How should I take CBD?

Jan 31, 2020

Man taking CBD oil whilst hiking

 With so many CBD products on the market, it can be challenging for beginners to know which to try, and how best to use them. In this article, I explain the three main ways to administer CBD products and the benefits of each method. 

Ingestion

The main way to take CBD is to ingest it. Using oils, tinctures, premade food and drinks and more, this is certainly the most popular way to administer cannabidiol. Ingestion is the preferred method of CBD application for those who are treating anxiety or sleep issues. There are two predominant ways CBD can be ingested; sublingually or swallowed.

Sublingual

Type: Oils, tinctures, sprays

Time: Effects should take place within 20 to 40 minutes and last up to five hours.

Best for: Long-term supplementation with quicker activation.

Ingesting CBD sublingually means placing it underneath the tongue to absorb into the bloodstream through the mouths network of capillaries. By taking CBD sublingually, it is ingested into the system quickly.

Another similar method is buccally, which simply means absorbing the oil through your cheeks, as opposed to under the tongue. Although this is usually deemed second best to under the tongue, for those who struggle with sublingual ingestion it could be a great alternative.

Swallowed

CBD oil in coffee

Type: Capsules, oils, tinctures, sprays, premade CBD food and drink products

Time: Effects should take places within 2 hours, and last up to 6 hours.

Best for: Long-term supplementation.

Swallowing CBD is the second way of ingesting it. Although it tends to take longer to feel the effects, they do last for longer. There are myriad ways to swallow CBD, either simply swallowing the CBD oil or tincture, using a spray, ingesting a capsule or eating/drinking premade CBD food and drink products.

I think CBD food and drinks products are great. Just like my own Kolibri, they offer a broader range of options to consumers. At the moment, the main forms these take are in gummy sweets and drinks, however, more and more products are popping up.

Topically

Type: Creams, lotions, tinctures

Time: Effects should take place within an hour and last up for 5 hours. Timeframe will change depending on location administered.

Best for: Targeting pain in a specific area.

For those using CBD to treat localised pain, a topical application is suggested. This involves rubbing a cream, lotion or tincture into the affected area. This allows a more targeted treatment than ingestion, which is preferred for aid with anxiety and sleep issues.

Because of the application method, it is unlikely that any CBD will enter the bloodstream, so this method should only be used for those looking to treat localised pain, swelling and issues. For long-term health issues, people often find the best results are gained when topical applications are paired with orally ingested or inhaled CBD products.

Inhalation

CBD vape

Type: Vape pens or smoking cannabis (Illegal in the UK)

Time: Effects should take place almost immediately but won’t last long.

Best for: Short-term results.

The final dominant method of CBD administration in the UK is through inhalation. The two ways to inhale CBD is through a vape pen, or by smoking cannabis – the latter is still illegal in the UK due to the presence of THC.

Vaping is the quickest way to get CBD into the bloodstream, often with the effects being felt almost immediately. However, what it gains in speed it loses in longevity, as the effects are likely to wear off quickly too. Vaping is often used as a subsidiary method, with people using it as a ‘top-up’ throughout the day between ingesting. 

Through ingestion, topical application and inhalation, everyone should be able to find a method or combination of methods that helps them achieve their goals. As the CBD market is still in its infancy in the UK, I’m also excited to see what other methods people start using to get the most out of this seemingly unstoppable extract.

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