If you’re interested in learning more about the benefits (and limitations) of CBD, we’re here to give our honest review.
Curious about what the benefits of CBD are? Interested in exploring natural cures to things like anxiety or inflammation? CBD products have been gaining popularity all over the globe for good reason. Unlike its cousin, THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), one of the 104 known compounds in the cannabinoids group, CBD does not have any psychoactive effects. This means that CBD doesn’t have any dependence potential, there’s no way to “overdose” and it won’t make you “high”. In fact, The World Health Organization (WHO) considers CBD a safe, non-toxic and non-addictive substance. So, if you’re keen to understand more, here’s a little overview and our take on the products we tried and tested.
How it works:
CBD works through the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) in our body to generate encocannabinoids and process phytocannabinoids in order to help us return to homeostasis (which is essentially the stable normal we’re constantly ebbing and flowing from). CBD combines with the body to adjust our stress response, balancing the body and mind. Because it adapts uniquely to you, it’s known as an adaptogen. It’s said to have therapeutic effects, like helping ease symptoms of depression and anxiety. It’s also used for its anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidising and analgesic (pain relieving) properties. For many, this results in better sleep, soothed muscle tensions and a sense of calm or focus.
How it’s used:
For optimal effect, people use CBD daily, as a form of supplement, instead of treating it as medication. As a plant extract, CBD can create a synergistic effect when combined with extracts from other botanicals or herbs. For example, the sense of pain relief and anti-inflammation can be heightened when it’s combined with an ingredient like turmeric.
What’s the difference between CBD, THC and Hemp?
CBD oil is made from a mixture of parts of a mature hemp plant (everything from its stalks to its flowers), whilst hemp oil comes from only the seed. Hemp seed oil does not contain CBD or THC. There are three main types of CBD: Full Spectrum CBD, which can contain a trace amount of THC (0.2-1% ), broad Spectrum CBD, which contains no THC but does contain other compounds, and CBD Isolate, which contains only the CBD compound. This information should be provided on a product label but, because many CBD products are marketed as dietary supplements, there is no clear regulation.
Different metabolisms and needs mean different dosages are required and there’s no one-size-fits-all. This can be used as a general rule of thumb, however:
At a lower dose (5-20mg) CBD promotes focus and clarity, at a higher dose (25-50mg), it’s more sedating and promotes a sense of calm and relaxation.
Is CBD legal in Hong Kong?
Based on the Pharmacy and Poisons Ordinance, products containing Cannabidiol (CBD and Hemp) must be registered with the Pharmacy and Poisons Board of Department of Health (DoH), (Cap. 138, Laws of Hong Kong). If it’s registered, it’s legal!
Where to get CBD in Hong Kong:
Quality CBD products come packaged with transparency in ingredients. As always, clean products will leave you feeling comfortable and educated in your decisions. There are a few places to get Cannabidiol products in Hong Kong, including CBD oil from KIKI Health and Hemp oil from Lush. Team Sassy tested products from Heavens Please, a premium CBD lifestyle brand based in Hong Kong. The brand offers CBD and natural products from all over the world. It also focuses on educating the public, to gradually lift the stigma on natural ways of healing.
Name: Jordanne Grey, Partnerships Manager
The product I tried was… PM Formula by YUYO BOTANICS
My first impression of CBD was… The product itself was beautifully designed. It felt as if I was investing in a very healing experience for my mind and body.
The aim of PM FORMULA is to… Help alleviate restlessness, lack of sleep, aches and pains, high tension headaches.
The reason I felt drawn to try this particular CBD product was… I find it very hard to “switch off” in Hong Kong and I always feel very busy and stressed up until the exact moment I go to bed. With that in mind, I was keen to design a relaxing nightly ritual for myself and wanted to try a product that would aid me in feeling calmer and more centred before going to sleep.
I expected to feel… Quite sleepy, along the lines of when I take melatonin or other natural sleep aid.
The first time I tried it, I felt… Relaxed, but quite expectant and waiting to fall asleep which is probably counterproductive to the whole point. I actually enjoyed the taste, which was earthy and pleasant.
