7 Must-Ask Questions Before Giving CBD as a Gift
There’s no doubt that CBD is one of the buzziest products in the wellness quarter. It has careened into one of the most rapidly advancing industries of the moment.
Within a matter of a few years, CBD has gone from “kind of being around” to sudden ubiquity. You can now get your hands on CBD-laced beauty lotions, a variety of CBD oil formulas, CBD edibles, CBD capsules, CBP vapes, and even CBD gummies. With so many options — there’s something for everyone!
As one of the most popular wellness products, CBD does make a fantastic gift, especially for those who are searching for something refreshingly exciting and therapeutic.
However, even though it’s pretty much everywhere, buying CBD products, particularly as a present for someone, can be a little daunting. Will the person find it useful? What can they expect from it?
In this post, we have put together 7 handy questions you should ask yourself before buying or giving CBD as a gift.
1- First Things First — What is CBD?
CBD (cannabidiol) is a therapeutic compound synthesized by plants in the Cannabis family, notably hemp and marijuana. It belongs to a group of naturally-occurring compounds called phytocannabinoids, of which there are over 103 found in the Cannabis sativa plant.
Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is perhaps the better-known cannabinoid and the predominant active ingredient in the marijuana plant. Hemp, on the other hand, is richly packed with CBD and carries only trace amounts of THC.
Unlike its relative, THC, which causes the feeling of high when ingested, CBD is non-psychoactive and not intoxicating. This makes it a safe and effective alternative for addressing many common conditions, ranging from pregnancy morning sickness and Parkinson’s disease to cancer and osteoarthritis.
Early research seems to intimate that CBD may help quell anxiety, suppress pain, reduce episodes of epileptic seizures, beat insomnia, improve sleep quality, and even keep inflammation at bay. More noteworthy, highly regarded agencies such as the WHO have found CBD to be fairly useful and safe, especially as an anxiolytic and anti-seizure substance.
It is believed that CBD produces these therapeutic effects by influencing the endocannabinoid system (ECS). This is an elaborate biological complex found throughout the nervous system, consisting of enzymes, cannabinoid receptor proteins, and more importantly, endocannabinoids.
ECS is responsible for controlling a host of biological systems, including sleep, pain sensation, appetite, mood, digestion, memory, pleasure, inflammation, immune system, and many more. By interacting with endocannabinoids, CBD can influence these biological processes.
CBD doesn’t bind to endocannabinoid receptors such as CB1 and CB2. In this way, it’s non-intoxicating, which means you won’t have any euphoric effects when you consume it.
The best news is that the signing of Farm Bill 2018 into law made all hemp-derived products, including CBD, legal for processing, use, and sale. The end product must legally contain less than 0.3 percent THC content, though.
Interested in knowing more about CBD? Check out CoolThingsChicago’s ultimate guide to CBD, which includes comprehensive coverage of its science-backed health benefits.
2- Who Am I Buying This For?
Gift-giving is an experience in itself, which means you have to tailor it to the preference of the recipient. How well do you know the person? The better you know your recipient, the more likely it is that you will purchase the perfect CBD gift
More importantly, do you have a reason to believe they’d be interested in CBD as a gift? Has the person been hinting at jumping onto the CBD bandwagon?
Even if they have no clue what CBD is, some things can tell you that a person may benefit from it. For instance, if the person has been suffering from chronic pain, complaining about anxiety, or struggling with morning sickness, then CBD might be just what the doctor ordered.
This is the most interesting part of the gift-buying process and it involves knowing your audience a bit in order to make sure they are a good fit for CBD. First of all, you must consider qualities that define who they are.
Is this a fitness or wellness-oriented person? For this part, spend at least 5 minutes brainstorming and jotting down several things about the person.
Before you wrack your brain for what the person might enjoy, don’t be afraid to look to the past. In your previous conversations, the person might have left several hints about whether they would appreciate CBD as a gift or not.
Ultimately, you need to stop and ask yourself what the person really needs. You also need to think broadly. You could even ask other people who associate with that person to give you some tips.
When, and only when, you’ve established that the person is indeed interested in CBD as a present, then you can proceed to the next step.
3- How Do They Want to Consume Their CBD?
By now, you should be clear that you have got an interested party in your hands. The next sensible move is to think about what might be the best CBD delivery method for them.
CBD is sold in several different forms, which provides some room to explore and try multiple delivery methods. Your choice depends on what effects the person might want to feel.
