Our product picks are editor-tested, expert-approved. We may earn a commission through links on our site.
IF YOU’RE FEELING BOMBARDED by CBD, blame the 2018 Farm Bill. Yes, this humdrum-sounding piece of government legislation is partially responsible for the fertilization of what is now a booming industry around all things CBD.
CBD, for all you non-Farm-Bill readers, is shorthand for “cannabidiol,” and you’re correct in noticing that that word shares seven letters with the word “cannabis.” And although many manufacturers of CBD products often include a huge weed leaf in their marketing, CBD won’t get you high. In fact, it may have the opposite effect.
Cannabinoids are cannabis-dervied chemicals that interact with your endocannabinoid system in ways that scientists are still figuring out, but largely speculate may have calming effects.
Researchers (and CBD companies) are hopeful that cannabidiol may help manage physical pain, sleeplessness, and relaxation. However—and this is important to note—there is currently no firm, clinical evidence that CBD does anything at all. This is not to say that its ineffective, it’s just that the marketing outpaces the current state of the research.
And that marketing includes a slew of products. There are CBD protein bars. There are CBD gummies. There are CBD oils, capsules, moisturizers, waters, cold brew coffees, and even (ahem) sexual lubricants.
To sort through this wild new world of CBD products, we at Men’s Health turned ourselves into a group of study participants and sampled anything we could find that featured cannabidiol as an ingredient.
Many of the products we tasted failed to produce a meaningful effect. But there were a few that exceeded our expectations. These are our winners of the first-ever Men’s Health CBD Awards.
Above all, food should taste good. These are the best CBD-infused edibles that may help you relax—and taste pretty great, too.
LULU’S CBD CHOCOLATE
CBD foods tend to have a somewhat unpleasant aftertaste. Lulu’s Chocolate somehow just tastes like sweetened dark chocolate. At 20mg CBD per square, it provides a good dosage. One tester reported feeling , “a little body drunk, meaning my muscles felt relaxed.” Bars go for about $12, but you can easily make these last two or three servings.
VEGAN CBD GUMMIES WITH VITAMINS
Sunday Scaries comes in a sour flavor and actually tastes good—almost like a sour version of a Dots candy. “But, still, as far as the intended effect, I cannot vouch for their effectiveness,” one tester reported. Perhaps it’s an acquired taste, an effect that takes time to sink in.
BEST PROTEIN SNACK
VELOBAR CBD BAR
This is a lot like other plant-based protein bars: chock full of dates, nuts, dates, and sugar. Velobar is different than what you’d pick up at your standard grocery store because it contains cannabidiol to help you relax or recover from workouts. “I ate one of these bars while catching up on work one Saturday and found that I did not feel more relaxed about spending my weekend working. But these were tasty and the bitter CBD taste wasn’t detected as is often the case in foods,” our tester reported.
There’s nothing like unwinding with a drink at the end of the day. We’ve got you covered with the best CBD sips, whether you prefer a warm cup of tea or a refreshing can of seltzer.
ONE LOVE TEA
The company offers a wide selection of interesting flavors, like mango, apple pie, and banana bread. “After particularly long days, I make a warm cup of One Love, curl up on the couch, and feel myself instantly relax,” reported one of our testers.
BEST SPARKLING WATER
BIMBLE CBD SPARKLING DRINK
There’s a surprisingly strong selection of CBD sodas out there (including Sprig CBD, which somehow tastes like a Fanta without all the sugars). But our best overall pick goes to Bimble. It’s more refined than a typical soda and far more complex than a seltzer. It comes down to about $6 for each 12 oz glass bottle, which is still less than a cocktail in most U.S. cities. Plus, it contains 25 mg of CBD, which feels just right.
FULL BLOOM MINT
If there’s one thing that takes the fun out of CBD, it’s the unpleasant herbal taste. This Onyx Rose Broad Spectrum CBD oil was not only super effective for immediate relaxation, according to one tester, but the mint flavor provided a refreshing taste to compliment the soothing effects.
The following picks make you look—and feel—great. Science may not be able to say whether CBD delivers on its anti-aging promise, but our staffers swear by these products.
BEST FACE WASH
CBD FACE CLEANSER
This product leaves skin feeling soft and in no way irritated once you wash with it, even though it’s a little gritty going on. The mint is super subtle, which is good; no big tingly effect, no overpowering scent, just a nice-fresh smell. If you have sensitive skin that doesn’t need to be exfoliated all the time, this might not be a daily product for you, but the smoothness it leaves you with is worth bringing into your routine regularly.
BEST FACE CREAM
LIFTED BY EM·BODY
This cream contains Colorado-grown hemp-derived CBD oil and skin-nourishing Vitamin E, along with essential oils of rosemary and mint. “I like that it’s made with minimal ingredients, smells clean, and feels luxurious,” one of our testers said. It’s a win for those with non-existent skincare regimens and product junkies alike.
HIGH EXPECTATIONS CANNABIS FACIAL OIL
This ultra-light oil based formula disappears into skin. Formulated with cannabis sativa oil, as well as a garden full of other botanicals, apply a few drops after washing at bedtime.
LUXURY BEAUTY SERUM
Saint Jane Luxury Beauty Serum contains 500 mg of CBD oil along with 20 botanicals, designed to calm and rejuvenate your skin. You can add it to your regular routine, or use alone as a light moisturizer.
BEST BATH SALTS
CBD INFUSED BATH SALTS
“I usually use straight up epsom salt when I’m feeling especially sore, but after a long day of walking around, these CBD infused bath salts work far better at soothing aches,” one of our testers said. They also contain magnesium, which might ease soreness and muscle pain.
LORD JONES CBD BODY LOTION
This CBD lotion is lightweight, but intensely moisturizing, and has a slight cooling effect to boot. “I don’t use it often (the bottle is small), but I find the addition of CBD helps smooth the rough patches on my elbows and feet better than anything else out there,” one tester reported.
Need a balm to relieve pain after a brutal workout? We got you covered. And what about something to boost your sex life? Yeah, we have a CBD, staff—approved pick for that, too.
BEST ATHLETIC RECOVERY BALM
CBD MUSCLE CREAM
This muscle cream works similarly to Ben-Gay or Icy Hot, which shouldn’t come as a surprise thanks to its second ingredient, menthol, minus the sharp smell.
BEST ATHLETIC RECOVERY STICK
ACTIVE SPORT PAIN RELIEF STICK
The Cannabidiol blended together with camphor and menthol create a relieving sensation you feel quickly penetrating the pain. The stick form makes it easy to carry and have on hand when pain arises, as makes it easy to reach areas like your neck and back.