CBD, or cannabidiol, one of the many active compounds found in the cannabis plant, is having a moment. Beloved for its numerous therapeutic benefits, CBD’s popularity has skyrocketed in recent years — growing from a niche health alternative touted by West Coast hippies making tinctures, oils, and potions, to a nationwide craze, with hemp-derived CBD products now legal in all 50 states.
Though there aren’t as many definitive studies published as one might hope, there is some solid medical evidence for CBD’s effectiveness in treating certain medical conditions (including insomnia and anxiety). Beyond that, its popularity mostly stems from its perceived efficacy among users. And perhaps its versatility as an ingredient — lending itself to oils, tinctures, balms, capsules, drinks, vape cartridges, edibles and even some strains of weed.
According to a survey conducted by SingleCare in 2020, 33% of American adult participants reported using CBD once or more, and a 2019 Gallup poll found that at least 64% of Americans were in some way familiar with CBD or CBD-containing products. Meaning CBD is so big, your grandparents probably know about it. And they still say “the YouTube!”
We’ve collected some of our favorite CBD-containing products below, along with some still-active deals from National CBD Day (August 8th). These are products we’ve tried and liked in an era when finding a little extra chill feels very helpful.
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CBD plus added beneficial botanical are what set our gummies apart from the others. We developed three different gummies, Calm, Sleep, and Recovery, each with a different functional benefit to make it even easier for you to bring CBD into your schedule. Our Sleep gummies include melatonin to help harmonize regular sleep cycles. The Calm gummies include lemon balm and L-theanine; to offer natural calming properties to help ease normal anxiety. While our Recovery gummies are paired with ginger and turmeric to support daily physical activity and exercise-induced inflammation.
CBD brand Charlotte’s Web makes all sorts of CBD products, from topicals to oils to CBD for your dog, but one of their best products are their CBD Gummies. The Gummies come in three varieties: Sleep, which features raspberry-flavored gummies, and an added dose of melatonin to help get your sleep schedule in order; Calm, which is a lemon-lime mix of lemon balm, L-theanine and CBD; and Recovery, a ginger flavor that targets exercise-induced inflammation. All three products are full-spectrum extracts, meaning they contain all of the naturally occurring phytocannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids of the cannabis plant.
As a company, the brand keeps things fairly natural — using US grown hemp in their gummies, and natural ingredients, avoiding additives or dyes.
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Secret Nature CBD’s vape cartridges are made with CBD live resin extract, providing a full spectrum extract that brings the terpenes to the forefront, so if you’re all about the flavor you’re going to love Secret Nature. The brand has a variety of strains but for familiarity’s sake, we went ahead and decided to recommend the Gelato, a hybrid strain with a berry and sweet cream flavor profile that will relax you without weighing you down.
If you’re not a hybrid person (but seriously, who isn’t a hybrid person?) by all means reach for any other strain. All of Secret Nature’s vapor extracts come in 700 mg or 1200 mg capsules and are 3rd party lab tested for heavy metals and pesticides.
CBD products tend to have this stuffy “artisan” aesthetic — Penguin CBD Gummies definitely isn’t that. Instead, this brand is all for the fun. The gummy worms are made with a pure CBD isolate, so while you won’t get any of the herbal flavors you’d find in a full or broad-spectrum extract, the sweet and sour flavor of the gummies really shine. Remember though, these aren’t regular gummy worms, each worm packs up 10mg of CBD so if you consume them all at once — tempting as that might be — you might get a little too sedated.
Not all KIVA bars contain both CBD and THC (choose accordingly), but every KIVA bar is pretty damn tasty. Each KIVA chocolate bar is prepared using a cold-water extract, enabling the terpenes to be preserved for a full flavor experience. Since KIVA bars use full-spectrum extracts, expect to be greeted by an herbal smell and flavor, luckily unlike sour candy and cannabis, chocolate and cannabis make a very palatable pairing.
The dosage of THC and CBD varies between each bar, if you’re looking for a recommendation we love the 5:1 CBD Dark Chocolate and Espresso dark chocolate.
White Claw, Truly, and La Croix fans rejoice — there is a sparkling CBD product out there for you. Recess pairs their broad-spectrum hemp extracts with natural ingredients like ginseng, l-theanin, and lemon balm and real fruit flavorings for a refreshing sparkling beverage that rivals all other fizzy drinks marketed towards adults, because only this one has CBD.
Each can contains about 25 calories, 5g of sugar, and 10mg of broad-spectrum hemp extract and comes in six flavors including coconut lime, peach ginger, blackberry chai, pomegranate hibiscus, black cherry, and blood orange. If you can’t choose a flavor, Recess makes a sampler pack with all six, which we highly recommend.
Right now, if you check out using the code SUMMER20 at the Recess website, you’ll receive 20% off your order — a nice holdover from National CBD Day.
One of the most familiar CBD products on the market, the Blue Ridge Hemp Mandala bar is popular or a reason. Each bar is packed with 60mg of CBD and features a mix of Reishi, Chaga, stone-ground cacao, coconut sugar, Celtic sea salt, and Tahitian vanilla, for a bar that is more than just a regular CBD edible.
In celebration of National CBD Day, Blue Ridge Hemp is holding a sale, slashing the Mandala bars price from $25 to $15, so if you’ve never experienced a Mandala Chocolate bar, now is the time.
Potli produces just a handful of products, but their first and best product, but their Potli Raw Honey is one of the best edible CBD pantry products on the market. Each jar features 120mg of hemp-derived CBD, which equals out to about 10 mgs per tablespoon — made with raw wildflower honey harvested from the East Bay of Northern California. Spread it on a slice of toast, or put a spoonful in your coffee, tea, or whatever else you use honey in the kitchen for.
EDITOR’S PICK: Medical Mike’s Full Spectrum CBD Oil And Salve
It feels a little anti-climactic to end this piece with a tincture and salve — two of the OG CBD products and not nearly so fun as gummy worms — but this brand passes my personal litmus test with flying colors, so I’ve stayed loyal to it.
As the industry has exploded, CBD brands have upped their game considerably in the production department. Medical Mike’s is 3rd party tested for potency and is all organic. The mint flavor is light and the tincture itself is carried in coconut oil, which is pleasant on the palate.
While this can’t compete for coolness with gummies or chocolates, it’s a nicely concentrated product with impeccable production standards. The salve is literally the first salve I’ve tried that felt like it legitimately eased soreness.
…Or maybe I just naturally trust hippie-adjacent products made in Vermont.
— Steve Bramucci