Move over, THC. CBD has officially reached stardom. It’s being touted by athletes and celebrities for its healing properties. Infused in all manner of food and drink, CBD’s medicinal benefits have splashed across the pages of the New York Times and the Atlantic. In one survey by Consumer Reports, 22% of CBD users who took it for a health problem said it helped them replace prescription or OTC medication; a third of this group replaced opioids with CBD.
Despite CBD’s growing popularity, CBD-infused goods can be hard to find in the Bay Area due to heavy-handed regulation from California Department of Public Health officials and the San Francisco Department of Public Health. But change is on the horizon: the California State Assembly recently unanimously approved a bill authorizing CBD-infused food and drink statewide. Get ready for a CBD deluge.
To rehash what CBD is and isn’t: cannabidiol (CBD) is a compound found in the hemp plant. Unlike its cannabinoid cousin, THC, it is non-psychoactive — meaning, it doesn’t get you high. Full-spectrum CBD contains trace amounts of THC, usually 0.3% or less, which is not enough to produce a psychoactive effect. CBD isolate contains zero THC.
And there’s no shortage of ways to take CBD. You can consume a large dose via tincture or oil, apply it topically to fight skin inflammation, or consume it in small amounts — a.k.a. microdosing, which, as the founder of local SF cannabis coffee brand Somatik, Chris Schroeder, says, “helps new people have a positive first-time experience.”
On a cautionary note, CBD is broken down by the same liver enzymes as 60% of medications on the market, which means it can block these enzymes and allow more of the medication into your system. If you are on any medications, discuss CBD with your doctor before using. Even if you don’t take any medications, it’s recommended that you try a small-to-moderate amount first, about 20–40 mg, and increase this amount by 5 mg until you achieve the desired effects.
Here’s your guide to all things CBD in the Bay Area, from oils to tinctures to massages to facials to edibles to drinks to everything in between.
Sidewalk Wellness in the Mission is SF’s first CBD shop. It’s a chic, minimalist space replete with glass cases offering all kinds of exquisite CBD goods, including CBD bath and beauty products and CBD-infused pet foods.
Urban Haven, in San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood, is a newly opened CBD shop and another beautiful space with an excellent selection of CBD goods from prominent brands such as Medterra, CBD Living, and Funky Farms.
All Things Hemp is an unassuming Oakland storefront on the outside but a CBD mecca on the inside. When they say “all things hemp,” they mean it: CBD oils, bath and beauty products, edible products, and organic hemp-based clothing and apparel.
East Bay CBD delivers right to your doorstep (if you’re in Oakland). This online-only store sells CBD bath and beauty products, drinks, edibles, pet food, CBD flower, vape cartridges, concentrates, and more.
One of the quirks of CBD’s contradictory legal status in California is that marijuana-derived CBD in all forms is legal (as long as it’s sold in a dispensary), whereas hemp-derived CBD is subject to the FDA ban on CBD in food or drink. So dispensaries are arguably the best places to find CBD goods.
- Barbary Coast Dispensary — 952 Mission Street (60+ CBD products)
- The Green Cross — 4218 Mission Street (50+ CBD products)
- Harvest off Mission, 33 29th Street (40+ CBD products)
- Harborside dispensary — Oakland, 1840 Embarcadero Street (60+ CBD products)
- Magnolia — Oakland, 161 Adeline Street (50+ CBD products)
- Euphorium — delivery only (25+ CBD products)
Active Nutrition is a supplement store in San Francisco that sells CBD oil, capsules, lotion, edibles, and vapes from top national brands, such as Leafwell Botanicals and Bluebird Botanicals.
Whole Foods has joined the CBD parade with a few locations (including the one on Ocean Avenue in SF) and recently began carrying a line of CBD bath and beauty products.
Lakeshore Natural Foods in Oakland has a small selection of CBD products, including flavored CBD oils.
This special brew, a collaboration between Somatik and SF-based artisan coffee roaster Ritual Coffee, features a 1:1 CBD:THC ratio with 5 mg of each (considered a microdose) and is made with organic coffee beans. These retail at $9.50 for a 4-ounce drink, which makes them the priciest per-unit beverage on this list. They’re available at SF marijuana dispensaries, including Mission Organic and the Green Cross.
Perhaps the trendiest name in the CBD-drink world, Vybes also has a sexy design, all-organic ingredients, and a smackin’ 25 mg dose of CBD isolate. These drinks are tasty and light, but they’re on the pricey side, at $8.50. They’re available at Sidewalk Juice in the Mission.
Daytrip Sparkling Water
This company uses an advanced nano-emulsification technique to shrink the CBD particles so the body can more easily absorb the CBD. Grab one of four flavors (lemon lime, coconut pineapple, cherry and tangerine) for $4.99 each or for $59 for a 12-pack at Berkeley Bowl and online at wearedaytrip.com.
One of the few CBD kombucha brands on the market, M Kombucha contains 15 mg of organic full-spectrum CBD along with a mix of green tea, white tea, and yerba mate. The result? A delicious, uplifting, health-promoting drink for $8.50. Buy M Kombucha in San Francisco at Sidewalk Wellness and Cal-Mart, or in Oakland at Rocky’s Market and Save-More Market.
