical treatments for anxiety in the U.S. are the use of pharmaceutical drugs like stimulants (amphetamines), antihypertensive drugs, and cognition-enhancing medications. However, it’s important to realize that these pharmaceutical drugs often have severe side effects and are not your only option for treatment. In addition to self-care and therapy, you can incorporate CBD into your treatment regimen for natural, plant-based ADD/ADHD relief.

While we could always benefit from more research on CBD and ADHD, we turn the few medical studies that have been conducted over the past six years. These studies evaluated CBD’s medical efficacy in treating those who suffer from ADD and ADHD. We will address the results below.

What Studies Exist to Support the Use of CBD in ADD and ADHD?

Although THC’s impact on cognition and focus has been researched for decades, experts did not begin to dig into the true therapeutic values of CBD until much more recently. One important study outlines the proof of strong anecdotal ties between cannabis and ADHD treatment. 

 

This study may have contributed to the newfound interest in CBD for ADHD. Another reason is the lack of psychoactive effects CBD produces, which is important since ADHD often displays itself during childhood. To date, there have been a couple of studies that show great improvement in symptoms of ADHD when using CBD regularly. 

 

Because CBD has been identified as a wake-promoting agent, researchers are interested in the mechanism through which CBD interacts with the brain. Because the endocannabinoid system is directly involved with most neuro-processes, many experts agree that there may be a strong tie. 

 

For this reason, more research on CBD for ADHD is underway, and researchers all over the world are interested in uncovering exactly why and how to use cannabis to treat the condition. For now, the following studies help us understand the ties between cannabis and ADD and ADHD:

1. Cannabidiol and clozapine reverse MK-801-induced deficits in social interaction and hyperactivity in Sprague-Dawley rats.

A 2012 study looked at the effect of cannabidiol on rats treated with MK-801, a custom formula designed to mimic the effects of ADHD. “Results showed that the MK-801- (0.3 mg/kg) treated rats displayed reduced social investigative behavior, hyperactivity as well as reduced attention span. Pretreatment with the phytocannabinoid cannabidiol (3 mg/kg) not only normalized social investigative behavior but increased it beyond control levels. Both cannabidiol and clozapine inhibited MK-801-induced hyperactivity.”

 

Learn more: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22495620 

 

2. Cannabinoids in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: a randomised-controlled trial.

A 2016 study randomly gave 30 adults with ADHD either a “placebo or Sativex Oromucosal Spray, a cannabinoid medication containing a 1:1 ratio of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) to cannabidiol (CBD). In the intention to treat analysis, Sativex treatment was associated with a nominally significant improvement in hyperactivity/impulsivity and a trend for improvement in inattention. There were further indications for improvement in activity and cognitive performance, and emotional liability.

Learn more: https://www.europeanneuropsychopharmacology.com/article/S0924-977X(16)30912-9/pdf 

3. “I Use Weed for My ADHD”: A Qualitative Analysis of Online Forum Discussions on Cannabis Use and ADHD

A unique study of anecdotal evidence from 2016 gives great representation of the use of cannabis for ADHD “…Clinical and anecdotal evidence suggest an increasingly popular perception that cannabis is therapeutic for ADHD, including via online resources. Given that the Internet is increasingly utilized as a source of healthcare information and may influence perceptions, [a 2016 study] conducted a qualitative analysis of online forum discussions, also referred to as threads, on the effects of cannabis on ADHD to systematically characterize the content patients and caregivers may encounter about ADHD and cannabis.”

The study found that, “Twenty-five (25%) percent of individual posts indicated that cannabis is therapeutic for ADHD, as opposed to 8% that it is harmful, 5% that it is both therapeutic and harmful, and 2% that it has no effect on ADHD. This pattern was generally consistent when the year of each post was considered. The greater endorsement of therapeutic versus harmful effects of cannabis did not generalize to mood, other (non-ADHD) psychiatric conditions, or overall domains of daily life. Additional themes emerged (e.g., cannabis being considered sanctioned by healthcare providers).”

The study went on to conclude, “Despite that there are no clinical recommendations or systematic research supporting the beneficial effects of cannabis use for ADHD, online discussions indicate that cannabis is considered therapeutic for ADHD-this is the first study to identify such a trend.”

