In recent years, there has been an explosion of interest in CBD (cannabidiol), a compound derived from the cannabis plant. As a medical professional, I've witnessed firsthand the growing popularity of CBD in the wellness and healthcare industries. Patients frequently inquire about CBD products, seeking solutions to a wide range of issues, from stress and anxiety, to pain management and sleep disturbances.
The surge in CBD's popularity has led to a multitude of products flooding the market. While choice is generally a good thing, the abundance of options can be overwhelming, making it crucial to find the right CBD products tailored to your unique needs and preferences.
In this blog, I will discuss my personal favorite CBD products and provide insights into what I look for when choosing them. Additionally, I’ll share tips on how to find which products to add into your own health and wellness routine.
What I Look for When Choosing CBD Products
Before discussing my favorite products, let’s look into what I look for when choosing. When it comes to my recommendations, I first have to use it myself in order to give insight as to what to expect when a person is going to use a certain product. In selecting and recommending CBD products, there are several factors that I consider to ensure their quality, effectiveness, safety, and ease of use.
Timing of the Effect
The choice of how you consume a CBD product can significantly impact its timing and onset of effects. Besides inhaling/smoking, placing CBD tinctures under the tongue is usually the next fastest way to feel the effects of the cannabinoids. When taken under the tongue, it typically takes effect within 8-15 minutes. Some folks may feel the effects as fast as 4 minutes using this method. On the other hand, CBD products ingested through the gut, like capsules and gummies, have a more delayed onset, usually requiring 45 minutes to an hour for the full effect to be felt.
Ingredient Quality and Extraction Methods
One of the primary factors I consider when selecting CBD products is the quality of ingredients. High-quality, organic ingredients and sustainable sourcing ensure that the product is not only effective, but also safe. Look for products that use organic hemp grown in reputable regions. Additionally, products should undergo clean and safe extraction methods, such as CO2 extraction, to ensure the absence of harmful contaminants.
Lab Findings and Certificates of Analysis (COAs)
Transparency is crucial in the CBD industry. Reputable CBD brands provide lab findings and Certificates of Analysis (COAs) from third-party testing. These documents offer insight into the product's cannabinoid content, terpene profiles, and the absence of contaminants like pesticides and heavy metals. Before purchasing any CBD product, I always review these COAs to ensure that what's on the label matches what's in the bottle.
Ease of Use Within Lifestyle
Furthermore, considering ease of use within my lifestyle is crucial. CBD should seamlessly integrate into your daily routine. I consider how easy a product is to incorporate into my lifestyle when making a selection and choose those that easily fit into my daily routine, allowing me to experience the benefits without disrupting my day-to-day activities.
My Favorite CBD Products
During the Day: Broad Spectrum CBD Tincture
I find that a broad spectrum CBD tincture is my go-to choice for daytime use, and there are several compelling reasons for this preference. First, the convenience it offers cannot be overstated. Tinctures don't require refrigeration and can be discreetly stashed in your bag, pocket, or desk drawer, ready whenever you need them. Their ease of use is another significant advantage – no preparation required. I appreciate the rapid onset of effects with tinctures; they bypass the liver (since they are not going through the stomach), entering the bloodstream swiftly. This means less waiting for relief, a crucial factor when unexpected stressors arise.
This approach has proven highly effective for myself and many of my patients dealing with the demands of their daily lives. It's a strategy I often recommend, especially to individuals with PTSD who may require quick relief before a stressful event or when caught off guard by unexpected irritants or flashbacks.
To incorporate a CBD tincture into your routine, simply place a few drops under your tongue, allowing it to absorb for at least a minute. While combining a partial dose of THC with CBD during the workday can be beneficial in managing stress and chronic pain, broad spectrum tinctures (those without THC) are my top choice for daytime use. The CBD and CBD𝛼 within the broad spectrum tincture helps me maintain focus throughout the day by lessening feelings of stress, which can really zap my energy. This type of CBD tincture helps me maintain a sense of overall well-being and balance, offering an emotional shield to help navigate the challenges of a hectic day.
Winding Down: Full Spectrum CBD Tincture
In the evening, I turn to a full spectrum CBD tincture, typically around dinner time. This daily ritual marks the transition from the day's hustle and bustle to my cherished "me-time." It's a moment to decompress, wind down, and prepare for a restful night's sleep.
Alongside an evening meal, I frequently recommend taking CBD gummies infused with apple cider vinegar. This combination serves a dual purpose, aiding in digestion and potentially offering benefits for reducing the blood sugar level. I have patients state that they like the Apple Cider Vinegar CBD gummies because they get a feeling of satiety and don’t feel that they need to overeat. They are excited with this combination because they are not only helping their gut health, they may be improving their sugar levels as well. Of course, more research is needed in this area on the effects of CBD on diabetes. I have had a lot of anecdotal feedback on how patient’s sugar levels seem to go lower after taking CBD.
For those seeking a holistic approach to their evening routine, full spectrum CBD and/or adding a microdose of THC to the CBD formulation can be transformative. It encourages mental relaxation, muscle relaxation, and sets the stage for a peaceful night's sleep. I always recommend starting with a small partial dose of Full Spectrum CBD and gradually increasing it as you become more comfortable with the effects.
