I am CBD Curious
Want to know more about the hottest supplement out there? Here are the best CBD products to try
Can you name a substance that counts among its fans both Gwyneth Paltrow and Mitch McConnell? If you answered CBD, you’re probably a — oh, let’s see —human being on this planet, that’s how pervasive are products infused with cannabidiol, to call it by its proper name. And they’re likely to become even more ubiquitous, since President Trump signed a farm bill legalizing the cultivation of “industrial hemp.”
Hemp plants contain CBD but not tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the compound that gets you high. That’s where fanboy McConnell enters the picture, by the way — a stretch, I know, but he advocated for the bill, which will give Kentucky farmers a way to replace tobacco with a more lucrative crop.
That’s also the first thing to know about CBD: it has zero psychoactive effects. And while the list of benefits it might confer is a long one — most commonly, relief of anxiety, inflammation, and muscle pain — epilepsy is the only condition for which the FDA has approved it as a remedy. Which is why claims made by CBD product manufacturers are a little bit squishy: “The legal way to chill TF out” is how one edible puts it. A clear-headed but pleasantly mellow “body high” is another term often used.
More fine print for the CBD curious: as an unregulated substance, there are no standard dosages. And unsurprisingly, everybody reacts to CBD differently. Put another way, super-user Seth Rogen, who lobbied Congress on CBD’s behalf, would likely have a higher tolerance than, say, I would. Plus, packaging often refers to the total amount of CBD in the product, not the amount a consumer should use, so determining how many sleep-inducing gummies to take is an exercise in crowd-sourcing. “Take, like, one,” said the guy in the shop. “Or whatever.”
Crowd-sourcing is also how I chose the products I tried. My favorites — along with a few recommended by celebrities and an industry organization — are listed below.
It’s sold as “full-spectrum,” meaning the entire plant is used, not an “isolate,” which is said to be less effective. Olivia Wilde told the New York Times it soothed a sore neck. Mandy Moore raved to Refinery 29 about how the oil version relieved her red-carpet foot pain. Founded in 2016, Lord Jones is one of the original CBD purveyors and is so buzzy that it has a collab with The Standard Hotels: try their limited-edition box of blood orange CBD Gumdrops ($50 for 9 pieces). Yum.
“Plain” because it’s made from organic hemp and is fragrance- and paraben-free. “High” because, you know. I haven’t tried it but it won a 2018 Best of Cannabis award for best wellness product.
I haven’t tried this one either, but Goop is a fan and, as a rule of thumb, you’ll be much better off taking sex advice from Gwyneth Paltrow than from me. It’s infused with both CBD and jasmine, an (also unregulated) aphrodisiac.
Knob Polish; $24
I don’t have a knob to polish but I straight up just love the name of this one. And for discerning knobs please note that it’s sold as safe for use with latex, as well as being CBD-infused.
FOOD + DRINK
GO BASIC EDIBLES CACAO CBD CHOCOLATES; $7 for 2 pieces
These raw, organic, vegan and paleo-compliant chocolates are delicious. Did I feel happier having eaten one? Yes, but chocolate will do that to a girl, too.
An off-shoot of Sweets by CHLOE — which in itself is an offshoot of the wildly popular by CHLOE chain of vegan restaurants — these shops offer standard sweets along with a case of CBD-infused baked (hah!) goods and candy. The packaging is all unicorns and rainbows. Literally: the solid chunk of very good CBD chocolate I bought had both a unicorn and rainbow on its wrapper. There were also CBD cookies sprinkled with edible glitter, which seemed to me to be a dental emergency waiting to happen.
This East Village spa and nail salon is fronted by a café selling CBD wellness products, as well as tea, coffee, and iced drinks. I walked in stressing about my SEP IRA (you’ll also want to avoid taking financial advice from me). My Chillhouse Purple Haze was a lovely blend of CBD and herbal tea and it made feel, well, chill. But then I lost my phone and wigged out all over again. Sigh.
SLEEPY ’ZS CBD Night Time Gummies; $10 for two gummies
I took two grape-y gummies and fell asleep fast. But then had a vivid and disturbing dream about being pursued by a shady dude in aviators. The scene I awoke to: I was safe at home, or so I thought, but when I looked in the mirror, there was the guy behind me, still wearing those dumb glasses. This as compared to my more typical dreams, featuring me sending Outlook invites and emails and the like. Seriously, I dreamed last week that I was emailing Jenna in finance about an account number for coding an invoice. I’d try SLEEPY ’ZS again but at 10 bucks for two little gummies, it won’t be an every-night thing.
TONIC Chill Tonic; $75
I saved the best — and easiest — for last. To induce a mellower mood, I take two drops under the tongue. Sold as full-spectrum and organically grown, it’s nicely flavored with Ashwagandha, lemon balm, and passion flower. And it was given to me as a Christmas present by my daughter Lily. Thank you, sweet girl.