Learn more: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27227537 

Which CBD products help with ADD and ADHD?

As you design a cannabidiol-infused wellness regimen to help combat symptoms of ADD or ADHD, you should note that CBD should be used regularly for maximum relief. In other words, using CBD as a preventative is the first step to total symptom relief. After establishing a regular dosing routine, then you can use CBD to manage acute flare-ups as well. 

There are multiple CBD products that you can choose from, but for managing ADD or ADHD, we recommend ingesting full spectrum CBD oil daily in the form of tinctures or gel capsules. 

These two products feature the same main ingredient—full spectrum CBD oil. Choosing between the two means determining which dosing style works best for you. Tinctures are easily dropped under the tongue, and gel capsules are swallowed, just like any other pill. Just be sure the product you choose also utilizes high-quality MCT oil, which is crucial to the body’s ability to effectively break down and absorb CBD. 

After establishing a preventative routine, you may find that you still need an easy way to use CBD for managing acute flare-ups. There are many products that may help you achieve relief from these sudden symptoms, and choosing is based on your own preference. 

Whether it’s caused by stress, a big life event, or something else  – we recommend vaporizing CBD isolate to combat these acute flare-ups. CBD isolate is a version of CBD that is 99% pure, and when vaporized it can deliver fast-acting relief to the entire body. 

Additionally, you can simply increase your regular dose of CBD gel capsules or tinctures to manage these acute flares. Just keep in mind that they will take significantly longer to take effect than the 10-minute onset achieved with vaporized CBD.

In order to most effectively manage ADD, ADHD, and related symptoms, you may find that the best approach involves a combination of CBD products. Below are some of the products we’ve tried that may work well for managing ADD and ADHD.

What is the correct CBD dosage to help treat ADD and ADHD?

Choosing the best dose for you requires careful consideration of your unique biological factors, like weight and tolerance to cannabinoid-based supplements. Additionally, you may need to increase your dose for more severe cases of ADHD or ADD or to manage severe flares. 

We suggest those suffering from ADD or ADHD start with 15mg per day of CBD. If this dosage doesn’t bring complete relief, we suggest increasing by 5-10mg until the desired effects are achieved. CBD tinctures make it easy to measure doses in small increments, so they may be a great option for those who are testing out different doses. 

CBD gel capsules, however, offer pre-measured doses that make it convenient to take CBD daily. There’s no harm starting with the lowest dose (like a ten-milligram capsule) and increasing by that increment since you can’t overdose on CBD and it poses no risk of serious side effects. 

From here, you can increase your dose slowly until you experience complete relief. Don’t forget that with ingestible CBD products you’ll experience a delayed onset time – it can take up to 90 minutes for the effects to peak. That means you need to allow plenty of time between doses to the effects before you make any adjustments to the amount of CBD you are taking. 

CBD vaporizers require a slightly different approach, as it can be difficult to measure the exact potency of CBD in every puff. Instead, try measuring the amount needed to experience relief from symptoms by the “number of puffs” needed. This is simple because vaporized CBD kicks in quickly, usually in ten minutes or less. This offers a great opportunity to slowly monitor the effects and stack on doses until you learn how much CBD you need. 

A Note About CBD and Drug Interactions

CBD’s safety profile has been scrutinized and confirmed by various leading organizations, including the World Health Organization. While CBD may be safe for most adults, it’s important to note the chance of interaction between CBD and other medications. CBD is metabolized by cytochrome P450 live enzymes, the same liver enzyme group needed to metabolize the majority of prescription medications. CBD may make some medications less effective by reducing the number of liver enzymes available to metabolize the substance.

These interactions could include many of the prescription medications taken for ADD and ADHD, like stimulants, which are metabolized by the same liver enzyme group. These interactions between CBD and other medications are not known to be dangerous, but it could reduce the efficacy of medications, which could potentially be dangerous if the medication is meant to treat severe symptoms. 

