The cannabis compound cannabidiol (CBD) is, in my opinion, one of the reasons why cannabis legalization is sweeping the globe. I remember the first time I saw Dr. Sanjay Gupta talk about CBD in his revolutionary CNN documentary, “Weed.” In it, he visits Charlotte, a small child who suffers from life-threatening seizures due to Dravet Syndrome.
After years of treatment, Charlotte wasn’t responding positively to traditional medications and in at least one instance, the pharmaceuticals she was prescribed almost killed her. According to her doctor, the only thing Charlotte hadn’t tried was cannabis.
Upon taking medical marijuana, specifically cannabis oil that was high in the non-psychoactive CBD, Charlotte’s seizures were dramatically reduced. If you’ve heard of the high-CBD marijuana strain called Charlotte’s Web, it’s actually named after, and was originally bred for, that same little girl.
My Success Story
CBD changed my life by preventing debilitating migraines that had plagued me for 25 years. Fortunately for me, a friend recommended I try medical marijuana and after consuming cannabis high in CBD, I was able to both manage my pain and ultimately prevent my migraines altogether—without the side effects commonly associated with traditional pharmaceuticals prescribed for migraines.
What Is CBD Anyway?
It’s been a game changer for me—and for millions of other people, too. But what exactly is it? Cannabidiol is a cannabinoid, or compound, within the cannabis plant that’s non-psychoactive and contains many medicinal properties. It’s also an:
- Neuroprotectant shown to “have an effect on some of the hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease”
- Effective pain reliever
- Anxiety-reducing compound
- Anti-inflammatory, so it may help with autoimmune disorders such as Crohn’s disease
- Sleep aid
RELATED: WHAT’S SO GREAT ABOUT CANNABIDIOL, OR CBD?
What to Look for When Shopping for CBD
It’s important when selecting a CBD product to understand the difference between “CBD-rich” and “CBD-dominant.” CBD-rich implies that a product has 1:1 ratio of CBD to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). For some people, this may lead to mild psychoactivity if ingested. (This doesn’t hold true for a cannabis topical such as a lotion, cream or salve, which is absorbed into the skin but doesn’t reach the bloodstream.)
A CBD-dominant product will predominantly contain CBD with less THC. In most cases, this will mean no psychoactivity. What’s psychoactive for one person may not be for another, but a general rule is that borderline psychoactivity starts at a 3:1 or 1:1 ratio of CBD to THC.
My Top 5 CBD Products
From general health and wellness to serious medical conditions, CBD seems to be flexing her muscles, and people across the globe are noticing. As I’m always on the lookout for the products that people are talking about most, below is a roundup of my favorite products available in California today.
1. No. 20 CBD Rich Cannabis Tincture
Rosette Wellness features a 20:1 tincture. This has been my go-to for preventing my migraines, and overall has been my favorite tincture I’ve tried to date. The taste is very mild, compared to some tinctures that can have a strong aftertaste. I also like that it doesn’t make me sleepy, as some tinctures can. For a CBD-dominant product, this is my favorite, although I’m also a huge fan of the Wellness Cannabis Tincture, which contains CBD and the lesser-known marijuana compound cannabidiolic acid (CBDA), as well as THC and tetrahydrocannabolic acid (THCA).
2. 4:1 Disposable Vape Pen from DomPen
The first time I tried the 4:1 disposable vape pen from DomPen, I knew I’d found the right disposable vape pen for me. I’m a THC lightweight, so I always opt for high-CBD ratios when it comes to vaping or smoking. This pen not only tastes amazing, but for me, it creates a light and open feeling. It’s both uplifting and relaxing, which is a hard combination to find. I feel like it truly balances me, no matter what mood I’m in.
3. Sympa-Tea High-CBD Tea from Kikoko
Let me start by saying that Kikoko is as much a tea company as a cannabis brand. Their tea is one of the most flavorful teas I’ve ever tried and in my mind rivals the depth of flavor found in the non-medicated tea brands Mighty Tea and Republic of Tea. I first tried Sympa-Tea after a tough day on the ski slopes. I’d fallen hard on a patch of ice, and I was feeling it. After drinking a mug of Sympa-Tea, I didn’t feel the soreness and felt extremely relaxed—so much so that I took a luxurious two-hour nap.
4. Medical Cannabis CBD 28:1 Pre-Rolls from Garden Society
Garden Society’s high CBD pre-rolls are not only cute as a button but great quality cannabis with a lovely flavor. It’s not always easy to find high-CBD pre-rolls, and this 28:1 ratio makes it stand out. The cannabis in the pre-rolls comes from a partner farm in Sonoma County and is a unique cross of the classic strains ACDC and Otto. Awakening the mind and providing the body with relief from daily pains and stress, these whole flower cones are a reviving way to enjoy the wellness benefits of cannabis while maintaining a clear head.
5. CBD-Rich Salted Caramel Almonds in Dark Chocolate from Satori
I must admit that there’s always a box of these Satori chocolate almonds on my desk. They’re truly delicious and taste like an artisanal chocolate confection. What’s most notable about the almonds is the lack of cannabis flavor or marijuana aftertaste, which is present in many cannabis edibles. Each almond has 6 mg of CBD and .6 mg of THC, which in my case allows me to eat more than one at a time. My experience is that after two to three almonds I feel a sense of relaxation and get to satisfy my sweet tooth at the same time. The first time I tried these, they were so good, and I was on a long train ride—I finished the entire box, which left me a little too relaxed. That was when my love affair with these chocolate almonds began.
If you want the benefits of CBD without psychoactivity, give one of these products a try. Let us know how you like them in the comments below.
If you’re new to cannabis and want to learn more, take a look at our Cannabis 101 post. HelloMD can help you get your medical marijuana recommendation; it’s easy, private and 100% online.