This mint-green bath bomb, made by Los Angeles-based De La Beuh, combines the invigorating aromatherapy of peppermint oil with the pain relief benefits of CBD. I sat in the bath with this bath bomb soak for an hour—until the water ran cold—when I had both cramps and lower back aches, and while it doesn’t beat ingesting a painkiller, it did help soothe my pains so that I fell asleep as soon as I hit the pillow. De La Beuh sells bath bombs in many varieties—including a glittery Kaleidoscope version that will turn your bath into “unicorn” colors—so your preference just depends on your preferred aroma.
Because CBD oil products are mostly unregulated, there’s no guarantee that any given product contains a safe or effective level of CBD. In fact, a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2017 found that nearly 70 percent of all CBD products sold online are incorrectly labeled, and could cause serious harm to consumers. Some CBD oils may also contain incorrectly labeled amounts of THC and other compounds.
Bacon had said that I might need to try two full droppers worth of the oil to really feel its benefits. I knew that I had an incredibly busy and stressful day ahead of me—I needed to fit in a five mile run before work, had lots to do at the office, was scheduled for a busy event in the middle of the day, and had a 2-hour meditation class later that night which would require a lot of mental clarity. Tentatively, I squirted two droppers of CBD oil into my bulletproof coffee and sipped away.
And we have a long way to go before we fully understand the relationship between CBD and pain regulation. But strong anecdotal evidence, combined with multiple lab tests and even some clinical trials, have established that CBD holds a lot of promise for pain relief. Or in science-speak, CBD “represents a novel class of therapeutic agents for the treatment of chronic pain.”
CBD shows promise in the treatment of anxiety disorders, according to a report published in the journal Neurotherapeutics in 2015. Looking at results from experimental research, clinical trials, and epidemiological studies, the report’s authors found evidence that CBD may help treat generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder. However, the authors caution that human-based research on CBD and anxiety is fairly limited at this point.
However, when compared to skin-care pillar ingredients like retinols and vitamin C, the research behind CBD's efficacy in skin care (especially beyond the realms of being a temporary topical pain reliever) is still relatively in its infancy. "There is limited data to suggest that CBD may decrease oil production when applied topically," says Joshua Zeichner, director of cosmetic and clinical research at Mount Sinai Hospital, who explains that unlike marijuana, which contains psychoactive THC, hemp seed oil is a common source of naturally anti-inflammatory cannabinoids — which is what ends up in all of those lotions and potions. "Hemp seed oil also acts as an emollient to smooth rough cells on the skin's surface and offers moisturizing benefits," he adds.
But CBD has recently become a major player in the world of athletics for two reasons. First, it has proven anti-inflammatory properties. This has been pretty firmly established through a number of studies. For example, in a 2009 lab study, researchers found that CBD significantly suppressed chronic inflammatory pain by activating glycine receptors at the spinal level. CBD is also a known analgesic, meaning it has pain-relieving properties. Many athletes use CBD after intense workouts to help manage pain from aching muscles and joints. And recently, the World Anti-Doping Agency removed CBD from its list of banned substances, opening the door for professional athletes to make use of the extract for pain relief.
Hemp oil does have a number of uses and is often marketed as a cooking oil or a product that is good for moisturizing the skin. It is also used in the production of certain soaps, shampoos, and foods. It is also a basic ingredient for bio-fuel and even a more sustainable form of plastic. Hemp has been cultivated and used for roughly 10,000 years, and it definitely has useful purposes. However, a lack of cannabinoids, namely CBD, means that it has little therapeutic value.
At first, I was wary. Although I live in Los Angeles, where it seems like there’s a medical marijuana depot on every corner, I’m not one for doing drugs (legal or otherwise). I mean, I don’t even take Advil when I get a headache! But despite the fact that CBD oil is made from hemp, it doesn’t contain THC. THC is the compound responsible for the “high” that comes with ingesting marijuana. In fact, scientific reviews have proven that CBD “does not interfere with several psychomotor and psychological functions,” and is safe to ingest without any side effects. Let me repeat: YOU WILL NOT GET HIGH FROM CBD!
Out of all the CBD products I’ve tested and used in the past few weeks, this thick green lemon-vanilla scented salve is my favorite. I massage it onto my sore red knuckles after boxing practice, and if it weren’t so expensive, I would encase my entire body in it. The cannabis sativa seed oil in this salve has antioxidant properties so that your skin can repair itself from the inside out, while the thick balm-like formula protects your skin from environmental aggressors. I would not recommend rubbing this onto your face because it’s so thick, but do whatever you want on the rest of your body—and if your feet are in need of some serious TLC in time for summer sandals weather, consider rubbing this onto your cracked heels and putting on a pair of soft socks before bed. The next morning, you’ll have baby’s feet again.