This effect is only temporary, and many people find that they can avoid interactions altogether by spacing out their CBD dose from other medications. Many people find that the interaction is insignificant at low to moderate doses of CBD. If you take medications or have been diagnosed with a chronic illness, you should talk to your doctor about CBD first to ensure there’s no chance of adverse drug interactions. 

 

CBD For Schizophrenia

How Does Cannabis Help With Schizophrenia?

Scientific research has shown us a lot of medical uses for cannabidiol, or CBD. From anxiety and depression to skin rashes and aching joints, this chemical compound that derives from the cannabis plant has proven itself to be incredibly useful in several applications. One use for CBD that has been studied for years is its potential to treat psychosis or schizophrenia.

Schizophrenia is a chronic disorder that severely affects brain functioning in less than one percent of the United States population. Symptoms of the disorder typically first appear between the ages of 16 and 30, though children can be diagnosed as well.

Symptoms are categorized in three ways: positive, negative, and cognitive. 

“Positive” symptoms are psychotic behaviors, such as hallucinations, dysfunctional thinking, and movement disorders. 

“Negative” symptoms have more to do with emotions and behaviors, like reduced feelings of pleasure or difficulty beginning and completing tasks. 

“Cognitive” symptoms vary in subtlety, but include trouble focusing and problems with applying new knowledge, or “working memory.” 

The causes of schizophrenia are still relatively unknown, although researchers believe it is due to a combination of brain chemistry, genetic makeup, and the environment. Treatments focus on the symptoms of the disease rather than the disease itself. Even if symptoms appear to have subsided, schizophrenia requires lifelong treatment, consisting of medications (antipsychotics), psychosocial therapy, and, in severe cases, hospitalization.

Antipsychotic medications, however, typically only treat the positive symptoms – patients are still left with negative and cognitive symptoms, often resulting in anxiety, depression, and impaired memory and problem-solving skills.

People with schizophrenia have issues with naturally occurring brain chemicals, like neurotransmitters such as dopamine and glutamate – the brain disease affects the central nervous system and causes abnormal communication patterns between brain cells.

CBD, which is a non-intoxicating chemical compound (or “cannabinoid”) of cannabis, is now being considered as a treatment for schizophrenia after years of research on its antipsychotic effects. Research shows that ingesting high concentrations of CBD in cannabis may lead to fewer psychotic episodes. It also helps to treat the negative and cognitive symptoms that typical antipsychotic pharmaceutical drugs cannot treat – and with fewer side effects than traditional medications.

When taken along with antipsychotic medication, CBD is believed to limit the amount of dopamine (known as the “feel-good hormone”) that is blocked as a result of the medication. It also helps to ease hallucinations and delusions – the positive symptoms of schizophrenia.

What Studies Exist to Support the Use of CBD in Schizophrenia?

Research regarding CBD is still in its early stages, as legal restriction and a predominant interest in the effects of THC have overshadowed cannabidiol for some time. Now, however, experts are quickly realizing the massive health potential of the cannabinoid, which is reflected in several studies regarding CBD’s effect on the brain and psychological disorders.

Scientists decided to investigate CBD as a treatment for schizophrenia due to the close link between the body’s endocannabinoid system and our overall mental health. The endocannabinoid system works as a communication hub between the brain and the body. It impacts how we move and react – and it’s affected by phytocannabinoids, or the compounds found in cannabis (such as THC and CBD).

Because of the link between the endocannabinoid system and brain function, researchers have led studies that have confirmed CBD as a potential alternative treatment for schizophrenia. Further research is expected, but for now the following studies confirm this link:

1. Cannabidiol, a Cannabis sativa constituent, as an antipsychotic drug.

A 2006 study reviewed trials that show the antipsychotic effects of CBD. Using CBD in animal models showed that CBD produces effects similar to that of atypical antipsychotic drugs. “In addition, open case reports of schizophrenic patients treated with CBD and a preliminary report of a controlled clinical trial comparing CBD with an atypical antipsychotic drug have confirmed that this cannabinoid can be a safe and well-tolerated alternative treatment for schizophrenia.”

Learn more: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16612464 

2. Neuronal and molecular effects of cannabidiol on the mesolimbic dopamine system: Implications for novel schizophrenia treatments.

