We've barely begun to tap the potential health benefits of CBD in cannabis. The non-intoxicating substance has already shown remarkable potential for treating chronic musculoskeletal and neurological conditions. But the way it works is often misinterpreted.

"CBD is psychoactive; a lot of people misunderstand that," says neuroscientist Dr. Adie Poe of Washington University in St. Louis. "CBD binds to targets and activates processes inside your brain. It just doesn't have the same intoxicating effect that THC does, nor does it affect motor functions."

And unlike other drugs shown to have benefits, you don't need a doctor's prescription to use it. This means a lot of people are getting unexpected benefits from CBD. To capture all that data, Poe has partnered with Portland dispensary Farma on Habu Health, a project devoted to gathering feedback from cannabis consumers as a baseline for pharmacological research.

(Rosie Struve)
(Rosie Struve)

"I almost think of CBD as another vitamin," Poe says, "a nutritional supplement for people who may suffer from anxiety, insomnia and various other problems with body systems."

According to Poe, users have reported that CBD can soothe day-to-day maladies that we typically treat with some form of sugar, caffeine or other more metaphorically addictive activity. Here are a few crutches you might be able to replace with CBD.

Coffee

Chugging coffee before a work interview? Reaching for that third cup at 2:30 pm? Try a single dose of a CBD-dominant chocolate bar like Serra x Woodblock's dark chocolate bar ($12) and you'll feel calmly collected without a hint of the red-eyed silliness from THC, or the digestive and physical panic after three espressos.

Ambien

I personally don't mess with this sleepwalking black magic, but a huge population relies on the heavy-handed medication to literally knock themselves out at night. CBD can help you wind down, quieting the rambling streams of consciousness keeping you awake. Nighttime routine for a good night's sleep: a few puffs off a vape pen with a cartridge of Evolvd's Tahitian Clear ($60 for 0.6 grams, 77.3% THC 12% CBD) and 10-15 minutes of slow stretching before hitting the sack.

A Handful of Advil

Whether it's an athlete sore from grueling drills or a boomer headed to a pickup game with a bad knee, many people consider a few Advil or Tylenol part of their daily vitamins. For the sake of your internal organs, try one or two Wyld CBD strawberry gummies ($24-$28 for an 118.3-gram pack) for several hours of serious relief from muscle/nerve/joint pain. If we're sure of one thing about this cannabinoid, it's the anti-inflammatory properties.

A Regrettable Hook-up

To some, there is no such thing. But for those saddled with regrets or hangovers in the morning, I recommend a robust pre-roll of high-CBD flower like Charlotte's Web ($8) as a better stress come-down than heading out to debauch away a particularly rough day. You won't feel too stoned, and it's easier on your body than drinking until the guy in front of you sounds witty.

A Self-Righteous Middle Finger

Sure, it's cathartic after a long day to flip off the guy who can't figure out how zipper-merging works. But you can also opt for a subtle CBD capsule after work and funnel that stress-fury into some critical theory or, you know, summoning awareness for a nonprofit. Sun God Medicinals has a 10-pack with 138-178 mg CBD ($27). CBD can help severe medical conditions, but it can also help a stressed-out person just get through the day.