The variety of CBD products on the market has long outrun the original tinctures and gummies that first introduced the nonintoxicating cannabinoid to consumers. You can now find it listed as an ingredient in almost anything that touches your skin — lotion, oil, lip balm, shampoo, even socks. Plus, chefs and bakers are putting it in all sorts of delicious morsels. Tennessee is home to many small businesses getting a foothold in the market, and we were curious: Is this truly a magical elixir, or are folks getting carried away?
We set out to do some sampling. We looked for brands that use quality ingredients creatively in products that do what they claim. We gave extra points for professional product design and the ease of using the website. Here’s what we liked most.
Turmeric Salve, $35-$70
Yuyo Botanics is a local, woman-owned company that handles all of my CBD needs. Their products are made from an array of botanicals, like sweet orange oil, lemongrass and cinnamon. (And the website handily notes the benefits of each.) My favorite product is the Turmeric Salve, a formula of hemp extract, organic aloe leaf juice, turmeric and several other soothing herbs. Turmeric is anti-inflammatory, and this sweet-smelling salve relieves my chronic back pain and menstrual cramps. I highly recommend it as a Mother’s Day gift — my ma uses it to soothe her neuropathy. The true miracle? It goes on smoothly and doesn’t leave a sticky residue.
Tip: Got an anxious kitty or pup? I use Yuyo’s Pet Formula to calm my stress-prone cat Frittata. A couple drops is all it takes for him to chill out. EC
Saturated Ice Cream
Juneteenth flavor, $10-$21
When Lokelani Alabanza lost her job as executive pastry chef at Hattie Jane’s Creamery at the start of the pandemic, she didn’t have to dig too deep into her repertoire when deciding what to do next. She was already known for innovative and delicious dessert creations, so she used her ice cream powers for good and founded Saturated, a line of plant-based CBD ice cream. While I was definitely a little more happy and relaxed after polishing off a serving of Juneteenth (a bright and tangy raspberry, hibiscus and lime sorbet mixed in with an equal dose of creamy coconut ice cream), I can’t confidently say which was responsible for elevating my mood — the 20 milligrams of CBD or Alabanza’s knack for flawless flavor profiles.
Tip: While many flavors are available as pints, Saturated’s 4-ounce cups are the perfect single serving to keep in the freezer for when you want to CBD and chill. MS
Revive Herbal CBD Bath Salts, $25-$35
Always curious about what’s good in our sister city to the west, we checked out Jade’s Elevation, a Memphis company that grows hemp on a small urban farm, extracts rosin using heat and pressure, and creates a bevy of soothing products. We tried the Revive Herbal CBD Bath Salts. A blend of Epsom salts, hemp milk, dried herbs and full-spectrum hemp rosin, Jade’s bath salts make for a tranquil soak in the tub. The fragrance is soothing but subtle — just right for folks like me who do not get along with strong-smelling essential oils.
Tip: Put on a cozy-mystery audiobook, dim the lights and soak for 30 minutes for the best effect. Follow it with Zennessee Organics Lux Body Oil (item No. 4 in our roundup). EC
Lux Body Oil, $27
Local brand Zennessee Organics sells a collection of CBD products online and at the Nashville Farmers’ Market, where they’re more than happy to chat about your needs. I chose the Lux Body Oil on the recommendation of a friend, and I love it. CBD is blended with several oils — avocado, sweet almond, jojoba and olive — giving it a sweet, comforting scent that doesn’t overwhelm. A couple of drops go a long way, and I expect my 2-ounce bottle to keep my skin hydrated for months. I imagine it also makes for a great massage oil.
