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Today, it’s close to impossible to go a day without hearing something new about CBD oil and its therapeutic qualities.
CBD is the new solution for everything from anxiety to pain and sleep problems.
Not only that, but this natural compound is also capable of stopping neurological seizures and alleviating an array of autoimmune diseases.
Of course, CBD oil isn’t a wonder maker, nor is it an overnight fix to all your problems. Rather, it’s a highly versatile tool that can improve your quality of life along with an active lifestyle and a well-balanced diet.
But what’s the best way to take CBD? There are so many products available on the market that new consumers can easily get confused.
In this article, we will help you figure it out. We’ll show you the ins and outs of the most common consumption methods, highlighting their pros and cons so that you can make a well-informed purchase decision.
But, before we get down into that, let’s have a brief overview of CBD and its benefits.
What is CBD?
CBD is one of the 113+ identified cannabinoids in the cannabis plant — and the second most abundant one.
It is the modulator of the endocannabinoid system, a complex neurological network and the prime system inside our bodies. The endocannabinoid system controls every homeostatic function, such as memory, mood, body temperature, immune function, cognitive performance, response to pain, stress management, appetite, etc.
The role of the endocannabinoid system is to maintain the chemical balance in the body and prevent any physical and mental dysfunctions. To do so, it produces its own therapeutic molecules called endocannabinoids.
Endocannabinoids bind to two types of cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2) that are spread throughout the body and brain. When the health of a person is compromised, the endocannabinoid system cannot produce enough of its cannabinoids to bring back the aforementioned balance.
This is where CBD comes into play.
CBD engages with the endocannabinoid system by signalling it to release more of the endocannabinoids. Moreover, it slows down their breakdown, making them more available for the body.
On top of that, CBD acts on 60 different molecular pathways. With that said, it’s quite strange that this compound doesn’t produce any psychoactive effects.
Yes, you’ve read that correct. CBD is non-intoxicating — it won’t get you high, unlike thc.
Better yet, CBD is capable of altering the psychoactive effects of THC. It blocks the receptor sites in the brain where the THC wants to bind, which is why people use products like CBD oil to mitigate or prevent the overwhelming high resulting from consuming too much THC.
What is CBD Oil?
CBD comes in many different formats, from dry flowers to oral sprays, but CBD oil is currently the most popular type of product.
What is CBD oil?
In short, it’s a CBD-rich extract that is made using some kind of solvent. Most reputable companies use CO2 extraction to produce CBD oil. This method involves pressurized CO2 that strips CBD along with other natural compounds naturally found in hemp from the plant material.
The result is an oily extract which the manufacturer then suspends in a carrier oil — usually, its MCT oil or hemp seed oil.
The majority of CBD oil products available for sale is made using full-spectrum extracts. The full spectrum means that the oil contains other cannabinoids (with traces of THC), as well as essential oils and flavonoids.
CBD oil can be extracted from both hemp and marijuana. While hemp-derived CBD oil has below 0.3% THC and won’t get you high, the same product sourced from marijuana does have significant concentrations of THC and can induce psychoactive effects.
The source of your CBD oil also determines whether or not the end product is legal for use in your country.
Health Benefits of CBD Oil
Due to its interaction with the endocannabinoid system, CBD is capable of alleviating many ailments. People use CBD oil to relieve chronic pain, anxiety, or to get a better sleep.
Here’s a full list of science-backed conditions that CBD may help with:
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- Chronic pain
- Huntington’s Disease
- Parkinson’s Disease
With so many potential medical applications, you might be wondering about the safety profile of CBD oil.
Is CBD Oil Safe?
CBD has been acknowledged as a safe substance by the World Health Organization. The WHO has stated that cannabidiol is well tolerable in humans, even in doses as high as 1500 mg daily.
The list of possible side effects is very short and their nature is rather mild.
One of the most common symptoms of taking high doses of CBD oil is a dry mouth sensation. This is caused by CBD’s ability to inhibit saliva production in the mouth.
Another thing to keep in mind is the possibility of lowered blood pressure upon consumption, followed by dizziness and sleepiness.
What’s the Best Way to Take CBD
CBD oil is available in many different forms. In this section, we’ll break down the most common ones.
CBD Oil Vapes
Vaporization is the most efficient delivery method when it comes to CBD oil. The act of vaporizing cannabis extracts involves heating the material to the point when it releases its active compounds in the form of clean vapor.
Vaping temperatures are below the combustion point, so CBD oil vapes are generally considered safer and healthier than smoked flowers.
Moreover, vaporization has the highest bioavailability of all consumption methods. Bioavailability is measured by the amount of the active substance that reaches the bloodstream. For vaporization, bioavailability clocks at around 56%.
The effects of vaped CBD also take hold much faster, usually within minutes after inhalation.
But can you vape CBD oil?
Not all CBD products are compatible with vaporizers. If you want to vape regular CBD oil, you’re going to have a hard time succeeding because the product is too thick to be vaped in a device like this.
There are special CBD vape oils, also known as CBD E-liquids. These products contain CBD oil and one or two thinning agents (propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin) that also boost the vapor production.
Alternatively, you can vape CBD flowers or concentrates. For the latter, make sure your vaporizer comes with a concentrate-compatible chamber.