Lagunitas Hi-Fi Hops
Don’t let the famous Lagunitas name fool you. This 1:1 THC:CBD beverage is sparkling water, not beer (though they describe it as “IPA inspired”). Like Somatik, Lagunitas went with a mellow microdose (5 mg each of CBD and THC) that is calming but not overpowering, at $7 a pop. It’s available at select SF and Oakland marijuana dispensaries, including Mission Organic and the Green Cross.
Potli refer to themselves as a “premium cannabis-enhanced kitchen pantry”. Their selection of CBD-infused pantry items includes cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil (250 mg of CBD for $45), chili oil (10 mg of CBD for $19), and raw honey (120 mg of CBD for $42), which makes for a relaxing addition to a cup of tea. Find Potli products at Mr. Holmes Bakehouse, Dolores Outpost, Neighbor’s Corner, and Seldom Seen in SF, and at Goldenseal Skincare and Neighbor in Oakland.
These treatments enhance relaxation and pain relief and reduce skin inflammation compared to other massages.
Nob Hill Spa CBD massage
Ideal for chronic joint and muscle pain, TARA’s CBD Oil delivers 50 mg of CBD per massage along with pain-relieving essential oils of birch and arnica. The price is $185 for a 50-minute CBD massage and $235 for an 80-minute CBD massage
1075 California Street (Nob Hill) | nobhillspa.com
Kabuki Springs & Spa CBD massage
This Japantown mainstay uses a full-spectrum CBD body balm by SF-based brand Saturn Ranch. Bonus: they let you keep the balm when you leave. The price for a 50-minute session is $140 on weekdays and $151 on weekends. An 80-minute session costs $170 on weekdays and $185 on weekends.
1750 Geary Boulevard | kabukisprings.com
TRx CBD Massage
Ambient sounds and psychedelic floor projections create a peaceful, relaxing environment the moment you walk through the door. A skillful CBD massage from Theresa will have you floating on the way out. A 60-minute session costs $100, and a more thorough 90-minute full-body massage costs $150.00
250 Clara Street, #8 | trxmassage.com
Earthbody Day Spa CBD massages and facials
You can add Omcali hemp-infused body oil to any treatment for $30 or choose from a couple of CBD-massage options. The first option, Ritual to Soothe, is a deep-tissue massage that focuses on pain relief, while the second, Ritual to Calm, focuses more on whole-body relaxation. Both are $190 for a one-hour session or $245 for a 1.5-hour session.
534 Laguna Street | earthbody.net
Goldenseal Skincare cannabinol facial
Within Tarren Brooks’ airy Oakland studio, the proprietor uses Potli and Treat Yourself CBD products as well as lymphatic drainage, massage, jade rolling, and bloodstone mushrooms to create a facial that delivers a plant-powered glow. The cost is $200 for an 80-minute session.
4153 Piedmont Avenue, #2 | goldensealskincare.com
While the science on CBD for skin care is still in its infancy, exciting research indicates that CBD can slow the inflammation and excess skin cell growth at the heart of skin conditions such as acne, psoriasis, eczema, and dermatitis. CBD topicals are also powerful tonics for muscle and joint pain.
Flour Child Relief Balm
This balm contains a 3:1 CBD:THC whole-plant cannabis oil with 45 mg of CBD and 15 mg of THC (courtesy of SF cannabis dispensary SPARC). Add to that mango butter, coconut butter, Bella Vado avocado oil, sunflower oil, and beeswax, and you’ve got an excellent treatment for both joint pain and skin inflammation. Just rub a little where it hurts. Buy Flour Child Relief Balm at SF dispensaries, including Sava, Harvest Off Mission, SPARC and Urban Pharm.
Dr. Kerklaan Therapeutics
Berkeley-based integrative health care specialist Dr. Kerklaan focuses on natural, noninvasive methods of pain relief and general wellness. He has a varied selection of CBD topicals, including a full-spectrum CBD sleep cream with citrus, lavender, and melatonin, as well as a Dr. Kerklaan Natural CBD Skin Cream with 120 mg of full-spectrum CBD. Buy Dr. Kerklaan therapeutics online at drkerklaan.com.
They’ve got it all: CBD skin serum, exfoliating gel, beauty oil, soap, and more. And CBD isn’t the only powerhouse natural ingredient that this Oakland-based company uses; Undefined draws from a wide range of healing botanicals to round out their beautifying formulas: rose hip, argan, grape, olive, safflower, and much more. Buy Undefined Beauty goods at un-definedbeauty.com.
Berkeley-based Om Wellness sells 100 mg CBD epsom salts for every mood: lavender, rose geranium, lemon ginger and eucalyptus, and fragrance-free. Their Athletic epsom salt can quicken recovery time and relieve muscle soreness while also delivering analgesic essential oils such as peppermint and camphor. Buy Om Wellness CBD epsom salts at om-wellness.com.