CBD has been getting a lot of press lately, from its role in controlling seizures to pain management for pets. Cannabidiol, or CBD, is the second most prevalent cannabinoid in medical marijuana, the first being tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. Unlike THC, CBD is non-psychoactive, meaning it doesn’t get you high. But that seems like a perk to many, making it a preferable choice for kids and pets by doctors and lawmakers. (However, CBD-only medicinal laws come with their own set of problems!)

CBD helps a lot of the same symptoms and disorders as THC. A 2013 study found CBD to reduce nausea and vomiting, suppress seizure activity, combat anxiety, depression and even psychosis disorders. It was also found to have anti-inflammatory properties, anti-tumoral properties, and antioxidant properties that could fight neurodegenerative disorders.

It’s shown promise in treating a range of ailments from Crohn’s disease, PTSD, multiple sclerosis, and arthritis, to Dravet Syndrome and Fibromyalgia. Cannabis can even help people quit smoking cigarettes!

CBD products have been popping up like weeds, there were hundreds of companies at the recent Cannabis World Congress and Business Expo in NYC. CBD is marketed as legal in all 50 states, but that’s where things get complicated.

CBD can be found in both ‘legal’ industrial hemp plants and female medicinal cannabis plants. CBD is best sourced from the buds and flowers of high resin, female cannabis plants, but because they are not legal in many states, companies like Isodiol have come up with sophisticated ways of extracting CBD from the stalks of industrial hemp plants.

Isodiol makes a product called CBD Naturals, bottled water enhanced with CBD without THC. It comes in 1.5 liter bottles, is sold online, and is shipped anywhere in the US. In a few years, there’s a good chance it’ll be on the shelves at Whole Foods. The scientists at Isodiol chose water for a reason: they nanosized CBD and encased it in water molecules so the human body can absorb up to 600% more.

In states with legal medicinal cannabis, like California, a wide array of “whole plant extract” CBD products are available in dispensaries. Many canna-purists swear by whole plant extract CBD for good reason. Known as the entourage effect, CBD is proven to be more effective when it interacts with THC and the other 80 odd cannabinoids in the cannabis plant than when it stands alone as a single-molecule.  

Companies like Kushy Punch and House of Jane both make whole-plant extract CBD products in addition to conventional THC-dominate Indica, Sativa, and Hybrid edibles. Kushy Punch makes a sugar and cornstarch-free CBD gummy advertised as providing “maximum pain and inflammation relief without dysphoria or lethargy.” House of Jane makes a flavorless CBD powder that can be added to any drink or recipe, making both products discreet and convenient ways to medicate.

For certain ailments like muscle soreness and arthritis, many opt for CBD topicals, like lotions, oils, and bath products. Cannabis-infused creams, like Mary’s Medicinal’s Elite CBD Muscle Freeze combines CBD with other natural plant extracts to create a cooling effect much like Tiger Balm. Perfect for post-workout or chronic pain, topicals are especially useful for treating localized pain, inflammation, and swelling.

Empower Oil makes CBD oil perfect for applying to stiff spots that can be shipped around the country. Their motto: “Put it where it hurts. Rub it in. Repeat.” says it all. For those looking for a relaxing and rejuvenating topical experience, bath salts and bombs, like Gypsy Magic are a big hit. Nothing relaxes your entire body like a long, hot CBD soak!

Smoking medical marijuana, although helpful, is not a feasible option for everyone, especially those new to cannabis in general. CBD products are a great stepping stone (no pun intended) for people who want to test the medical cannabis waters. It’s the responsibility of the cannabis community to share developments in CBD with our friends and family outside the cannabis space.

Do you have experience with hemp or cannabis CBD? We want to hear about it! Leave your comment below.