Disclaimer: Ongoing research is still being conducted on CBD and its effects on the body. If you have specific medical conditions or prescriptions, please consult with your physician prior to use.

Cannabidiol, otherwise known as CBD, is the hottest new bandwagon you definitely want to jump on! From beauty products, to supplemental oils, to food enhancements, CBD is literally taking over. Projected growth of CBD based products is $2.1 billion, over 700 percent, by the year 2020.

Alright, let’s just get right to the elephant in the room. Yes, CBD is a compound found in Cannabis, also known as Marijuana, but most CBD products come from a legal plant called Hemp. A lot of the compounds in Cannabis have been found to have many medicinal properties, and CBD is no exception. Unlike the familiar compound THC, CBD will not get you high, and in fact it is said to actually counteract some of the psychoactive effects of THC.

CBD has quickly become popular for treating conditions like anxiety, inflammation, joint pain, trouble sleeping, and many more ailments. Scientific studies have also shown an ease of symptoms in more severe conditions such as PTSD, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and epilepsy. CBD has also demonstrated neuroprotective effects, and potential cancer treatment in many studies. This is the future you guys. Medicinal plants for the win!

The endocannabinoid system regulates almost every biological process in our bodies.

What’s an endocannabinoid? Well I’m so glad you asked! Every mammal on the planet is born with what’s called an ‘endocannabinoid system’. This system is in charge of regulating our moods, appetite, sleep patterns, pain, immune response, and hormones.

Biologically speaking, it makes sense why CBD is so stellar at reducing stress and anxiety, because our endocannabinoid system has a network of CBD receptors along our central nervous system. When we take CBD products, our receptors become engaged and communicate within our body to fix different imbalances. I’m sure you have all heard of other adaptogens, or unique healing plants? CBD acts just like an adaptogen in our body and can ‘read’ what our bodies need. CBD helps us tackle stress like the biggest and baddest NFL football player tackling an opponent.

I first started taking CBD supplements daily in April, and have had a strong desire to continue experimenting ever since. There are so many good creative ways to take this supplement. From topical, to edible, to wearable, I love finding new, trustworthy companies to try. CBD is going to affect everyone differently, so you probably won’t react the same way to the same type and dosage as your friend. But that’s the fun of it, you get to keep trying more products!

My dive into the CBD world started out purely as curiosity. I’m not going to lie, a few months ago I didn’t know much about it. I wasn’t even sure it was legal! (Sidenote: CBD products are legal in all 50 states – even if they have 0.3% THC.) As soon as I started to learn more about it I knew I had to give it try for its association to relieving stress, anxiety and inflammation, (all of which I suffer from).

Now the quality of the product matters. With anything you put directly on or in your body, you want to be sure of how it’s made and what’s in it! Pesticides (and other toxicities) can be used to grow hemp plants too, just like within your food supply.

1, 2, 3, let’s get to the good stuff!

Edible supplements

Leef Organics – Thrival Oil

Best CBD products for beginners, including wellness brands like Leef Organics, Mowellens, Milk Makeup and more.

Photo by: @leef_organics

Lo and behold, my first CBD experience, the Thrival Oil. I found this product the same way I find all my favorite products: on Instagram. I was immediately interested by the idea of their sun grown, whole flower products, that are all organically made and refined to preserve the integrity of the plant. The Thrival CBD product is made from a whole plant cold pressed fermentation process, which ultimately means that the CBD retains all of its nutrients and active compounds. (FYI: Any processes to extract CBD that involve heat will ultimately destroy the nutrients.)

Although the dosage of CBD is not listed on Thrival oil, it is advertised as a low dose to help achieve maximum benefits. Leef Organics believes in whole plant power because when all parts of the plant are combined, it does not just equal the sum, there is a multiplying effect. This oil is literally loaded with powerful compounds like cannabinoids, amino acids, terpenes, flavonoids, enzymes, proteins, and fatty acids, that all work together to produce a (positive) natural effect on your body.

