If you’ve been following my Instagram stories, you know that I’ve become a huge advocate for CBD, both taken internally, as well as in skincare. Since skincare is a form of self-care for me, and since I believe that taking care of your whole body is one of the keys to great skin, it should be no surprise that CBD is playing a prominent role in my daily life.

Of course, no one should take any risks with their health, whether it’s putting something on their biggest organ or taking something internally, without doing some research first. So, if you’ve heard “CBD” mentioned as a buzz word but haven’t taken the time to look further into it and why everyone seems to be singing its praises, here’s a bit of background for you.

To begin, CBD is short for “cannabidiol,” and if you’ve got an association to cannabis, you are correct. Both THC (the psychoactive part of the plant that gives people the euphoric “high” feeling) and CBD come from the hemp plant, making the CBD you purchase a “phytocannabinoid.” CBD is fully legal in all US states, but legislation on THC varies from state to state.

Our bodies have a system called the endocannabinoid system, which is stimulated by cannabidiol, or CBD. Our bodies also produce their own strains of CBD, making it an endogenous (or produced by the body) compound, which is likely one reason why it can be so beneficial – it’s a natural extension or boost of what’s already taking place in our bodies. It stimulates the endocannabinoid system, and promotes homeostasis, decreases inflammation, and reduces pain. Because of these main effects, the list of issues that can see beneficial results from CBD is very long and extensive, though it is smart to be wary of any products that make claims to cure anything.

Inflammation is one of the largest causes of acne and premature aging of our skin. Inflammation can also be cited as a source for many health problems, which is part of why taking CBD orally or applying it topically can have such a positive impact. As people are embracing its abilities and dismissing the stigma of anything hemp-related as an illicit substance, it’s of course becoming an enormous health trend in a wide range of industries, making CBD extremely easily accessible.

However, because it is not regulated by the FDA, it is extra important to exercise care in choosing your products wisely. Again, some things to look for are avoiding products that promise cures or dramatic claims, and ensuring you choose brands who employ third-party testing to verify the quality and consistent dosage of CBD.

To help your CBD search, I’ll share a few of my favorite brands and products. One of them is Beekman 1802, a brand which has been a favorite of mine before the CBD craze began. They are a natural company on the East Coast that makes incredible goat milk products from their farm, and have launched a new CBD-focused line of goat milk products very recently. For topical CBD and body care, Beekman is a definite great option!

If the internally-delivered cannabidiol intrigues you more, I recommend trying Equilibria. It is a woman-owned brand that is very science-forward, offering drops, softgels, or a muscle relief cream. They are very cutting-edge, and even offer the complimentary service of speaking with a dosage specialist to determine the exact amounts that are best for each individual based upon their needs.

For those seeking CBD to relieve specific issues, or who are tempted by adorable packaging and curated products into gift sets, Plant People is worth exploring. They combine CBD with other compounds to make results-specific products, such as specifically for recovery or sleep, both for topical and internal use. They also combine suites of products into gift sets with beautiful packaging and bags to share the benefits of CBD in an extremely aesthetically-pleasing way!

Finally, another great brand with a wide range of products (topicals, gummies, gifts, skincare, bath, supplements, and more) is Lord Jones, which offers full-spectrum CBD with something for just about anyone, and beautiful branding to match.

As I have been deepening my journey with CBD, I have loved how it has helped me take control of my wellness. I hope that by sharing this knowledge, you are empowered to make decisions about your health and potentially include this life-changing natural compound into your self-care routine and start seeing positive changes on the inside and out.

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