CBD (cannabidiol) is a compound found in cannabis that provides a wide range of benefits with virtually no side effects. It can be used to relieve a host of ailments from minor issues like muscle cramps to severe chronic pain to depression. This has led to a boom in its popularity as many seek out its curative properties.
But taking CBD is not always as simple as taking a pill. CBD comes in a variety of forms, and it can be consumed in multiple ways. Choosing a type of CBD to take relies on more than your preference. If you’re taking CBD for arthritis, you’ll want to take CBD differently than if you were suffering from anxiety.
This guide will tell you exactly how to take CBD in all of its forms, and we’ll recommend the right forms of CBD to use for some of the most common conditions.
How to Take CBD: CBD Consumption Methods
There’s not much information out there about how to take CBD, but the way you consume it is quite important. Taking CBD in the “wrong” way will not hurt you in any way, but you may not get the desired effect. For example, taking CBD gummies for muscle pain probably won’t be as effective as a topical cream. Let’s take a look at the most popular ways to take CBD and how exactly they might benefit you.
Oral CBD products: CBD Oil, Edibles, Capsules/pills, Powder
Best for: Chronic pain, Anxiety, Digestive problems, Nausea, Dyskinesia, Insomnia, Arthritis, Panic, Depression
Oral consumption is the most popular way to take CBD. This is because CBD oil is put into a number of flavorful foods like gummies, cakes, chocolates and more. Also, CBD oil is one of the best ways to take CBD for fast relief, as the CBD enters the bloodstream quite quickly.
There are two ways CBD can be consumed orally.
a) Eating CBD
Eating or swallowing CBD in the form of food or capsules is an easy and sometimes tasty way to get your CBD. Although, this is the slowest way to feel the effects of CBD as it must be digested to be absorbed into the body. This is ideal for those who need CBD for relief from physical or mental symptoms throughout the day without the “buzz” that might result from absorbing a large dose all at once.
If you want to take CBD at work or while driving, this would be a good option. If you need CBD for immediate pain relief or to fight anxiety and panic, eating CBD probably won’t give you the relief you’re looking for.
Eating CBD also means that you’ll feel the benefits for longer when compared to other consumption methods. You may not start feeling it for an hour or so, but you’ll enjoy the benefits for 5-6 hours. This makes eating CBD an hour before bed a great, non-dependency forming treatment for insomnia.
If you choose to eat CBD, take it after a meal to get the best effect. And, as CBD is fat-soluble, taking it after a meal rich in healthy fats (avocado, nuts, salmon) will increase the amount of CBD your body absorbs.
b) Sublingually Absorbing CBD
Another way to take CBD orally is by placing it under the tongue and letting it absorb directly into the bloodstream via capillaries in the tissue. This method provides instant relief, though it is not as discreet as simply taking a pill or eating a gummy bear.
CBD oil tinctures are very popular and can be purchased in a number of different sizes, strengths, and flavors. They come with a convenient dropper to help you measure the dosage and easily drop the oil under your tongue.
Once you’ve taken the CBD, hold it under your tongue for about 30 seconds and then swish it around your mouth. This will help you boost immediate absorption, though you will still end up swallowing most of the CBD oil.
Taking CBD sublingually is a happy medium for those who need instant and long-term relief. The CBD absorbed into the gums and mouth can counteract conditions like anxiety and nausea quickly, while the rest that is swallowed will continue to act for the next 5 hours or so.
CBD products to inhale: CBD flower (dried cannabis plant), CBD vape products, dabs
Best for: Pain, Anxiety, Relaxation, Insomnia, Nausea, Dyskinesia, Depression, Panic
Inhaling CBD can be done by smoking the actual cannabis plant, using a vape pen, or inhaling dabs. This is the quickest way to get CBD into the bloodstream, and inhaling enough of it can cause a pleasant, relaxed sensation that some call a “buzz.” Although you feel the effects of inhaling CBD immediately, the effect wears off quite quickly. After inhaling CBD, the effects will start to taper after just 10 minutes.
Inhaling CBD is perfect for those who need relief as quickly as possible. Those who suffer from anxiety attacks or panic or those who have bouts of nausea will likely benefit from keeping a CBD vape pen on hand. Though these same people will probably also want to take a CBD capsule or CBD oil for long-term relief. Otherwise, they’d need to inhale CBD multiple times an hour.
Inhaling CBD may be the least discreet way of taking it. Smoking CBD won’t be accepted in most public places, and dabbing requires equipment to inhale properly. Even vaping is not allowed in a number of enclosed places. Because of this, inhaling CBD may be the best choice for your primary method of taking CBD.
Because inhaling CBD can give you a “buzzed” feeling, we don’t recommend taking CBD this way if you are at work or operating a vehicle. CBD doesn’t get you high or impair your judgment, but it can make you drowsy and less attentive if taken in higher doses.
Topical CBD products: Cream, Lotion, Salve, Lip balm, Lubricant
Best for: Muscle pain, Arthritis, Acne, Inflammation, Dry skin
Taking CBD topically means putting in on your body opposed to putting it in your body. Topical CBD products include balms, creams, lotions, and salves. When using CBD topically, rub it onto the area in need of relief. The CBD will then absorb into the skin. This is beneficial for those who have localized pain. Topical CBD products are popular with athletes and those who suffer from arthritis.
Topical CBD can be beneficial for the skin as well. CBD has been shown to reduce inflammation and the excretion of certain oils that contribute to acne. CBD creams and lotions commonly include other beneficial ingredients like herbs and essential oils to soothe and moisturize the skin.
Before taking CBD topically, make sure you know what the topical product is intended for. Unlike other CBD products, topical products are usually made for a specific purpose. This means that a CBD hand lotion should not be used on the face. The CBD won’t cause any harm, but some of the other ingredients might have a negative effect if used in the wrong way.
Anal and Vaginal
Anal and Vaginal CBD Products: Cream, Spray, Suppository
Best for: Menopause, Menstrual cramps, digestive issues
A small number of CBD producers offer suppositories and vaginal creams or sprays as a way of taking CBD. These are not common, but they are reportedly some of the best ways to deal with menstrual pain, menopausal issues, and severe digestive discomfort.
The membranes inside the vagina and anus are some of the best in the body for absorbing CBD. This is because these areas have a lot of concentrated capillaries, nerve endings, and inflammatory cells. Taking CBD anally or vaginally is not likely to be anyone’s primary method of consumption, but those who have certain medical conditions will be happy to have a natural method for quick relief.
How to Take CBD for Your Condition
When trying to understand how to take CBD, the first thing you should do is talk to your doctor. This will result in you choosing the right CBD product the first time (which can save you hundreds of dollars), and it will prevent any harm from potential side effects. (As mentioned before, there are almost no side effects of CBD. But, CBD has been shown to react to certain types of medication, so you should always ask your doctor before adding it to your treatment plan).
If your doctor gives you the go-ahead to use CBD but doesn’t recommend a particular way to take it, then you should try multiple products and choose the one that works best for you. CBD has been shown to affect different people in different ways. This means that while, say, inhalation might be the best anxiety reliever for some, it may not have the same effect on others.
We recommend that users choose at least two different delivery methods to receive as many benefits as possible from CBD. Some use oil in the morning and store a bottle of gummies in their desk. Others take a few capsules a day and keep a vape pen on hand for stressful situations. This is a good way to ensure you have temporary and long-term relief covered.
It’s not always easy to understand how to take CBD. This is because we’re still studying all of its benefits and the best ways to apply them. We’ll surely see many more ways to take CBD in the future, and you can bet we’ll cover them all right here.