What Does The Future of Cannabis Consumption Look Like?

future of cannabis consumption

Imagine a hosting a BBQ on a hot summer day five years from now. Parched, you open the cooler to find beers, sodas, and an assortment of distinctively-bottled CBG beverages. On the table, there’s a shaker of CBD-infused salt. And for dessert, S’mores with homemade marshmallows containing a few milligrams THC-V each, for the grown-ups only.    

This is one possible future, one on which many in the cannabis industry are betting their energy and resources. Alcohol has some negative effects: It can make people short-tempered, can impair coordination and decision-making, and it can be extremely addictive.  What if there was an alternative that offered healthy relaxation without all the downsides?  

The emerging cannabis user is often averse to smoking (and with vapes dealing with some major PR concerns at the moment, their future is uncertain). In the near future, consumption methods that feel clean and healthy will occupy a much larger part of the commercial space than they do today. Non-intoxicating, multiply-therapeutic topical applications are also poised to take off. Cannabinoids will become standard ingredients in many over-the-counter medicines, from ointments to cough drops.  


This is not to say that there aren’t huge challenges. Both cannabis and alcohol make you feel relaxed, but in different ways. If you think alcohol tastes bad, you should try cannabis extracts —  their bitterness is off the charts! How do we overcome delayed onset? Safety concerns? The answer to this is, : where there’s a will, there’s a way. Human beings’ attempts to make alcohol more palatable created an entire field: mixology. CBD’s move into grocery stores and pharmacies portends a mindset change, and it’s likely that this gentle, non-intoxicating cannabinoid will be the wedge that opens consumer minds to the cannabis pharmacopeia. Here at SōRSE we are already making progress on the main hurdles to convenient, normalized cannabis use. Don’t think about what can be done now; think about what you want the end product to be and overcome the challenges to make it happen.  


At the moment, however, cannabis innovation is outpacing regulation, leaving both consumers and producers in a risky limbo. Synthetic cannabinoids may offer a parallel route to legal consumption without the massive resource sink of farming. Novel analogs could sidestep the regulatory battles altogether, traveling the drug approval route instead. But make no mistake, CBD regulation is coming. It could happen in two years or five, but it won’t be long before there will be some manner of product safety and efficacy enforcement for hemp’s star cannabinoid.  

Will the regulatory framework expand to include THC? Perhaps. If it does, we can expect to see a similar shift to less intense, more palatable form factors. Despite the presence of many chic, low-dose options, the THC market is currently driven by one metric: milligrams per dollar. Now, the question for the THC business is,: Can you develop products for today’s market while planning for tomorrow’s? 

Educating the Consumer on Cannabis and the ECS

diagram of the human body

Let’s start at the beginning, the very beginning, of the Endocannabinoid System (ECS). It evolved a whopping 543 million years ago, right before the Permian Extinction, the event that nearly ended life on Earth. (Interestingly, the cannabis plant didn’t show up until 63 million years ago, in the late Cretaceous.) This is a system that has literally been with us since before there were mammals, that survived a die-off of 90 percent of the planet’s species.

And yet, we know so little about it. The formal discovery of the ECS happened gradually over the latter part of the last century, beginning in 1964 with the identification and synthesis of THC by Mechoulam and Gaoni, Israeli scientists. Much of the best research on cannabinoids in general and THC in particular comes from Israel, where research is not hobbled by federal prohibition the way it is in the US. The contagious stigma against cannabis has nipped our curiosity about a system that has a role in almost every regulatory and homeostatic function of our bodies. It oversees our processes of “eating, sleeping, relaxing, forgetting and protecting,” according to biochemist Vincenzo Di Marzo, who named the ECS.

Now the curtain is starting to lift, saner policies are emerging, and consumers are becoming more curious about which cannabis options work and why. The information is out there and sometimes as easy as a Google search. But most consumers do not have the time or inclination to deep-dive into cannabis science; they just want to know what they can expect. The problem is, the ECS is as unique as a fingerprint–which is the reason the same weed that relaxes you friend gives you a panic attack. There is no getting around this fundamental fact of cannabis: everyone is different, and trial and error is inherent to the journey toward optimization.

