CBD has been growing in popularity, especially given that the 2018 Farm Bill officially made it legal. You can now find nearly any type of product that claims to include CBD. With so many products to select from, how do you choose which CBD method is right for you? Luckily, you do not have to stick to just one method of consuming CBD and can combine methods if you pay attention to dosing.
Learn more about each of the most common methods of using CBD to discover which one makes the most sense for you.
A Quick Review of CBD
As with anything else you put into your body, you should be clear on what CBD is before you decide to consume it. CBD stands for “cannabidiol” and is one of the naturally occurring cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. Many people associate CBD with positive effects, such as those associated with medical marijuana. Early research on CBD is promising, although more is needed.
One of the most important things to know about CBD is that it is not psychoactive. The psychoactive effects in cannabis come from another cannabinoid, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
As mentioned, CBD is legal thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill. To be legal, CBD must be hemp-derived instead of cannabis-derived and must contain less than 0.3 percent THC.
Pills and Capsules
Pills and capsules are a popular choice and are just what they sound like. They are pills, tablets, or a similar format that contains CBD. These tend to look like a vitamin would but contain CBD instead of a vitamin.
Those who use capsules and pills will appreciate that they are pre-portioned. This way, there is no confusion about dosing, and you will know exactly what you want.
Additionally, pills are incredibly portable. You can throw them in your medicine case and take them anywhere without worrying about a mess.
Pills are also incredibly discreet since no one will know that you are taking CBD. They will just know that you are taking a pill of some sort.
The pre-dosed nature of pills can also be a negative in some situations, especially for those people who need odd doses of CBD. Most pills and capsules will come in multiples of 5 milligrams, although there are some exceptions. This is good for people who take larger doses with many multiples, but it is not ideal if you just need a very little bit of CBD or need an odd amount, such as 7 milligrams. In that case, you may have to combine the pills with another method.
Pills also tend to take longer for you to start noticing the effects because they must pass through your digestive system first. This delayed onset may be unappealing for those who want faster effects.
Edibles (Other Than Pills)
Many people consider pills to be a type of edible since they are something you consume that contains CBD, and they have many similar positives and negatives. An edible refers to anything that you eat or drink that has CBD. Gummies are among the most popular edibles, but you can also find juices, baked goods, honeys, condiments, and more.
Depending on the edible that you choose, it can be very easy to measure the dose. This is particularly true in the case of individually packaged or clearly divided items, such as gummies, candies, or chocolate bars that have break lines.
Like pills, edibles are also very discreet. As far as anyone around you knows, you are just having a snack or a drink, unless they can see the packaging.
Depending on the edible, they can also be very portable, especially things like gummies and candies.
Some people simply love the taste of edibles. If you are unsure about the taste of CBD, then edibles are a good way to mask that flavor.
Because of the way they are absorbed, edibles tend to stay in your system longer than other forms of consuming CBD. This is great for those who want all-day effects.
While some edibles are easy to dose, others are much harder. For example, if you wanted to use CBD-infused honey, you would need to measure out the honey to know how much CBD you are consuming. This is an extra step many people want to avoid.
As with pills, edibles have a delayed onset time because they must pass through the digestive system first. If you need immediate effects and cannot plan ahead, this may be problematic.
Oils and Tinctures
Oils and tinctures are among the most common types of CBD that you will see. These usually feature CBD that is extracted from hemp before being diluted with oil. You can use oils and tinctures by placing a few drops under your tongue and letting your body absorb it into your bloodstream. You can also mix oils and tinctures into foods, drinks, or skin treatments to use them in that way.
If you want to feel quick results after consuming CBD, then oils will be the second-quickest method, just after vaping. In most cases, you will start noticing the effects within about 30 minutes. Of course, the exception is if you add the oil to your food, in which case it must go through your digestive system.
One of the best things about CBD oils and tinctures is their dosing, which is precise and versatile. Most CBD oils and tinctures will come with a dropper that you can use to get the exact amount of CBD that you want. This eliminates any confusion in that respect.
Even better, the use of a dropper and the fact that the oils are diluted make it easy to adjust the dose. For example, if there are 5 milligrams of CBD in an oil’s dropper, you would just take half a dropper.
CBD tinctures and oils are also very easy to transport since they tend to come in small bottles with droppers attached.
Some people find the action of placing a drop under their tongue more awkward or harder to adapt to than other methods of consuming CBD.
