Business

The CBD Lifestyle: How the Cannabinoid Became More than a Product

By Joshua Kraus
Stella Chalik, owner of Mishka Oil, carries a tray of double chocolate chip cookies infused with twenty milligrams of CBD oil, at her industrial  kitchen on Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2018 in Chicago. She started her wholesale baking company two years ago.  According to Chalik, half of her products contain CBD oils and these products are distributed to different stores and vendors throughout 15 States. (Chris Sweda/Chicago Tribune)

As the CBD market continues to skyrocket in value, it’s safe to say that the versatile cannabinoid is becoming a major economic engine. The hemp-derived product is no longer relegated to the gummy shelf in your local head shop; CBD is now a lifestyle. Like Apple products or music festivals, more and more people are building their lives around CBD, and its impact is still in early stages.

Stella Chalik, owner of the Chicago-based CBD oil company Mishka Oil and maker of CBD Infused Edibles, attributes the rising CBD lifestyle to education. “More and more people are being educated as to what CBD truly is and all of the incredible benefits that it offers.” And because it’s a natural, holistic product, she says it’s unsurprising that so many consumers are flocking to it.

“People understand that although taking medication can help with one aspect of your life, it also comes with negative side effects. But if you can go the holistic route, it can help with multiple aspects and offer many different benefits.”

Not only are more consumers learning about CBD’s many applications, scientists are working hard to find new ones. When Congress passed the 2018 Farm Bill, thereby ending hemp prohibition, they opened the floodgates for CBD research. Now researchers have more freedom and funding to investigate CBD’s many potential uses, such as a therapeutic alternative to post-traumatic stress disorder, or a treatment for opioid addiction. And the more things CBD can do, the more consumers are able to incorporate it into the many different aspects of their routine.

“People are using it as a regiment,” Chalik says. “They’re using it on a daily basis.”

This is how a product like CBD transforms into a lifestyle. It’s not impossible to imagine someone waking up and taking a CBD capsule for morning migraines, then washing their face with CBD-infused exfoliating cleanser and applying CBD-infused moisturizer. They might give their dog a CBD treat with breakfast to help soothe its arthritis, then vape from a CBD pen on their way to work. They could even follow lunch with a CBD cookie before freshening their breath with a CBD mint.

And that’s just the first half of the day.

If that sounds unrealistic, note that each of those products exist and are available for purchase, and CBD users country-wide are already packing their schedules with them.

For further insight into what these lifestyles actually look like, we spoke to three CBD users to learn their daily routines.

Brittany W. from Rhode Island says she mixes homemade CBD tinctures with kombucha and drinks it slowly throughout the day to produce a microdosing effect. She also carries CBD lotion in her purse and uses it for wrist pain. When she gets home, she’ll usually take an extra dose of tincture, then vape CBD flower to relax before bed.

Cindy from Oregon suffers from inflammation, joint pain, and anxiety, and takes CBD tincture in the morning and right before bed, as the tincture’s slow, gradual release helps sustain its soothing effects over a 24-hour period. She also vapes throughout the day when she feels anxious or experiences aches and pains, and applies topical CBD ointment to specific joints when the pain is more severe.

Beau from Washington takes CBD tincture every morning to treat his epilepsy and mixes a dose into his water to drink throughout the day. He also uses a 1:1 CBD/THC topical lotion for muscle pain, burns, and scrapes, and smokes rolled hemp, which helps him stay away from tobacco.

While these CBD users don’t always make a habit of publicizing their routines, plenty of others are taking advantage of the CBD boom by chronicling their CBD lifestyle for the masses, hoping to earn income as social media influencers.

Instagram users like Sunny Daze and Moreta Fiona document their days of hanging out at hemp farms, smoking flower in the woods, vaping by the pool, and applying oils, all while promoting CBD brands and products. And then there are the established celebrities who have come out in support of CBD. Figures like Martha Stewart and Snoop Dog are partnering with hemp companies to develop new CBD products, and people like former talk show host Montel Williams and NHL athlete Ryan VandenBussche continue to advocate for CBD as a treatment for different ailments.

As innovators add CBD to more products—and invent completely new ones—and more public figures use their platforms to influence the industry, the CBD lifestyle will only grow in popularity. Chalik is banking on this. While her business is currently focused on online and brick-and-mortar retail sales, she plans on expanding that focus to other markets, such as wellness centers and pet shops. “There are tons of other [CBD products] that people can come up with, and it’s just going to continue growing because of education. Education is key.”

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