How do we convey complex concepts simply and accurately? Pictures are very helpful. Leafly and Phytecs put out some killer infographics to break down complex concepts. I also tell people to keep a literal notebook. A physical record of their feelings as they try different strains, growers, methods of delivery. I advise tracking the status of their own body such as hunger, tiredness, hormonal cycle, etc. Patterns will begin to emerge. Since using the same cannabis product over and over will gradually make it less effective, and product availability is inconsistent, it’s best to have a sense of the commonalities between products that you like.

A parallel can be drawn to medication journeys or even skincare routines. Consumers are used to, if not happy about, having to try a number of different options before finding what works. The categories of Indica and Sativa, rather than being a genetic reality, are more often shorthand for a particular experience, but they are a reasonable place to start. Dialing down a level of granularity, budtenders and cannabis websites will often list the effects one can expect from a strain or product. Despite the wide variation from person to person, any given effect will likely apply to about 80 percent of consumers–however there are so many effects that you’re likely to be in the 20 percent for some of them. Take note of which effects seem to be the most common, which the most pronounced. Method also matters. There are just so many ways to enjoy this plant. Some of them preserve the terroir of the very earth they are grown in; some obliterate everything but the THC. Both will be someone’s favorite.

Another education hurdle that we are facing is overcoming the prohibition mindset of high THC percentage buyers. It is true that THC is the dominant intoxicating element in the cannabis plant, however if the goal is to get the most high for your buck, it’s not the only number you should be looking at. Setting aside that passive corruption in THC testing abounds (labs that return higher numbers get more business), THC is like the gas in your car; without the rest of the car you’re not going anywhere. Minor cannabinoids and terpenes help the THC cross the brain blood barrier so you can actually experience it. And that’s only if the highest high is what you’re seeking. Most people don’t buy Everclear when they want an alcoholic beverage; they are looking for a particular taste and experience.

Cannabis is still more art than science, but the science part of the pie chart grows every day. Our knowledge about cannabis is expanding rapidly from every angle. Still, stigma can make first-time cannabis users hesitant to seek out information. Everyone can help alleviate that by being as open and frank about their use as their circumstances allow. Coming out of the closet as a cannabis user humanizes the experience. Most people have used cannabis. There’s nothing to be ashamed of. Change is happening, and we can facilitate it by sharing our knowledge in a friendly, compassionate way.

Hemp-Derived CBD vs Marijuana-Derived CBD

Chemically-speaking, there is no difference between CBD derived from hemp and CBD derived from marijuana. A molecule doesn’t care where it hails from. But that’s only if you are dealing with pure CBD isolate. Historically, what has been more commonly available is CBD concentrate oil which retains a low double-digit percentage of non-CBD compounds. These are the oil’s origin story, and they can have serious effects on the human body. That’s why many cannabis devotees insist that marijuana-derived CBD is superior: it retains more of the helpful phytochemical complex that contributes to the Entourage Effect, while CBD derived from industrial hemp, typically grown for agricultural feed, is more likely to retain pesticides or compounds that aren’t useful. And it tastes like hay.

However, CBD concentrates sourced from industrial hemp can be an order of magnitude cheaper than their marijuana-derived counterparts. Origin might not make a difference if you are formulating a topical with strong scents and/or penetrants such as menthol or capsaicin. If CBD is one ingredient of many rather than the star of the show, hemp-derived sources can make a lot of sense. Full spectrum marijuana-derived CBD oil, often upheld as the gold standard of CBD concentrates, does not actually offer a taste advantage compared to industrial hemp-derived CBD oil; while it doesn’t taste like hay, it still tastes terrible. The compounds that improve the performance of cannabinoids have strong opinions of their own.

Some companies even have their own farms, allowing them to oversee the entire seed-to-sale process. CBD concentrates from these farms contain fewer pesticide residues because CBD is the goal rather than a something extracted from a waste product. This can keep both costs and undesirable residues down, but it’s not a feasible option for most startups. Every company has to weigh the cost and benefits of these sourcing options and make decisions based on their priorities and means.