A 2017 study summarized pre-clinical and clinical evidence that shows how CBD interacts with the serotonin receptor system. “Together with clinical evidence showing that CBD may normalize affective and cognitive deficits associated with schizophrenia, CBD may represent a promising treatment for schizophrenia, acting through novel molecular and neuronal mesolimbic substrates.”

Learn more: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28185872 

3. Antipsychotic-like effects of cannabidiol and rimonabant: systematic review of animal and human studies.

A 2012 study sought to identify a greater link between CBD and anti-psychotic effects and concluded “The results predominantly confirm the hypothesis of an antipsychotic activity of both cannabinoids. In comparison, cannabidiol appears to be superior to rimonabant with a pharmacological profile similar to atypical antipsychotic drugs.”

Learn more: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22716153

4. Improved Social Interaction, Recognition and Working Memory with Cannabidiol Treatment in a Prenatal Infection (poly I:C) Rat Model.

A 2017 study found that CBD has a direct impact on social interaction that may make it useful for patients with schizophrenia. The article concludes that  “chronic CBD administration can attenuate the social interaction and cognitive deficits induced by prenatal poly I:C infection. These novel findings present interesting implications for potential use of CBD in treating the cognitive deficits and social withdrawal of schizophrenia.”

Learn more: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28230072 

Which CBD products help with schizophrenia?

Schizophrenia is a chronic disease and its symptoms can be constant, so it is important to take a form of CBD that will offer hours of relief at a time. As you design a CBD regimen to treat symptoms of schizophrenia, understand that CBD works best when used as a precautionary measure. 

Basically, CBD should be used regularly for maximum relief. In order to get the greatest efficacy out of your CBD supplements, you need to establish a baseline concentration of cannabidiol in your system. After utilizing the protective properties of CBD, you can still use it to manage sudden symptom flare-ups.

There are a variety of CBD products that you can choose from, but for managing schizophrenia, we recommend ingesting full spectrum CBD oil daily in the form of tinctures or gel capsules

These two products are identical in formulation, both utilizing the power of full spectrum CBD. However, the different dosing styles are what generally sway preference. Tinctures are dropped under the tongue while capsules are easily swallowed. Just make sure you choose a product that combines CBD with high-quality MCT oil, a fat needed for the body to effectively absorb cannabidiol. 

After establishing a baseline routine, many people still look for a way to utilize CBD for sudden acute flares. There are several methods you can choose, but some kick in more quickly than others. 

No matter the cause  – we recommend vaporizing CBD isolate to combat these acute symptoms flare-ups. Vaporized CBD kicks in fast, and CBD isolate is a 99% pure version of cannabidiol that can quickly provide relief from head to toe. 

Many people find that managing symptoms of schizophrenia is easier when using a combination of CBD products. We’ve tested many of the leading CBD brands, and below are some of the products we recommend for managing schizophrenia.

What is the correct CBD dosage to help treat Schizophrenia?

Depending on your unique factors, like your weight, tolerance, health conditions, and more, you may need more or less CBD than the next person to experience complete relief. The best way to find an effective dose for managing schizophrenia is to experiment by starting low and slowly increasing. 

We suggest those suffering from any kind of inflammation start with 25mg per day of CBD. If more CBD is needed for complete relief, we suggest slowly increasing your dose by 5-10mg at a time. Tinctures make this easy, since they can be measured out in pretty small and precise doses. 

CBD capsules offer pre-measured doses that are convenient for large doses, especially for people who already know the exact dose they need. However, there’s no harm in using a low dose capsule to gradually increase your total dosage, especially since CBD has no severe side effects, and nobody has ever overdosed on CBD to date. 

As you increase your dose, don’t forget that ingestible products have a delayed onset. Ingestibles like capsules and tinctures can take up to 90 minutes to take full effect, so give plenty of time to monitor effects between dose adjustments. 

CBD vaporizers don’t provide doses that are easy to measure, so dosing it a bit different. Instead of measuring a certain amount of CBD, measure your dose in the “number of puffs” it takes to get relief. Luckily, vaporizers kick in quickly, so you can monitor the effects and adjust your dose about ten minutes after the first dose.

