If you’ve been in a lifestyle shop recently, you’ll have no doubt spotted CBD. The fashionable cannabis-derivative is on the march. Touted by its fans as the ultimate wellness supplement, CBD is turning up in everything from coffee to lip-balms, and juices to bath bombs. It can be bought in supermarkets, at festivals, and even in special CBD-themed restaurants.
As a non-psychoactive compound of the cannabis plant – i.e. not the part that gets you high – CBD is the active ingredient in some cannabis medicines (albeit in higher doses than you’ll find on the high street). Its adherents say it helps with everything from reducing stress, improving sleep or just combating the jitteriness that can come with having too much coffee.
Keen to try it? Here are our recommendations for what’s out there:
The most common way to consume CBD is in specially extracted oils which you can squirt under your tongue, dip in your coffee, or add to a smoothie. CBD oils are everywhere and vary in strength (usually from 2-20%). Since high doses won’t hurt you, the most important thing is to buy from a reputable company: cheap wholesale oils have been found to contain contaminants. Look for a seller which provides third-party lab reports. That way you know you’re in safe hands.
If you want to keep it simple (or don’t like the slightly waxy taste of oils) you might prefer CBD capsules: just pop them in your mouth like any health supplement and they’ll dissolve naturally in your stomach. Depending your digestive system, it might take a couple of hours for the active ingredients to take effect. Our tip? Take one before bedtime and you may well find you sleep better than usual.
Chocolates and sweets
While chocolate is undoubtedly the tastiest way to get your CBD fix, it’s not always the most effective. For a start, some high-street products contain so little CBD they’re effectively novelty products – so always make sure you check the label before you buy.
Luckily though there are some excellent products out there. Love Hemp’s Chocolate Bites (you might even call them Maltesers, but they certainly can’t…) are delicious.Virtue CBD make tasty gummy worms and ProVacan sell CBD-infused mints. Ben and Jerry’s is looking to market a CBD ice cream in the US, which may make its way over the Atlantic before long.
Lotions and Beauty
CBD doesn’t have to be consumed orally: it can be rubbed into the skin like standard pain-relief creams. According to their fans, CBD lotions are perfect for rubbing into your muscles after a hearty workout or if you’re suffering from an achy joint. Naturopathica, Ambience and Somnio all offer a selection of balms and creams, while Holland and Barrett has its in-house brand. There are some quality beauty products too: skincare gurus The Inkey List have a CBD-infused moisturiser, and high-end men’s brand Perricone MD is marketing a post-shave cream.
Admittedly not for everyone, vaping is probably the most effective way to take CBD: not only does the compound reach the bloodstream quicker through the lungs, it also minimises any wastage. If you’re already a vape convert (and there are three million of you in Britain alone), you’ll no doubt have seen CBD oils for sale in vaping shops and online. As with consumable oils, you should be sure that any brands you buy can produce an independent lab report. Harmony, Re-Leaf and Edge all claim to do just that.