Medicinal vs. Recreational

For states at least, medical cannabis seems to be a gateway drug. Many states begin by passing medical marijuana laws, then, when the fabric of society does not collapse, recreational laws come into play a few years later.

In Washington, Initiative 692 allowed medical patients with a very specific list of qualifying conditions and a doctor’s authorization on tamper-proof paper to donate cash for cannabis at “collective garden access points” (what people typically call dispensaries). The euphemisms are were rich and reminiscent of requesting a “water pipe” at a head shop because if you say “bong” they will kick you out. But all this talking-around-the-fact was necessary to cajole prohibitionists to engage in a social experiment to prove that a readily available plant that has been used medicinally for over 5,000 years, that almost everyone has tried with no ill effects, should be legal for purchase. Casting cannabis as medical was able to engage the empathy of voters in a way that recreational was not; the designation of medical lent legitimacy to the movement.

Initiative 502 was approved in 2012, by which time the presence of dispensaries was common in Seattle. It legalized recreational use of cannabis for adults over the age of 21 while ostensibly maintaining a parallel system for medical patients, most of whom were strongly against the initiative. Their reasons for that involved fear that medical needs would be subsumed by market forces, and those fears indeed iterated out over the next few years. On the supply side, there were no designated medical products because the regulatory requirements were too high—why go to the extra work and expense of being certified medical when producers could sell the same product to the same customers under the recreational heading? Similarly, on the patient side, medical authorization became increasingly expensive and irrelevant. It gave no additional access to products; it only allowed patients to receive better guidance from medically certified budtenders. Under these circumstances, market forces prevailed and the products that medical users needed became harder to find. (Working as a medical consultant at the time, my heart broke daily when parents came in looking for 20-to-1 CBD RSO to treat their child’s epilepsy, and I had to tell them we were out of stock, again.)

As terrible as I-502 was for patients using cannabis to treat a specific condition, it did call into question what exactly the difference between medical and recreational use is, and whether that distinction was any longer useful or necessary. It is obvious that many people are using cannabis medicinally who might identify themselves as recreational users and vice-versa. But stepping back, the bigger question is: Where is the line between pleasure and relief? And perhaps: Can pleasure be medicinal in and of itself?

Most substances we use for pleasure also have medicinal effects—nicotine regulates mood, improves cognition, protects against Parkinson’s disease and may help treat Alzheimer’s, for example—but I question the dichotomy itself.

The Puritan roots of American culture codified that if it feels good, it is morally bad. Enjoyment is something you apologize for, compensate for, separate from daily experience. We party on the weekend, after work. Hedonism means laziness. Sexual health is different than regular health. Massage is not covered by insurance.

When we try to remove all traces of enjoyment from the healing process, pleasure becomes a side effect. The Opioid Crisis comes, in part, from our cultural unwillingness to acknowledge that feeling good is sometimes how medicine works; people using prescription painkillers are blindsided by the pleasure. We warn that drugs are “habit-forming” but we don’t talk about why. The practice of self-medication is derided. We don’t have a cultural framework that legitimizes pleasure in a way that would allow us to discuss dependency constructively. Instead we have a culture of shame that pushes the pursuit of pleasure to the margins despite pleasure being a primary biological motivator for pretty much everything.

Going back to the cannabis industry, the legalization of cannabis has aligned with the cultural zeitgeist in such a way that there is potential to see the conversation around self-medication shift. We are dealing with a health care crisis in which prescription medications are more expensive than effective street alternatives. (Certainly cannabis has occupied this space for a long time, and the positive effect it has had on opioid abuse has been well documented). For Millennials, and the generation after us, topics like psychiatric medication and harm reduction have been significantly de-stigmatized. The idea that healthy, successful people often take medication is not weird to us. Marginalized groups and particularly disability activists have achieved increased visibility and acceptance. Simultaneously, we are feeling a growing desire to understand and be in control of our health. Individualized medicine and biohacking are entering the mainstream.

This cultural shift includes and is bolstered by the de-stigmatization of cannabis. It means less need to categorize use as either recreational or medicinal. It is probably some of both, and we do not need to justify our use in any case. The future of cannabis will be less about differentiating medicine from pleasure and more about ensuring access to products that treat specific conditions/symptoms in a market-driven landscape.