Dosing for CBD vaporizers is also slightly different since it can be difficult to properly meter doses with certain vaping devices. Starting with a low-dose cannabidiol vape or CBD additive can help you smoothly experience the fast-acting effects. Because the therapeutic effects of vaporized CBD kick in so quickly, you can easily “stack” doses as needed until the desired effects are reached. Simply increase your dose one “puff” at a time, waiting about 10-15 minutes in between to monitor the effects. 

A Note About CBD and Drug Interactions

CBD has been labeled as safe by multiple research efforts and even large organizations, like the World Health Organization. However, you should still note that CBD may interact with certain medications. In the same manner that grapefruit interacts with some drugs (hence the warning on many medication labels), CBD may affect the efficacy of other substances that are metabolized by the cytochrome P450 enzyme group. That’s because CBD also relies on this same group enzymes for absorption in the liver, so there’s a significant opportunity for interaction when CBD is taken alongside other medications.

Interactions could include many of the prescription medications taken for schizophrenia, like antipsychotics, which are metabolized by the same liver enzymes. These interactions are only considered dangerous if CBD interacts with a life-saving medication. 

Even more, the effect that CBD has on these liver enzymes is brief, and many people experience no significant interactions at all. Either way, talk to your doctor about CBD if you already take other medications or have a chronic diagnosis.

CBD For Cancer

How Does Cannabis Help With Cancer?

One of the most profound uses of CBD is the treatment of various cancers. CBD has two major functions in the treatment of cancer; slowing/stopping the growth of cancerous cells (prevention) and dealing with the symptoms of cancer treatments like chemotherapy (symptom management). 

In the United States, the most common treatment for cancer is chemotherapy – an administration of intense anti-cancer drugs that induce severe side effects like nausea, fatigue, gastrointestinal disease, etc. 

Believe it or not, CBD actually combats all of these side effects! This is the beauty of plant-based medicine – experience an improved quality of life without any risk of overdose or side effects.

What’s more? CBD has been shown to stop cancerous cells dead in their tracks. Studies have been performed evaluating CBD’s ability to treat various types of cancer including; bladder, brain, breast, colon, endocrine, Leukemia, lung, prostate, and skin. 

That’s why so many people are turning to cannabidiol instead of (or as a compliment to) many pharmaceuticals after a cancer diagnosis. In order to better understand the mechanisms by which CBD helps treat cancer patients, we turn to a series of medical studies that have been conducted over the past twenty years. We will address the results below. 

What Studies Exist to Support the Use of CBD in Cancer?

The discovery of CBD can be dated back to the 1940’s, but researchers didn’t begin to dig into the medicinal value of the supplement until much more recently. Since researchers and cannabis advocated have taken an interest in understanding the benefits of CBD, experts have uncovered evidence that suggests CBD may be a powerful weapon against cancer cells. 

 

Some research angles as specific types of cancer, and there is research that suggests CBD may be a suitable choice for combating the spread of breast cancer, prostate cancer, and colon cancer. Some studies take a broader approach, and CBD has been labeled “antiproliferative” and “anti-angiogenic” on several accounts. That essentially means that CBD can stop the growth of new cancer cells and prevent tumors from growing their own blood vessels, both of which can help inhibit cancer’s advancement in the body. 

 

As if cancer-fighting properties aren’t spectacular enough, research outlines several ways that cannabidiol may help manage other symptoms related to cancer and standard cancer treatments, like chemotherapy. In fact, some studies specifically involve chemotherapy patients hoping to manage nausea and vomiting and confirm the anti-emetic properties of CBD. Further research suggests CBD could even be useful for managing sleep disorders, pain, and inflammation, all of which are frequently primary concerns for cancer patients. 

 

Research regarding CBD is expected to continue rapidly advancing, and there’s no doubt that cancer is one area of focus that won’t be overlooked. For now, the evidence we have suggests that CBD is useful for cancer patients, which has led to a massive influx of anecdotal reports that “CBD cures cancer.” 