Aches, Pains, and Recovery: CBD Freeze Roller
For those dealing with aches, pains, or in need of muscle recovery, I highly recommend the cbdMD freeze roller. This product stands out for its rapid action and targeted pain relief, making it a favorite among patients and skeptics alike. The combination of menthol and CBD in the freeze roller delivers swift and noticeable relief. What sets this product apart is its comfortable application. Many menthol-based pain relief creams and gels can feel harsh on the skin and have a strong odor, but the CBD freeze roller offers a more pleasant experience.
If menthol is not your preference, consider a CBD topical recovery cream that includes histamine dihydrochloride, arnica, aloe vera, and MSM. These ingredients work together to provide warming, temporary relief from minor aches and pains, offering a soothing and comfortable solution.
Falling & Staying Asleep: CBD PM Tincture & Gummies
When it comes to achieving a good night's sleep, my approach involves figuring out where the sleep issue is. Is the problem falling asleep or is the problem staying asleep – or is it both? When the problem lies with falling asleep, I prefer to use the CBD PM Tincture for a fast onset. If the problem is staying asleep, then I will reach for the CBD sleep gummies. Sometimes the problem is at both ends of the sleep cycle, therefore I approach these issues in a dual-layered process: a CBD PM tincture to help me fall asleep quickly and CBD sleep gummies to help me stay asleep throughout the night. The synergy between these two products provides a balanced and prolonged sleep aid.
When using this dual-layered approach, I advise beginning with a full dose of one product and a partial dose of the other – taking 8th or 4th of the recommended amount – and gradually increasing it as you feel comfortable with how it affects your sleep.
For optimal results in sleep management, I personally use and recommend full spectrum tinctures and sleep gummies that contain both CBD and THC. However, if THC is not an option for you, broad spectrum CBD products with only CBD and CBD𝛼 can still be highly effective in promoting restful sleep.
For Pets: CBD Pet Tinctures
CBD tinctures for pets provide a sense of calm and relaxation, making them particularly helpful during stressful situations. Whether it's a thunderstorm, a training session, houseguests, or a visit to the vet- CBD can be a reassuring tool for cats and dogs. As a pet owner myself, I've discovered firsthand the valuable role CBD tinctures can play in my pets' daily wellness routines.
I incorporate pet CBD tinctures into their daily regimen. I also reach for it more during stressful events such as holidays (especially those with loud noises like fireworks), travel, or large gatherings. To ensure it's in their system before these events even begin, I start giving the tincture a day in advance. Administering the tincture to pets is easy. While you can add it to their food, some pets are clever at eating around it. To ensure effective absorption and quicker onset, I prefer to apply the tincture to my finger and then gently drag my finger directly over their jowls, inner cheek, or gum line.
How to Choose Your Own Favorite CBD Products
Selecting the right CBD product is not a one-size-fits-all endeavor. Our lifestyles and health needs vary, and CBD can play a role in addressing a number of needs and concerns. For instance, if you're a busy professional seeking quick stress relief, a fast-acting method like CBD tinctures may be your best bet. Or, if you’re an athlete looking for pain relief and muscle recovery, capsules and topicals might be more suitable for you.
CBD products come in different variations based on their cannabinoid content. Understanding these variations is key to finding the right product for your specific needs. There's broad spectrum CBD, which contains cannabidiol CBD and CBD𝛼 without any traces of THC (the psychoactive component of cannabis). On the other end, you have THC-only products such as Delta 9 THC, which are typically used for recreational purposes and many people use the microdose for chronic pain. In between, there are CBD + trace THC blends, also known as full spectrum CBD, offering a diverse range of benefits.
I prefer taking full spectrum CBD, as the trace amount of THC helps enhance the effects of CBD (known as the “entourage effect,”). But if THC is not an option for your lifestyle, then incorporating a broad spectrum CBD will still provide a boost to your daily self care routine.
On top of dosing, CBD products also come in various forms to cater to different preferences and needs. The method of consumption plays a significant role in how quickly you'll feel the effects and the targeted areas of relief. Tinctures, for example, offer rapid absorption when taken sublingually (under the tongue). Capsules provide a convenient, precise dosage. Gummies offer a tasty and discreet option for those on the go. And topicals, such as creams and balms, target specific areas for localized relief.
The Importance of Finding the Best CBD Product for You
While I have my favorite CBD products, it's crucial to acknowledge that what works for one person might not work for another and recognize that personal preferences and responses to CBD can vary widely. Your body, chemistry, and specific health needs are unique. Therefore, the products that resonate with me might not be an ideal match for you. This diversity in experiences is one of the exciting aspects of CBD – there's a product out there tailored to your needs! Don't be discouraged if your first attempt doesn't yield the results you desire, it might take some trial and error to find your ideal product.
If you have any doubts, questions, or specific health concerns, consult with a healthcare professional or your doctor. Your physician can try to provide personalized recommendations and guidance based on your medical history and needs to help you navigate the world of CBD safely and effectively, ensuring that you choose products that align with your health goals. My personal suggestion is to also educate yourself on these products with our blogs – I’m here to help and answer your questions as we walk through this journey together.