An individualized approach to cannabinoid treatment is on the horizon. As technology improves the reliability of dosing and the spectrum of available cannabinoids, customers will be able to choose products based on their unique needs. Evolving form factors, such as powders and pills, will make it easier to medicate with cannabis in any context.

Thanks to our acceptance of cannabis, we are poised to reevaluate the role of pleasure in medicine. Because it turns out, feeling good is good for you.

CBD: Current & Future Applications

four cups of coffee with coffee beans

Formerly lurking in a legal gray area, the 2018 Farm Bill removed restrictions on the sale, transport, or possession of hemp-derived products and explicitly allowed the transfer of hemp-derived products across state lines for commercial purposes. Hemp is defined as any cannabis that has <0.3% THC, but the amount of CBD is not limited, which has kicked the door open for this popular cannabinoid. Right now, CBD is absolutely everywhere.


Unlike the THC world, dried cured flower is not driving the industry. Vapes, edibles, and balms are the preferred ways for the cannabis-curious to try CBD. Beverages notch right into existing preferences for health drinks and sodas, and include a social element evocative of cocktail parties and coffee bars. Topicals are particularly popular due to their potential for treating localized disorders such as arthritis and sore muscles, and there is promising research suggesting CBD as a treatment pathway for acne and other inflammatory skin conditions. Cosmeceuticals are hot.


After the craze subsides, we are going to see CBD combined with other cannabinoids and trendy bioactives to keep its market edge. The CBD market is primed to embrace the values of whole plant medicine with its emphasis on minimally processed, minimally preserved products. Adjacent is the slow food movement which will value small batches, organic processes and heritage (landrace) strains. Seed-to-sale tracking is the law in Washington state, but a byproduct is a more solid knowledge of a product’s origin. We will know who grew the plants that made our face cream, where, and what methods they used.

Ratios, long employed in the THC market, will come into the general public consciousness soon. Expect to see products with specific cannabinoid ratios proudly displayed, customized for specific ailments. Given the notoriously individual experience of cannabis, personalization options are a possibility as well. Imagine ordering your preferred cannabinoid balance and formula features online, to be delivered by Amazon to your front door.


Customers are increasingly interested in how their purchases effect the planet. Hemp’s planet-friendly applications are well documented. Plants grown for CBD extraction can later be used to create clean biomass fuel. There is a labeling opportunity there to help consumers direct their funds at farms that put “waste” to good use.


Regulatory requirements will soon be more stringent — which, while destined to be implemented imperfectly, nets to a good thing. Potency will be required on the bottle and QA testing will be the norm. With luck, not just potency but harvest/processing date, terpenes, minor cannabinoids, and pesticide levels will be regularly listed. (The large amount of industrial hemp required to make CBD concentrate has some worried about accumulated pesticide residues.) Discerning customers will want to see the numbers.


We can expand product development to include parts of the plant besides the trichomes (resin glands) where cannabinoids are made. Hemp seeds are already widely used by health nuts; with their high omega oils, fiber and satisfying crunch, their application potential is incredibly broad. They add bulk and decrease hunger as well, and could be combined with appetite-reducing THC-V as a food additive. Juicing has previously been used in medical circles to retain the largest number of bioactives only present in the fresh plant. Cannabis green smoothies? Yes please.


CBD deserves its day in the sun; it is a wonderful tool in the cannabinoid kit. It’s not ideal in every circumstance, however, and it’s important that we recognize there may be other cannabinoids that work better for other ailments. CBD is not ideal for sleep, for example: though it doesn’t prevent it, it is CBN and THC that are the real agents of somnolence. When eaten, it also a less potent anti-inflammatory than several other cannabinoids. And perhaps most importantly, CBD is exceptionally weak in isolation; it really shines when combined with other cannabinoids. To overcome this, the dosage must be high to be effective — and there is currently no mandate for testing or labeling potency on the bottle. Independently conducted testing has shown all manner of contaminants, inaccurate potencies, and the presence of THC in concentrations greater than .03%. Customers simply cannot be sure of what they are buying.

