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CBD Holiday Gift Guide: Best CBD Products to Ring In 2023

best cbd products holiday
 

This is sponsored content. Us Weekly is not endorsing the websites or products set forth below. The use of THC or CBD in any capacity may lead to health concerns and users should consult medical personnel before consumption. Local and state laws for use and possession of THC vary by jurisdiction and should be reviewed before purchase.

The calendar may almost be ready to flip, but not without one last sprint through the holidays. And if you’re looking for the perfect gift for this season of giving, you may have to look no further than CBD.

It might be a less traditional thought for something to give to a friend or family member (who’s over 18), but CBD has a number of helpful qualities — like stress and pain relief — and can be mixed into any number of different products.

The end result is a multitude of items that’s as close to custom-ordered as you can get without putting in all that extra legwork. In fact, these are some of our favorite CBD products, for all types of needs:

Best CBD Products to Ring In 2023

If you want to make sure you’re getting the best gift possible, there’s a lot to learn about what CBD is and how it works. Even experienced users might be surprised at the many nuances of this wonder product.

But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! Keep on reading for a short primer on all things CBD, plus what it was about these CBD products in particular that we thought made them a great holiday gift — or product to use any time of year!

Best Overall CBD Product: Extract Labs AM : PM Bundle

Extract Labs
Extract Labs

Pros:

  • Perfect for daytime and nighttime use
  • Certified organic ingredients
  • Third-party lab tested

Cons:

  • Not vegan or vegetarian-friendly

Specs:

  • Spectrum: Full
  • Strength: 33 mg CBD/serving (AM formula); 30 mg CBD & 10 mg CBN/serving (PM formula)
  • Recommended Usage: 1 AM capsule in the morning; 1 PM capsule in the evening

If you or the intended gift receiver is new to using CBD, this product might be a helpful way to get started.

It’s true that these CBD gels come in a bundle, which may seem like biting off more than a beginner can chew, but the breakdown can actually be a helpful learning tool for newbies.

Extract Labs formulates one of these softgel mixtures for daytime use, utilizing the company’s certified-organic, third-party tested and safely extracted CBD to do the heavy lifting. CBD oil is some of the safest and most thoughtful processes on the market, which should help put beginners at ease.

But for those who want to experiment at taking CBD for help at night, there’s the PM formula, which has the same trustworthy CBD mix, but also includes a dash of the cannabinoid CBN, which is known to help bring on gentle rest.

What Customers Love:

Customers were grateful for this two-for-one opportunity, and the ability to experiment with whether they preferred taking their CBD during the day, during the night — or both.

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Best for Nighttime Use: Plain Jane CBD/CBN Sleep Gummies

Plain Jane
Plain Jane

Pros:

  • Includes melatonin for a restful sleep
  • Vegan-friendly
  • All-natural ingredients

Cons:

  • Only one flavor available

Specs:

  • Spectrum: Full
  • Strength: 10 mg CBD, 5 mg CBN & 2.5 mg Melatonin/gummy
  • Recommended Usage: No more than 4 gummies per night (take before bed)

With a particularly potent formula for a good night’s rest that comes at a pleasing price, Plain Jane’s CBD gummies are the gift that keeps giving.

But just because they’re cheap, doesn’t mean they’re made easy.

These gummies have far-from-questionable stock, with CBD that’s tested by a third-party lab for any toxins or other harmful additives before being mixed into the final formula. Plus, all-natural ingredients like spirulina, turmeric, and vegetable juice are used to create color and taste.

And Plain Jane is serious about their propensity to bring on sleep, too. To make sure of it, the company adds to each gummy 2.5 mg of melatonin — otherwise known as the compound produced by the brain itself to help bring on a restful and restorative night.

What Customers Love:

Aside from loving the affordability of these CBD gummies, users were happy to have a product that helped them sleep through the night while remaining all-natural.