It is also not very discreet to just take out a small bottle and place a drop of something in your mouth, as this is not an action most people do in their daily life. Even so, it is still typically discreet enough.
Some people may also want even more precision in dosing than CBD oil offers. Using the dropper helps significantly, but if you want to take less than a full dropper, you may end up eyeballing how full it is. You can get over that by choosing a dropper with measurement lines.
Topicals let you absorb CBD through the skin. These are any treatment that you apply to your skin that contains CBD. The most common of these are lotions, creams, and balms. You can also find topical patches.
Applying a topical CBD product lets you pinpoint exactly where you want to notice the effects. For example, if you have joint pain, you could apply the topical to those joints. This prevents the need to use more CBD, including on parts of your body that you do not need the effects on.
The variety of topical products is also appealing, as you can find lotions, eye masks, lip balms, patches, and nearly any other kind of topical product infused with CBD. This makes it easy to incorporate CBD into your daily routine.
Topical CBD products are also very popular for daily CBD routines due to the way that they slowly release the CBD into your system over time. This can provide better long-term effects than some other methods.
Topicals are also typically discreet, as it is not unusual for someone to apply lotion or lip balm in public.
Unfortunately, the amount of time it takes to feel the effects of a topical will vary based on the topical and the individual. As such, it may or may not be a good choice for immediate results. However, you can overcome this by doing a test run first to see how long it takes for you to notice the effects.
Additionally, because of the way that the skin absorbs the CBD in topicals, these products typically need higher concentrations of CBD. This can result in the products being more expensive.
Vaporizing CBD involves using a vaporizer device or vape pen to heat up CBD oil or a dry CBD flower then inhaling the vapor.
Vaping CBD will be the quickest way to feel results, as you will likely notice them within just 10 minutes or so. Most people notice a difference in even less time. The effects can even last three to five hours.
Vaping CBD is also somewhat discreet, as no one will be sure what you are vaping unless you tell them. From a distance, vaping e-cigarettes and vaping CBD look the same.
One of the issues with vaporizing CBD is that dosing can be incredibly challenging. Even if you know the amount of CBD in the oil you use, the amount you ingest will depend on the heat of the vaporizer, how deep you inhale, and how long after that you hold your breath.
Additionally, there are some health concerns about vaping CBD, with more research still necessary. For now, it seems that most of the problems have been from people who use lower-quality or black-market CBD products. As long as you choose a reputable product with a certificate of analysis, this should not be a big concern.
Smoking CBD Flower
Another option that is frequently overlooked is smoking a bud that is high in CBD. If you live in an area where marijuana is illegal, ensure you choose legal hemp plants. If you live somewhere with legal marijuana, look for any high-CBD, low-THC flower.
Smoking CBD flowers will give you the same incredibly quick results as vaping CBD.
It is surprisingly easy to find high-CBD flowers and you can just smoke them like you would marijuana.
Smoking CBD flowers can also lead to inhaling some of the plant material, which may be harmful to your health.
If you live in an area where marijuana is illegal, you will have to be very careful to ensure you only choose legal CBD flowers. Even then, you may need to prove to law enforcement that your plants are legal, making this option less appealing for those in places with restricted marijuana use.
What to Consider When Choosing Your Method
With all of the above products in mind, as well as their unique pros and cons, keep the following factors in mind when choosing the right CBD method for you.
If you need a quick onset time, consider vaping or CBD oils. Other methods can be good, as well, as long as you plan ahead.
Duration of Effects
If you want something that will help you experience CBD’s effects longer, consider edibles or topicals, as these both release the CBD slowly over time.
If you are unsure about the taste of CBD, stick to a topical method or go with an edible and choose something that tastes good.
Think about how important discretion is to you. If it is a priority, consider pills or capsules or maybe some common edibles, like gummies. The least discreet method of consuming CBD is likely vaping.
Consider whether you want to be able to take the CBD with you on the go or if you plan to leave it at home. Nearly all of the above methods can be portable with minor adjustments, such as using a vape pen instead of a tabletop vaporizer, but some are more portable than others. Pills and gummies are likely the most portable.
Ability to Work into Your Routine
You should also think about how often you want to use the CBD product and how easy it is to work into your routine. If you want to consume CBD daily, for example, consider whether it is easier to take a pill every morning, apply a specific lotion, or put some CBD oil in your morning smoothie.
With so many different ways to consume CBD, you should have no problem finding a method that fits your needs and lifestyle.