Here are the top methods of consumption, and so the most appropriate to put into consideration:
Tinctures: These are glycerin or alcohol-based CBD extracts. CBD oil tinctures currently dominate the market and are the most common form of CBD delivery method. It’s not difficult to see why. Standard tinctures can be taken sublingually, orally, or added to your favorite drinks or food.
In some cases, the best CBD oil can be baked into cookies, cakes, biscuits, and other edibles. The big advantage of this method is that tinctures are easy to dose. That’s because the amount of bio-available CBD in a tincture bottle is known down to the drop, making it super easy to measure out an exact dose with a standard dropper.
Since CBD in tinctures is directly absorbed into the bloodstream via blood vessels under the tongue, you can expect the effects to be felt almost instantly or within a few minutes. And very little CBD is lost because it doesn’t have to go through the entire digestive system.
With that in mind, a CBD tincture is an ideal gift for someone who needs fast relief for pain, anxiety, and other conditions. Another thing to keep in mind is that tinctures are made with either broad-spectrum or full-spectrum CBD oil.
Full-spectrum oil extracts contain all cannabinoids (including THC, CBG, and CBD), terpenes, fats, and other compounds found in the cannabis plant. This is a great choice from someone who needs the complete package. Be aware, though, that with this method, a drug test may return a positive THC result.
Broad-spectrum oils, on the other hand, have loads of CBD and most cannabinoids, but generally have no THC in them. This makes them perfect presents for someone who needs relief but is worried about drug tests and other unwanted effects of THC.
Edibles/Capsules: CBD oil can be incorporated into food, capsules, and other edibles. Edibles are, therefore, an excellent, discreet method for giving CBD a whirl.
There is a huge range of CBD edibles on the market, including CBD mints, CBD truffles, CBD gummies, candies, mints and a variety of other flavors that help mask the earthy taste of hemp extract.
If you’re looking for something that your parents will appreciate, perhaps the best thing is to get them some CBD candies or gummies. These edibles are pretty straightforward to understand and possibly won’t cause consternation about how to properly consume them.
CBD edibles and capsules, however, have to go through the so-called “first-pass effect” in which they have to be acted upon by the digestive tract and liver before being absorbed into the bloodstream. As such, only 20-30 percent of CBD consumed makes it into the body, and it can take up to 2 hours or so for the effects to kick in.
Beverages: CBD beverages have taken over the market like a storm, presenting another a great option for taking CBD in an effective, convenient and tasty format. They come in many variations, including CBD coffee, CBD tea, CBD juice, and CBD syrup, just to mention a few.
Depending on the type of beverage, this form should take effect quicker than edibles, but at a much slower rate than sublingual products. Pick this method if the person is likely looking for a more discreet and tastier way to get relatively faster results.
Lotions: Lotions are the most common form of CBD topicals available. Since they are applied directly to the skin, the CBD is absorbed in a transdermal process.
Aside from lotions, you can also find CBD-infused salves, gels, creams, lip balms, and transdermal patches. CBD lotion can be an ideal gift for someone would appreciate a discreet method to treat localized pain, swelling, inflammation or skin issues like psoriasis, eczema, acne, etc.
Some lotions contain helpful additives like capsaicin, aloe, camphor, and menthol, all of which can enhance the therapeutic potential of CBD. You might want to go for these.
Vaping: This is the latest and the most effective way to get some CBD into one’s system. You can inhale CBD concentrates using a vape pen or buy a CBD-containing cartridge to be used with a vaporizer.
In either case, vaping allows the CBD to be absorbed directly into the bloodstream via the lungs. Consequently, the person will feel the effects of CBD much quicker than they would with any other method.
With vaping, the person can get expect 34-56 percent of CBD vaped to be absorbed in less than 10 minutes. This method, however, may have some adverse health effects.
When shopping for the best CBD vape cartridges to give as gifts, be sure to avoid ones that contain thinning carrier oils or flavoring additives such as vegetable glycerin, propylene glycol or MCT (fractionated coconut oil). A recent study has shown that these additives can potentially damage lung air sacs and tissue.
4- What Result Are They Looking For?
Different people respond differently to CBD. Generally, the strength and type are two factors that affect how long the effects of CBD will last and the speed of delivery.
Because different forms and dosages of CBD have different effects, it’s important to consider the results the person in question might be seeking. What is their main goal when taking CBD? Answering this question should be your guidepost for choosing the right product.
For instance, if the person is suffering from a localized chronic condition, an excellent option would probably be a CBD lotion or topical. This product is best applied directly to the specific region where the condition is concentrated.
However, if your loved one is looking for fast relief from anxiety, seizures or chronic pain, CBD tinctures or vape cartridges would be more appropriate. Do keep in mind that not everyone is comfortable smoking or vaping.
