The CBD Guide: Everything You've Wanted to Know But Were Afraid to Ask

Photo:

Leslie Kirchhoff/ @itsnicepaper

In recent months, my position as both a wellness journalist and a cannabis advocate invites one particular question over any other: What's the deal with CBD?

From my perspective, the non-psychoactive compound might be the most ubiquitous health trend of 2018, and that's certainly true in my current home of Los Angeles. CBD-infused creams and tinctures line the shelves of local organic grocery stores, claiming to alleviate symptoms ranging from inflammation and muscle soreness to anxiety. Moon Juice, the cult-favorite superfood destination, started peddling CBD-infused smoothies earlier this year. It was a huge topic of discussion at a wellness panel I moderated several weeks ago with WeWork and a group of industry experts. And I knew the buzz had officially reached its fever pitch when my mother began asking me if CBD might help with her chronic insomnia.

Given its novelty and the residual stigma surrounding cannabis use, it's not exactly surprising that CBD is the subject of many questions and, more often than not, misinformation. Even scientists who have devoted a lot of time to studying the compound and its many (many, many) potential benefits are still pushing to learn more about it. But the existing research on CBD is fascinating, incredibly promising and only emphasizes just how wide of an audience it might be able to serve. Anecdotally, I have come to rely on CBD to keep anxiety at bay, assuage period cramps, and relieve soreness after a tough workout.

Still, whether you've already begun dabbling in CBD or have only maintained a distant curiosity thus far, it's worth knowing exactly how it works with your body—and how to shop for it like a pro. For that, we turned to Charlotte Palermino, a journalist, cannabis expert, and co-founder of Nice Paper, a digital publication created to educate the masses on the science and social issues surrounding weed. Get your crash course on CBD below.