After a year like 2018, most of us are as tightly wound as a ball of wire (connected to an explosive device), so there was zero hesitation to focus this year’s gift guide on self-care. In the interest of research, we spent quite a few weeks embracing a more Zen-like state (a feeling we’ve been chasing for years) thanks to several local foodie products. There’s mood-boosting herbal tea, mushroom powder supplements, a Wimberley-based luxury yurt experience featuring a farm-to-table dinner, and all sorts of CBD oil-enhanced treats (dark chocolate, muscle rub, cold brew coffee, and more). When it comes to gifts this season, whether they’re for yourself (don’t judge; we aren’t) or for your loved ones, the shopping list should be all about relaxation.
Cannabidiol, also known as CBD, is a non-psychoactive, naturally occurring chemical compound found in the hemp plant known to have therapeutic physical and mental benefits. Basically, it’s a fantastic way to enjoy anti-anxiety, anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective, and neurogenic effects without getting “high.” Here are five local (or Texas-focused) companies going outside of the usual CBD delivery methods.
At least one of the Urban Dictionary definitions of trifecta should be the combination of dark chocolate, CBD, and female artisans. This West Austin-based company specializes in products aimed at a wide spectrum of consumers. From dark chocolate bars with dried fruits and nuts, peppermint, toasted peanuts, and more, to their hyperfocused PMS and menopause chocolate bars, it’s obvious these women know what they’re doing. Cheekywell also offers several flavors of sublingual (under the tongue) tinctures (try the sweet mint!). In the nonedible realm, these geniuses created a bath soak, bath bomb, massage oil, and, wait for it, female lubricant. Their sister company, Mia Chocolates, handcrafts some of the most beautiful â€“ and delicious â€“ gourmet chocolates anywhere.
While their flagship is in Fort Collins, this recently opened, family-owned second location brings a list of creative CBD products to Downtown Austin near Shoal Creek Saloon. (And we know Colorado knows its relaxation techniques, don’t we?) They’ve got softgels â€“ one version has melatonin for sleep! â€“ tinctures, salves, vapes, and sublinguals, plus dog treats to allow your best friend to ease his dog park aches and relax a little right by your side. One of Joy’s increasingly popular products is their Happy Berry CBD energy drink mix â€“ think Crystal Light powder packets but, you know, good.
This South Austin CBD company, established by the founders of Austin Vape & Smoke, launched a substantial product line that includes edible CBD gummies, sublingual oil, lotion, tinctures, vapeables, capsules, and pet products. The CBD treats are crafted in small batches by founder Kemal Whyte and pharmacoÂgenetÂicist Joseph DrumÂmond at their lab, using organic hemp and high-quality ingredients. The gummies â€“ Peach Rings, Sour Worms, Watermelon Slices, and Neon Bears â€“ are just like any other deliciously sweet and sour candy (aka one of life’s great treasures), with the added bonus of lessening anxiety, reducing pain, and promoting restful sleep. They’ve got some excellent holiday packs, too.
This Los Angeles-based applied science and tech company (with recent Austin ties), has utilized their research to design a CBD muscle rub and herbal-infused CBD oil vape pen. The rub (available in 75 or 150 mg) boasts pain-relieving properties, perfect for those who suffer autoimmune disorders, chronic physical pain, and other ailments. The convenient vape pen delivers the calming effects of CBD with a tasty herbal flavor, and it’s perfect for those wanting to start making a switch from other vape products to one that has some positive benefits, too.
While most of this Fort Worth/Austin company’s product roster focuses on very effective, crystal clear sublingual tinctures handcrafted with high-grade, THC-free, organic CBD-infused coconut oil in various strengths â€“ performance, essential, extra, super concentrate â€“ they also offer cold-brewed coffee with CBD oil. Served in small cans, there’s a black coffee option and one with sweetened almond cream, which means you can enjoy your preferred morning cup of joe sans the occasional caffeine-induced panic attack.
This local wellness company makes plant-based adaptogen formulas to create teas, mushroom boosters, and capsule supplements (Adriene Mishler of Yoga With Adriene backs the women’s formula, Yinergy). AdaptoÂgens are nontoxic plant extracts that increase the body’s ability to resist the damaging effects of stress and promote or restore normal physiological functioning; Dr. Vim’s include KSM-66 AshwagandÂha, Rodiola Rosea, and Cordyseps. Their Tulsi Holy Basil Tea features a time-honored herbal infusion known for promoting emotional well-being, and the Rosehip Hibiscus Tea is a warm way to dose that vitamin C. Sure, a powdered mushroom supplement doesn’t immediately scream, “Add me to your drink!” but these three MagÂnificent Mushroom varieties â€“ Immune SupÂport, Athletic Performance, and Brain Function â€“ bring a welcome earthiness, and a valuable way to boost the body, to the cup. This recipe (they have many more) is reportedly great for combating fatigue and inflammation.
Anti-Inflammatory Lemonade (Serves 3)
3 cups of filtered water
Juice from 1 lemon
1 tsp. ground turmeric
Â˝ tsp. ground ginger
ÂĽ tsp. cayenne pepper
1 serving of the Immunity Blend
Ice for serving
Combine ingredients in a large pitcher and stir; serve in individual glasses with ice.
In early fall, Collective Retreats, which operates luxury stays in the beautiful outdoors, opened a Hill Country destination as its Texas flagship. While their other locations â€“ Yellowstone, Vail, Governors Island, and Hudson Valley â€“ focus on the warmer months, this picturesque spot in Wimberley is a winter friendly retreat complete with gourmet s’mores around a communal fire, plush bedding and a wood-burning stove inside each gorgeously decorated yurt. Guests enjoy high-end amenities, on par with a five-star hotel, located on the Blanco River-adjacent MonteÂsino Ranch. Featuring not only a full in-tent bathroom, a full coffee and tea setup, lovely lighting, and plenty of privacy on the deck, the lodge (also housed in a stately white canvas perma-tent) serves as a host station, living room with games, full bar, and fine-dining restaurant. Chef Stephanie creates multicourse, wine-paired meals loaded with Texas-sized portions of vegetables picked that day from the eco-friendly organic farm just down the path, fresh-caught Gulf seafood, and meats from sustainable farms like Ross Farms. It’s pretty hard to beat a one-hour drive to the woods, where all the city sounds disappear, the stars come out, and the accommodations are fancier than your condo.
A version of this article appeared in print on December 7, 2018 with the headline: Gift Guide: Relaxation Station