After trying the product for a week, I felt… I began to look forward to my nightly dose of “self-care” and I liked the fact that it was a direct signal to my mind and body that bedtime had arrived. As a result of some other medication, I’ve been waking up with headaches frequently which hasn’t happened since trying CBD.
At the end of our two-week trial, I felt… 100% more well rested. I’ve slept straight through the night several times since taking CBD oil which is quite rare for me. I was also battling some intense jet lag and I think the pm formula definitely helped get me into a local sleeping pattern much quicker. I felt like I was doing something really good for my body and it was a nice change not to feel guilty about using chemical sleeping aids like I have in the past. I know CBD is meant to have a more cumulative effect rather than be a quick fix, so I am looking forward to seeing how the next few weeks go.
Best for… Anyone looking to indulge in a pre-bedtime self-care ritual, or anyone who wants to feel calmer before drifting off to sleep without using synthetic sleeping tablets.
Will you keep using it? Are you keen to try other CBD products now? I would like to keep using it, but it does come with a pretty hefty price tag, so I am also quite keen to try the am formula to see which might be more suited to my lifestyle
In an Emoji: 🌙
Name: Daisy Dudley, Art Director
The product I tried was… AM Formula by YUYO BOTANICS
My first impression of CBD was… I’ve tried CBD before in a state in America where cannabis is legalised and was initially drawn to try it to see what it was like to have the relaxing effects of cannabinoid extract without anything else. I’m happy to see it becoming more mainstream and particularly interested to see how it can help with conditions such as long term pain and anxiety.
The aim of YUYO BOTANICS, AM Formula is to… Manage aches and pains, to reduce stress and to maintain overall wellness.
The reason I felt drawn to try this particular CBD product was… I was keen to see how it affected my back pain and if it made a change to feelings of stress or worry.
I expected to feel… Really relaxed.
The first time I tried it, I felt… Fairly relaxed and floaty but then again I just came from yoga so it may have been that. The taste of the tincture was nicer than I expected, with a peppermint and lemon flavour.
After trying the product for a week, I felt… Not as much of an effect as I expected, but I was advised that the impact was cumulative, so to keep going.
At the end of our two-week trial, I felt… Taking the tincture did relieve feelings of daily light stress. I didn’t notice any significant back pain during the trial so it may have been helping that too. As I’ve heard from other people who take CBD, I noticed when I forgot to take it that feelings of worry came about more quickly rather than noticing a big change when I did take it.
Best for… People who know they are prone to light anxiety or low-level body pain.
Will you keep using it? Are you keen to try other CBD products now? I will keep using this product especially if I know I have a stressful period (hello, wedding planning!) coming up. Next, I would like to try the YUYO BOTANICS, PM Formula which has a higher dose of cannabinoid extract as I tend to wake up in the night with anxiety and worry. I’m a big fan of essential oils and pillow sprays but something natural (and a little stronger) to help me sleep is worth trying to me.
In an Emoji: 😌
Name: Annie Simpson, Editor
The product I tried was… Copius Body Serum by KHUS + KHUS
My first impression of CBD was… From the people I know who tried CBD products, I had heard great things. It seemed to have multiple benefits in terms of nerves, anxious, stress and general mental health.
The aim of the Copius Body Serum is to… Help skin concerns such as oiliness, acne and wrinkles, as well as to help combat nervous tension, pain, insomnia, stress and anxiety.
The reason I felt drawn to try this particular CBD product was… I have anxious tendencies and can have trouble sleeping, so was keen to try anything that would help me relax a little.
I expected to feel… I was hoping to feel relaxed and less anxious, with the added bonus of the body serum hopefully leaving my skin feeling super soft!
The first time I tried it, I felt… I was surprised that the serum was more of a body oil, as I expected it to be a cream-based product. This does mean that a little goes quite a long way though, so the bottle is sure to last. In all honestly, I can’t say I felt much difference after a couple tries of the product, other than enjoying the light lavender-smell and an excuse to spend a little more time on a self-care routine.
