As more and more U.S. states began legalizing marijuana for medical and recreational use, it was only a matter of time before things started to get more interesting than a Broad City binge. CBD, aka cannabidiol, is the highly favored chemical compound within the cannabis plant (with THC a close second). What makes CBD so special is that it's non-psychoactive, meaning you can reap its benefits without getting baked as a Christmas potato. What are these benefits? Glad you asked.

CBD, either ingested or applied topically, is claimed to relieve symptoms associated with epilepsy, Crohn's disease, fibromyalgia, Parkinson's, anxiety, depression, chronic pain and a host of other discomforts. Even if you don't suffer from an aforementioned affliction, chances are you could benefit from an infusion of moisture, cramp relief or reduced inflammation. As a complete and total product junkie, I set out to discover the CBD options available at a friendly Denver-area weed store. So, what can cannabidiol actually do for you?

1. It can protect you against the elements

Products such as Elixinol CBD Rescue Balm, a non-greasy, completely natural elixir, keep skin healthy, strong and youthful looking. It’s especially valued in arid climates and anywhere with a mean winter. As your first line of defense against harsh weather, your skin needs all the protection it can get. The combination of CBD, rosemary leaf, hemp oil, eucalyptus and ucuuba butter make it smell like a fairy forest and lend a feel of sublime humidity. It came highly recommended by some folks who spend their winter days on the slopes and need a pick-me-up for chapped skin when the lifts shut down. 


2. It can chill you out without getting you high

Featuring ashwagandha (an herb noted for its calming effects), peppermint oil, lemon balm and passionflower, Dixie Elixirs Synergy Mints offer a small, 10-milligram dose of CBD and THC (another chemical compound in the cannabis plant) and a sufficient dose of Zen. Let one dissolve on your tongue and within an hour you’ll feel joyful and relaxed. Easily the most versatile breath mint ever created. 


3. It relieves painful menstrual cramps

There’s no shortage of products on the market promising to ease life-ruining period pain, but there must be something more potent than naproxen sodium, amiright? Boasting a mix of CBD and THC, Foria Relief suppositories claim to erase that nasty feeling of having your ovaries scraped out of your body with a rusty spoon. And: They actually work. At about $10 per suppository, the price may seem a bit steep, but the effects are long lasting. Plus, the muscle tension is actually relieved instead of pain simply being temporarily masked. For reference, pre-rolled joints are sold for about $10 in Denver-area shops, so just think of this experience as Woodstock for your uterus. 


4. It can stimulate your libido

Foria Explore is a blend of jojoba extract, enhanced with THC and CBD. Apply a suppository into the area you wish you stimulate and experience your nether regions open like one of those time-lapse tropical flowers on Planet Earth. The ingredients encourage increased blood flow to the area, making for increased sensitivity and arousal as well as pelvic relaxation.


5. It can relax your muscles and dissolve tension related to injuries

Hit the gym a little hard this week? Repainting your room? Exhaust your arm with all the pro-democracy sign carrying as of late? Mary’s Nutritionals Muscle Freeze is a muscle-melting balm that loosens tight tissues and restores mobility. This scoliosis sufferer used it on her back a few nights in a row and hasn’t had a bit of pain since. Athletes are now benefiting from a post-workout CBD dosage, whether in the form of oil or a topical ointment massaged directly on the point of pain or stress. CBD's anti-inflammatory benefits can speed up the recovery time of aching joints and muscles, and help you have a deep and restful sleep. 


6. It’s an excellent moisturizer and pain reliever

Apothecanna Stimulating Body Creme smells delicious and promises to dissuade joint pain for hours. What more do you want? This grapefruit-scented lotion contains cannabis, capsaicin (the spicy component in chili peppers), calendula and ginger, all of which combine to reduce inflammation and moisturize skin while providing an invigorating and warming effect. 


7. It can help reduce depression and anxiety

Another newly popular way to gain the relaxing benefits of CBD is to pop a single pill, such as the CBDrx capsules. They're highly recommended for people who suffer from PTSD or insomnia and provide the other benefits known to CBD, including relief from arthritis, Parkinson’s, seizures and other debilitating conditions. 


8. It can make your relaxing bath even more effective

Who doesn’t like to soak their body in a tub of warm, lavender-scented water with a little twist of pain relief? Containing 10 mg of THC per serving, Dixie Bath Soak claims that 15 minutes is all you need for lasting relief of muscle and joint pain. While rare, it’s possible for one to experience the psychotropic effect of the THC in this case, but 10 mg is not a major dose. As long as you're not prone to freaking out over the possibility of catching a mild high, you'll be right as rain.


9. It works for dogs, too! 

Hemp Fields Farm CBD Dog Treats are organic biscuits made with CBD extract and other organic ingredients like whole wheat, brown rice flour, flax. The benefits for your pooch are similar to the benefits you also enjoy, and these are highly recommended for older canines with arthritis or other painful conditions. (Seriously, what will they think of next?) You can also find Herbal Renewals CBD oil for pets, which helps reduce stress, diminish nervousness and improve appetite in dogs. Cat treats have not yet been tested; we suspect Bob Meowly might benefit more from LSD therapy

By Megan Frye

Megan Frye is a professional vagabond who swears she's danced with the dead at the pyramids. She can usually be found eating her way around Mexico City. Tweet her about the food that makes you squeal at @fryechild, or see what she’s up to on Instagram at @gypsy_fire