Questions about CBD and Manuka honey? Our blog has answers about the potential anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties of these two powerful natural compounds 

Medically reviewed by Katherine Golden, RN, and Eloise Theisen, NP
Written by Denise Gonzalez-Walker

Hemp CBD is showing promise for managing a wide range of health concerns, from inflammation and pain to stress and sleepless nights. Some hemp brands are even adding familiar ingredients like melatonin, turmeric, skullcap and other natural compounds to create products tailored to these different needs and preferences.

On this front, one of our members, Bespoke Extracts, recently launched an updated Manuka honey-infused CBD tincture and topical cream. Their product launch piqued our interest in the antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects that both hemp and honey share.

Bespoke UMF15+ Manuka Honey Infused CBD Cream with 1,000mg broad spectrum CBD per jar, and Bespoke UMF15+ Manuka Honey Infused CBD Tincture, available in a a 60ml bottle with 1,800mg CBD isolate per bottle (30mg CBD per serving), or a 30ml bottle with 1,000mg CBD isolate per bottle (33 mg CBD per serving).
Manuka honey used in Bespoke CBD products has a thicker consistency and richer color.

What makes Manuka honey different, and why quality matters

Manuka honey comes from bees that pollinate certain species of tea tree plants in Australia and New Zealand. The honey has a different appearance than you may be used to, with a thicker consistency and cloudy yellow color thanks to the bees’ diet. The bees’ diet also appears to give Manuka honey extra oomph when it comes to potential health benefits, but like with any other ingredient, quality matters. 

“We import premium grade UMF 15+ Manuka honey directly from the source in New Zealand,” says Danny Pollack, Bespoke CEO. “There aren’t many other companies combining CBD and Manuka honey to begin with. Among the products that are available, ours is on the higher end when it comes to UMF grade, setting us apart from the competition.”

These new products join Bespoke’s line of hemp products containing CBD, CBG and CBN.

Danny pointed out the Manuka honey base is also very flavorful—his favorite way to consume it is in his tea. 

“We offer several different flavors in other Bespoke hemp tinctures, including berry and citrus flavors. They taste great, but you still get that little bit of an aftertaste—that earthy hemp flavor that is off-putting to some people,” Danny said. “However, with the Manuka honey tincture, you really get the sweetness of the honey without that aftertaste of hemp. It smells and tastes great.” 

Indeed, Manuka honey not only tastes good, but is also gaining attention for its unique chemical profile and health potential above and beyond other types of honey.

Close up Manuka honey CBD cream being applied to a minor abrasion on a woman’s knee.

Benefits of honey for healing

Last summer, Leaf411 co-founder and CEO Katherine Golden, RN, learned firsthand about the healing power of honey when she volunteered with the City of Denver’s COVID testing program for the homeless population. 

“The other nurses and I also volunteered in the day clinic which provides general medical care for the homeless. The most requested treatment was wound care. It was fascinating to see the use of honey sheets in the clinic to promote rapid healing,” Katherine said. 

In fact, honey has been used medicinally for thousands of years to treat skin wounds and bacterial infections, though research has only recently begun to fully understand the underlying mechanisms.

Wooden frame from a beehive, full of honey with light shining through.

While honey may look like a simple product, studies have found that it’s quite complex, made up of over 181 different substances including natural sugars, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, amino acids, polyphenols and even hydrogen peroxide. Together, these ingredients have measurable antibiotic potential, as described in an International Journal of Microbiology article:

“Many factors have been shown to contribute to the antibacterial activity of honey, such as its high viscosity, mostly due to a high sugar concentration and low water content, which helps to provide a protective barrier to prevent infection. In addition, the mild acidity and hydrogen peroxide content have obvious antimicrobial effects.”

Other research has shown that honey may have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, can serve as a useful tool when managing coughs and GI issues, and also may help with mouth sores that occur as a side effect from radiation therapy.

What level of Manuka honey is best?

Of course, not all honey is the same. The bees’ diet, along with environmental factors, impact honey’s antibacterial properties. 

