Not all CBD delivery methods are alike.
People benefit from CBD in as many ways as there are, well, people who’ve tried it!
And there are a lot of those already. CBD products are infused so far into our lives – there are bath bombs, eye creams, supplement capsules, oils, lotions, sprays, and countless other ways to benefit without getting high – that knowing what’s best for you can be a bit of a project.
It’s great to have variety when it comes to how we use CBD, but it’s important to be armed with the facts. With just a little reading up, you can understand the ins and outs of CBD delivery methods and proper dosing.
[SEE ALSO: Is it safe to mix CBD and alcohol?]
Here are all the different ways to take CBD, what you need to know about each, and how to decide which is right for you.
CBD under the tongue: drops, strips, and sprays.
In 2013 CNN published a story about a little girl named Charlotte, who stopped having seizures when her parents started adding CBD to her food. CBD oil became famous practically overnight, and remains the most popular way to take it. And that might have something to do with its versatility.
CBD oils typically contain a full-spectrum hemp extract (combined with an oil like coconut or olive) and can be dropped directly under the tongue or added to food or drinks. You can find these oils in a neutral flavor or with added essential oils or ingredients like vanilla oil, which make them more fun to incorporate into recipes. If you’re just starting out and want something quality, try this Balance Full-Spectrum CBD Tincture from Bloom Farms.
You can also find CBD in spray and strip form, which give a somewhat more precise and consistent dose than droppers. CBD strips are basically like Listerine Pocketpaks of CBD and like sprays; they provide a consistent dose, and are highly convenient. These Citrus Zest oral strips from Cloverstrips taste like orange and contain 10 mg of CBD per strip.
CBD flower and vape pens.
Whether you like taking cannabis (or anything) into your lungs, it definitely has its pros and cons. To start, it’s the fastest delivery method (you’ll feel the effects in just a few minutes), making it ideal for those using CBD when you’re experiencing aches and pains, anxiety, and other issues in need of fast relief.
The effects of inhaled CBD will also go away more quickly, after just a few hours, which means you’ll have to take it more often than a supplement or oil if you’re looking for long-term benefits. And CBD-only flower is hard to come by – there are some companies making hemp-CBD prerolls, but they aren’t yet widely available.
The easiest way is with a vape pen, which heats the CBD and turns it into vapor. If you’re new to cannabis and want something mellow and fast-acting, try this best-selling Relax CBD Lavender vape pen from Select CBD.
CBD edibles: gummies, chocolates, and drinks.
The most important thing to know about CBD edibles: effects can take 30 to 90 minutes to fully manifest, and can last for hours. That’s because the cannabinoids must bypass your digestive system before they can enter your bloodstream and get to work. The effects of CBD edibles will also last longer, making them a great option if you’re just looking for a daily dose of wellness instead of quick relief.
A standard starting dose of CBD is roughly 10 milligrams, though there have been studies suggesting that higher doses are necessary to achieve desired effects. The latest Eaze Insights report found that more high-dose consumers (51%) reported reducing or stopping prescription pain medication vs. those who reported taking low doses (31%).
Here’s the good news: unlike with THC, there do not appear to be upper limits to how much CBD you can take or tolerate. Several small studies have found no adverse reaction or toxicity associated with CBD doses as high as 1,500 milligrams—10 or 100 times more than the average consumer might take in a day.
If you’re trying CBD for the first time, it’s a good idea to start with a small dose and work your way up until you’ve achieved the desired effect, but there’s no reason to fear overdoing it.
CBD tablets and capsules.
Taking CBD in capsule form is a simple and efficient delivery method for people who want to take a consistent dose long-term. And just like edibles, the onset of supplement capsules will be slower and the effects will last longer.
The great thing about capsules is they can contain other beneficial ingredients, like these Everyday CBD capsules from Plant People, with both CBD and magnesium, a mineral known for supporting digestion, preventing headaches, and helping your body become more resilient to stress.
Topical CBD: balms, patches, lotions, and roll-ons.
People swear by CBD for relieving itching from bug bites and other skin irritations, and even as an anti-aging ingredient in serums and face creams, like the CBD Calming Eye Balm from Cannuka and this Lavender Hemp Sleeping Mask from Kana.
Topical CBD can also be helpful for localized aches and pains, and products like CBD Pain Spray from Dr. Kerklaan’s are perfect for everyday use.
The best way to approach topical CBD: pick a product and start using a little bit once a day, then gradually increase your dose by being more generous with your application, or using it more than once a day.
As we continue to explore and research the many benefits of CBD, we’ll be seeing more and more ways to take it. Don’t get overwhelmed! Refer back to this guide and if all else fails, keep it simple and stick to your favorite CBD oil.