Type “CBD” into the search bar on Nordstrom’s website and you’ll find more than 50 different products infused with cannabidiol, a chemical compound found in cannabis that’s touted as an aid in reducing everything from anxiety to inflammation. While it lacks the credibility of mainstream medicine—only one drug containing CBD has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, for the treatment of severe epilepsy—and fails to incite the recreational user devotion inspired by its psychoactive sibling, THC, CBD is nevertheless flooding the mainstream consumer market in products that promise wellness benefits without marijuana’s dopey side effects and tedious regulations. Whether you’re looking for low-stakes relaxation, holistic pain relief or to shake up your facial mask routine, it’s never been easier to establish a personal relationship with CBD.
“I honestly think that using CBD has enabled me to be more in tune with my body and my mind,” says Tori Bodin, founder and CEO of Dazey, a Seattle-based CBD wellness company. “It’s a great alternative to drinking or anything else that people might turn to feel that release of pressure and stress.”
Bodin started using CBD to help manage her stress and workload as a marketing manager at Amazon. She was drawn to CBD because she could use it at work without any psychoactive effects, and was so affected by her experience that she decided to launch her own CBD product brand. Dazey debuted in 2018, and currently sells tinctures and topical products aimed at young professionals seeking the wellness benefits of CBD without the stigmas associated with recreational cannabis use or even those tied to traditional medicine.
Following the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, which liberated hemp (cannabis containing less than .3% THC) from the federal Controlled Substances Act, myriad CBD products appeared in online stores, pharmacies, grocery co-ops and beyond. But not all CBD products are created equal. A study published in 2017 by the Journal of the American Medical Association tested 84 CBD products sold online and found that only about 30% were accurately labeled for cannabinoid content. Licensed medical and recreational cannabis products face strict testing and labeling regulations in Washington state, but consumer trust poses challenges in this new, lightly regulated CBD wellness market.
Many CBD products such as Dazey’s are made from full-spectrum hemp extract, which contains a range of cannabinoids in varying amounts, often including THC—a significant distinction when exploring CBD products. According to the “entourage effect” theory, cannabinoids work more effectively together, as opposed to in isolation. CBD isolates, found often in CBD beverages, contain the compound on its own, while broad-spectrum CBD products, similar to full-spectrum, contain a range of cannabinoids, with the exception of THC. Consider also which ingestion method might best suit your needs: In my experience, sublingual CBD products are fast acting, edibles longer lasting, and topicals best for targeting specific physical areas.
No matter what your wellness needs or interests are, you’re likely to find a CBD product claiming it can help, and for now, it seems the best way to find out if CBD works for you is to try it. “Even just addressing that you have anxiety, that you have stress, and using CBD, monitoring your CBD and monitoring your emotions...is really the first step in focusing on your personal wellness,” Bodin says.