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Best for Full Spectrum Lovers: CBDistillery Full Spectrum Favorites

CBDistillery
CBDistillery

Pros:

  • Domestically-sourced and naturally-grown hemp
  • Non-GMO ingredients
  • Vegan-friendly

Cons:

  • Contains tree nuts (coconut)

Specs:

  • Spectrum: Full
  • Strength: 30 mg CBD/gummy, 33mg CBD/oil serving
  • Recommended Usage: Chew 1 gummy daily plus one serving CBD oil daily

When it comes to getting their daily dose of CBD, many people love both oils and gummies — so why not have both!? The delivery method is easy to incorporate into a daily regimen, and delicious to boot, making it the perfect gift for a CBD newbie, or even a more experienced user who’s looking to have multiple options ready to go.

And when it comes to making CBD gummies and oils, CBDistillery owns the market.

The company has an attention to detail that really makes their products shine, which starts with the CBD itself. The oil is sourced from domestically-grown hemp that’s cultivated utilizing all-natural growing practices, making it much less likely to absorb noxious chemicals or other toxins.

But CBDistillery also has all of their products third-party tested, to ensure their safety levels. And that pure base is mixed in with an ingredients list that only includes all-natural items, keeping the whole thing as close to Mother Earth as possible.

What Customers Love:

CBDistillery customers praise their products for helping them take the edge off on a daily basis. Not only can they help ease stress during the day, but reviews also noted that they sleep much better when using these products.

Buy Now!

Best CBD Product for Muscle Pain: Leaf Remedys CBD Cooling Gel Extra Strength

Leaf Remedys
Leaf Remedys

Pros:

  • One of the strongest CBD topicals
  • Cooling effect helps relieve muscle pain
  • All-natural ingredients

Cons:

  • May be hard to measure CBD per “serving”

Specs:

  • Spectrum: Full
  • Strength: 1000mg CBD/bottle
  • Recommended Usage: Rub as needed into sore muscles

CBD isn’t just something you can eat — or even smoke. The wonder compound can also make quite an impact when used skin-deep.

Leaf Remedys takes advantage of these latter benefits with their Cooling Gel formula, which is meant to help penetrate the skin and sink into muscles in need of relaxation. (And who couldn’t use a bit of that around the holiday season?).

Aside from their third-party tested and domestically-sourced CBD, the company taps into a number of other natural healers to help pump up the potency of their formula. The ingredients list includes longtime topical superstars like menthol crystals — which not only create a tingly sensation, but help the other ingredients get deeper into the pores — as well as chamomile to create a calming effect.

All told, more than half-a-dozen botanical ingredients come together in this formula to create a muscle gel truly approved by Mother Nature.

What Customers Love:

This product is especially popular among athletes and others who struggle with chronic pain, but nearly every customer, regardless of their background, couldn’t stop gushing about how helpful — and effective — the formula was for their aches.

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Best CBD for Skincare: Palmetto Harmony CBD Hemp Skin-Care Products

Palmetto Harmony
Palmetto Harmony

Pros:

  • Non-GMO ingredients
  • Domestically-sourced hemp
  • Third-party tested

Cons:

  • None that we could find

Specs:

  • Spectrum: Full
  • Strength: 4Cs Night Cream has 300mg of CBD, Mango Hydrating Lotion has 300mg of CBD, Lavender Night Cream has 300mg of CBD
  • Recommended Usage: Apply directly to skin after washing thoroughly

Finally, if there’s someone on your list who’s especially finicky about what they put on their face, you can at last offer them a present that’s sure to meet even their most exacting demands.

Palmetto Harmony goes above and beyond when it comes to sourcing ingredients for its CBD skincare line — including, first and foremost, the company’s hemp oil, which is overseen by the brand from seed to sale. This includes everything from its domestic and all-natural growth to its third-party testing for toxins and other bad signs.

But the good doesn’t stop there. This skincare line — which includes two different night creams and a hydrating lotion — is chock full of all-natural ingredients, including jojoba oil, avocado oil, aloe, argan, and cocoa, which all come together to boost natural beauty that would make Mother Nature proud.

What Customers Love:

Customers thanked this product repeatedly for everything from creating softer skin to smoothing out the wrinkles and fine lines around their eyes. Plus, those who said they traditionally had more sensitive skin were able to use the product with ease.