Buzzwording, overwrought design, niche marketing, and inert applications like mascara and hair pomade have flooded the market. The sheer breadth of claims being made for CBD sets the stage for disaffection; it cannot possibly live up to the boundless expectations placed on it. While it is a wonderful healing agent, it must eventually suffer the fate of all trends. But the enduring legacy of the CBD boom will be opening the door for cannabis-derived products and softening the public perception of them. CBD gummies and lollipops are sufficiently abstracted from the plant that they appeal to those still wary about cannabis. Conversations around psychoactivity and inebriation are happening. People’s grandmothers are using CBD for their arthritis and realizing hey, this cannabis stuff might not be the devil we were told it was.

Even without the steady march of THC legalization, hemp plants have so much to offer us. They might even save the world.

What Are Terpenes And Why Should You Care?

Terpenes are finally getting their due in cannabis tech. Most commonly recognized as flavor and smell components, they form the largest group of plant chemicals, with almost 20,000 distinct molecules identified. 200 of these are present in cannabis. Their names might sound familiar—they are common ingredients in cosmetic formulations—and sometimes reflect the scent they convey (you might be familiar with the smell of limonene, pinene, and geraniol, for example). But these little compounds do so much more than provide a beautiful bouquet.


In a groundbreaking 2011 paper, Dr. Ethan Russo presented evidence for the long-suspected therapeutic synergy of terpenoids and cannabinoids with respect to treatment of pain, inflammation, depression, anxiety, addiction, epilepsy, cancer, fungal and bacterial infections. This synergy is called the “Entourage Effect.” It’s a way of saying that, when it comes to cannabis, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Terpenes play an enormous role in the infinitesimally complex interaction of cannabinoids with the human body.


However, with federal funding for cannabis research hobbled, much of what we know about the importance of terpenes comes from aromatherapy research. Contrary to its popular image as a fringe practice, aromatherapy is actually grounded in serious science. Among other things it has been shown to improve cognitive function in patients with dementia, reduce pain in patients with kidney stones and osteoarthritis, and improve transdermal absorption of lipophilic compounds. Cannabis is, of course, notoriously lipophilic.

The effects of particular smells on mood are also well established—many people successfully use lavender oil to help them relax, or lemon oil for energy. Smells influence our mood because terpenes interact with the mood-regulation systems in our brains. The Endocannabinoid System (ECS), the network of neurotransmitters and receptors that is the reason we experience effects from cannabis, is heavily involved in mood regulation, and essential oils such as lemon or lavender often have a primary terpene (limonene and linalool, respectively) which is also heavily present in cannabis. It’s not hard to connect the dots to see why these compounds influence the character of cannabinoids’ effects. Indeed, there is even a terpene (beta caryophyllene) that can directly interact with the CB2 receptor, one of two receptor types in the ECS, to create effects similar to CBD.


In the cannabis plant, terpenes play an antioxidant role, protecting it from sun damage. Some experts believe that this antioxidant effect is sustained when humans consume these terpenes. While we do not yet have the research to confirm that, we do know that terpenes have a variety of direct medicinal effects. For example, myrcene, the most common terpene in cannabis, is a muscle relaxant, a sedative, an analgesic, and is toxic to cancer cells. And pinene is a bronchodilator, an anti-inflammatory, and a memory aid. In fact, terpenes’ effects seem to offset many of the alleged downsides of cannabis. Long term studies showing no increase in lung cancer for long-term cannabis smokers, or a neuroprotective effect on Alzheimer’s patients, are suggestive of terpenes’ role in the complicated balancing act that is the Entourage Effect.


Perhaps the most amazing thing about terpenes is the very low levels at which they are effective. Concentrations as low as .01% can influence mood and efficacy of cannabinoids. A little goes a long way! And while there is still much we don’t know about the inner workings of terpene-cannabinoid synergy, there is enough out there to strongly recommend including a terpene profile in cannabis formulations.



Myrcene is the most abundant terpene in cannabis, and also a precursor to other terpenes. With a musky, earthy scent you may recognize from hops, mangoes, and thyme, it is most well known for its sedative qualities–it is believed that myrcene contributes heavily to the “couch-lock” effect common in cannabis. It is also a pain-killer and muscle relaxant, and like most cannabinoids, anti-inflammatory. But myrcene’s most powerful synergy with cannabis is in its ability to increase the permeability of cell membranes, allowing a larger uptake of cannabinoids and stronger effects. If you want to increase the strength of your formulations, increase the myrcene!