Feeling the effects tends to take longer for edibles but they can last 4-5 hours, so they are great for someone who needs relief for many hours at a time. If the person is after a CBD gift that looks good and does an equally great job, then creams and lip balms would more likely to provide that specific outcome.
5- Is This a Quality Product?
At the moment, there are myriad CBD brands available and not all of them are carved from the same stone. What’s more, the CBD industry isn’t regulated by the FDA, so it’s possible to get a product that is sub-par or says it contains what it doesn’t.
The quality of the product in terms of potency, purity, and ingredients should be exactly as advertised. The last thing you want is to give someone CBD that contains too much THC and they end up failing a drug test due to lack of accurate knowledge about what they are ingesting.
Another point is that some ill-reputed brands add harmful synthetics, toxins, and other chemicals to their products. These will surely do more harm than good to your body.
However, you look at it, doing a little research on the quality of a specific product is indispensable. No matter for whom you are gift-shopping, here are a few points of quality to look for:
Broad-spectrum or full-spectrum: This is a question of whether the person would like a little THC in their CBD or not. Some studies have shown that CBD works better in combination with THC than alone, but there is the issue of the ability to pass drug tests.
Unless THC is a no-no for the person, either would be okay. Neither full-spectrum nor broad-spectrum CBD products are overly-processed, which is crucial for preserving vital compounds like terpenes. Not only do terpenes have a therapeutic potential but they also enhance the smell and taste of CBD.
3rd-Party Lab-Tested: In a highly unregulated sector like the current CBD market, it pays not to take anybody for their word. Unfortunately, there are far too many factors to keep an eye out for, including the THC content, the strength of the product, and the presence of harmful additives like 5F-ADB and dextromethorphan (DXM).
For this reason, it’s critical to make sure that the CBD product in which you are interested has been lab-tested by an accredited 3rd-party testing agency. This will enable you to see precisely what your gift recipients are about to put into their bodies.
Organic, US-cultivated Hemp: CBD products produced from organic hemp grown on certified US farms should be of the highest quality. Why? That’s because US cannabis/hemp farms go through rigorous licensing and agricultural regulations.
Avoiding the use of harmful herbicides, artificial fertilizers, and pesticides is one of the key requirements farmers have to meet to be certified organic.
6- What’s My Budget?
Many factors affect CBD prices and should be factored into the equation during the budget planning process. These include:
Potency: CBD products aren’t exactly cheap. One of the reasons for this is that manufacturers use state-of-the-art techniques to ensure potency. Obviously, the higher the strength of the product, the more likely it would be more expensive.
Don’t forget that potency affects the efficacy of the product. If the person would benefit more from a high-strength CBD product, then be ready to shell out more money. It’s that simple and straightforward.
The quality: As mentioned, not all CBD products in the market are of high quality. If you want to help the person achieve optimal results, the quality of the product should be on the high-end. You should also expect to pay a premium price for that higher quality.
The vendor: Market price is dictated by the laws of supply and demand. If you buy from a vendor with a large customer base, it is more likely you will get a discounted price. Some boutique shops have also been known to deeply discount their products.
For obvious reasons, online vendors tend to be cheaper than their counterparts running brick-and-mortar shops.
Taxation: Like most items, taxes can push the prices of CBD products higher. Every state has its own tax level on CBD products. So, depending on where you live, the price you will pay for the product can vary along with the tax rates the state imposes.
If you are dealing with someone who already enjoys CBD you may be inclined to make a larger purchase than for someone just trying it out.
7- What About Me?
You have worked extra hard doing all this CBD shopping, so why not buy yourself something nice, too. Everyone could benefit from using high-quality CBD oil, including older adults. As with choosing a gift, there are a few similar points to keep in mind when choosing the best CBD product for yourself:
Are there artificial fillers in it? As a general rule of thumb, you should stay away from CBD products that contain fillers such as MCT, propylene alcohol, glycerin, and so forth. These have been found to be harmful to your body, especially when inhaled or vaped.
Full-spectrum or broad-spectrum? There’s nothing wrong with either choice. It boils down to your specific preference and whether you want THC in your product. If you are employed by a company that conducts routine drug tests, then you might want to stick to broad-spectrum CBD.
Go for lab-tested products. This is a must when shopping for CBD products. You don’t want to put a harmful product into your body, so it is important to make certain that it has been tested by an independent third-party lab.
What results are you looking for? CBD works best if you have an objective in mind. Do you want to quell anxiety, relieve pain, or improve your sleep? With this in mind, you can pick the right potency, form, and method of delivery.