If you’re in tune with what’s up in the wellness world, you’ve no doubt noticed that CBD has taken the beauty world—and many a beauty editor’s self-care shelf—by storm. Formerly dismissed as snake oil or stoner fodder, in recent years, clinical studies have shown that THC’s non-psychoactive cousin can alleviate anxiety, soothe inflammation and pain, and manage insomnia. Additionally, according to the World Health Organization, “CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential… To date, there is no evidence of public health related problems associated with the use of pure CBD.” Upon learning those data points, in particular, I was personally ready to dump my OTC meds in favor of CBD products.
The power of real medicine with the luxury of a spa treatment? Yes, please. I hit a wall, however, when I learned just how many options I had.
In a marketplace of endless choices, I wanted something that would stand out on my bathroom counter (what can I say, I’m a sucker for packaging), while standing up to my favorite chemical products. That being said, I’m a bit of a beauty skeptic, and I wasn’t ready to drop my paycheck on subpar or even unsafe products. After all, CBD isn’t yet regulated by the FDA, which means that your products aren’t always predictably potent. To ensure that I was only getting the safest, most effective ingredients in my self-care stash, I spoke with a few experts to curate the best of the best of CBD products.
Read on to find out their top-tier CBD picks that are cute, user-friendly, and actually work.
“I think a lot of the mis-conceptions [about CBD] come from mis-guided information or even information-overload. Today, you will find people that are in one of two camps: the SUPER skeptical or the SUPER optimistic,” says Beryl Solomon, Founder and CEO of Poplar. “I think we need a healthy dose of both. In the world of cannabis-wellness, we are missing a lot of that good old common sense.”
That means skipping products that claim to be cure-alls, and focusing on what CBD actually does best. “CBD at its core reduces inflammation,” notes Solomon, “So it can help with a magnitude of issues from clearing up zits (aka clogged pores that are inflamed) to soothing sore and swollen muscles, ultimately reducing pain which is often the underlying cause of sleeplessness and anxiety.” For aches and soreness, Mary’s Muscle Freeze is a physical inflammation annihilator, with whole plant nutrients and essential oils that make it a proven standby for marathon runners.
(I can personally attest that it works for, uh, non-marathon runners, as well.)
“I think cannabis is the ultimate ingredient in self-care and it works best when taken daily, like a multivitamin,” says Solomon. “I always recommend starting with a daily tincture or a vaporizer. The Juna tincture is great because of its mild taste profile.” These daily drops are effective in a beverage—I take mine in herbal tea—but taste mellow enough to deliver straight onto your tongue. Pro tip? Don’t give up if you don’t feel anything right away. “I do want to note that it typically takes the body 5 to 10 days for the effects to set in,” says Solomon.
“For most people, they will tend to report back to me, ‘I didn’t feel anything so I stopped taking it.’ Then, they all of a sudden will have a bad day, or a day where they’re feeling ‘off’ without realizing the CBD was what was keeping them feeling more balanced. That’s the beauty of CBD. It discreetly helps you feel like the best version of yourself. It simply takes the ambient noise of life down a notch.”
I’m a total sucker for anything bath-related—it’s a mini-spa in your house!—and bath bombs are no exception. Kush Queen’s line of botanical bath bombs are pretty, smell heavenly, and are proven through some, ahem, evidence-based research to chill me out like nothing else. Kush Queen founder Olivia Alexander says, “I believe in the power of the plant and CBD is not a buzz word to me, so the brand ethos since day one has been quality, innovation and education. We use top-notch ingredients and are committed to providing premier hemp CBD wellness, skincare, beauty and lifestyle products.”
For newbies worried about over-medicating, Solomon recommends dosing before bed: “If you’re still on the fence, I recommend beginners to try integrating CBD before bedtime; it’s a great way to experiment as you drift off to sleep.” A CBD vape cartridge is an easy, discreet way to elevate your bedtime routine, and this one delivers perfectly portioned micro-doses, making it perfect for beginners and sensitive users.
“If ingesting something seems too much straight out of the get, start with skincare or a topical!” suggests Solomon. She recommends this soothing face serum, which combines CBD with botanicals to promote cell turnover, hydration, and rejuvenation. I’m personally wary of adding additional serums to my already-packed skincare routine, but I have to say that this formula won me over. The superpower serum basically reduces stress while clearing your skin—making it, in my book, a true how-does-this-exist must-have.
Nothing delights me more than consuming nature’s Xanax in the form of an adorable gummy bear; the fact that the cute critters actually soothe me makes them all the better. “When I was in college, some friends opened a dispensary and I started working there as a budtender,” Alexander says of the origin of Kush Queen’s unabashedly girly aesthetic. “I really enjoyed it and knew that cannabis was my destiny, but also realized that women really didn’t have much speaking to them in cannabis or a brand they could belong to, which inspired me.
I wanted to fill that void." Bonus: dusted with a coating of sour sugar, the gummies taste as great as their non-CBD candy counterparts.
Next, check out our ultimate guide to understanding CBD skincare.