Humans have been using honey in a variety of ways for over 8,000 years — you can even find its sticky semblance depicted in paintings dating back to the Stone Age. It’s always been more than just a way to satisfy your sweet tooth, though: Honey has long been used by people for a range of antibacterial, antioxidant, antifungal, and antiviral purposes, as detailed in a 2013 review of scientific literature from researchers at the Tabriz University of Medical Sciences. It’s only recently, though, that we’ve begun consuming it in stick-form — or infusing it with CBD, the non-intoxicating cannabis derivative.
CBD honey sticks are exactly what they sound like — honey infused with CBD oil that is contained inside a slender, stick-like package (essentially, imagine a smaller and stickier Slim Jim). They’re often pitched as a way for people to get a better-tasting version of CBD and its pain- and anxiety-relieving qualities, together with the sweet healthiness of honey.
Who’s pitching them, exactly? Here, there’s no shortage of options,from CBD-focused brands like Just CBD and Diamond CBD to honey specialists like Honey Feast and Colorado Hemp Honey. The sticks are almost exclusively available online, but can generally be shipped to anywhere that CBD is legal. They’ll vary widely in price, though, running the gamut from Honey Feast’s 10-pack for $10.99 to Just CBD’s jar of 100 sticks and its hefty $250 price tag. They also differ in terms of CBD content and the type of oil used — ranging from Just CBD’s 10 mg of CBD isolate to Colorado Hemp Honey’s 15 mg of full spectrum CBD oil.
While some of these brands tout the therapeutic benefits of their CBD honey sticks — Just CBD, for example, says they can help with things like “increased relaxation and pain alleviation” — no scientific studies have confirmed this yet.
That said, a number of anecdotal reports from users seem to find the products effective when it comes to reducing pain and anxiety. As one Amazon reviewer wrote about the Colorado Hemp Honey sticks, “Excellent, tastes like regular honey. I have digestive issues and this honey seems to calm my system down. So happy to find a natural product and not have to rely on prescription meds.” Other user gave a glowing review to those of Diamond CBD, saying, “I love the honey sticks! Use one in my cup of coffee in the morning which helps ease any underlying anxiety. Wish I had bought more sticks the first time!”
Using a CBD honey stick is as easy as you’d think. Because they are so small and easily transportable, many people just carry the sticks in their purse or bag and eat them when they need to boost their mood or energy level — no heat, vaporizers, or devices required. As with normal honey, the contents of the infused sticks can also be added to smoothies, tea, yogurt, or even coffee as a natural sweetener.
When it comes to dose, it’s a good idea to carefully note the total CBD content of your honey stick — and to eat only a fraction of that to see how your body reacts. Your straw will likely contain up to 15 mg of CBD, and while there’s no consensus on the ideal CBD dose (this will depend on factors like your tolerance, metabolism, and reason for using CBD), many experts recommended starting around 5 mg and gradually working your way up from there. Unless your honey specifically advertises its THC content, it doesn’t stand a chance of getting you high — the vast majority of CBD honeys on the market are derived from hemp, which contains only traces of THC (less than 0.3 percent) by definition.
In terms of potential downsides (aside from the occasionally-hefty price tags), the biggest risk that CBD honey sticks are likely to pose is an impromptu explosion in your bag on the way to work. However, like other CBD edibles they’re technically illegal in many states. You’re unlikely to encounter any legal issues from using them, but buying them could potentially be another story. Interestingly, the reason they’re “illegal” isn’t because of their relation to cannabis, but because of their relation to food — CBD hasn’t been approved as a food additive by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), so putting it in honey sticks goes against the letter of the law (though enforcement has been sporadic so far).
Still, this means there’s a higher chance that your product could be mislabeled (i.e. containing much less CBD or much more THC than advertised) or contain contaminants like e. coli and salmonella, so you’ll want to make sure you’re buying from a reputable manufacturer. To determine if your CBD honey sticks are legit, look for a certificate of analysis from an independent third party testing lab. It’s not a perfect solution, but it’s the best one available at the moment.