Ever wonder why you feel more alert and breathe more easily when you go hiking? Pinene is part of the reason. As its name suggests, pinene’s scent is redolent of pine and mountain air. It is an excellent bronchodilator, improving airflow to the lungs, and can markedly improve memory retention. Even a small whiff of pinene gives a boost of energy and improved focus. The inclusion of pinene in terpene profiles will lend a clear-headed, energetic effect–without the anxious edge of caffeine.


This terpene is truly special: it is the only one capable of interacting directly with the Endocannabinoid System, the network of neurotransmitters that is responsible for cannabinoids’ singular effects on our bodies. Caryophyllene is best known for its relaxing, anti-anxiety properties. You will recognize its spicy scent as the dominant note from black pepper. In fact, inhaling freshly cracked black pepper can help modulate the discomfort of ingesting too much THC. Topically, caryophyllene is a potent anti-inflammatory and has been used to treat contact dermatitis without causing a reaction in sensitive skin. Choose caryophyllene to give your formulations a calming bend.

5 Reasons Why CBD Should Be Allowed In Food Items

aisle of food items at supermarket

At the State level, acceptance of and regulation around CBD products varies. At the individual level, CBD still remains mysterious for many consumers and producers alike. The reality is, CBD is a versatile and approachable ingredient for a variety of products – here are a few reasons why CBD should be allowed in food and beverages:


Although very similar in molecular structure to the THC strain of cannabis, CBD is not intoxicating. This makes it a great option for infusion in various edible products and should remove a great deal of consumer concern over safety.


Nearly 7 percent of Americans are already using cannabidiol (CBD), placing the potential market opportunity for the much-hyped cannabis compound at $16 billion by 2025, according to a new analysis by Cowen & Co.


Almost 62% of CBD users reported using CBD to treat a medical condition. The top three medical conditions were pain, anxiety, and depression.  [A Cross-Sectional Study of Cannabidiol Users]


The federal 2018 Farm Bill lifted a nationwide ban on producing hemp, from which the oil is made, and which formerly was classified as a controlled substance. But the bill left states to follow their own laws, many of which still classify hemp as illegal, reports The New York Times. The federal-level acceptance of hemp is a good indicator for future product development and widespread acceptance of hemp-infused products.

Real Talk: CBD’s Limitations

supermarket aisle with many products

There’s no avoiding CBD these days — it’s everywhere you look. The once-obscure non-intoxicating cannabinoid is being added to every conceivable product: CBD mascara, hair gel, even hamburgers. It can be purchased at CVS and Walgreens.

And perhaps that’s the problem. CBD has been sanitized, presented as the “non-psychoactive” (it is psychoactive in fact, just not intoxicating) or “medicinal” cannabinoid, solely to differentiate it from THC and its illicit association with the pre-legalization market. For those of us who have been promoting cannabis therapies for many years, the faddish rise of CBD can be irksome. Not because CBD doesn’t deserve the attention, but because it’s disrespectful to the plant to claim that we can get all the benefits of cannabis — and none of the stigma — from a single cannabinoid. No single ingredient, cannabis-derived or not, could ever hope to deliver on all the promises marketers are making on CBD’s behalf. CBD is an amazing cannabinoid with a wide range of applications, but it is no panacea — because there is no panacea. Especially since of the cannabinoids we know, CBD is one of the least effective in isolation.


In the natural plant, CBD exists alongside hundreds if not thousands of other plant-produced compounds called phytochemicals. All cannabinoids benefit from being delivered in their native phytochemical complex–a phenomenon called the Entourage Effect–but CBD in particular craves the synergistic presence of other cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids. It is a weak antagonist of both cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2), meaning it decreases reuptake of certain neurotransmitters in a mechanism similar to how SSRI antidepressants affect serotonin. CBD’s effects are broader than they are deep: it interacts with a wide range of neurotransmitters, but the effect is generally mild, and relies heavily on the supporting effects of its fellow cannabinoids.

