As one of the first two states to legalize recreational marijuana in 2012, Colorado has long blazed the way in the nation’s cannabis industry, and, lately, entrepreneurial locals have been producing a wide range of products made with cannabidiol (CBD), intended to help ease a variety of ailments.
CBD comes from the hemp plant, which, like marijuana, is in the cannabis family; it has many of the reported beneficial properties of marijuana, without the high. Up until now, its legal status nationwide existed in a gray area. But with the passage of the 2018 Federal Farm Bill in December, which legalized hemp, CBD products will be more broadly available.
Usually extracted as an oil, CBD can be consumed as is or added to everything from smoothies, baked goods, and dog treats to body care products, cosmetics, and more.
“It works with the endocannabinoid system, something all mammals have, without the psychoactive effects of THC [tetrahydrocannabinol], meaning we can help the elderly, kids, and people sensitive to THC,” says Tisha Casida, founder of Aspen-based That’s Natural, which advocates against over-regulation of food and medicine.
She points to CBD’s anti-inflammatory characteristics for its far-reaching efficacy. “It can help with pain, inflammation, anxiety, acne, joint pain, psoriasis, arthritis, Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, and depression,” she adds, with the caveat that CBD is not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration.
Local brands to sample
Full-spectrum CBD oil—as well as infused salves, creams, and lotions—from That’s Natural are available online and locally at Carl’s Pharmacy in Aspen and at Life Force Market in Basalt. Remède Spa, at the St. Regis Aspen, offers the brand’s lotion for massages.
Sopris Health and Wellness sells its oils, gel caps, lotions, salves, and dog treats—all made with full-spectrum CBD—online as well as in stores nationally. Fahrenheit Body Spa in Basalt offers the massage oil as an add-on treatment, and Colorado Animal Rescue carries the dog treats, which company founder Bryan Ward says are proving beneficial to older dogs or anxious pups adjusting to a new home.
Aspen-based Toast’s first product was pre-rolls of marijuana, known as “slices.” As the benefits of CBD oil have become more known, however, the brand wanted to offer a non-THC product, too. Look for its full-spectrum CBD oils—perfect as an add-in to your favorite beverages—at Shlomo’s in Aspen and Sweet Coloradough in Snowmass Base Village. The cold-pressed orange flavor is delicious on its own, too.
Kannah Creek’s CBD-infused honey retains the flavor and aroma of regular honey, with the added benefits of CBD oil. Add it to tea or coffee, drizzle it over fruit, slather it on toast, or simply enjoy it by the spoonful. Made in Whitewater (near Grand Junction), it’s available at Silverpeak in Aspen.
Launched last June, Carbondale-based Wise Bar offers five flavors of CBD-infused organic energy bars. The 250-calorie bars are scored into 50-calorie pieces, perfect for eating on the go. They’re available online and in town at Aspen Shakti and Local Coffee House. Bonus: the bars come beautifully packaged in a compostable wrapper. $9.