It’s hard to say what’s best when it comes to taking CBD – it’s all about personal preference and finding what works best for you. Read on to learn more about some of the most popular methods of taking CBD, and how they can work differently in the body.
You can’t talk about how to take CBD without discussing bioavailability. In short, the term bioavailability refers to the proportion of a substance (in our case, CBD) that is absorbed, introduced into circulation, and able to have an active effect. CBD has to reach receptors in the endocannabinoid system in order for it to have an effect, so you can see how the bioavailability of each method can make a pretty big difference in both when and how you feel the effects of CBD.
You’ve probably seen CBD tinctures, but maybe you’re wondering how to use them and what exactly they are. Tinctures combine CBD molecules, ranging from isolate to broad and full spectrum, with a carrier oil and flavoring extracts.
While you can mix them into smoothies, teas, and other drinks, the most effective way to get your dose of CBD from a tincture is sublingually, or below the tongue (near the sublingual glands). Just fill the dropper to the correct dose, drop under your tongue, and hold it there for 20-30 seconds before swallowing.
The CBD from a tincture gets absorbed quickly without having to move through your digestive system, meaning this method has a medium-high to high degree of bioavailability. You can generally expect to start feeling results in about 30-45 minutes.
Tinctures come in different flavors and strengths, so you can easily customize your routine to fit your lifestyle.
Recommended for: beginners, experienced users, daily users, athletes, discreet users
You can feel effects from vaping CBD in mere minutes. The CBD molecules are very quickly and efficiently taken up into the bloodstream when you inhale e-liquids, and there are many flavor choices on the market.
This method has the highest bioavailability of any that we’ll be going through in this post, which makes it a great option for those looking to use CBD situationally. Vaping is also a healthier alternative to smoking a flower product and produces little to no odor.
It can be more difficult to accurately measure dosage, so be sure to start slowly if you decide vaping is the right method for you.
Recommended for: beginners, experienced users, daily users, on-the-go users
A CBD lotion, balm, salve, or roll-on is perfect for those not looking to inhale or ingest CBD. Many topicals have ingredients like shea butter or aloe vera for added moisturizing or restorative benefits for the skin and lips. Some even add menthol for targeted cooling relief from sports injuries or muscle aches.
These products might be effective in treating muscle injuries, arthritis, or skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis. Because you apply these products directly to the skin, they have a medium degree of bioavailability. Be sure to apply generously to feel those effects, and don’t apply to broken skin.
The bottom line with topicals: they’re great for dealing with localized problems and are easy to incorporate into your daily routine, but you won’t feel full-body effects.
Recommended for: beginners, experienced users, daily users, athletes…pretty much everyone!
Edibles and capsules offer a discreet and easy way to consume CBD. Gummies provide clear and measurable dosing, making them one of the most popular routes of intake, though you can find mints, gum, brownies, and many other edible options infused with CBD these days.
The flavorings in edibles can mask the earthy taste of hemp, but you might have to wait a while to feel the effects of the CBD since edibles processed by the liver and digestive system first. The bioavailability of ingestible CBD is lower than that of tinctures or vapeables because of this. However, studies have shown that CBD tends to remain in the bloodstream longer when ingested.
Convenience is the name of the game when it comes to ingestible CBD.
Recommended for: beginners, daily users, discreet users, on-the-go users
This is by no means a comprehensive list of the ways to take CBD, but these are the most popular and convenient options. You can mix and match methods to totally customize your CBD routine, but we always advise starting slowly with a low dosage until you know how it will affect you.
How do you take your CBD? Let us know in the comments!