The legalization of hemp cultivation led to an increase in the use of CBD products. CBD has shown to be promising in managing conditions such as pain, inflammation, and anxiety. You might be unsure how to use CBD in a way that suits you. It also doesn’t help that there is a wide variety of CBD products out there.
This guide will help you find out the best ways to take CBD for effective results. Different consumption methods deliver CBD to your body in a different ways. Learning about each one will help you choose the best way to take CBD for your need and lifestyle. You will also learn about dosage, when to use CBD products, and how to avoid low-quality CBD products.
What is CBD?
Before we dive in on how to use CBD, we must do some form of introduction. So, what really is CBD?
CBD, also cannabidiol, is a compound present in cannabis plants. It’s found in higher amounts in hemp plants than in marijuana. CBD is non-intoxicating, unlike its sister compound, THC. There are multiple CBD products available, from oils, balms, gummies, vaping devices to capsules.
From Consumer Reports, about thirteen percent of Americans have used a CBD product. Also, nearly ninety percent of people who used CBD reported an improvement in their symptoms.
Early research suggests that CBD has many potential health benefits. There are still ongoing studies, however, to prove its efficacy.
Types of CBD: Full-Spectrum vs. Broad-Spectrum vs. CBD Isolate
CBD products come in three versions: full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, or isolate. If you want an option that contains all the cannabinoids in a hemp plant, including CBD and THC, full-spectrum is it. This type of CBD extract allows you experience the full benefits of the plant.
Broad-spectrum CBD products contain most cannabinoids but don’t contain THC. It’s generally the best option for people who want to get the full-scope benefits from the plant while excluding THC.
Studies suggest that cannabinoids work better when you take them together than when taken separately. This concept is called the “entourage effect.”
Furthermore, full-spectrum and broad-spectrum CBD products are less refined than CBD isolate. Therefore, there are components like terpenes present. Terpenes are volatile organic compounds with therapeutic benefits. They also affect the taste and smell of CBD products, according to Healthline.
CBD isolate is another type of CBD. As the name suggests, CBD isolate contains only CBD and no other cannabinoid. It’s a safer bet for people who take drug tests, particularly those that look for THC.
What’s the Best Way to Take CBD?
Cannabidiol is an interestingly versatile product that you can consume in many ways. Each method falls under a general category, like oral or topical. These methods have their advantages and disadvantages.
There are key factors that will determine which of the consumption methods is best for you. These include:
Onset: Cannabinoids may take few minutes before they kick on or even hours, depending on how you take them.
Duration: The cannabinoid can be effective in seconds but last for just a few hours. The effect of another may last for a long period.
Distribution: The part of your body that is affected can also determine the best way to take CBD.
Edibles & Capsules
The onset of effect when you take CBD edibles and capsules is about one to two hours. And this effect can last up to six to twelve hours. But, it starts to subside after six hours in some people.
Edibles and capsules are absorbed through the gut and sent to the liver. When it gets to the liver, enzymes start to modify the CBD, a process called the “first-pass metabolism.” After, it spreads throughout the body.
This method of consuming CBD is long-lasting, thus, suitable for chronic conditions. Also, seeing as CBD passes through the intestines here, this may be a great way to take CBD for inflammatory bowel diseases.
CBD gummies, edibles, and capsules have a lower bioavailability rate than tinctures. Only about 20% of the ingested CBD gets to your bloodstream, according to Project CBD. One of the ways to boost the absorption rate and get more from the edible or capsule is to chew before swallowing.
Tinctures & Sublingual
CBD oil tinctures come in two forms: a CBD spray or a dropper. The CBD absorbs directly into the blood vessels found in the mouth after you apply it under your tongue. This method avoids the first-pass metabolism.
A general guideline with CBD tinctures is to wait for at least one minute after dropping under the tongue before swallowing. You begin to notice the therapeutic effects of the CBD within thirty minutes after administration. It peaks at about an hour and a half.
The sublingual method of taking CBD is a good choice if you want relatively high bioavailability, measurable dosing, and fast-acting effects.
Smoking & Vaping
You can also smoke or vape CBD products. According to CFAH, vaping is one of the best ways to take CBD. This way of using CBD provides the highest bioavailability when compared to other methods. About 56% of the CBD enters your bloodstream.
Anyone interested in how to use CBD for an immediate effect should try inhalation. The onset of effect takes seconds to minutes. It’s a preferred method for acute conditions like acute pain or nausea.
One of the drawbacks of this method is safety concerns. Smoking can cause health issues such as chronic cough and congestion. Note that smoking CBD is not associated with lung cancer, as many people might believe. Also, vaping is a better option than smoking. To stay even safer when using this method, you have to avoid poorly-made vaporizers. Although high-quality vaporizers are often expensive, they are your best option.
Topicals & Rubs
CBD topicals are the best way to use CBD for localized and on-the-spot issues. When you apply CBD to your skin, it doesn’t reach your bloodstream. The CBD works by interacting with the skin’s endocannabinoid receptors.
The onset of effects with this method is usually from minutes to hours. Different factors like the product’s formulation and added ingredients influence the absorption rate.
Terpenes are often present in full and broad-spectrum CBD topicals. They increase skin permeation.
Topicals and rubs are best suited for skin and joint issues.
How Much CBD Should You Be Taking?
The universal answer to how much CBD you should be taking is to start small. People respond differently to CBD products, so there is no general recommended dosage for everyone.
You can state with as low as 5mg, two to three times per day, and gradually increase as you go. The idea is that you find what works best for you while staying below 70mg per day.
Also, remember that you may not feel the effects of CBD the right way. Give yourself about a week to monitor body changes before increasing your dosage.
When to Use CBD
According to Cannaray, there is no wrong or right time to use CBD. However, using it at specific points in the day can affect you distinctly. For instance, although CBD doesn’t boost your energy level, some persons feel more clear-headed when they take it. If this is the case for you, taking CBD in the morning or afternoon might be the best.
Also, CBD oils help some feel more relaxed. You can try taking it in the evening. Or, use a CBD topical product on tired muscles and joints before bed to feel calmer.
How to Avoid Fake or Poor-Quality CBD Oils
Different factors can help you avoid low-quality CBD products. These include:
Source of Hemp Plant: Choose products made from U.S-grown, non-GMO hemp plants. These plants guarantee the best sources because they are free of harmful chemicals.
Third-party Tests: Go for brands that provide third-party test reports for all their products. These reports prove the amount of CBD and THC contained in the product. It will also help you know if it’s free of contaminants and heavy metals.
CO2 Extraction: This extraction method is an industry-leading technique. It ensures the end product is safe and potent, as it doesn’t require any solvents or heat.
There are various ways to use CBD, from edibles, tinctures, topicals, to vapes. The best method will also vary from one person to the other. CBD consumption offers personalized experiences to individuals, so you have to find what works best for you.
Furthermore, your health goal can help you decide what form of CBD you should use. For example, there are CBD products best suited for overall wellbeing support, while others are better for localized problems.
Regardless of how you use your CBD product, always be sure it’s high-quality and from a trusted brand.