Pictured: Releaf Balm, Mantra Mask & CBD Shea Butter. Design by Alexis Lira

With its over-the-counter fame, CBD has risen against the ranks of kale and avocado. It’s in our New York empanadas and face masks with milligrams ranging anywhere from 5 to 100 per product.

And whether your corner stone is a bodega or a Walgreens, chances are there’s a bottle of CBD on their shelves.

Experts within the cannabis industry — from journalists to researchers — caution that the claims behind CBD may be overstated (and even sometimes unnecessarily in all our beauty products), and they’re not wrong. Not enough conclusive, long-term research has been done on CBD to justify or prove marketing’s magical claims.

But — and that’s with a capital B — that doesn’t mean it’s not effective either. There are some products that have been good enough to keep editors and my coworkers at Healthline coming back to “add cart.”

1. CBD Natural Pain Reliever by Shea Brand

“When I was intensely sick for two weeks, I carried this balm with me everywhere. The effect on relieving muscle pain was mild (I’m used to pain relievers that have THC) but the real win was how my nose stayed baby soft and chaf-free after days of sand paper friction. I don’t believe it was the shea butter alone, considering I’ve used shea before to no avail, but also the combination of cannabidiol, arnica oil, and vitamin E. Those ingredients have anti-inflammatory and healing properties that make this tin a staple in my care bag.” — Christal Yuen, beauty editor

Milligrams (mg) per purchase: 50 mg

Cost: $30 at Credo Beauty

2. Hemp CBD Infused Bath Salts by Vertly

“Vertly’s bath salts feel like a massage in a bag and always leave me feeling deeply relaxed. The herbs they use turn an ordinary bath into a botanical experience. I soak for about 20 minutes at least once a month. Whenever I’ve had a particularly stressful day or I just want to start a new week with some self-care, I run a bath.” — Isabel Spahn, senior editor

Mg per purchase: 50 mg

Cost: $29 at Vertly

3. Calm Pen by Dosist

“It’s not a skin care product per se, but the Calm pen is really helpful for anxiety and sleep. It’s a 10:1 CBD:THC ratio that measures the dose for you. You definitely don’t feel stoned, but a bit more relaxed without sending you to the moon. I use it when necessary — sometimes before bed depending on the day, but usually it’s a go-to for when I’m feeling a little stressed, socially anxious, or having procrastination anxiety.” — Erin Peterson, editorial director

Mg per purchase: 2.25 mg per dose, 200 doses per pen

Cost: Varies depending on dispensary and if it’s legal in your state

4. W!NK Eye Cream

“This eye cream goes on light, doesn’t leave my skin feeling greasy, and can easily be worn under makeup. [It’s] gentle enough to use twice a day. As a bonus, I feel like I look more awake when I’m wearing it.” — Megan Severs, senior editor

Mg per purchase: 50 mg

Cost: $48 at Wink-Wink

5. Relief Balm! By Papa & Barkley

“I put this on my temples and in the middle of my forehead to relieve headaches and stress, and get my beauty sleep. Plus, it smells amazing!” — Jackie Cruz, project manager

*Quite a few folks on our team swear by this product, especially when cramp fest comes around. You can choose between a CBD:THC ratio of 1:3 or 3:1. For the 1:3 ratio, a little goes a long way. I’ve even used my fingernail as a measurement because of how effective this balm can be.

Mg per purchase: 450 mg CBD:150 mg THC, or 100 mg CBD:300 mg THC

Cost: Varies depending on dispensary and if it’s legal in your state

Bonus: Mantra Mask — CBD line

“I actually woke up with better skin this morning, like noticeably better.” — Sam Dylan Finch, social editor

“I much preferred the collagen mask to the gummy [CBD I also had]. After trying it on my skin, I definitely felt refreshed. The oil was interesting, not my favorite, but I felt nice and calm the rest of the day. Overall, for someone that never tries these kinds of products I’m definitely interested in trying again.” — Anton Paras, senior marketing manager

Mg per purchase: 10–30 mg, depending on the mask

Cost: $15+ at Mantra Mask

Didn’t find the CBD product you’re looking for?

From coffee to cramp-relief, there’s probably a product with CBD available, so how do you choose the best one?

If you’re looking for convenience, CVS and Sephora have your back. If you’re judging by user reviews and popularity, the Instagram algorithm will find you. And if you’re thinking about equity and marginalized communities, shop from Black-owned businesses, who face more stigma and difficultly entering this industry. Some of the brands on our mind include Blissful Stoner Body Essentials, Undefined Beauty ($18 rose elixir!), and Whoopi & Maya.

If their products aren’t available near you, see if your local shops support equity programs.

Read more about the difference between CBD and THC here and here.


Christal Yuen is an editor at Healthline who writes and edits content revolving around sex, beauty, health, and wellness. She’s constantly looking for ways to help readers forge their own health journey. You can find her on Twitter.