The weather is frigid, the world is covered in tinsel and miniature light bulbs, your house is about to be overrun by people you ignore most of the year — yes, the holidays are finally upon us! While the expectation to go out and be merry is quite tempting (and, frankly, unavoidable), this is also the perfect time for battening down all the hatches and doing some serious nesting. And, while, few things can make your holidays more chill than cannabis, you may not want to be in a THC haze or deal with cannabis-induced paranoia while dealing with those you hold dear.
It’s common knowledge that people have long used cannabis to help them relax — according to a 2019 Gallup survey, relieving anxiety, insomnia, and assorted aches and pains are some of the top reasons Americans are interested in cannabis. And now that the stigma around the plant is finally dissipating, there’s a huge variety of holiday-themed ways to use it.
With that in mind, we’ve rounded up five of the most relaxing, responsible ways to add some cannabis-infused cheer to your season (and hopefully keep the outside world at bay for at least a few hours). As a bonus, all of these options are smoke-free, so you don’t have to worry about trying to get rid of the cannabis smell before the guests arrive.
One of the best parts of winter is the opportunity to drink all the hot beverages — and if they’re infused with some CBD, even better. Adding a dash of America’s favorite non-intoxicating cannabinoid to your cocoa is as easy as adding marshmallows: just grab your CBD tincture and add a few drops to your cup. You can also buy ready-made CBD hot chocolate from brands like Apothecary, if you’re so inclined. Will it “actually work?” It’s hard to say; there are some well-known issues with CBD beverages. But if there were ever a time to take advantage of the placebo effect (which is real! and powerful!) this is it.
There’s almost nothing that compares to slipping into a calming bath when it’s chilly outside and it’s time to wind down — especially if you add a cannabis-infused bath bomb to the equation. Not only will the cannabinoids help with reducing skin inflammation and muscle tension, leaving your body feeling relaxed, but the peppermint can help invigorate your mind and leave you smelling like a candy cane (in a good way). You can find CBD-only varieties from brands like Kush Queen, while Buddalicious and a number of others offer THC-infused ones as well.
To be completely honest, a CBD oil diffuser probably isn’t as effective as a good old-fashioned tincture (or a new-fangled vape pen) if your goal is to get as much CBD into your bloodstream as possible. But if you’re looking to fill your home with a soothing holiday scent — like pine, for example, though you can add CBD to almost any essential oil — this is a much more interesting option than your standard candles. Will it get you high? Absolutely not. Will it make your nose feel like it’s in a winter wonderland? That, on the other hand, is a distinct possibility.
Whether you’re dealing with an interminable family gift swap or a tedious post-celebration cleanup session, sometimes you need a discrete, fast-acting way to take the edge off — and cannabis-infused sublingual strips are an ideal way to do so. Best of all, they won’t get you too high: since they deliver THC directly to your bloodstream via the soft tissue under your tongue, the enzymes in your gastrointestinal tract don’t have the chance to convert the compound into its more intoxicating form (as is often the case with edibles).
Speaking of edibles, the only thing better than a fresh-baked gingerbread person is a fresh-baked gingerbread person with a dash of CBD. Since there’s no THC (or an exceedingly miniscule amount, at most) you don’t have to worry about getting your in-laws high, though you should still probably give them a heads-up before they dig in. There are a few tricks to cooking with CBD oil — high heat is not your friend, for one — but after a batch or two, you’ll be baking like a pro. And even if you’re inclined to “test” your creations by eating a dozen or so before sharing them with the world, you don’t have to worry about “overdosing”: while it’s theoretically possible to use too much CBD, it’s exceptionally unlikely under real-world circumstances.