If you’re intrigued by CBD and what it offers, consider following these five steps toward CBD mastery as told by KymB.
1. Investigate third-party testing.
Kymberly “KymB” Byrnes, chief marketing officer and co-founder of TribeTokes, suggests you google the tests to ensure they’re from an accredited lab. “We always say, if they can’t answer your questions, you shouldn’t be buying from them,” she says.
So if a brand ignores your request for lab results—or your queries about, for example, where the plants are grown—it’s likely not making high-quality stuff. Tufts reminds Playboy that hemp CBD brands are not required to lab-test their products, but the industry insists on “self-regulation” that provides consumers with the transparent and clean products they deserve.
2. Scan the ingredients.
Otherwise, all the experts and entrepreneurs I spoke to said the difference in experience between hemp- and marijuana-derived CBD is minimal, and adding more THC into one’s routine will be a matter of preference and access. When searching for the most effective medicine, it’s best to opt for “full spectrum” products if they’re derived from hemp—meaning none of the plant’s compounds have been removed, so they can all work together in their optimal, synergetic way. Unless you’re drug-tested regularly, then your best bet is a CBD-isolate product, because it won’t show up on a drug screening. Just keep in mind that you might need to take a higher dose for the full effect. From there, you’ll want to read the label for a few other key points: Is it organic? If it truly is, it should have the USDA Organic certification seal on it. If it’s an ingestible CBD oil, you’ll also want to check what kind of carrier oils are used. MCT oil (most commonly from coconut oil) and hemp-seed oil are popular and desirable choices. If you’re looking for an organic product, make sure these oils are organic as well.
3. Check the dose.
Besides scanning the label for quality, check for quantity—as in, how many milligrams does this product contain? CBD-oil labels can be tricky to read when it comes to dose. But most often, the listed milligrams, such as 700 or 1,000, are for the entire bottle, not a single serving size. And what is a decent serving size? That’s kind of a mystery that takes a bit of personal trial and error to figure out. Some basic recommendations start with folks taking around 15 milligrams twice a day to see how they feel. If you have stress, 30 milligrams a day is a good place to start, try 60 milligrams for immune disorders and as much as 180 milligrams for pain. “I have a friend who takes 15 milligrams for anxiety and 30 for sleep. That’s her cocktail. But mine is different,” says Byrnes. “I take 50 to 70 milligrams for sleep. For anxiety I like to mix CBD and THC. Things like age, weight, underlying conditions and altitude can all make a difference. Research and experimenting are your best bet.” It can be an expensive hobby, but she’s right: Experimenting with different doses and ratios of CBD to THC is the ideal way to find something that works for you. And remember: If you’re shopping for CBD oil, make sure each serving size is at least 10 to 20 milligrams or you won’t be able to reach effective doses without consuming half the bottle in one go.
4. Dose regularly.
Unlike ingesting a THC edible, whose noticeable effects emerge an hour or so later, CBD is more of a long game when it comes to wellness enhancement, and folks report the most benefits when they take it daily. Especially in these taxing, unprecedented times, you’ll likely get more stress relief if you take a reasonable dose two or three times a day rather than one big dose when you’re freaking out. The effects may not be immediately noticeable, but when you look back at the week you’ll likely realize it was a lot calmer and more manageable than the weeks before. “Do you take a vitamin twice a week and expect it to make a difference?” asks Byrnes. “CBD should be integrated into your everyday lifestyle. Like an apple a day or yoga every damn day—CBD is the same.”
5. Keep track and adjust.
If you’re a regular high THC-cannabis consumer like me and are struggling to figure out CBD’s effects, start a journal. By keeping track of the dose and product, as well as your mood and symptoms, you can zero in on what—if anything—CBD is doing for you and make necessary adjustments. This also helps you notice changes you might not normally, as they are so subtile. CBD isn’t a quick fix, but it can be a natural antidote to stress, sleeplessness and more serious conditions. And if there were ever a time to try weed lite, it’s probably now.