The bottle might be small but it’s deceiving. I took the recommended dosage, which is 2 drops twice a day (morning and night), and it lasted me about 3 months. Thrival oil may be on the higher end for cost, but I think it’s abso-freaking-lutely worth every penny. Plus, I love the taste of this product. It sort of tastes like a whole plant. The flavor is very ‘hemp like’, in my opinion, but it tantalizes my taste buds.

Note: Thrival Oil does have the allowed amount of THC, at just under 0.03%. If you need THC free, this is NOT the product for you. But, after trying a few other types of products on the market, I can confidently say that I would purchase this one again.

Bonus: Lazarus Naturals
Lazarus Naturals CBD's Tincture, one of the best products for beginners to CBD

Photo credit: @lazarusnaturalscbd

I recently purchased another CBD oil, a tincture mixed with oils, from Lazarus Naturals. I found this product on Instagram too, but it is a common brand that comes up on the interwebs and is often mentioned in a CBD Facebook group I am a member of. Lazarus Naturals is an employee owned business that believes that the benefits of CBD should be accessible to all.

Their products are ethically sourced and made completely in house. The hemp that they use is domestically sourced and non-GMO (that’s important you guys!) and made from crops with the highest cannabinoid content available. They use kosher ethanol to extract the CBD from the hemp (different than the process of Leef Organics) and then blend their product with other plant derived organic oils.

To be completely honest, I was a bit overwhelmed by Lazarus Naturals website, as they offer a wide variety of products, and it gave me a bit of anxiety as to where to start. I decided to go high on this one, and ordered the ‘High Potency CBD Tincture – 3000 mg’. This product has added hemp seed oil, fractionated coconut oil, and avocado oil, all of which really sparked my interest because I’m trying to increase my healthy fats anyway. #BrainFood

To continue my line of open communication, I was a bit disappointed by the taste. The oil tasted much of that, like oil. It wasn’t as enjoyable to take a few drops under my tongue as the Leef Organics product. SO, I decided to switch up my routine and started taking this oil in my coffee. You should definitely try that. Because this tincture is of a much higher potency than I had been taking, and also because I literally noticed effects quite suddenly, I decided to take just once a day instead of twice. I enjoy the noticeable calming effect this has on me in the morning time (usually the most stressful point of my day).

Despite the difference in taste, I would also buy this product again, and venture into some of their other offerings, including CBD for pets!

Note: The Lazarus Naturals oil I ordered is not THC free, but they comply with the federally mandated amount of 0.3%.

Edible supplement

Mowellen’s – Hemp infused Avocado Honey

Mowellen's The Keepers Stash, one of the most fun CBD products on the market. Pair this healthy CBD product with coffee, salads or smoothies.

Photo credit: @mowellens

Since I started using CBD regularly, I’ve been dead set on finding a great food infused product to add to my diet stat. Thankfully for me, I heard about a company called Mowellens from a podcast I listen to religiously called the Almost 30 podcast. They speak highly of the founder Amy Duncan and her story of helping her husband battle brain cancer and through the wellness of CBD.

I basically wanted to try one of everything from Mowellens, but decided to go with their Avocado Hemp Honey for starters, called The Keeper’s Stash. Their extremely appealing branding alone stole my heart forever, but their dedication to providing the highest quality product is really where I fell hard.

It did take over a month and a half for me to receive my honey after ordering it, but that was because they were still fairly upcoming and had a few bad batches of honey that Amy did not feel comfortable shipping out. I’m definitely not the most patient person, but on the plus side Amy communicated with me regularly and assured me she wanted to give me the best product she could.

The Keeper’s Stash is literally liquid gold, and can basically be added to anything you want–your coffee, salads, smoothies, tea, toast, homemade balms, whatever you want! I use it as a coffee flavor enhancement, but also for smoothies and have tried a few salads with it too. Just as you would guess, it tastes just some great high quality honey, but is secretly packed with an extra great punch.

Just like Leef Organics, Mowellens ensures their CBD products are full spectrum and include terpenes, a distant family member to THC and CBD. Terpenes are like a cooler older cousin who travels a lot, fluently speaks Spanish, and works at a fancy marketing firm. They are just as important as CBD, but can be harder to find in CBD based products. A typical cannabis plant has around 100 cannabinoids and 200 terpenes, but it’s the synergy of all of these compounds that truly make the cannabis plant special. Better known as the ‘entourage effect’, when the compounds work together they can magnify the therapeutic effects overall.

