According to a 2019 Gallup report, 14 percent of Americans— that’s about one in every seven people — said they use CBD (also known as cannabidiol) products. And that number jumps to 20 percent for those under age 30. With so many people using CBD, and with new products and new research emerging by the day, it can be hard to know which CBD products are going to work best for you.
There’s a saying among CBD enthusiasts: Go low and start slow. As a plant-based remedy, CBD is a low-risk solution for stress, relaxation and ache relief (plus, it’s non-psychotropic, which means it won’t get you high). Trying a little at your own pace enables you to find exactly what works for you. Get to know the quality of the CBD you’re taking and the options you have for using it – whether you’re looking for increased focus or calm vibes, you’re bound to find the right pairing.
Get to Know Your CBD
By now, there’s a good chance you’re familiar with food labels like “Organic,” “Non-GMO” or “Free Range” — they’re common because people naturally want to know where their food comes from. Likewise, it’s key to know what sort of CBD you’re putting into your body, whether the product you choose is CBD lotion, hemp oil capsules, lip balm or drinkable shots.
First off, let’s talk about the simpler labels to look for: ”Grown in the USA”, “Vegan” and “Third-Party Tested”. If a CBD product checks these boxes, you can rest assured it contains no surprise ingredients, was grown on local American farms and has been tested for safety and efficacy by unbiased third parties. If a product doesn’t have these labels, it’s best to steer clear.
You’ll likely also notice another common set of labels highlighted front and center on most CBD products’ packaging: full-spectrum vs. broad-spectrum vs. isolate. When cannabidiol is extracted from the cannabis plant, other beneficial compounds like flavonoids (naturally occurring antioxidant compounds) and terpenes (aromatic oils that imbue cannabis with different flavors and aromas) are extracted, too. While CBD isolate removes these other compounds, broad-spectrum CBD contains some of them, and full-spectrum CBD contains all of them. Research shows that full-spectrum CBD, like all of B GREAT’s lineup, is significantly more beneficial and effective (as Pharmacology & Pharmacy reported in a 2015 study).
On the note of knowing your products, traceability is crucial. To know exactly what you’re putting into your body, you need to know what elements are in that tincture, capsule, or shot.
Brands like B GREAT allow you to look up the exact percentage of elements contained in your CBD product and confirm that it contains less than 0.3 percent THC (the maximum allowable amount, per federal law). Additionally, you can receive a certificate of analysis (a CBD COA, if you will) online. The COA comes from a third-party lab, so rather than taking the manufacturer’s word for it, you get an independent source verifying what’s in your CBD.
At B GREAT, you’ll find only U.S.-grown hemp from Department of Agriculture–approved farms, processed at facilities that meet Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) standards, and have been tested at third-party labs—all of which are solid rule-of-thumb attributes to seek when shopping for safe CBD.
Then, Listen to Your Body
Once you’ve narrowed in on a brand that produces products you trust to be top-quality, it’s time to wade into the world of tinctures, shots, gummies, and creams. When it comes to choosing what type of CBD product to add into your routine, it pays to think about your goals and listen to your body. Here, are a few of the most common ways to take CBD, and how to know which one is best for you.
When you massage CBD lotion or balm onto your body, the cannabidiol may help ease the pain and inflammation you experience daily, like post-work or post-gym soreness. Lotions and balms are considered “topicals” since they do not enter your bloodstream, but rather work with your skin. Pain relief occurs because the skin actually contains dense cannabinoid receptors, which interact directly with CBD and the body’s built-in endocannabinoid system (that’s right, your body has a cell-signaling network that works directly with cannabinoids to affect everything from pain sensations to appetite).
This skin-level endocannabinoid reaction is why topical products like B GREAT Hemp Relief & Recovery Cream serve as potentially effective solutions for aches. It’s no wonder that of the 14 percent of CBD-using Americans who reported to Gallup, 40 percent of them use CBD for day-to-day pain relief. Even further, because the endocannabinoid system is also linked to our sleep and mood functions, products like a skin-soothing Hemp Balm with added essential oils can help promote feelings of relaxation, too.
Ingestible CBD products, like CBD-infused capsules, typically offer a slow absorption into the bloodstream. Speaking to CNET in 2019, Kevin Boehnke, Ph.D., of the Chronic Pain & Fatigue Research Center at the University of Michigan said, “[CBD ingestibles take] a while to take effect, but then that lasts a lot longer and tapers more slowly,” compared to other intake methods. Typically, the effects of the CBD peak at around one to two hours (though factors like a full belly can lengthen the absorption process). A 2019 study from The Permanente Journal finds that 79.2 percent of the 72 people tested reported decreased anxiety scores, while 66.7 percent reported improved sleep scores while taking a CBD capsule once daily.
Oral oils and tinctures (such as B GREAT Hemp Oil) however, have a significantly faster absorption speed. With oils — which you typically ingest by placing a few drops under your tongue — you’re likely to feel the effects within 30 minutes. This makes oil a prime delivery candidate for quickly enjoying CBD’s effects on relaxation and mood.
CBD drinkable shots offer a middle ground between traditional food edibles and under-the-tongue oils. B GREAT’s Focus Shot unlocks all of the positive effects cannabis can exert on the brain’s left hippocampal volume — as reported by Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research in 2018 — which helps the brain with processes like spatial navigation, memory, and stress response. The B GREAT Focus Shot also contains caffeine and B vitamins to boost energy levels. Melatonin and ginkgo biloba in the B GREAT Relax Shot work in tandem with CBD’s blood-pressure-lowering qualities to lend a sense of calm.
Thinking about your lifestyle, your needs, and your preferences can help you narrow the wide range of available CBD options. Knowing the facts and what to look for in CBD products can help you determine the product that is right for you—sound knowledge goes a long way.
- Gallup: 14% of Americans Say They Use CBD Products
- Medium: Full Spectrum vs. Broad Spectrum vs. CBD Isolate: The Difference Explained
- Pharmacology & Pharmacy, 2015, 6, 75-85: Overcoming the Bell-Shaped Dose-Response of Cannabidiol by Using Cannabis Extract Enriched in Cannabidiol
- Live Science: What Are Phytonutrients?
- U.S. News and World Report: To Topical CBD Products Work?
- Healthline: A Simple Guide to the Endocannabinoid System
- Edibles vs. Topicals vs. Vaping vs. Oils: CBD Products, Explained
- The Permanente Journal: Cannabidiol in Anxiety and Sleep: A Large Case Study
- Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research: Prolonged Cannabidiol Treatment Effects on Hippocampal Subfield Volumes in Current Cannabis Users
- Journal of Anatomy: The Subiculum: What It Does, What It Might Do, and What Neuroanatomy Has Yet to Tell Us
- JCI Insight: A Single Dose of Cannabidiol Reduces Blood Pressure in Healthy Volunteers in a Randomized Crossover Study