Due to its weak activity, CBD must be used in higher potencies to be effective. Unfortunately, many of the products on the shelves have low potency, no listed potency, or use inaccurate testing. A recent study showed that over 70% of CBD products were inaccurately labeled, and 26% were overlabeled, e.g. the product contained negligible amounts of CBD. The study had flaws, but it made it clear that the current state of CBD labeling is buyer-beware.


There are also a number of products in which the inclusion of CBD is a total waste. In order to interact with the body’s cannabinoid receptors, CBD has to be ingested or sit on the skin for a significant period of time – usually upwards of 15 minutes. Products such as hair pomade (there are no CB receptors in our hair) or body wash (rinses right down the drain) are capitalizing on the marketing force of CBD rather than delivering meaningful improvements.

CBD is showing incredible clinical promise as an anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, and recently, as an antibiotic. We owe it to this wonderful chemical to be honest about what it can’t do, so that our customers believe us when we tell them what it can.

10 Things to Know About CBD

bottle of CBD


Despite the rising popularity of CBD products for a variety of uses, there are still plenty of misconceptions about CBD — and a few surprising facts that consumers may not know.

Sure, it’s science — but there’s no reason to complicate it when it comes to CBD myths. We’re giving it to you straight and short ‘n sweet!

1. CBD IS psychoactive, but it is NOT psychotropic meaning it is not an intoxicating cannabinoid, such as its popular sister, THC.

2. CBD may help treat conditions like pain, insomnia, stress and anxiety.

3. CBD may work better for treating conditions when in the presence of other cannabinoids and/or terpenes

4. CBD will NOT show up in a drug test.

5. CBD is NOT addictive.

6. CBD consumer sales expected to reach $1.8 Billion by 2022 (Statista).

7. CBD is NOT limited to medicinal purposes. Consumers can benefit from the use of CBD and can enjoy sharing it socially/recreationally.

8. FACT: As of January 1, 2018, Olympians can legally consume CBD. However, consumers should be wary of the quality of their CBD as it must contain 0.3% THC or less according to the 2014 Farm Bill.

9. CBD is much less potent than THC at relieving symptoms so consuming CBD in larger doses is common and does not create a sedating effect.

10. CBD products are currently being carried by large national retailers such as Walgreens and CVS.

Consumption Methods For Your Lifestyle

green smoothie with cannabis leaf in it

Almost as important as what cannabis you’re using is how you’re using it. The administration method you choose can affect which compounds are making their way into your body as well as how your body metabolizes them. Let’s review the most common consumption methods and how to decide which are right for you:


Who it’s for: Old-schoolers, purists, those who enjoy ritual.

Why it’s awesome: Cracking open the familiar, well-cured nugs of your favorite strain delights all of your senses; comfort and nostalgia wash over you. Loading a bowl or rolling a joint by hand can be a mindfulness meditation, as you pay full attention to the sensory experience of every step. This method links us to the history of cannabis and is the least-processed option available commercially. Using a vaporizer allows you to access more of the Entourage Effect while still preserving the ritualistic experience.

Drawbacks: The smell of cannabis smoke tends to linger, and will announce to everyone what you’ve been up to (not that you have anything to be ashamed of). Vaping moderates this, but vaporizers can be fussy and expensive. Smoke is harsh and carcinogenic (long-term, even heavy cannabis smokers do not show higher incidence of lung cancer– and they show lower rates of other cancers). It can be filtered through water to mellow it. However, inhaling excess uncombusted butane from a lighter can ruin the sensual joy of smoking, if not cause irritation in its own right. Consider using a hemp wick instead.


Who it’s for: High-tolerance users, connoisseurs.

Why it’s awesome: If your goal is to reach the stars, the dab rig is your spaceship. Dabbing is popular and therefore convenient: a huge assortment of concentrates of every texture, potency, and extraction method awaits the dedicated cannabis enthusiast at their local pot shop.

Drawbacks: Dab rigs are pricey, complicated, and can be imprecise; the sheer variety of concentrate varieties is daunting.