Buy Now!

Best Everyday CBD Product: Just Live Vitamin C CBD Gummies

Just Live
Just Live

Pros:

  • Vegan-friendly
  • Third-party lab tested
  • THC-free

Cons:

  • Contains tree nuts (coconut)

Specs:

  • Spectrum: Broad
  • Strength: 25 mg CBD/gummy
  • Recommended Usage: Chew 1 gummy daily

If you — or the intended target of your gift-giving — is into maintaining a healthy daily routine, these CBD gummies might be just what the doctor ordered.

Just Live has concocted a truly unique formula that’s part-CBD, part daily vitamin.

The company utilizes domestically-grown hemp for its base, which gives its daily supplement a quality start. Plus, their CBD oil is tested by a third-party lab before ever making its way into the company’s gummies.

But Just Live doesn’t just focus on the CBD and skimp on the rest of the formula. Their gummies are rounded out with infusions of vitamin C and vitamin D — both part of a healthy daily diet. And fellow cannabinoid CBG also makes an appearance, bringing with it a reputation for fighting inflammation, pain, and even nausea.

What Customers Love:

Customers were thrilled with the ease of adding this CBD product into their daily routine, saying they simply took the gummy along with their other daily supplements, sat back, and waited for the benefits to kick in.

Buy Now!

Best CBD Product for Stress Relief: Sunday Scaries CBD Gummies

Sunday Scaries
Sunday Scaries

Pros:

  • USDA-certified organic
  • Third-party tested
  • Good Manufacturing Practice-certified

Cons:

  • Contains tree nuts (coconut)

Specs:

  •       Spectrum: Broad
  •       Strength: 10 mg CBD/gummy
  •       Recommended Usage: Chew 1 gummy when feeling anxious

In a modern world that’s always on the move, anxiety is on the rise. And what better way to help out that ever-worried friend or family member on your gift list than with a safe, all-natural product that works?

Sunday Scaries leaves little to fret over when it comes to their CBD oil itself. The company extracts the stuff from USDA-certified hemp, for starters. Then, the entire thing is manufactured by a GMP-certified facility before being tested by a third-party lab for safety.

But what makes these gummies extra beneficial for anxiety are the added ingredients in the mix, including known mood-booster vitamin B12, and vitamin D3, which has been linked to improved mood regulation and reduced rates of depression.

What Customers Love:

Customers were grateful for this formula as an all-natural way to battle their nerves. The 10 mg of CBD included in the mix also hit a sweet spot for many, who said it was just enough to take the edge off, but not too much to make them even more anxious.

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Best Potent CBD Product: Absolute Nature USDA Organic CBD Oil Drops

Absolute Nature
Absolute Nature

Pros:

  • Third-party lab tested
  • CO2 extraction
  • Good Manufacturing Practice-certified

Cons:

  • Might be too strong for beginners

Specs:

  • Spectrum: Full
  • Strength: 1000 mg CBD/bottle
  • Recommended Usage: Place half- or full-dropper’s worth under the tongue or mixed into drinks or food

As wonderful as CBD is, the industry has a long way to go. Still largely unregulated, it’s easy for less-than-quality products to make it to market.

Which is why this offering from Absolute Nature is all the more impressive.

The company goes out of its way to source its CBD from USDA-certified organic hemp, the best possible base for these types of products—and an ingredient that’s shockingly rare elsewhere in the industry.

Plus, the company utilizes the ultra-safe (and industry standard) CO2 extraction method to remove the CBD from the plant stalks, and processes the whole thing in facilities that pass the additional rigors of Good Manufacturing Practices certification.

What it all creates in the end is one of the safest, most reliable CBD oils on the market – and one of the most versatile products, to boot.

What Customers Love:

Speaking of safety, customers love how trustworthy this product and brand are, saying they feel safer than ever putting Absolute Nature’s CBD oil under their tongue, in their coffee, or anywhere else in their routine.

Buy Now!

