Wondering how to use CBD? CBD, or cannabidiol, is becoming increasingly popular as a natural remedy for many conditions and ailments.
But what's the best way to use it? With different products and methods out there, it can be overwhelming to figure out how to take CBD.
This guide will help you learn how to use CBD safely and effectively so that you can get the most out of its potential benefits.
Disclaimer: The following is not legal advice. You should always seek the counsel of your attorney for all legal matters as laws and regulations change constantly.
What is CBD?
Before we dive into how to use CBD, it's important to understand what it is. CBD is a natural extract of the hemp plant.
In the 2018 Farm Bill, the FDA approved the use of CBD for certain conditions, including epilepsy. Since then, it has become a popular way to treat a wide variety of ailments from anxiety and depression to chronic pain and inflammation.
Unlike THC, CBD is non-intoxicating so it won't get you high. CBD is typically sold as either CBD isolate, broad spectrum, or full spectrum.
Isolate, Broad Spectrum, & Full Spectrum
CBD comes in three different types that vary based on how much of the other compounds are included in the product.
CBD isolate is made purely from cannabidiol, so it doesn't contain any other cannabinoids or terpenes. Broad spectrum CBD contains most of the other cannabinoids and terpenes, but does not include THC.
Full spectrum CBD includes all of the compounds from the hemp plant, including THC. However, it's required to have less than 0.3% of THC by the FDA.
Which version you choose will depend on how you want to use CBD and how much of the other compounds you would like to include.
Benefits of CBD
CBD has been found to have potential health benefits for a variety of conditions. Some of the most widely studied benefits include:
- Treating certain forms of epilepsy
- Reducing inflammation and chronic pain
- Lesson arthritis symptoms
- Improving symptoms of depression and anxiety
- Reduce PTSD symptoms
- Helping with sleep
And with its growing popularity, more studies and research is being done to further understand how to use CBD and how it can improve your health.
Side Effects of CBD
CBD is considered safe and has few side effects. It's generally well tolerated by most people and what side effects do exist, tend to be mild.
However, when taking high doses of CBD, some people have reported:
- dry mouth
- reduced appetite
- low blood pressure
CBD is known to interact with certain types of medications, so be sure to consult your doctor before taking CBD.
How to Use CBD
Now that we fully understand what CBD is and its benefits and side effects, let's get into how to use CBD. We'll cover 7 different methods and the pros and cons of each one.
The most popular method of CBD is using a tincture. This typically comes in a bottle with a dropper.
To take it, you place the drops of oil under your tongue and wait for about 1-3 minutes before swallowing. This method is quick and easy, so it's perfect for beginners.
The benefit of using a tincture is that the CBD enters your bloodstream faster as it gets directly absorbed in your mouth. Plus, you can adjust how much you take depending on how your body reacts to it.
The downside to this method is that it can be difficult to measure how much you are taking.
This method is best for those who want to easily adjust how much CBD they take.
Another popular method of taking CBD is through a capsule. This comes in a pill form, which is often more familiar and comfortable for those new to taking CBD.
The benefit of this method is that the dosage is pre-measured, so you don't need to worry about how much you are taking. This also helps you get a better understanding of what dose of CBD is right for you.
The downside is that it will take a bit longer for the CBD to enter your bloodstream as compared to tinctures because it needs to be digested first.
This method is best for those who want a more consistent dosage and don't mind waiting a bit longer to feel the effects.
Another way to take CBD is by using edibles, such as gummies. This method is convenient if you don't like the taste of tinctures and want something that tastes better.
The benefit of this method is that you get to enjoy a tasty treat while getting your CBD. However, the downside is that gummies tend to have lower concentrations of CBD compared to tinctures and it may take longer for the effects to kick in as it needs to be digested first.
This method is best for those who want an enjoyable way to take their CBD.
Topical rub or cream
Another common way to take CBD is by using a topical rub or cream. If you're looking for relief from localized pain, then this may be the best option.
With this method, you can apply it directly to the affected area, which will help provide relief in that specific spot.
The benefit of this method is that it's fast-acting and allows you to target only the areas that need it. The downside is that it won't provide the same systemic effects that other methods, such as tinctures, will provide.
This method is best for those who are looking for localized pain relief and don't need the systemic benefits of CBD.
Although not as popular, some people also take CBD through drinks. This is done by adding CBD or powder to beverages like coffee, tea, and smoothies.
The benefit of this method is that it's easy and convenient — you just need to add it to your drink.
The downside is that just like with gummies and capsules, your body has to digest the beverage before you'll feel any effects.
It's important to note, however, that the FDA has not legalized food or drinks that are sold with CBD because it's been approved as a prescription drug. If you want to use this method, you would need to add CBD to your drink yourself.
This method is best for those who want a convenient way to take their CBD without having to taste it.
You can also take CBD by adding it to foods like sauces, dressings, and desserts. This method is perfect for those who want to enjoy a tasty meal while getting their daily dose of CBD.
The benefits and downsides of taking CBD with your food are very similar to those of taking it with your drink. You have an easy and convenient way to take your CBD, but you also have to wait for it to be digested before you feel the effects.
Just like with drinks, CBD-infused foods are considered illegal by the FDA. You'll be better off purchasing regular CBD and adding it to your food yourself.
This method is best for those who want to enjoy their CBD experience with a tasty meal and aren't worried about it taking a while to kick in.
The last way that CBD is often taken is by vaping. This is done by using a vaporizer that heats specially designed CBD e-liquid to create an inhalable vapor.
This method is useful for those who want fast relief as the effects can be felt almost instantly. The downside of this method is that it's not particularly safe or healthy.
