How to Use Cannabis

From Edibles to Vapes, Leaf411 Has Your Questions Covered

When we first started taking calls on the hotline, one of the biggest surprises was hearing how many people thought marijuana has to be smoked to be effective. In fact, we even featured this misconception as our first Question of the Month!

Many different types of marijuana (cannabis containing >0.3% THC – sold in dispensaries in states that have legalized recreational or medical marijuana) and cannabidiol (CBD) hemp products are available today, designed to fit a wide variety of needs. Your decision on how to use cannabis may be driven by personal preference. You might also consider factors such as how quickly a product will take effect, how long the effect will last, and what issues you’re targeting.

Our cannabis-trained registered nurses are always happy to answer your questions at no cost when you call our free, anonymous Leaf411 hotline 844-LEAF411 (844-532-3411). 

However, we know you might not have specific questions yet. In our guide below, we provide information on different options for using marijuana and CBD products. You’ll also find tips for getting the right dose of this plant-based medicine.

Keep reading, or skip ahead using the links below.


Leaf411 Holiday Gift Guide

Share Your Love of CBD with Family and Friends

Whether you shop online, at the big box stores, or in local craft markets, you’ll likely come across CBD-based gifts for everyone, including the family dog.

Perhaps you’ve had good experiences with CBD products. It makes sense that you would want to provide the gift of CBD (which is also sometimes called hemp) to friends and loved ones who could also benefit from this wonderful plant.

You may also be looking for the perfect gift for yourself, as someone who’s curious to try CBD hemp as part of your wellness regimen.

Leaf411 is happy to present our CBD hemp gift guide, highlighting gift-worthy products from our partner business members. We fully review all our members to ensure their products are compliant with all regulations and are manufactured to the highest standards.

We also share tips for steering away from products that are little more than a lump of coal. After all, no one wants to give a gift that’s a dud.

Is Hemp for Everyone? A Word of Caution Before You Give

So you’re thinking about buying that awesome CBD tincture for you Aunt Deborah who complains of stiffness in the wintertime. Before you pull out your credit card, ask yourself these questions about the person you’re buying a gift for:

  • Are they pregnant, breastfeeding, or under the age of 18? There’s simply not enough evidence yet about on either side of the issue—risks versus benefits—when it comes to how CBD impacts developing fetuses, infants, children and teens. For that reason, Leaf411 suggests sticking with topical products like skin cream for this group.
  • Are they undergoing chemotherapy, taking blood thinners or other long-term medications? Cannabidiol works through the endocannabinoid system, with endocannabinoids broken down by enzymes. CBD is metabolized through specific liver enzymes that also play an important role in metabolizing certain medications. In short, CBD may impact certain medications in a similar way that grapefruit does. We recommend sticking with topical products for these folks to try first, which carry the lowest risk of medication interaction. Also, either you or your gift recipient are encouraged to consult with a physician or call our free nurse hotline at 844-LEAF411 (844-532-3411) for help with your questions.
  • Do they have a job that requires drug testing? This is a tricky issue. The 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp products containing less than 0.3 percent tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the compound that provides the cannabis “high.” THC levels in full-spectrum CBD products are so low that you will not feel any psychoactive effects—however, there’s debate about whether they could trigger a positive drug test result. For people who work in construction, transportation, public safety, healthcare, the military or other industries, full-spectrum CBD may not be worth the risk of a career-ending positive drug test.

If you’re determined to buy a hemp-based gift for someone who has concerns about drug testing or is worried about even miniscule THC content, stay away from full-spectrum CBD products. Instead, look for products that specifically say “No THC” on the label, or which are either broad-spectrum or CBD isolate.

Broad spectrum products “should” have all THC removed, though the beneficial terpenes and flavonoids remain. Terpenes, which are present in both cannabis and hemp plants, do not impact drug tests. However, terpenes and cannabidiol work together creating the beneficial entourage effect.

CBD isolate products “should” contain only CBD. All THC, terpenes and flavonoids are removed by the manufacturer.

Why do we emphasize the word “should” when describing different product types? The CBD hemp industry currently lacks clear product labeling standards, and some manufacturers confuse the terms “full spectrum” and “broad spectrum” in their advertising and on product labels.

This makes finding brands you trust especially important when looking for THC-free CBD. Does the manufacturer provide a certificate of analysis (COA) for their product? These are often listed on the manufacturer website in their own section (look along the main website header or footer for a link). COA lab results will verify whether the product contains trace amounts of THC. The COA will also confirm whether the product provides the CBD as advertised.

Leaf411 member businesses provide COAs for their products. Their customer support teams can help you find an item that fits your loved one’s needs, as well.

Our Leaf411 hotline nurses are also available to walk you through any manufacturers’ COA to determine if the product will deliver on its promises. Call us toll-free at 844-LEAF411 (844-532-3411) with your questions.

How to Choose CBD Hemp Gifts that Fit

When it comes to gifts for hemp newbies, stick with products that have familiar features and lower concentrations of CBD. Most everyone is familiar with how to use body lotion even if it contains cannabidiol. On the other hand, a CBD dab rig might be too extreme for Grandma!

Want something special for a friend who already uses CBD? Look for clues with the products they already use. Do they prefer topical creams? If so, look for new CBD hemp body care items they might like to try.