Even within the world of Manuka honey, quality matters, with a UMF grading system used to indicate the potency and antibacterial activity of the honey. The UMF rating can range from 5 to 25+, with a higher number indicating more of the beneficial compounds are present. You can learn more at this link.

Bespoke Extracts uses premium UMF 15+ Manuka honey sourced directly from New Zealand, which contains optimal levels of leptosperin, methylglyoxal (MGO), and other compounds that are unique to this product and contribute to its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.

How to use Manuka honey infused CBD for wellness and recovery

Both hemp and Manuka honey share anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties, so it’s not surprising to see the two ingredients appearing more frequently together in products geared toward wellness and recovery.

Bespoke UMF15+ Manuka Honey Infused CBD Tincture, available in a 30ml bottle with 1,000mg CBD isolate per bottle, or a 60ml bottle with 1,800mg CBD isolate per bottle.

CBD Manuka honey tinctures work much like other traditional hemp CBD tinctures, providing more generalized relief from chronic conditions like pain, inflammation, insomnia and anxiety. 

  • Most people will feel effects within 30-90 minutes, with effects lasting 4-6 hours.
  • If you are new to CBD, it is best to start with the lowest dose possible (we recommend 5mg). 
  • Not feeling effects yet? We suggest sticking with the same dose for at least 3 days  Before increasing your dose.
  • Build up your dose by adding 5mg  every 3 days and slowly work your way up until you achieve symptom relief. 
  • If you are experienced at using CBD tinctures, you can start with your current dose or even a little less and work up from there. Not all products are created equal and taking a little less to start helps avoid potential side effects.
  • Some people may find that CBD tinctures cause drowsiness, diarrhea or appetite changes. We suggest first trying new CBD products at home when you don’t have a busy schedule, just in case you have any of these side effects.

Honey, just like CBD and many other natural compounds, may interact with other medications, in particular anticoagulants like clopidogrel (Plavix) and warfarin (Coumadin), as well as certain anti-platelet drugs. If you are unsure whether your medications will be affected by CBD-infused Manuka honey, call our Leaf Nurses at 844-LEAF411 (844-532-3411) for answers to your questions, at no cost to you.

Bespoke UMF15+ Manuka Honey Infused CBD Cream with 1,000mg broad spectrum CBD per jar.

The combination of Manuka honey and CBD in products like Bespoke UMF15+ Manuka Honey Infused CBD Cream allow for anti-inflammatory benefits and pain relief without side effects that can possibly occur with ingestion. Topicals also provide a good option for targeted relief on the go, helping to relieve itching and soothe sunburns and other minor burns, as well as providing gentle relief for achy joints, muscles or other painful areas. 

  • Apply CBD Manuka honey topical cream to the affected area. Most people feel relief within 15-20 minutes, with the effects lasting several hours. 
  • Keep in mind the other ingredients in any topical products you use. Bespoke UMF15+ Manuka Honey Infused Manuka Cream also includes natural menthol and peppermint oil, so you should expect a cooling effect.

In fact, one thing we really appreciate about all of Bespoke’s products, including their CBD, CBG and CBN lines, is that they include a full list of ingredients and Certificates of Analysis (COAs) on their website. 

Bespoke also offers discounts for frontline workers, U.S. military veterans and people aged 55 or older, as well discounts for shoppers who sign up for emails. Check out the Bespoke homepage for more details.

Plain amber bottles lined up, representing the array of hemp CBD options on the market today.

Sorting through today’s hemp CBD options

Manuka honey is only one of many natural ingredients showing up in today’s hemp products. While these products offer exciting potential, we recommend starting low with your dose and going slow to find your optimal dose. 

Also, we recommend consulting with your primary care provider before adding CBD, Manuka honey or other supplements to your regimen to ensure there are no potential medication interactions or other concerns like an allergy to honey. 

Our fully-licensed Leaf RNs can also help answer your questions at no cost to you. Call the Leaf411 hotline at 844-LEAF411 (844-532-3411) or chat us from our home page during hotline hours, Monday-Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. MDT.

The Leaf411 cannabis nurse hotline provides free, anonymous education and directional support to the general public about the safe use of legal cannabis. We partner with select business members who meet our rigorous standards to extend our education and outreach efforts.