Review: JustCBD's tinctures could be relaxing, but aren't all that fun

Review: JustCBD's tinctures could be relaxing, but aren't all that fun

CBD is making quite a splash lately — the legalization of hemp in the United States has definitely given it a boost, and nutrition companies are starting to get in on the action, offering CBD at places that are more and more mainstream. CBD, in case you’re not familiar (and a recent poll said 61% of people aren’t), stands for cannabidinol. Like THC (which stands for tetrahydrocannabinol), it’s one of the compounds in cannabis (which itself is a variant of hemp — the two are variants of the same species of plant), which is able to bond with the cannabinoid receptors in your endocannabinoid system. But unlike THC, CBD doesn’t contain psychoactive properties. In short, CBD has been said to be relaxing and calming, but without the heady “high” that THC includes.

And that’s the problem.

As we say right on our masthead here at The Elegant Stoner, we’re happy to review anything that’s sent our way, so when JustCBD told us they were sending along a container of CBD tincture, we figured we’d give it a shot. As The Elegant Stoner, our preference is for THC — while some people don’t like the high it provides, we think the high is the whole reason to smoke it (or vape it, or eat it in edibles, or what have you). In addition to spurring on your endocannabinoid system, THC (for us at least) provides a feeling of your mind expanding — science is still studying the actual effect, but from our experience, it certainly seems to increase your senses, make you more mindful, and even increase empathy and make you feel good about the world. Your mileage, as always, may vary.

This CBD tincture (our first try at a purely CBD product) doesn’t quite do that. In fact, it tends to do the opposite. In our experience, THC tends to enhance whatever you’re up to. If you’re being creative, THC could help you think and perceive in new ways. If you’re exercising or walking in nature, THC can expand your mind and help you relax and enjoy the world. Or if you’re being social and having fun with friends, THC might make you feel more comfortable, make you laugh, or might help you connect with others.

This CBD tincture, on the other hand, does seem to relax, at least (though of course everyone’s reaction may be different — the science isn’t all there, and even JustCBD’s packaging states that the FDA hasn’t officially reviewed it yet, so we’ll be super clear: This review is not medical advice in any way, and you should seek a doctor before taking any supplements or making any changes to your diet or health). It’s especially been promoted as a pain relief alternative (which is very much needed in the US, as we’re in the middle of an opioid epidemic). But in our experience, CBD just sort of calms you down and makes you numb. THC makes us feel alive and connected, and this CBD tincture quieted us down.

Some people will really appreciate that, of course. If you’re suffering from chronic pain for some reason, CBD might help change how that feels (again — ask your doctor first). Some people have said that CBD helps them with anxiety, or can provide relief for other ailments as well. Unfortunately, we can’t speak to that, because at The Elegant Stoner, we’re in pretty good health. We don’t have a need for pain relief or anti-anxiety — we’re here for recreation, and to enhance our experience rather than tamp it down. While this CBD tincture did offer relaxation without the THC feeling, the THC feeling is kind of the whole reason we’re here.

You can say this about the tincture: It’s easy to use. Almost too easy! You get a little bottle of liquid (“full spectrum oil,” with three ingredients: Propylene Glycol, Vegetable Glycerine, and Full Spectrum Cannabidiol) with an eyedropper on the child-safe lid. To use the stuff, you can just put a few drops (the packaging recommends 1-3) in your food or drink. And you can drop it in anything — JustCBD doesn’t have any suggestions, unfortunately, but we put it in soda, in a smoothie, and even on some pizza, and it had the same effect every time. With about three drops, we felt about an hour or so of a general relaxation and lowered energy — a very calming feeling, similar to some indicas we’ve tried, but without any psychoactive “high” at all. The feeling was somewhat akin to taking an aspirin when you’ve got a headache (but again, this stuff is not aspirin, and any health changes should be overseen by a doctor). It wasn’t necessarily a bad feeling, but again, it was more of a numbing than an enhancement. It slowed us down, and made us relax a bit, without any fogginess at all.

As easy as it is to use, the tincture probably isn’t the best way to try CBD for the first time. It was very hard to dose correctly with the eyedropper and while the taste wasn’t bad, it was definitely noticeable (it was slightly alcoholic — tasting it in the soda reminded us of a whiskey and coke). If you just want to give CBD a shot to see what it’s like, it might be better to try some gummies first. They’re a bit easier to dose, and probably taste better as well.

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The only other complaint we have is that while JustCBD has lab reports for all of their products on their site, the tincture package itself doesn’t come with any test results or certification. There is a warning that the FDA hasn’t yet approved this product, and there are logos for the tincture being organic, vegan, and non-GMO, but there aren’t a lot of reassurances on the packaging that anyone’s tested the product. You can scan a code to get to the lab results, but why not mention it directly on the box?

Then again, if you are going after CBD, you have hopefully already done your research (one more time: talk to a doctor before using this stuff). It would be nice to see a little more information directly on the product, however. It would also be good to know more about JustCBD in general — the website says they’re based in the UK, but it would be great to know less about whether or not you can use CBD on cats, and more about who’s making this product and why.

If you have a need for the relaxation that CBD might provide and you aren’t interested in the high that comes with THC, then JustCBD’s tinctures could be a solid option — they’re easy to use, and are probably as reliable as this stuff can be. The smallest bottle is cheap and available on their website, and if you follow the dosing directions, one bottle will probably last you a good while, and suit you just fine.

But if you don’t have any health issues, and aren’t trying to numb any pain, what’s the point? Why not go the full mile? Part of the fun of cannabis is that it can expand your mind, take you out of patterns you’re set in, and make you think in a new way. Experiencing THC can make you see familiar things in a new light, or spark creativity you didn’t know you had.

Obviously, your health comes first, and if CBD works for you, then it works for you — don’t let us keep you from that. But as helpful as these CBD tinctures seem to be for some people, The Elegant Stoner’s going to stick with good old fashioned cannabis and THC for enjoying and enhancing our life. As recreational users who aren’t trying to battle chronic pain or anxiety, we’d much rather light up a gorgeous, carefully grown flower from an organic farm and have our mind expanded, than throw a few drops of “full spectrum oil” in our food just to feel a little calmer.

Disclaimer: As mentioned, JustCBD provided a sample of their product for this review.

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