How To Consume CBD – All You Need To Know!
How To Consume CBD ?
There are many ways to enjoy the benefits of CBD. These include:
There are also important differences between these CBD products and their hemp counterparts, like hemp oil, hemp lotion, and hemp extract.
With all these choices, it can often feel daunting to figure out which is the right method for specific concerns.
Hemp vs. CBD products
While both hemp and marijuana are varieties of the plant Cannabis sativa, marijuana has high levels of psychoactive molecule THC (up to 30%). In contrast, hemp has high concentrations of the non-psychoactive CBD and almost no THC content (<0.3%).
So, hemp-derived CBD products have negligible THC levels, anywhere from 0-0.3%, which is the legal limit in accordance with the 2018 Farm Bill.
CBD and the Human Body
Hemp products typically come from the seeds of the Cannabis sativa plant, otherwise known as hemp seeds. They do NOT contain CBD but do have health benefits in the form of rich nutrients, fatty acids, and useful bioactive compounds.
In contrast, the stalks, leaves, and flowers of this plant contain the highest concentrations of CBD and are thus used in making CBD products. So hemp products do NOT provide the same benefits of those labeled as CBD products.
CBD extract or isolate is possibly the purest form of CBD, because it contains only cannabidiol and NOTHING else. Powder is the most common and popular form of CBD isolate, which can be used in cooking, baking, and drinks, and can also be vaporized or made into topicals or tinctures. However, in the extraction process of isolating CBD, many other properties of the original plant (which would be present in full-spectrum CBD products) are removed, such as flavonoids, terpenes, and trichomes. Research has indicated that full-spectrum CBD products may provide greater relief than CBD isolate, and as mentioned, there are a variety of ways to make use of such products:
CBD tinctures and oils are often confused for one another, but there are key differences between them. CBD tinctures are essentially extracted by dissolving the Cannabis sativa plant into alcohol and often combining it with a flavor to improve the taste. Sometimes the plant can also be dissolved and made into a tincture through vegetable glycerin, ethanol, and coconut oil. Tinctures often taste better than oils. However, while purity is high due to minimal involvement in the extraction process, the amount of CBD in the final tincture is lower than in an oil. It is administered sublingually with a dropper, and held under the tongue for 1-2 minutes before swallowing. This method ensures fast absorption into the bloodstream and easy dosage control.
CBD oils are administered in the exact same way as tinctures, but are CO2-extracted rather than alcohol-extracted. Thus, as the Cannabis sativa plant soaks, the CBD in the remaining liquid is evaporated, producing CBD oil. This method is considered cleaner and purer, creating a higher quality CBD product. CBD oil can also be used in a vape pen, while tinctures cannot. It usually lacks in taste and is combined with base oils like hemp, coconut, or Vitamin E. It also tends to have the highest concentration of CBD as compared to tinctures, potentially making it a better solution for chronic conditions.
With CBD tinctures and oils formulated with higher potencies, the CBD itself commonly comes out of the solution in a process known as precipitation. CBD sediment will be seen on the bottom of the bottle, meaning the CBD has precipitated, and the tincture is now unusable.
CBD edibles are food or drink items infused with CBD. For example: cookies, gummies, chocolates, mints, candies, etc. While CBD edibles are easy to use, their effects take longer than sublingual oils or tinctures, and research has indicated low bioavailability when CBD is consumed in edible form. As much as 6% to 20% of the CBD in the product is lost in the digestive system. Additionally, the effects of CBD edibles are subject to individual bodily differences and differences in metabolism. In addition, CBD cannot be consumed in hot products like teas or coffees, because the heat destroys the CBD, rendering it ineffective. While CBD edibles still remain an effective way to consume CBD, they may require more trial and error to determine appropriate dosage, starting with a lower dose and working up.
CBD pills are administered the way any other oral pill would be, and is a good option for those who do not want to taste or smoke CBD in any way. They come in solid tablets, as well as powder or gel capsules. While CBD pills can take longer to take effect than oils or tinctures, the effects can also be longer-lasting. They are also portable, discreet, and extremely easy to dose, as dosage per pill is clearly marked.
For those who smoke marijuana and/or are comfortable with consuming THC, there are high-CBD strains of marijuana. These tend to be indicas or hybrid strains. For those looking to avoid intoxication, there are also high-CBD hemp strains. While these may still contain some THC, this is <0.3% as per the 2018 Farm Bill. So, while trace amounts may be present, the psychoactive effects will not be felt. This is also a simple, quick-acting, and effective way to consume CBD, and dosage can easily be controlled.
CBD vaporizers are common ways to consume CBD. Like smoking, convective heating has a more immediate effect on the body, directly entering the bloodstream without having to pass through the intestines and liver. To this end, there are many options, including wax-based vape pens, oil-based vape pens, and portable flower vapes. That being said, like smoking, there are health concerns associated with vaping. Some contaminants may be present in vapes, like cadmium, lead, and other metal particulates, leading to allergies and other issues.
CBD dabbing is essentially “flash vaporizing” (conductive heating) CBD concentrates by applying them to a highly heated surface and then inhaling them. Many forms of CBD can be used in dabbing, such as wax, isolate, crystals, etc. Dabbing possibly has the fastest and most potent effects as compared to other methods, however it is much more complicated to administer. It requires specialized tools like a rig, dab rag/mat, and other items. In addition, there is extreme heat involved, so caution is required.
CBD lotion is ordinary lotion infused with CBD, and is administered topically. It is typically used to treat aches and pains by application directly onto the area in question, where the CBD can seep into the layers of the skin. CBD lotion is not always easy to dose without trial and error, and is not as useful for other concerns. However, it is portable and is very easily applicable and is often used for more localized treatment for conditions such as arthritis, eczema, psoriasis, muscle soreness and chronic pain. In fact, C’bella naturals’ nano-emulsion-based lotions have been tested and shown to have better skin retention and penetration than the leading brands.
There are pros and cons to each method, and it depends on an individual’s needs and preferences. That being said, oral ingestion, specifically of CBD oils, tends to be the best for beginners, combining ease of administration and dosage, bioavailability, and purity. Also, for someone just starting out with CBD, the safest way to consume it (or any new kind of product) is to begin with a lower strength or dose and work up to find the most effective minimum dose. CBD oils are possibly the best way to do this. For localized aches, pain, or soreness, CBD lotions tend to be the best option. More experienced users often prefer dabbing, while others make use of isolates, pills, edibles, or smoking and/or vaporizing. In any case, CBD in any form works best if consumed every day, as it needs to build up in the body.