A Beginner’s Guide to the Benefits of Each
No matter how CBD enters your system, choosing the right form and strength is very important. The best method of delivery largely depends on your reason for using CBD.
Clarify Your Purpose
CBD products range from tinctures and topicals to hemp flower and edibles. Much of what’s available on the market varies in quality and potency, and frequent product mislabeling and a lack of transparency by many CBD brands can add to confusion. The facts that everyone responds differently to CBD and that each method of delivery has its own optimal uses and doses is another complication.
To help decide on a method of delivery, consider a few questions.
- What do you want CBD to help you with? Are you suffering from chronic pain? Anxiety? Do you need help to sleep better? Are you trying to achieve a sense of well-being? Or are you just curious about the effects of CBD?
- Where do you want it to reach? To get the most out of CBD, decide whether you want it to address a localized issue or to affect your whole body (brain, immune system, and so on).
- How quickly would you like it to start working? How long CBD stays in your body and the speed of delivery depend on the method of use. Do you want to maintain a slow and steady level, or do you want a shorter-term but immediate effect?
Under the Tongue
A very popular method of CBD delivery is sublingual. Sublingual delivery occurs when CBD oil is placed under your tongue. This is a faster way to absorb CBD because it bypasses the liver, letting more of the CBD immediately enter the bloodstream through the capillaries and sublingual artery under your tongue. By contrast, consuming CBD using the traditional oral method (such as with CBD gummies and other edibles) requires that CBD pass through the stomach and the liver, which can take up to two hours for your body to absorb.
It’s important to hold the CBD oil under your tongue for 60 to 90 seconds to allow absorption into the mucous membranes, and to avoid eating, drinking, or smoking just before or just after consumption. Research has shown that bioavailability (the amount your body absorbs) is greatly increased using this method.
Edibles and CBD-Infused Food and Beverages
Research shows that taking CBD with certain foods makes it easier for your body to absorb it, thus maximizing its effectiveness. Taking CBD orally with fatty foods like oils, eggs, avocado, fish, meat, and nuts increases both bioavailability — i.e., how quickly and how much of a substance is absorbed into the body — and the concentration of CBD entering the bloodstream.
There are a wide variety of CBD-infused food and beverages on the market: cold brews, kombucha, cocktails, cookies, cereal, popcorn, honey, chocolate, etc. There are also many CBD edibles like CBD gummies, chocolates, gumdrops, and candy.
When you ingest CBD, it is partially broken down by the liver and digestive tract. This means that ingestion takes longer than other methods and enables only partial absorption.
Exploring CBD Topicals
Topical CBD products — the kind you apply to your skin — directly relieve localized pain. Our skin is our largest organ, a protective barrier with its own immune system and sensory nerves. All CBD products interact with the endocannabinoid system (ECS), a collection of cell receptors and molecules that helps regulate essential functions like sleep, appetite, mood, and pain. CBD binds to and activates several kinds of receptors in the ECS, including serotonin, and boosts dopamine levels.
When you apply CBD topically, it binds to CB1 and CB2, two common receptors in the skin, muscle tissue, and nerves. Topical application bypasses the digestive system and bloodstream. So if you want immediate results delivered directly to a targeted area, topical CBD is for you.
Inhalation of CBD-Infused Vapor
Vaping CBD also has benefits, including making it possible for CBD to enter your bloodstream directly. Unlike orally consumed CBD, which must first pass through the digestive system, vaped CBD directly enters the bloodstream after being absorbed through the lungs. Vaping also results in greater bioavailability, up to 60% greater than that of ingested CBD.
But CBD is not present in the bloodstream for very long; it quickly diffuses, then accumulates in fatty tissue. In order to maintain a steady level of CBD in your system, you may need to vape often. But vaping is convenient and discreet, and can be done using CBD isolate (using a concentrate or dry herb vaporizer) or high-CBD hemp flower (if you’d rather vape a full-spectrum product).
There’s no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to methods of delivering CBD. Whether you’re choosing your first CBD product or just optimizing your current routine, we hope you use the method, or combination of methods, that is most appropriate given your reasons for using the product. If you’re not sure which method is best for you, please contact us and we’ll be happy to help you choose.