Most Unique CBD Product: Live Rishi Rose Moisturizer

Live Rishi
Live Rishi

Pros:

  • Third-party lab tested
  • Certified organic ingredients
  • Paraben- and synthetic-free

Cons:

  • No first-time purchase deals

Specs:

  • Spectrum: Full
  • Strength: 250 mg CBD/jar
  • Recommended Usage: Rub quarter-sized dollop into dry skin

A product for any wellness-loving friends or family on your list, this CBD lotion is truly one of the most decadent ways to utilize the hemp-based compound.

Live Rishi starts with one of the most luxurious ingredients on the market: Bulgarian rose oil, which requires pounds of steam distilled rose petals to produce even ounces of the stuff. The company then doubles-down again and again, with dreamy all-organic mixers like German chamomile flower, rosemary, tea tree oil, and beetroot, all coming with their own botanical boosters.

And that’s to say nothing of the CBD involved, which is taken from domestically-grown plants and extracted with the industry-standard CO2 method.

Plus, as a vegan-friendly, paraben and synthetic-free mix that wasn’t tested on animals, the final product can make even the biggest Grinch smile.

What Customers Love:

Customers raved about this product, saying it worked wonders for their dry skin, was a perfect formula for their sensitive skin, or just made for an all-around yummy spread on their otherwise normal skin.

Buy Now!

What Is CBD?

CBD (scientific name: cannabidiol) is a chemical component of the hemp plant known as a cannabinoid. But it’s not the only one.

All told, hemp is home to more than 100 cannabinoids, including a number of variants on CBD itself as well as THC, the notorious compound responsible for the feeling of getting high.

These hemp-specific chemicals are joined in their cellular environment by several other types of compounds, known as terpenes and flavonoids. And while all plants in nature are made up of these building blocks, the ones that appear in the cannabis plant are responsible for creating hemp’s distinctive smell, texture, and a number of other unique properties.

When consumed by humans and some animals, the cannabinoids found in the hemp plant will react with something in the body called the endocannabinoid system (ECS). First discovered in the 1990s, the internal system consists of a network of sensors, which are spread across the central and peripheral nervous systems. And the purpose of this system is to help keep the body in a state of balance.

If ECS sensors detect levels of certain hormones or other bodily fluids that are not where they should be, it will sound the alarm to the brain. The command center then takes over, sending the appropriate reinforcements needed to make things right. But the ECS monitors all sorts of functions in the body, and can go off in nearly any area.

That’s why CBD can help with so many different issues. Anxiety and depression, joint pain, and gut and skin health are all closely tied to hormone levels, which are watched after more closely with the help of CBD. And when the body is brought into a better internal balance, it can help all of these ailments.

Types of CBD

You may have seen CBD added to everything lately, but did you know not every product uses the same kind of CBD?

In the wake of the 2018 Farm Bill, which allowed the hemp plant part to not only be widely sold but more closely studied, there have been a number of developments when it comes to the preparation of cannabidiol.

That includes turning it into the three major types of CBD: Full spectrum CBD, broad spectrum CBD, and CBD isolate.

CBD Isolate

CBD isolate is the product most preferred by the purists in the market.

This option keeps things simple, including nothing more than cannabidiol itself. All the hemp plant’s other flavonoids, terpenes, and even cannabinoids are removed from the mix.

Isolates are increasingly rare to find on the market, but they’re a great option for anyone who would rather avoid THC and all the other hemp plant parts in the mix, while still retaining all the natural benefits CBD has to offer.

Full Spectrum CBD

On the other end of the spectrum—literally—is full spectrum CBD, which leaves every part of the hemp plant in play.

This does mean that some THC makes it to the final mix, though not nearly enough to produce a high. Federal regulations still allow for no more than 0.3% of THC in full spectrum CBD products.

Nevertheless, some experts believe that this is the best type of cannabidiol to include in a daily regimen, thanks largely to a theory called the entourage effect.

While scientists have yet to study each of the 100+ cannabinoids, flavonoids, and terpenes present in the hemp plant, many believe they come together to make a mixture that’s greater than the sum of its parts. The idea goes that these compounds work with each other in ways we have yet to imagine or observe, making one another more powerful in turn.