Who it’s for: Those who need to medicate on the go, those who want to taste cannabis, not smoke.

Why it’s awesome: Carts offer a mild, tasty, relatively short-lived high. They’re sophisticated and they’re discreet. By heating rather than combusting the concentrated oil you are inhaling more of THC’s phytochemical helpers, the other cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids that offset less desirable effects such as paranoia and dizziness. This won’t matter, however, if the concentrate in the cartridge was extracted in a way that destroys those compounds. Some companies re-infuse them, and some even add additional terpenes back above the levels they were in the original plant material.

Drawbacks: Though the days of harmful additives such as propylene glycol are waning, it’s still a good idea to check the ingredients of your cartridge carefully. The ubiquitous slim vape pen batteries sold in shops are cheap because they are made cheaply–expect them to conk out in a few months. Store them upside down, limit how frequently you change the cartridge, and buy a few at a time so you always have a backup handy. Or you can invest in a more robust option, which often offers specific heat settings.


Who it’s for: Low-tolerance users, people who love edibles but want a shorter ride.

Why it’s awesome: Unlike edibles, sublinguals take effect almost immediately. You know right where you’re at and the risk of overdoing it is much lower. They evoke an apothecary vibe, the vintage feel of turn-of-the-last-century medicinal tinctures. They tend to be relatively yummy – though the taste will be cannabis-forward, complementary ingredients often soften the bitterness from the cannabinoids.

Drawbacks: Beware, some products marketed as sublingual don’t absorb enough through the mouth and are really closer to edibles. Always go low and slow until you are familiar with a product’s onset time. As tolerance increases, commercial tinctures become impractical, but you can still make your own at home using alcohol or glycerin.


Who it’s for: Newbies, trendsetters

Why it’s awesome: Cannabis-infused beverages are the hot edge of the knife. They make cannabis accessible and nonthreatening, and are easy to bring to contexts where smoking or vaping would be frowned upon. Drinking intoxicating beverages is already a deeply entrenched practice in our culture, so cannabis drinks can notch right in. Liquid or powder preparations such as SōRSE can be used in place of or in addition to alcohol in craft cocktails.

Drawbacks: Poorly-emulsified beverages are susceptible to settling, making dosage inconsistent. Bitterness becomes pronounced at higher dosages.


Who it’s for: Foodies, occasional users, high-tolerance medical users.

Why it’s awesome: Edibles have a lot of unique benefits due to the way they are metabolized. They offer a deep, warming feeling in the body and lend a sensual edge to any experience. You also get way more bang for your buck in terms of potency. Modern cannabis chefs are concocting amazing recipes that push the boundaries of infused food.

Drawbacks: As anyone who has overdone it on edibles knows, they are much stronger and longer-lasting than smoking, and they take much longer to kick in. Not the best choice if you only have a short period of downtime or if you absolutely must keep your wits about you.


Who it’s for: Those seeking localized, non-intoxicating effects

Why it’s awesome: It’s easy to see why topical preparations have taken off. They are easy to use, familiar, and don’t alter your senses. Cosmeceuticals, salves, lube, bath bombs (unlike other topicals, these will get you high), lip balms, body butter and hand creams–what an amazing array of options! From arthritis to muscle soreness to sexual dysfunction, customers are finding localized relief and enhancement.

Drawbacks: Since labeling requirements are lax or nonexistent, it’s hard to know what’s really in the bottle. Do your research before you buy. And don’t waste your money on products like hair gel and body wash–topicals need endocannabinoid receptors to interact with, and they need time to absorb.


Who it’s for: Those needing long-lasting effects, those who do physical labor

Why it’s awesome: Cannabinoid patches use similar technology to nicotine patches, delivering a steady continuous stream of cannabinoids into your bloodstream for up to 8 hours. This can be great for those who need absolute discretion during their work hours, or those who just need long lasting relief. Patches can be cut to adjust dosage and come in a wide range of CBD and THC ratios.

Drawbacks: At $20-$30 each, cannabinoid patches are expensive, especially for those who need them frequently. They also tend not to stick as well as their nicotine counterparts. To address this, try using a little of another topical before applying the patch and/or tape it down with medical tape.