Beginners Guide | What's The Best Way To Take CBD?

25/09/2019
How To Take CBD

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 it? There are tinctures, topicals, vapes, edibles, drinks… What’s the best for you? And how much should you take?

Don’t worry, we’re here to help. In this article we’ll look at the different options available so you can work out what fits best.

Define Your Reason

With so many applications and reported benefits of CBD it's easy to get blown away with the hype. It’s therefore important to step back and work out your exact reasons for getting involved. 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?

Where Does The CBD Need To Go?

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).

What’s Your Timeframe

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 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 CBD tinctures, 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 via different methods as part of their daily routine.

What is Bioavailability?

Before we dive deeper into the different ways to take CBD, 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%. All of it gets in immediately. That's why hospitals administer important drugs intravenously.

We’re going to assume you’re not intending to put CBD directly into your veins(!), which means you're going to 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. 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.

So, you now know what you want the CBD to do. You know where it needs to go. You know how quickly you want it to get there and stay there. And you know that bioavailability will determine how well that overall plan is executed. Now it's time to take a look at the different CBD delivery methods availailable to you.

CBD Tinctures - CBD Oil Drops & CBD Sprays

Currently the most popular delivery method of CBD is sublingual ingestion, which means putting CBD liquid (aka tincture) under your tongue. This is normally done via CBD drops or CBD sprays. 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.

When you purchase CBD drops, you’ll be provided with a small dropper. Typically, a standard dose from a dropper is 1ml. You simply fill the dropper with 0.5-1mL and drop the liquid under your tongue. Hold it there for 60 to 90 seconds - et voila! For CBD sprays, simply spray the liqud under your tongue as instructed on the labelling.

CBD Edibles & Drinks

CBD edibles and CBD drinks are growing in popularity. From health bars and chocolate to juice shots and tea & coffee there seems no end to the possiblities of CBD infusion.

The beauty 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 tincture at work and start dropping under your tongue. Whereas a cheeky 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.

CBD Topicals - CBD Balms, Creams, Gels & Oils

If your reason for using 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, gels 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 - CBD Vapes, E-Liquids

Inhalation is the act of inhaling smoke or vapour into the capillaries of your lungs. This method 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.

Which Method is Right For You?

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? What do you want to get ouot of it? First answer that question, then choose an application method that best solves your requirement and fits with your lifestyle.

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