Broad Spectrum CBD

Broad spectrum CBD is the centrist of the hemp product world. It’s for those who may acknowledge the reality of the entourage effect, but take issue with including one cannabinoid in particular in the mix.

Broad spectrum CBD is processed in a way that leaves all of the plant’s flavonoids, terpenes, and cannabinoids intact, except for tetrahydrocannabinol, better known as THC.

These mixtures are great for any users who are excited to experience all the good the hemp plant has to offer, but may have reservations about including THC in their daily diet. Whether they’re worried about drug tests, health conditions, allergies, or other issues, they can find that happy THC-free medium in a broad spectrum product.

 What Is CBD Used For?

CBD is often marketed for any number of ailments. But unlike most other too-good-to-be-true cure-alls, this plant compound really can help with nearly everything it’s advertised for.

The key to CBD’s omnipotence is its interaction with the endocannabinoid system. Since CBD plugs directly into the system, it can essentially access the body’s mainframe, jumping in to aid in correcting whatever it may be that makes us internally imbalanced.

That’s why the product has such a wide-range of successful uses—but there are also a few properties of the plant part that make it especially great for particular issues.

Cannabidiol is a noted anti-inflammatory agent, which allows it to alleviate all types of pain, especially that found in the joints and most types of chronic pain.

The compound also has antimicrobial properties, which generally help with slowing down or stopping altogether the spread of bacteria, viruses, some types of fungi, and protozoans.

And as a defender of internal balance, CBD can also help play a role in hormonal regulation, which is how the product can help combat anxiety and depression and lead to more reliable sleep, shinier hair, and softer skin.

How to Take CBD

Taking CBD can be tricky, even for experienced users. There are so many different types of products on the market, which all need to be taken differently to be most effective.

But regardless of how familiar you are with the product, there are a number of tips that can help ensure you’re taking it the right way, every time.

Determine a Delivery Method

The method you use to consume CBD oil makes a difference in not only recommended dosage but overall effect.

When a tincture is used to drop CBD oil directly under the tongue, it’s called a sublingual delivery method. This is typically the most potent way to feel the plant product, and often also the quickest, with users generally feeling effects within just a few minutes.

That’s because when CBD is administered sublingually, it’s absorbed directly into the bloodstream, which leads to its immediate activation.

CBD oil that’s ingested—whether it’s been dropped into food or drink or eaten directly through a gummy—will take longer to reach its full effect, as the compound must first pass through the digestive system this way. But once ingested CBD does kick in, it generally has the longest-lasting effects, with the compound released at a slow but steady pace.

And using the compound topically is an entirely other way to experience CBD. In lotions, creams, salves, and other skincare products, CBD can be effective as a spot treatment, sinking into the skin to interact directly with the area or the muscles and joints underneath it. But the effect doesn’t travel very far outside of the specific area where the topical is applied.

Set Your Dose

Aside from figuring out whether you want full spectrum CBD, broad spectrum CBD, or a CBD isolate, determining the appropriate dosage you need is perhaps the most important aspect of taking CBD. But this task can be particularly confounding, even for more experienced users.

CBD is most frequently measured in products metrically, nearly always appearing as a certain amount of milligrams (mg). Broadly, it’s considered that anything up to 10 mg represents a less potent dose; 20-40 mg creates a more intermediate amount; and anything higher than that is thought to be strong.

But these numbers are severely oversimplified, and don’t take into account the myriad factors that could make a difference on an individual’s appropriate CBD dosage, including height, weight, metabolism, tolerance level, and other aspects of physiology.

Even if you’re an experienced user, you should always start by following the product’s specific recommendations and instructions. If you’re a beginner, it may even be beneficial to cut that initial dose in half, and remain on that lower amount for at least a week, to feel out exactly how the substance impacts your body.

Once you feel you have a handle on things, you can start increasing the dosage a little bit at a time.

