Ok, so you’ve read up on what CBD is and how it’s made, and now you’re ready to give this hemp-derived natural gift a whirl. But how do you actually take CBD Oil? And what CBD dosage should you take?
There are CBD drops, sprays, capsules, topicals, vapes, edibles, drinks… What’s the best for you?
Don’t worry, we’re here to help. In this article we’ll look at the different options available for taking CBD oil, so you can work out what best fits your needs.
With so many ways to take CBD oil, and so many reported benefits, it's easy to get confused. It’s therefore important to step back and work out your exact reasons for taking CBD.
What is it that you want to improve?
Is it something physical? Or mental? Or are you just curious to see what CBD can do?
For CBD to be effective, it must get to where it’s needed. Once you’ve defined your reason for taking CBD, it should be straightforward to work out where it needs to go.
If you’re taking CBD to target muscles or anywhere close to your skin, then a localized product like a balm or cream may be the best fit.
For all other purposes CBD will need to travel through your bloodstream to reach it’s target (whether that be your brain, internal organs, or any other location with cannabinoid receptors). In which case you'll need to take some form of CBD ingestible.
Some methods of taking CBD take longer to ‘kick in’ than others, this is down to bioavailability (more on that below). If your reason for taking CBD oil requires an immediate short-term relief, then maybe vaping could be your best bet. If on the other hand you’re looking for a more sustained effect throughout the day then taking CBD oil drops, edibles or drinks could be more appropriate.
It's worth noting at this point that you don't have to choose one method and stick to it. Lots of people take a mix of CBD oil products via different methods as part of their daily routine.
Before we dive deeper into the different ways to take CBD oil, it's important to understand some more about bioavailability.
Bioavailability is a term used in pharmacology. It refers to the degree and speed at which an administered drug is absorbed by our bodies.
When a drug is administered intravenously, i.e. put directly into our veins, it has a bioavailability of 100%. That means all of it gets in immediately (hence why hospitals administer important drugs intravenously).
We’re going to assume you’re not intending to put CBD directly into your veins(!), so you'll be taking it ‘non-intravenously’.
When drugs are administered non-intravenously their bioavailability differs depending on the delivery method. So for CBD, each method - e.g. CBD drops, capsules, edibles etc. - has a different bioavailability.
Importantly, factors like your physical health, metabolism and the presence of any other drugs, food or disease in your body with also effect bioavailability.
Now it's time to take a look at the different ways to take CBD oil:
Most of the CBD in the liquid is quickly absorbed into your blood stream by the vessels under your tongue (meaning it has good good bioavailability!). This method produces effects within 15-45 minutes, and they can last for up to 6 hours.
Drops and sprays are quick to administer, have good bioavailability and their effects last for several hours, meaning you can get a good sustained coverage across a whole day with just two doses.
In regards to CBD dosgae, when you purchase CBD drops you’ll be provided with a small dropper. Typically, a standard dropper holds 0.5ml or 1ml of oil. You simply fill the dropper with the amount you want to take, and drop the oil under your tongue. Hold it there for 60 to 90 seconds - et voila!
For CBD sprays, simply spray the oil under your tongue as instructed on the labelling.
The beauty of taking CBD in the form of edibles and drinks is they're so easy to incorporate into your routine. You already eat and drink everyday, so it's not a big break from the norm to start eating or drinking a CBD infused product.
There's a discretion element too, you may not want to whip out your CBD drops at work and start dropping under your tongue. Whereas a quick lozenge or cup of tea is quite normal.
However, there is a potential downside to CBD edibles and CBD drinks, and that's bioavailability. Things you eat and drink go into your digestive system, meaning the CBD has to pass through your digestive system in order to reach the rest of your body. Depending on your reason for taking CBD, this may not be ideal as it will take upwards of an hour for any effects to kick in and a fair amount of CBD could be lost in transit.
That being said, if you're you're specifically targetting cannabinoid receptors in your stomach, then hey presto - bullseye.
If your reason for taking CBD is driven by fitness or beauty, and as such related to your musles or skin. Then the world of CBD topicals is certainly one you'll be interested in.
By applying CBD externally in the form of balms, creams, or gels you localise the impact of the CBD to specific cannabinoid receptors in your target areas. It's for this reason that sports pros, physios, and beauty therapists around the world are increasingly turning to CBD topicals to aid their professions.
Inhalation is the act of inhaling smoke or vapour into the capillaries of your lungs. This method of taking CBD produces nearly instant effects and is one of the most popular ways to consume CBD.
The act of vaping heats CBD and turns it into vapour which is easily absorbed by the huge amount of blood vessels in your lungs. The CBD is delivered quickly and efficiently giving vaping a very high bioavailability.
Given the size of the vapour molecules, our bodies are able to process the CBD much quicker than other delivery methods. Meaning CBD vapes are quite popular amongst people that enjoy the process of taking/smoking CBD semi-frequently throughout the day.
Now that you understand how each delivery method works, it's up to you to decide which you think you'll enjoy best. And ultimately which is best to meet your desired outcome.
Remember to define:
Why is it you're interested in CBD? and, what do you want to get out of using CBD?
First answer those questions, then choose an application method that best solves your requirement and fits with your lifestyle.