Are My CBD Products Really Working? How to Shop for Topicals & Ingestibles

The explosive impact CBD has had on the wellness sector has been unprecedented. From scrubs to bath salts, face masks to teas and cannabinoid-infused personal lubricants, there isn’t a place on your body (or in your mind) that has been untouched by the super-hyped ingredient—which is great news, because CBD’s benefits are endless. Aside from the positives it can lend to your mental health, cannabidiol, the potent antioxidant chemical from the cannabis sativa plant, is laden the with anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties. Topical products, meanwhile, relax the skin, prevent drying, and help with wounds, shortening healing time. CBD may also improve the skin’s defense mechanisms and ability to regenerate.

“CBD has changed my life and I’m scared to think where I would be if I didn’t have it as a resource,” says Anna Margaryan, the CEO and founder of Pellequr Spa, the Beverly Hills scrub center beloved by Naomi Campbell, Kim Kardashian, and Hailey Bieber. After giving birth to her two sons, Margaryan began suffering from serious bouts of postpartum depression, chronic joint pain and anxiety. To combat these issues, the Armenian-born Los Angeles native traveled across United States, visiting CBD harvesters to learn all she could about cannabidiol, hoping to eventually create a product that utilized the benefits of CBD. Following this sojourn, she opened the CBD-based Korean scrub spa, which targets detoxing and draining the lymph nodes to help her clients heal.

When it comes to CBD in the health and wellness sphere, there are so many variations and milligram strengths on the market—which ones are really effective products and which are just riding on the CBD bandwagon for marketing purposes? We sought the insight of Margaryan to give us the rundown on what we need to bear in mind when utilizing the virtues of this wonder plant.

I have to ask and I’m going to try not to be sarcastic—please explain the CBD and Korean scrub connection.

Okay, that is actually a fair question. When I was faced with postpartum depression, a friend of mine insisted I join her at a Korean spa for a body scrub. My experience was transformative because a body scrub, running water, and human touch finally provided me with a much-needed interlude of peace and tranquility, which fostered an overall sense of well-being. I was also using CBD at the time because it gave me a sense of serenity with no psychoactive effect. CBD was giving me clarity throughout the day, better sleep at night, while also relieving topical pain.I found a way to escape the daily stressors of life by taking a moment to myself, and I wanted to share that feeling with woman everywhere. That is where my journey with CBD and Pellequr started. I created PellequrX, a CBD line of products that are infused with the finest Broad Spectrum COA-Certified CBD with no THC, derived from select hemp cultivated in the United States. Our products go through in-house and third-party lab testing to ensure purity and potency.

What is the connection between CBD products and pain relief?

One of the most useful and known properties that has been discovered about CBD thus far are its healing powers toward pain relief. Scientifically speaking, pain is felt from neurons in our central nervous system reacting to injuries. By creating endocannabinoid receptors, CBD slows down neurons, resulting in pain relief—meaning you get the same result as an ordinary pain reliever without the numerous side effects and potential dependency. Additionally, cannabinoids have an anti-inflammatory influence and reduce cytokine. Therefore, applying topical CBD creams releases muscle pain, inflammation, stiffness, and lymphatic drainage. It is also known to help those who suffer from eczema, psoriasis, and arthritis.

Before I get excited and purchase a CBD product, what should I look for?

Here is my list of 4 things to look for when buying CBD:

COA Certified and Lab-Tested

A CBD product needs to come with a COA, or Certificate of Authentication. You want to know where the ingredients are sourced. Also, the product needs to be third-party lab tested, meaning the lab that is testing your product is not a part of the company, to ensure the results are accurate.

Know your Potency/ How Many CBD Milligrams Per Serving

The number of milligrams is key when considering the efficacy of your chosen CBD product.

Any form of CBD product that is over one ounce needs to include 1000mg+ of CBD for it to be effective. This is an important one to pay attention to as the market becomes more saturated. I have heard one too many times that clients have used CBD and it has done nothing. Imagine sprinkling just a portion of one Advil to ease your headache—it will not help. You would need to take the suggested amount of milligrams to feel a difference. This is an issue I have noticed with new and upcoming CBD products. Companies want to market their product as CBD to be able to sell for a higher price, but there are not nearly enough milligrams to provide the kind of relief the consumer seeks. Make sure there is enough CBD per serving! That said, bath bombs only need to contain 50mg of CBD, because the water temperature of a bath affects your blood pressure and how calm you are—in theory, you are able to absorb the CBD better alongside those two factors.

Full Spectrum, Broad Spectrum and Isolate Factors are Important

Know the type of CBD you’re taking. I prefer broad spectrum CBD, because there is 0 percent THC—meaning you reap all the benefits without any psychoactive effect. Zero full spectrum CBD products contain multiple extracts from the cannabis plant, including essential oils, terpenes, and cannabinol. Full spectrum may contain up to 0.3% THC. CBD isolate contains no other cannabis plant compounds derived from the hemp plant, in addition to low amounts of THC; since it is the purest form of CBD without the additional compounds, it is the least effective of the three.

Pay Attention to Tricky Verbiage

Take note of the words that are being used on CBD product labels. Make sure the product is not making promises it cannot provide.

CBD cannot cure, but rather ease pain. CBD products should not make any medical claims to treat, diagnose, or cure any serious disease. There are many laws in place to ensure guidelines for CBD products, but regulating the market has had quite a few ups and downs—as a consumer, it is important to read what the brand you are purchasing is claiming. Also when picking the product look into the reason for your use—which CBD products are other people using for back pain, anxiety, dry skin, or any other ailments you might be suffering?

Four Vetted CBD Products to Shop Now

A great choice to elevate your skincare routine while providing your skin with nourishment and reparative healing. Appropriate for face and body, the 1000 mg infusion of hemp-derived CBD is blended with pure grapeseed oil to deliver soothing relaxation and high-grade fatty omega acids.

Silky and luxurious, this cult-favorite CBD salve warms quickly on the body to relieve muscle aches and pain, as well as arthritis, eczema, and psoriasis. It’s perfect to apply at the end of a long work day or post-bath.

Retinol and CBD work together here to promote a clear and glowing complexion. Retinol is the most effective ingredient in aiding skin’s cell turnover and collagen-stimulation properties. Unfortunately, many people are sensitive to it, and experience peeling, drying, and flaking. Saint Jane brewed their retinol specifically with lavender, orchid, and violet, as well as a proprietary blend of CBD that helps calm inflammation and irritation. (This month, 100 percent of sales made directly from the Saint Jane site will be donated toward organizations helping those affected by the war in Ukraine.)

Foria’s bath salts are infused with 200mg of CBD to instantly calm the nerves and relieve body aches or strains. The mineral-rich Epsom salts are enhanced with a blend of organically grown kava, arnica, ginger, and of course hemp, as well as organic fir, eucalyptus, peppermint oils, and cedar tips. This CBD bath salt blend and the symphony of botanicals work not just as a luxurious bath soak, but as a body scrub as well.