CBD is the friendly, approachable cannabinoid and the entry point for most people new to cannabis. When you’re looking to try CBD, it can be overwhelming looking at all of the products on the market and deciding which one will be right for you. This guide will help point you in the right direction for CBD products.
Understanding how CBD works
CBD doesn’t get you high, most people won’t feel anything when taking CBD, unless you’re taking a very high dose and you have anxiety or other symptoms that may be alleviated with CBD. Otherwise don’t expect to feel much.
This is important to know as most people try CBD once, get nothing from it and think it’s a scam. CBD needs to build up in your system, therefore it’s recommended you take CBD daily, like a supplement.
I use CBD as often as I can, I’d happily take it daily if I could, however this can be difficult because CBD can be costly. I use CBD when I’m having high anxiety, this method can help you as well however it’s better to take it daily to get the full benefits.
Understanding the labels, like what does full spectrum mean
CBD is often marketed as full spectrum, this simply means that all of the plant properties are present, and haven’t been removed in the extraction process. Some products strip away some, or all of the plant properties so you’re left with only CBD and no THC. Full spectrum is desired for the entourage effect. This is a theory that all of the properties of the cannabis plant need to be intact in order to get the full benefits from the cannabis plant.
Buying full spectrum is a personal choice. Some people feel better with the extra plant properties removed, especially if you have allergies or you don’t want any THC present. Most products you buy on the Canadian market will contain some THC, usually not much but this is something to keep in mind when buying CBD.
The types of CBD products you can buy and what I recommend
There’s several different ways to get your CBD and it comes down to personal preference and what works best for you. First of all it’s good to ask yourself why you want to try CBD? Is it to treat anxiety, pain, help you sleep? Are you using CBD because you heard it’s good to take? Regardless of what you’re using CBD for, give it at least a week or more to see if it helps you at all. It may also be you need to change your dose, I recommend starting at around 20mg, I also recommend taking that twice a day, if you can.
Good to buy – CBD oil in tinctures and capsules
CBD oil is often listed in the category of tincture as it’s in a bottle with a dropper that you can take directly or you can add it to food or drinks. However unlike alcohol based tinctures, putting CBD oil under your tongue is useless, it can’t be absorbed sublingually in oil form.
If you can’t stand the texture or taste of oil, look for capsules. Personally I prefer capsules however the tincture form allows you to customize your dose better. You can also buy flavoured oils, this can help with the strong taste from the oil.
Keep in mind, cannabis is fat soluble and oil doesn’t mix with water. Don’t add CBD oils to water based soups or drinks otherwise you’ll lose a lot of your dose when it sticks to the side of the cup. However something like a bullet coffee that contains butter will work well with CBD oil. You can also add the oil to smoothies that have fatty milk or yoghurt.
Note – keep in mind that there’s some THC in the oils. Usually less than a 1mg, not enough for you to feel anything however if you’re taking several droppers full, you can get more THC in there and you may feel it. However most oils don’t contain enough to have any effect, unless you’re very sensitive to THC.
Related article: What’s in your CBD oil? How to choose the right carrier oil
Avoid – CBD edibles like candies and drinks
There’s a lot of edibles on the market with CBD however they’re often low dose and too expensive. For example the Turmeric Clementine Black Pepper Shot by Loop Parallel has only 10mg of CBD and costs around $8. Taking one of these a day would cost you about $225 a month, that’s a lot for CBD!
Some of the beverages on the market are too low in CBD in my opinion, like the 10mg Everie CBD drinks that cost $7. Now, these drinks can be good for mocktails at a party, especially the higher dose ones that are around 20mg a can. Those are a good option to have for people at a gathering who don’t want to consume alcohol or THC. Honestly, if you’re looking to try CBD, don’t buy edibles with only 10mg of CBD, it’s a waste of your money.
Exceptions for THC free edibles
There’s some gummies on the market that are THC free like Dynathrive apple cider vinegar CBD gummies, you can buy a package of 30 soft chews with 10mg each and that will cost you around $55 per package for 300mg total. Again, that’s a lot to spend on CBD, however if you’re looking for THC free, this is an option. To take 20mg a day, you’ll go through a package every 2 weeks, so you’re looking at over $100 a month.
When it’s good to buy CBD edibles
I recommend taking CBD with THC always. If you don’t want to take CBD daily but you do use cannabis occasionally, buying these edibles can be a good option. It’s not always easy to find THC products with CBD in them so buying a separate CBD product you can take with your THC product will work. Something like the CBD drinks that have around 20mg of CBD in them is a good option. Buying a pack of gummies with about 50mg of CBD in the package and eating them all is what I recommend for a night of THC consumption.
Related article: Why you should always take THC and CBD together
Good to buy – CBD topicals
CBD is great for your skin as it’s a powerful antioxidant and has anti-inflammatory benefits this means it can be very useful in reducing the effects of aging and treating acne. Many people find relief from eczema with CBD topicals as it’s very hydrating. CBD topicals are safe to use on children, I know moms who use a CBD bath bomb to help relieve their child’s eczema.
The big fat downside is the price. CBD topicals can be expensive however as women, we’re used to spending a fortune of creams. There’s some CBD topicals on the market that are promising. Dosecann is one of my favourite brands and they make a cream that has 1,200mg of CBD and only costs around $40 (on the BC cannabis store website) which is an incredible price for that high of an amount of CBD.
Look for higher dose CBD topicals
Avoid low dose CBD topicals. There isn’t any good science yet on proper dosing for topicals however the higher the better as it has to absorb into your skin. There’s more products coming onto the market as time goes on and I recommend trying out different brands. I’ll be adding to the topicals reviews as more are available
Good to buy – CBD flowers and Vape pens
For those of you that are interested in inhalation methods, you can buy high CBD vape pens and dried flowers. With dried flowers you grind up the cannabis and put it into a joint or dry herb vaporizer. With vape pens or vape cartridges, you’re getting a concentrate in an oil form that you vaporize so you aren’t inhaling smoke and they’re easy to use and have no smell.
I personally like the Dosist pens for beginners as they have low dose THC options with high CBD however they’re expensive, especially in B.C where we have a 20% tax on vaping products (ouch).
Vape pens and dried flowers gives you the option of puffing throughout the day to get your CBD, and getting instant relief if you have anxiety. You can buy CBD only vape pens but they’re hard to find, mostly you’ll buy one with low THC.
Good to buy – Isolates
CBD isolate is a concentrate powder you buy free from all other plant properties, so you’re getting pure CBD. This is a good option for anyone who doesn’t want any THC. Isolates can be pricey however they’re a versatile product, they have little to no smell or taste and can be added to food or drinks. This is something that’s fairly new to the Canadian market, I haven’t tried isolates but I know of many people who use them as they can be added to so many things, including oils and capsules.
If you’re looking to take CBD as a daily supplement, look for the best price as you can easily spend hundreds of dollars a month on CBD. Look for high concentrations of CBD per ml, for example Mood Ring has 1000mg per 30ml bottle and costs around $45, that’s a good price for high CBD oil, you can also buy Mood Ring CBD oil in capsules.
The same goes for topicals, look for higher CBD without the high price, there’s definitely some good options on the market. Try out different products to see which one works best for you. It may be that only 10mg a day is good enough for you, however for most people you’ll want at least 20mg a day. Personally I’d take around 100mg to 200mg a day if I could and that’s simply too expensive for me. As time goes on, CBD will get more affordable, for now there’s some good products if you shop around.