Know What to Expect

One of the biggest misconceptions about CBD is that it creates a palpable high, much like its psychoactive cousin, THC. But even when it’s taken correctly, it’s very unlikely a user will specifically feel the effects of CBD.

It’s true that some people feel a slight sense of euphoria or a small body high after taking their dose. In full-spectrum products, this can sometimes be related to the small amounts of THC included in the mix. But, by and large, the effect comes from within the body itself.

The body likes, wants, and essentially needs to be in a state of internal balance in order to function. And if it is out-of-whack, the act of correcting itself can trigger the release of a few feel-good chemicals from the brain. It’s this chemical cascade, not the CBD itself, that’s largely responsible for any sense of euphoria.

And even reaching that point can take time. The compound needs to build up in the body before it can be truly effective, and some experts estimate that it can take as long as 3 weeks of daily use for CBD to make its full impact. If you’re just starting on this type of regimen, it may take even longer before you notice the effect.

 FAQs

While CBD is an increasing presence on the market, it’s still often the subject of much confusion. And some questions about the compound tend to be asked more often than not.

 Is CBD legal?

This is one of the most frequently asked questions about CBD.

While the 2018 Farm Bill broadly opened up the CBD market by making the hemp plant legal to sell and study, each state still retained the option to embrace this designation, or set its own rules and restrictions around the product.

As such, CBD may or may not be legal where you live. A frequently updated map can help you determine CBD’s legal status in your area.

How do I take CBD?

There are several different ways to take CBD, and each comes with its own set of benefits.

You can choose to ingest CBD, through CBD gummies or by adding CBD oil from tinctures into your drinks and food. When taken this way, CBD oil must first pass through the digestive system before it can be absorbed into the bloodstream.

It may take up to 2 hours to feel the full effect this way, and the process also causes the formula to lose out on some of its potency. Still, the effects of CBD taken in this way usually last longer.

CBD tinctures are another very popular way to experience the compound. That’s thanks in no small part to the speed and efficiency of using droppers. When taken under the tongue, CBD is absorbed directly into the bloodstream, is felt nearly right away, and maintains the highest amount of bioavailability.

Droppers come with the added bonus of versatility, letting users take the CBD directly or add it to everything from coffee or water to yogurt and smoothies.

If you want to rub CBD directly onto a problem area, you may be most interested in a CBD topical, which includes lotions, salves, creams, gels, and other skincare products that feature the compound. This group of products can more effectively target specific areas for help, but since the CBD is absorbed skin-deep, it won’t circulate too far from where it’s applied.

Finally, it’s also possible to smoke CBD, either through a GMO flower or with vape juice. While this method also allows for great bioavailability and nearly immediate impact, the effects of vape oil on the lungs is still being studied, and so far has returned some troubling results.

 Will CBD make me high?

This is another commonly misunderstood aspect of CBD. The compound does not make you high.

CBD works by plugging into the endocannabinoid system, which, in turn, helps keep the body in a state of internal balance. The brain likes when this state is achieved, and rewards the body for it with the release of certain endorphins, which make the body feel good.

Some people describe this sensation as something akin to getting high, such as a slight sense of euphoria or a small body high. But it is not the psychoactive high that comes from compounds like THC. The brain remains completely unaltered by CBD.

 Will CBD show up on a drug test?

It’s hard to answer this question with certainty, but it’s very unlikely for this to happen.

Federal regulations strictly limit the amount of THC that can be legally included in CBD products, with none able to have more than 0.3%.

Technically, that amount of THC could build up enough in the body over time to be detectable by standard drug tests. But this would require taking very large doses of the stuff for a very long, sustained period of time.

If you’re worried about passing a drug test, but still want to take CBD, you might want to try a broad spectrum or isolate variety.

CBD may not be the most commonly unwrapped gift for the holidays, but it can help with so many common issues it’s sure to be a wonderful surprise for any recipient—so long as they’re 18 or over, which is generally the agreed upon age to start taking CBD.

Otherwise, the versatile compound can help with everything, from dry skin to bad sleep to a daily pick-me-up. With hardly nothing CBD can’t do, it truly is the gift that keeps on giving.

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