CBD Oil Drops & Tinctures
CBD oil drops are the most traditional way to take CBD. This type of CBD oil features a CBD extract — full-spectrum or isolate — and a carrier oil that boosts its bioavailability.
The bioavailability of CBD oil drops is around 35% — slightly less than vapes but its still pretty decent.
CBD oil drops come in small bottles that have a convenient dropper attached to them. The dropper works as a measuring tool and also serves for applying the oil.
To use CBD oil, simply unscrew the bottle, squeeze the dropper to get the desired amount of oil, and apply the drops under the tongue. Once there, hold it for about 60 seconds, and swallow.
Tinctures are also available as drops, although they use a slightly different extraction method. A CBD tincture is extracted by soaking the hemp plant in high-proof alcohol that strips all the compounds off the plant material. Tincture are usually more potent than regular oil drops and have a longer shelf life.
CBD Oil Capsules & Edibles
Just as any supplement out there, CBD oil may also take the form of a capsule. These are sold as regular pills or convenient softgels.
The biggest advantage of taking CBD capsules is that each piece comes with a fixed dose of CBD. This means that there’s no need for measurements. For example, if you have a capsule that contains 10 mg of CBD and your daily dose is 30 mg, you just take 3 capsules a day and you’re good to go.
There’s also a real treat for those who have a sweet tooth. Have you heard about CBD gummies?
As the name suggests, you can buy a bag of CBD-infused gummy bears that work similar to capsules, save for the fact that they’re incomparably more enjoyable.
Of course, there’s some extra sugar content included, but you can also find sugar-free gummies that use natural or artificial sweeteners to make it a not-so-guilty-pleasure.
Now, let’s talk about the possible downsides.
Capsules and edibles are taken orally, meaning the CBD and other compounds need to be broken down in your digestive system before they reach the bloodstream. This results in a delayed onset; the effects of capsules or gummies may need between 30–90 minutes to take hold.
But more importantly, this form of consumption has relatively low bioavailability. In the best case scenario, a CBD capsule will deliver the 20% of the ingested content to your system.
CBD Oil Topicals
CBD topicals are great for localized problems or as a natural alternative to commercial skincare products.
Cannabidiol offers many benefits from the skin. It has remarkable moisturizing properties, reduces inflammation, relieves pain, improves mobility in joints, and speeds up recovery.
A CBD topical is made with a CBD extract (full-spectrum or isolate) along with a carrier oil, natural essential oils, and other ingredients to boost the formula, such as herbal extracts, powdered roots, etc.
The bioavailability of CBD topicals is literally ZERO. That’s because none of the CBD you apply on the skin reaches the bloodstream. Instead, cannabidiol engages with the cannabinoid receptors in the deeper layers of the skin to relieve inflamed areas, soothe pain, and reduce muscle tension.
Finding the Best CBD Dosage: How Much CBD Oil Should You Take?
There’s no one-size-fits-all dosage when it comes to CBD oil. Everyone reacts differently to CBD because there are so many factors involved.
Your unique age, weight, metabolism, lifestyle choices, unique body chemistry, prior experience with CBD, severity of condition — they all play an important role in how you react to CBD oil.
The general consensus is to start low and go slow until you reach an effective dose. Experts suggest that new users should take 1–6 mg of CBD oil per pound and observe the effects.
CBD doesn’t cause a tolerance build up, so once you find the effective dosage, there’s no need to experiment further, unless you want to reach certain effects. For example, lower does of CBD oil are believed to raise daytime awareness, whereas higher doses induce sedation and sleepiness.
If you have mild anxiety or a demanding job that puts a lot of stress on your shoulders, a few drops of CBD oil daily should do the trick. But for more severe conditions, such as chronic pain, you’ll need larger doses. For example, epilepsy patients are advised to take 450 mg of CBD daily.
How to Schedule Your CBD Routine
At the beginning of your CBD regimen, you may find yourself thinking about the best time of the day to take CBD oil.
As mentioned, there is no perfect dose or time to take CBD oil.
Let’s say you use CBD to tamper pain throughout the day and you need long-lasting relief. If that’s your story, the best choice will be to take CBD capsules or edibles in the morning.
If, on the other hand, you rely on the ad-hoc effects of CBD, possibly from stress or unpredictable pain, keeping a vape or tincture nearby will ensure the easiest access to the benefits of CBD oil, regardless of the time of the day.
Finally, if CBD oil makes you drowsy in the evening, you may use it as a light sleeping aid before bed.
The best time to take CBD oil is the time YOU need it.
Final Thoughts on Finding the Best Way to Take CBD
As you can see, there are plenty of ways to take CBD. Each of them has its pros and cons, but in the end, everything boils down to the purpose you want to use CBD for.
Before you buy any CBD product, think about different routes of administration. Traditional CBD oil drops are the easiest to apply; they have a relatively fast onset but they also involve some hassle with measurements.
CBD oil vapes are perfect for instant relief and if you want to enjoy the unique flavor of your product. Vaporization is also the most efficient of all consumption methods, as it delivers more CBD to your system.
Those seeking gradual, long-lasting relief should opt for CBD capsules and edibles. This consumption method, however, has low bioavailability and a delayed onset.
Localized aches, inflamed areas, and physical discomfort can be eased with a dedicated CBD topical.
What about your preferred way to take CBD? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.