Hemp-Based Gifts for Skin Care and Beauty Enthusiasts

Hemp-based skincare products feel amazing during the cold, dry winter season. Cannabinol (CBD) has both anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that helps restore stressed dry skin. There are minimal risks associated with hemp skin care products, though you’ll want to carefully check the product label for other ingredients that could be irritating or unwanted. Check the manufacturer’s COA to ensure you’re getting what you’re paying for when it comes to CBD content. Also, beware that hemp seed oil is not the same as cannabidiol/CBD—we explain the difference below.

This holiday season, Leaf411 business member Color Up Therapeutics is offering special hemp holiday sets geared toward relaxation, rejuvenation and travel. Gift sets like these provide a great opportunity to test out different hemp-based products!

CBD Products Designed for Guys

Men appreciate high-quality skin and hair products that are created just for them. CBD shaving cream and beard oil are growing in popularity, with many men finding they make for a better shave. Remember to always check the product ingredients and COA.

Clean Coconut, one of our founding members, offers Man Scrub to scour away dirt and grime while moisturizing skin. While this product is marketed toward men, we have a feeling there are women out there who might appreciate it as well!

Performance-Driven Hemp Gifts for Athletes

There’s been strong interest in CBD among professional and amateur athletes and it’s no wonder—high-quality hemp-based products can make a noticeable difference in post-game recovery. Since the World Anti-Doping Agency removed CBD from the list of banned substances in 2017, athletes across multiple sports are using hemp to improve performance and reduce recovery times. It’s important to note that THC is still banned, though, so make sure any gifts for competitive athletes are THC-free.

Companies like Arcanum, one of our founding members, have developed products tailored to athletes’ needs, including beginner-friendly salt soaks and topical cooling gels.

CBD Pet Treats for Fido

At Leaf411, we love sharing dog-approved CBD treats with our four-legged friends. CBD can keep your dog’s tail wagging through the stressful holiday season. Older dogs also benefit from hemp-based treats during the wintertime, when colder temperatures limit outdoor activity and aggravate arthritis.

Everyone knows that chocolate is bad for dogs. But did you know that your CBD gummies and flavored tinctures may contain Xylitol, an artificial sweetener that is toxic to dogs?

When shopping for canine gifts, stick with CBD oil and treats developed specifically for pets. These products come in dog-friendly doses, often with flavors that your best friend will appreciate, like Arcanum’s Hemp Bacon pet tincture.

Our partner Color Up Therapeutics also offers pet CBD drops that include fish oil as a beneficial addition to cannabidiol.

Not sure about where to start with CBD and your pet? Veterinary Cannabis provides guidance to pet parents, veterinarians, and product creators about the medicinal properties of cannabis, as well as how to use CBD products with pets. Their Veterinary Cannabis library is a good place to start!

Don’t Forget the Family Cat!

If you’re a cat owner, you likely know that supplements and medications can be trickier with felines. Doses are different, and individual cats may respond differently to the same medications. Despite the challenges in finding the right CBD product for your cat and convincing them to ingest it, many cat owners report success.

Online retailer CBD Garage sells Earth Buddy brand hemp treats for dogs and cats that contain a blend of CBD, mushrooms and herbs.

Tips for Buying High-Quality CBD Hemp Gifts

CBD products are legal across the United States and are widely available in stores and online. Your biggest challenge can be finding a retailer you trust:

  • Can the seller answer your questions about specific product ingredients?
  • Do they provide COAs for products they’re selling, or know where to find them online?
  • Does the retailer offer customer support in case you or the gift recipient have questions or concerns?

Leaf411 business member CBD Garage is a good example of a responsible, trustworthy online retailer that ships products across the U.S. They offer a wide range of hemp-based products for people and pets, along with education and robust customer support.

Last Thoughts: Hemp Seed is Not the Same as CBD

Before we wrap up our gift guide, let’s talk about what isn’t CBD. Hemp seed or hemp seed oil, also called cannabis sativa seed oil, contains only trace amounts of CBD. While hemp seed oil may provide beneficial essential fatty acids for hair and skin, it likely won’t provide the benefits of cannabidiol that you’re looking for.

Product branding can make it tough, too. For example, a popular body care brand features a cannabis leaf and tag lines like “Get Baked,” though their ingredient lists make it clear that the products contain only hemp seed oil.

Some products contain both CBD and also hemp seed oil as the carrier agent that the CBD is infused into—these products will list both CBD and hemp seed oil separately.

Other brands confuse CBD oil with hemp seed oil, acting as if they are the same thing in order to charge the premium prices associated with CBD.

We’re not saying that hemp seed oil products don’t make great gifts—but if your goal is to provide the benefits of cannabidiol, these products won’t deliver.

With all the name variations, it can be easy to get confused! Just remember that hemp seed oil and cannabis sativa seed oil are the same thing, and do not contain significant amounts of CBD.

We Can Help

Still contemplating that CBD dab rig for Grandma? While our cannabis-trained nurses can’t do your holiday shopping for you, we’re happy to provide balanced information, including the pros and cons of different CBD hemp products. Contact us at the free hotline: 844-LEAF411 (844-532-3411)