Tip: The folks at Zennessee were kind enough to throw in some of their 25-milligram CBD gummies. One of those took care of a nagging afternoon headache, so I could get my work done and chill at home. EC
Mint Strips, $35
At Hillsboro Village’s Anzie Blue, you can eat, drink or wear your CBD — the line of products includes everything from blackberry-flavored tinctures to sports balm and pet treats, and for $2 they’ll add cannabidiol (that’s CBD’s full name) to any drink on their coffee and tea menu. Anzie Blue’s mint strips are a convenient way to handle the inevitable post-brunch coffee breath. Each $35 tin contains 10 tiny breath strips — they’re as thin as paper and as small as your fingerprint. Just pop the strip on the inside of your cheek or under your tongue and let it dissolve for fresh breath and 20 milligrams of made-in-the-USA CBD. Admittedly the minty freshness doesn’t last longer than 20 minutes or so, but the strips are still pleasing.
Tip: Anzie Blue recently partnered with Marigold Popcorn to introduce CBD-infused popcorn — check out flavors rosemary-basil and milk-chocolate drizzle before your next movie night. MS
Bang Candy Company
Dream Drops, $50
Dream Drops are an ideal treat for a CBD first-timer like myself, someone who’s always wary of anything that could make a person feel stoned or, worse, appreciate Led Zeppelin. (Those 1990s D.A.R.E. classes really did a number on me, let me tell you.) One dome-shaped truffle contains just 10 milligrams of CBD, derived from hemp grown locally by Tennessee Homegrown, and the candy itself is sheer perfection. The white-chocolate Dream Drops are delicately flavored with matcha powder, peppermint oil and smoked salt; and the dark-chocolate version has orange extract and sea salt. Both have a pinch of tongue-tickling popping candy, too, because what’s a Bang Candy confection without a little whimsy?
Tip: If you’re looking for something stronger, Bang also offers milk-chocolate Dream Drops made with Delta-8, a cannabinoid that has effects comparable to regular THC. (Read: It’ll get you high.) MS
The Old Hemp Farmer’s Wife
CBD Soap Bar, $10
LaTanya Bell calls herself The Old Hemp Farmer’s Wife. She sources her CBD from her husband Harold Jarobe’s company, Tennessee Homegrown, and the plants are grown on a small farm in Readyville. The CBD soap is definitely earthy. It’s dominated by the smell of frankincense, which I’ve found people either love or hate. Our tester, Scene education reporter Kelsey Beyeler, called it a “unisex scent” that didn’t cling to her body after her shower. She also noted that it didn’t dry out her skin like a lot of products, but left her feeling moisturized and clean. It contains 100 milligrams of CBD, and while Kelsey isn’t convinced that “CBD matters in soap,” at $10, it’s a hefty bar that should get you plenty clean for weeks to come.
Tip: This soap contains beef tallow, so it may not be suitable for vegetarians and vegans. EC
Canvast Supply Co.
Organic Hemp Flowers, $15-$50
You can always get back to basics with some good old-fashioned smokable hemp flower. For this, we're curious about Canvast Supply Co., a woman-owned business that specializes in growing various strains of hemp. If you like citrus and pine, try the Alpen Gleaux CBD Premium Greenhouse Hemp Flower. For the more adventurous, the Gas Hemp CBD Premium Indoor Hemp Flower is described as having a “pungent and complex gasoline fuel with a diesel odor and taste.” For something soothing, Lifter Premium Hemp Flower has notes of lavender and chamomile.
Tip: Interested in greening your thumb? Canvast also sells seeds, equipment and a farm planning workbook. EC
Chill Caramels, $10-$45
Dimer partnered with the pros at Nashville’s Olive and Sinclair Chocolate Co. to create the recipe for its Chill Caramels. At $10 for two, they’re a bit more pricey than some of our other suggestions, but each salted caramel delivers 75 milligrams of CBD. As for the taste, the caramels have that nice salty-sweet thing going on at first, but then it turns medicinal. Important note: Dimer caramels contain small amounts of the nonpsychoactive cannabinoids CBC and CBG, as well as the psychoactive cannabinoid THC (though the packaging promises consumers that the THC content by weight is beneath the 0.3 percent limit defined by the Farm Bill).
Tip: One-half of a caramel got me unexpectedly high on a Monday afternoon, so be warned. Learn about the legality and differences among CBD, Delta-9 and Delta-8 here. EC