CBD can be taken in many different ways.
One way isn’t necessarily better than the other.
Which method to use CBD is best for you is highly dependent on several factors like:
- How fast you want the CBD to act;
- How convenient you want to method to be (capsules and edibles are extremely easy to use and dose for example);
- Whether you care for other hemp-derived compounds with your CBD.
Oral consumption methods can be used with products like CBD tinctures, sprays, capsules, gummies and other edibles.
But oral consumption methods come with different ‘sub-methods’. Tinctures for example should always be used sublingually before being swallowed (more on that later). CBD gummies, however, can’t be used sublingually.
Then there are topical CBD creams, CBD vape oils and even crystallized powders.
Today you will learn about all the pros and cons of the different methods to use CBD, and find your best method to use CBD.
Keep in mind that whatever method you use, CBD use may come with side effects.
The Sublingual Method
The sublingual method is an oral method of use.
It starts with the mucous membranes beneath the tongue. When you drop CBD tincture on these mucous membranes, part of the CBD inside the tincture gets directly absorbed into your bloodstream.
This method several benefits compared to simply swallowing drops of CBD oil.
The first benefit is related to the fact that the effects of CBD will be felt faster when it gets absorbed directly into your bloodstream.
The second benefit is related to the fact that a larger part of the CBD that you’re ingesting will end up in your bloodstream.
When CBD goes through the gastrointestinal tract it comes into contact with enzymes that are specialized in breaking down compounds like CBD. These enzymes don’t succeed in breaking down all the CBD, but a large part of it gets lost and doesn’t end up in your bloodstream.
When you take CBD sublingually, part of the CBD that would’ve otherwise broken down, ends up in your system.
But taking CBD sublingually and swallowing it are not mutually exclusive.
Oral ingestion refers to ‘eating’ or ‘drinking’ CBD. Just like you would drink your tea or eat your burger. Instead of putting drops of CBD oil under your tongue, you immediately swallow the tincture.
As explained in the paragraph before, using this method a large part of the CBD that you ingest will get broken down by the enzymes in your body.
But that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t do it. In fact, the recommended method for using CBD tinctures is first putting a few drops under your tongue (the sublingual method), and after that, swallowing it.
Even when you use the sublingual method not all of the CBD will get absorbed by the mucous membranes beneath your tongue. Whatever is not absorbed, you swallow and part of that will get absorbed through the gastrointestinal tract.
These methods are not mutually exclusive.
Then there are ways to ensure that orally ingested CBD gets a higher absorption-rate.
One of these ways is by taking your CBD together with dietary lipids like olive oil. Research indicates that taking CBD together dietary lipids significantly increases its absorption-rate in the human body. Another study found that CBD taken in a state where your belly is full with food, increases the absorption-rate.
A downside of taking CBD products orally is that it can take a while before the effects occur. The average time hovers between 1 and 2 hours.
When you take CBD tincture orally, always make sure that you use it sublingually before swallowing it. Especially if you have a full-spectrum CBD oil with many cannabinoids and terpenes, because it’s unclear whether all these other compounds can get absorbed sublingually as well.
Taking CBD only through oral ingestion (without using the sublingual method first) doesn’t have any benefits vs the other methods of taking CBD. That’s why almost every CBD oil manufacturer recommends to take its oil sublingually, before swallowing it.
Smoking or Vaping
Vaping or smoking is another way to take CBD.
When it comes to how fast you feel the effects and how much of the CBD gets absorbed into your bloodstream, vaping comes out on top. But the effects don’t stick around as long as taking CBD with oral methods.
Also, especially when you smoke a high-CBD strain, for example, you’ll inhale a good amount of tar and toxins that have a vegetive health effect on your body. If you want to use an inhalation method, the recommended method is vaping. While vaping isn’t completely safe either, you will reduce a significant amount of toxins that you would’ve otherwise ingested if you would’ve smoked.
Edible CBD oils should never be vaped. Vaping edible oils will lead to irritation of the lungs. When you look for a CBD vape oil make sure that it can be vaped. Don’t assume a product is suitable for vaping, unless explicitly stated so.
To increase the effectiveness of CBD you may want to look for CBD products that contain additional hemp-derived compounds. Especially when it comes to vaping, you may want to look for products that contain a good amount of terpenes. Terpenes not only may increase the effectiveness of CBD, but will pack your product with good flavor, in an all-natural way.
Also make sure to get the right vaping device. Not every vaping device is suited to be vaped with CBD vape juice. You have to find vaping devices that operate on low temperatures and low power settings. Sub-ohm vaping devices are not well-suited for vaping CBD vape oil.
If you’re vaping high-CBD strains, get a dry herb vaporizer.
Topical CBD products are getting more popular by the day.
They can be a great way to help with localized inflammation- and pain-relief.
In fact, one study found that the absorption-rate of CBD administered through the skin to be good enough to be effective in reducing inflammatory skin conditions.
While the skin doesn’t break down CBD with enzymes like with oral consumption methods, it does form a barrier for the CBD to get through. No studies have looked at whether the absorption rate through the skin is better or worse compared to oral ingestion.
Keep in mind that using topical CBD products won’t necessarily work for other things than relieving localized pain and inflammation.
Today, you’ve learnt the most common methods to use CBD.
Every method has its pros and cons. If you want fast effects, go for vaping. If you want long effects go for oral ingestion. If you only want to relieve localized pain or inflammation, go for the topical method.