The Cannabis Starter Pack: 6 Products to Try If You're Feeling Intimidated
Welcome to the cannabis renaissance. Legalization, crumbling stigmas, and a rapidly growing consumer base have paved the way for what just might be the most innovative and exciting corner of the wellness market. If you've ever been curious about the benefits of weed, there's never been a better time to dip a toe. Many fledgling brands aren't just offering an impressive array of products for just about any need or mood. They're also working to educate the masses on the science of cannabis and how exactly it might fit into their daily routines.
The beauty of this ever-growing industry is that there really is something for everyone—including those who would rather avoid the psychoactive effects of cannabis and reap the other medical benefits, of which there are many. As a quick refresher course, THC is the psychoactive component of the cannabis plant while CBD, another active component found in high concentrations in hemp and cannabis plants, doesn't get you high. Research shows that thanks to the way each chemical interacts with receptors in our brains, both have impressive anti-inflammatory, antidepressant, and antibacterial properties—whether you're consuming cannabis in the "traditional" sense or have opted to give a CBD muscle rub a try.
Better still, many products available on the market don't hinge on your state's current legality status, since CBD derived from industrial hemp is allowed to be distributed nationwide. Officially intrigued? Below, we round up seven "starter" products you might consider trying out.
For sore muscles or kill-me-now cramps:
Apothecanna Extra Strength Relieving Body Spray ($38)
This ultra-soothing body spray from Apothecanna is formulated to offer instant relief. You'll immediately feel a cooling sensation thanks to the addition of peppermint and juniper, while arnica and cannabis work deep into your muscles and joints to allay any inflammation. An insider tip: I love massaging this spray into my abdomen when I'm feeling sidelined by period cramps.
To sharpen your focus and curb your anxiety:
CAP Beauty The Daily Hit ($96)
CAP Beauty teamed up with Apothecanna to launch this wildly popular oil, which boasts an impressive array of adaptogenic herbs in addition to CBD. The result: a delicious-tasting supplement (or cooking oil!) that boosts your mood and your focus while simultaneously alleviating any stress. I love adding a dose to my coffee every morning to boost my productivity and take the edge off.
To unwind after a stressful day:
Dosist Bliss ($100)
While you'll need to live in a state where cannabis is legal to purchase them, Dosist's expertly balanced vape pens are a great place to start if you're curious about the psychoactive properties of THC but don't want to relinquish any control: As you inhale, the pen vibrates when you've completed a single dose so you don't overdo it.
The Bliss pen, for example, contains a high ratio of THC to CBD, but the dose cutoff will prevent you from feeling too loopy (though you can obviously take more depending on your personal preferences and needs). I've found that this particular formula compares to a single glass of wine after a chaotic day at the office—I feel that same warm wave of relaxation without feeling completely out of it. (Bonus points for zero hangover.)
Ildi Pekar Tissue Repair Serum ($148)
Senior editor Hallie has nothing but glowing words for this oil from "supermodel skin whisperer" Ildi Pekar—in fact, she found that it cleared up irritation and evened out her complexion virtually overnight. That's thanks to a cocktail of high-powered botanical extracts and CBD, which fights inflammation and acne-causing bacteria.
Monk Provisions 028 ($8)
Juicing, adaptogens, and cannabis all collide in Monk Provisions, a line of botanical drinks formulated to soothe your body and mind. Beyond settling on a flavor (like turmeric-lemon-ginger or grapefruit-cayenne), you can also choose from three different cannabis dosages depending on your needs.
Papa & Barkley Releaf Patch (3) ($15)
These innovative patches provide up to 12 hours of relief thanks to time-release technology that allows cannabinoids to be delivered slowly through your skin. (This slow release also means that any aches and stress can ebb away without making you feel particularly spacey.) Depending on the effect you're looking for, choose between three different ratios of CDB to THC.
No matter which product you opt to try, just remember to enjoy and experiment responsibly, and check with your doc before making any drastic changes to your routine.