After trying the product for a week, I felt… I didn’t notice a huge difference in my usual day-to-day at first, but enjoyed using the product all the same.
At the end of our two-week trial, I felt… Similarly, after two weeks I can’t say I felt a huge difference. Though when used at night time, I do think that the product helped me nod off a little quicker than usual, which is always a bonus! I loved using it after an evening shower to help unwind.
Best for… Anyone who needs to relax a little and enjoy a little “me-time”.
Will you keep using it? Are you keen to try other CBD products now? I’ll definitely continue to use the product, especially at night time. I would also be keen to try out other CBD products to see if they had stronger or differing effects. The Strava Craft Coffee sounds interesting, as I love the taste of coffee, but can’t say that it helps with anxiety, so it could be a winner.
In an Emoji: 💜
Name: Sam Book, Marketing Manager
The products I tried were… Strava Craft Coffee Beans by Elevate and Organic Turmeric Salve by Yuyo Botanics.
My first impression of CBD was… I’ve been curious about trying CBD for its potential benefits for a while, and am always keen to find a more natural alternative.
The aim of Elevate, Strava Craft Coffee beans is to… Feel alert, calm and focused.
The aim of Yuyo Botanics Organic Turmeric Salve is to… Help combat inflammation, relieve sore muscles, joint pain, itching and skin irritation.
The reason I felt drawn to try this particular CBD product was…
As someone with a love of (and, arguably, an unhealthy addiction to) coffee, I was keen to see if drinking a hemp-infused cup of joe would help alleviate some of the less desirable side effects I’ve had from my caffeine regime, like heightened anxiety. Having recently embarked on a new weight training regime, I was banking on the Turmeric Salve to soothe my aching muscles.
I expected to feel… More balanced than usual in day-to-day life and hopefully less achy after exercise – both would be no mean feat!
The first time I tried it… The coffee tasted great and in a taste test I wouldn’t have been able to tell the difference, or that it was hemp-infused – good news for coffee puritans! I wouldn’t say I felt a calming benefit instantly but enjoyed the fact that I was offsetting my caffeine consumption with the balancing benefits of hemp.
The Turmeric Salve was another story – from the first time I applied it I could feel the soothing benefits on my aching post-workout muscles and the fragrance of menthol and aloe was heavenly! Heavens Please described the salve as CBD’s answer to Tiger Balm and I was pleasantly surprised to feel the same benefits as I normally get from Tiger Balm without the burning feeling.
After trying the product for a week, I felt… I continued to enjoy my Elevate coffee each morning and by the end of the first week would definitely say I was finding myself feeling less anxious after drinking my morning coffee. I enjoyed the taste of the blend too.
I loved the muscle-soothing benefits I got from using the Turmeric Salve after exercise and it quickly found its way into my evening routine.
At the end of our two-week trial, I felt… I enjoyed the Strava Coffee Company coffee for the two weeks that I tried it for. Will I be switching out my regular bean for a hemp-infused version full time? Probably not, but it was great to try a product that offered an alternative to just getting a jolt of caffeine in the morning.
I loved using the Turmeric Salve and found it soothing and relieving not only for muscle aches from exercise, but for period pain and on my too-much-tech induced neck aches. It was great to have an alternative to popping some painkillers when I wanted to relieve muscle pain.
Best for… If you love your coffee but would like to counteract the side effects of caffeine without compromising on flavour, I would highly recommend trying Elevate. The Turmeric Salve is ideal for anyone looking for a natural topical muscle reliever and an alternative to painkillers.
Will you keep using it? Are you keen to try other CBD products now? I won’t be switching my coffee out for hemp but will continue to use the Turmeric Salve for sure. I’d be keen to try more topical CBD products as I was so pleasantly surprised by the benefits I found with the salve.
In an Emoji: 💪
Sassy Perk: As a special bonus to our readers, Heavens Please is offering 10% off your first purchase. Simply use the code: SASSYGIRLS at checkout.
All images courtesy of Heavens Please.