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Devotees—from Tom Hanks and Nate Diaz to your mom to some guy in line at the brake place—swear cannabidiol can perform miracles, like easing anxiety and pain. Although there’s almost no regulatory oversight and very little solid scientific research on the stuff, marketers are hawking CBD beer, coffee, infused toothpicks, suppositories—you name it. Still, “there are a lot of companies out there delivering a safe, clean product,” says Kent Hutchison, Ph.D., founder of a University of Colorado cannabis-research center.
Cannabis contains two famous compounds: THC, which delivers the high, and CBD, which doesn’t. Both marijuana and hemp plants have CBD and THC, but hemp plants contain a very low concentration of the psychoactive stuff—0.3 percent or less—which means there’s little chance they’ll get you high. Products that contain that little are legal under federal laws and in some states, but not all. So check where your state stands.
While the hype is real, the science is less so. The bulk of studies have been done on animals, but there’s hope that CBD may help with anxiety, sleep issues, and pain. We hunted for a CBD product for almost every use and confirmed all of the ones presented here are as certifiably clean as possible, meaning they contain what they say they do.
We don’t recommend trying all of these on one day, but even if you did, you probably wouldn’t hit a risky dose. Most lifestyle products contain 5 to 25mg of CBD, and studies often use 600mg or more without any side effects (usually fatigue, sleepiness, and GI disturbances), Hutchison says. Still, it’s smart to stick to one or two areas where you want the most relief on a low-risk Saturday and see what all the buzz is about.
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1 Be Calm But Caffeinated: Sträva Craft Coffee
These beans are infused with full-spectrum hemp oil; CBD in your morning brew supposedly offsets the anxiety uptick that can come with a cuppa without compromising the caffeine jolt. 1.25 to 10 mg CBD per serving, depending on the blend. Starting at $20 per 12 oz; stravacraftcoffee.com
2 For To-Do List Anxiety: Charlotte’s Web Full-Strength CBD oil
If anxiety kicks in early in the day, place a drop under your tongue. You get relief ASAP, since CBD is partially absorbed into your bloodstream before you swallow. This one’s by the company that led the way to the only FDA-approved CBD drug (Epidiolex, for a rare form of epilepsy). 7 mg CBD per ml. $40; charlottesweb.com
3 Recover From Your Workout: Floyd’s of Leadville Recovery Protein
Crafted by former Tour de France cyclist Floyd Landis, this whey-protein powder contains CBD in an effort to reduce inflammation so you recover faster. When you ingest it within 30 to 60 minutes of your workout, your muscles will absorb all nutrients, plus the CBD, quicker, says Thorsten Rudroff, Ph.D., an assistant professor of human physiology and neurology at the University of Iowa. 25 mg CBD per two scoops. $40; floydsofleadville.com
4 Fight the Midday Edge: KushyCBD Gummy
Gummies are among the most popular ways to get CBD, but you have to be patient and see if a little works before you load up on more. 10 mg CBD per gummy. $20 for ten square gummies; kushycbd.com
5 Be Prepared: Punch edibles C-90 Chocolate
Edibles take roughly an hour to kick in, so plan ahead with these. We liked that they taste great without artificial sweeteners. 10 mg CBD per square. $40 for three 9-square chocolate bars; punchedibles.com
6 Afternoon Fizz: Dram CBD Sparkling Water
This no-sugar sparkling water comes in more interesting flavors than the usual fizzy H20: ginger grass and lemongrass. 20 mg CBD per 12 ounces. $16 for four; dramdose.com
7 Fuel Your Hike: Wise Bar
Slip one of these bars into your pack to stay fueled and help squelch body aches during the last few miles. They’re made of real, raw, and gluten-free ingredients that deliver 250 calories and 30 grams of carbs. “Combining CBD with carbs helps deliver the anti-inflammatory compounds straight to the muscles,” says Rudroff. 25 mg CBD per bar. $60 for ten; wise-bar.com
8 Create a CBD Cocktail: Aurora Elixir
There are plenty of CBD beers, but when you want something more spirited, make a cocktail with these CBD mixers in lavender spice and grapefruit rosemary. Early research suggests CBD can help protect the liver against alcohol damage, though we’d still advise cutting yourself off at two. Be aware, too, that alcohol plus CBD can equal extra sleepiness. 15 mg per 6.7-ounce bottle. $28 for four bottles; auroraelixirs.com
9 Soothe Sore Muscles: Medterra Topical Cooling Cream
There’s no research to suggest transdermal CBD can actually penetrate down to the muscle, Rudroff points out, but if it turns out not to work, this cream also contains the analgesics menthol and arnica. 750 mg per 3.4-ounce bottle; there’s also a 250mg CBD option. $50; medterracbd.com
10 Get to Sleep: Life Bloom Organics Nano Hemp Sleep
Oral sprays are fast-acting—perfect when you’ve been tossing and turning for what seems like forever. This product is fortified with CBD as well as two other potential sleep promoters—L-theanine and valerian root. 1.2 mg per spray. $40; lifebloomorganics.com
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