 

Understanding exactly how it works, however, requires a firm understanding of cannabidiol’s effect on the body’s endocannabinoid system and how it comes into play when regulating the immune system and combating cancer symptoms. A look at the following research will shed light on CBD and it’s many potential cancer-related uses:

 

 

1. Cannabidiol as potential anticancer drug

A 2013 study concluded that “Collectively, the non-psychoactive plant-derived cannabinoid CBD exhibits pro-apoptotic and anti-proliferative actions in different types of tumors and may also exert anti-migratory, anti-invasive, anti-metastatic and perhaps anti-angiogenic properties. On the basis of these results, the evidence is emerging to suggest that CBD is a potent inhibitor of both cancer growth and spread. Interestingly, the anticancer effect of this compound seems to be selective for cancer cells, at least in vitro, since it does not affect normal cell lines.”

Learn more: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3579246/

2. Cannabidiol inhibits angiogenesis by multiple mechanisms

A 2012 study found that “CBD exerts a potent anti-angiogenic effect by widely affecting several pathways involved in this process. Its dual effect on both tumor and endothelial cells further suggests that CBD could represent a potentially effective agent in cancer therapy.”

 Learn more: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3504989/

 

3.Cannabidiol inhibits cancer cell invasion via upregulation of tissue inhibitor of matrix metalloproteinases-1.

A 2010 study evaluated the impact of CBD on cancer cell invasion. The study findings “provide a novel mechanism underlying the anti-invasive action of cannabidiol and imply its use as a therapeutic option for the treatment of highly invasive cancers.”

 Learn more: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19914218

4. Antitumor effects of cannabidiol, a nonpsychoactive cannabinoid, on human glioma cell lines.

A 2004 study concluded that “The nonpsychoactive CBD was able to produce a significant antitumor activity both in vitro and in vivo, thus suggesting a possible application of CBD as an antineoplastic agent.”

 Learn more: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14617682

5. Pathways mediating the effects of cannabidiol on the reduction of breast cancer cell proliferation, invasion, and metastasis.

2011 looked at the effects of CBD in the treatment of breast cancer. The data demonstrated “that CBD inhibits human breast cancer cell proliferation and invasion through differential modulation of the extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) and reactive oxygen species (ROS) pathways…”

 Learn more: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20859676

6. Non-THC cannabinoids inhibit prostate carcinoma growth in vitro and in vivo: pro-apoptotic effects and underlying mechanisms

A 2013 study published in the British Journal of Pharmacology provides evidence “that plant-derived cannabinoids, especially cannabidiol, are potent inhibitors of prostate carcinoma viability in vitro.”

 Learn more: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3570006/

7. Chemopreventive effect of the non-psychotropic phytocannabinoid cannabidiol on experimental colon cancer.

A 2012 study investigated the chemopreventative effect of CBD on colon cancer. The study concluded, “that cannabidiol exerts a chemopreventive effect in vivo and reduces cell proliferation through multiple mechanisms.”

 Learn more: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22231745

8. Regulation of nausea and vomiting by cannabinoids.

A 2011 study looked into the anti-emetic effects of cannabidiol and concluded that “Preclinical research indicates that cannabinoids, including CBD, may be effective clinically for treating both nausea and vomiting produced by chemotherapy or other therapeutic treatments.”

Learn more: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3165951/

9. In vitro and in vivo efficacy of non-psychoactive cannabidiol in neuroblastoma.

A 2016 study evaluated CBD in the treatment of Neuroblastoma (NBL), one of the most common solid cancers in children. The results“demonstrate the antitumorigenic action of CBD on NBL cells. Because CBD is a nonpsychoactive cannabinoid that appears to be devoid of side effects, our results support its exploitation as an effective anticancer drug in the management of NBL.”

Learn more: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27022310

Which CBD products help with cancer?

As you design your CBD-infused wellness routine for managing cancer-related symptoms, you should note that CBD is most effective when used regularly. That means you should utilize regular doses of CBD to take advantage of the protective and preventative properties of the cannabinoid. Then, CBD may also be a solution for sudden flare-ups related to your condition as well. 

There’s a wide selection of CBD products to choose from but for managing cancer and related symptoms, we recommend ingesting full spectrum CBD oil daily in the form of tinctures or gel capsules

These t