Note: The Keeper’s Stash does contain low levels of THC, under 0.03%.

The next product I want to try from Mowellens is the Inner Peace oil, a THC free super charged oil that helps eliminate the side effects of stress.

Beauty Product

Milk Makeup – Kush Mascara

CBD infused mascara? Kush Macara from Milk Makeup is a great way to combine beauty and health

Photo credit: @milkmakeup

Another amazing thing about CBD, that not everyone knows yet, it it also works great topically too. CBD can be absorbed transdermally through our skin, and a bunch of beauty companies are starting to pick up on this. Topical CBD is a great way to start introducing it into your wellness routine.

The first beauty product I fell for was Kush Mascara by Milk Makeup. I found Milk Makeup while searching through vegan makeup companies on Instagram and was instantly sold on their Kush Mascara. They are cruelty free, paraben free, vegan, and offer good ingredient products.

I saw they had a hot, new CBD infused mascara, and I just had to have it. This high volume lash moisturizing unicorn magic is literally advertised as “one hit for high volume” and I was completely in love with it before I even tried it. I’m always searching for the best lash volumizing option and have tried every product Target sells, plus all the other fiber lash options you have probably heard of, but this one takes the cake.

Kush Mascara is full of conditioning hemp-derived cannabis oils that fuse heart shape fibers to your lashes for in your face volume. My lashes have literally never looked bigger or better, and I’m not even exaggerating. The product goes on smooth, doesn’t clump, and comes off easily with cleansing oils and some coconut oil.

In general, I was so impressed with Milk Makeup’s branding and packaging. The mascara comes in a hefty metal tube, much larger than your average mascara tube, and is worth every penny of its $25 price tag. Never in my life have I spent that much on mascara, but there isn’t any other product I’d want to continue to use. Luckily, that big packaging lasts a while! My first tube lasted almost 3 months.

Milk Makeup offers a cosmetic beauty line, and prides itself in self expression, and celebration of beauty in every way. Dude, they have highlighters that are literally made from meteorites! Talk about embracing ourselves star seeds. I love this company and what they stand for and can’t wait to try another CBD product – their new Kush (clear or tinted) brow gels!

Full of CBD is the way to be

I don’t even know what I could possibly say to steer you away from CBD you guys; I just love it! What better than a medicinal, non-addictive, non-psychoactive, adaptogenic, mood enhancing, stress reducing, legal, safe, natural plant products? The only thing I can think of is that I obviously don’t enjoy it costing so much, but sometimes I’m willing to pursue worthy investments to better my health!

If you do decide CBD is right for you to, please promise me you’ll be patient with it. CBD has a cumulative effect, but I really think it’s worth the wait. Just think about it like you would with other wellness habits; you can’t just eat a salad instead of french fries for one night and expect to feel better all over. You have to make those healthy choices every day for several weeks until you will notice its effects. Patience really is a virtue sometimes! Build up your system, and add this beneficial daily habit to your life.

There are a lot of different kinds of products out there, just read the labels. Rule of thumb: if a product is made from a hemp isolate it probably has fillers in it like cornstarch and other cheap to make alternatives that will do harm to your bodies. You want whole plant variations when you’re choosing your best products. 

FYI: A lot of CBD products do contain less than 0.3% THC, still legal, but could induce slight intoxication. Read those labels!

Additional (FUN) Resources:

– Almost 30 PodcastEpisode 104 (part 1), and Episode 105 (part 2)Cannabis 101 and Why It’s Important We Lift Stigma – Featuring Perry Soloman of HelloMD

– That’s So Retrograde Podcast – Episode 152 – CBD ASAP – Featuring the Stanley Brothers from Charlotte’s Web

– Charlotte’s Web (the Stanley Brothers)Hemp Education

 

Best CBD products for beginners. High quality wellness products to make you feel calmer, less stressed, reduce anxiety.