In fact, with all of the much more convenient and easy ways to take CBD, I wouldn't recommend this method at all.
This method is best for those who want fast-acting relief and are comfortable with vaping or smoking.
CBD Dosage Information
Now that we've covered how to use CBD, it's important to understand the proper dosage.
WebMD recommends taking up to 200mg of CBD daily for up to 13 weeks.
However, that is just a guideline and there is no one-size-fits-all answer. How your body responds to CBD can vary greatly from person to person.
It's best to start with a lower dose and gradually increase it until you find the amount that works best for you. Just be sure to consult with your doctor first, especially if you are taking CBD for a specific condition.
What to Look For When Buying CBD
Another important part of understanding how to use CBD is knowing what to look for before buying. When buying CBD, always make sure you're getting a quality product from a reputable source.
Read reviews and do research to ensure that the brand you're considering is trustworthy and has proven results. Here are some other things to look for when buying CBD to make sure you're getting a high-quality, safe, and effective product:
Third party testing
The first thing you want to look for when buying CBD is that the company uses third party testing for their products. This is important because it ensures that the product has been tested for quality and potency.
Look for results from tests done by an independent, accredited lab. This will give you peace of mind knowing that you are getting a high-quality product.
The potency of the CBD is also an important factor to consider when purchasing. Potency refers to how much CBD is in each bottle and can range from just a few milligrams per bottle all the way up to thousands.
Choose CBD products with the highest potency, referred to as the CBD mg/mL concentration. This is the true concentration. Pro tip: Divide the total number of CBD milligrams in the container by the total number of milliliters (if you are looking at oils or creams) to get the CBD mg/mL concentration. The best creams should have at least 50 mg/mL of CBD concentration. And the best CBD oils should have at least 100 mg/mL of CBD concentration.
It's important to find a product with the right concentration for your needs. Especially as you age, you'll want to look for products with a higher potency of CBD.
As we age, our bodies become less efficient at breaking down medications and nutrients, so a higher potency option can help your body absorb more CBD faster.
Check the label
The next thing you want to do before buying CBD is to check the label. It's important to understand how much CBD is in each bottle, what other ingredients are included, instructions, dosing information, and any warnings or contradictions.
Seeing this information on the label will help you make more informed decisions when it comes to how to use CBD. It will also help reassure you that you're dealing with a reputable and trustworthy brand.
A reputable company
Something else to pay attention to when buying CBD is the reputation of the company. It's important to choose a company that is reputable and that you feel comfortable purchasing from.
A company with a good reputation will be transparent about its products and how they are created, as well as how they source its CBD. This can provide peace of mind and reassurance that you're buying a quality product.
Avoid the miracle cures
Finally, the last thing you want to make note of when buying CBD is what benefits the company is promising. If they're trying to sell you a “miracle cure”, be wary.
While CBD has been known to have many health benefits, they shouldn't be claiming it can cure any illnesses or diseases. A company that isn't honest and upfront with its claims should be avoided.
How to Use CBD FAQs
Here are some further questions that come up about how to use CBD:
Should I take CBD in the morning or evening?
The best time to take CBD depends on what effects you're looking for. For example, if you are looking to feel less anxious or stressed throughout your day, then taking it in the morning would be ideal.
On the other hand, if you are hoping to unwind and reduce pain so you can sleep, then taking it in the evening may be better.
Do you swallow CBD oil?
Yes, you can swallow CBD oil. It is often best to take it sublingually (under the tongue) for faster absorption, but swallowing it is perfectly safe as well.
How often should I take CBD?
The frequency at which you take CBD will depend on how much you are taking and why. If you are just getting started with CBD, it's best to start by taking a low dose daily and adjusting as needed.
If you're looking for relief from pain or inflammation, you might be better off using it as needed as opposed to daily.
How long before CBD takes effect?
The time it takes for CBD to take effect will depend on how it is taken. Taking it sublingually typically results in faster absorption than swallowing, so it should kick in within 15-30 minutes.
On the other hand, if you swallow the oil, then it can take up to two hours before you feel its effects.
Will CBD keep me awake at night?
No, CBD should not keep you awake at night. In fact, if taken in the right dosage, it can actually help you relax and get a better night's sleep.
How do I store CBD?
It's important to store CBD in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and high temperatures. This will help preserve its potency and ensure it remains fresh for longer.
Is one type of CBD better than another?
Not necessarily. The type of CBD you choose will depend on your personal preferences and needs.
For example, some people prefer full-spectrum over isolate because they're looking for the entourage effect while others may opt for isolates as they don't want any THC in their products. Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference.
Are CBD oil and hemp oil the same?
No, CBD oil and hemp oil are not the same. Hemp oil is actually derived from the seeds of the hemp plant and has a different composition to CBD oil.
CBD oil is extracted from the flowers, leaves, and stalks of the hemp plant and contains higher levels of CBD. Hemp oil contains some essential fatty acids, but it does not contain any cannabinoids such as CBD or THC.
So while they may have similar properties, they're not interchangeable.
How can I make sure the product I buy is of high quality?
When buying CBD, look for companies that are transparent about how their product is made, how they source its CBD, and what kind of testing it has undergone. Reputable brands will also provide third-party lab test results so you can make sure the product is pure and free from contaminants.
Can taking CBD cause a positive drug test?
It's possible that taking CBD can result in a positive drug test. It all depends on how much THC is present in the product you're using and how sensitive the drug tests are.
Many CBD products contain 0.3% THC which can show up on sensitive drug tests. Be sure to check with your employer or testing agency before taking any CBD products.
Conclusion to How to Use CBD
We hope that this guide has helped you understand how to use CBD and how to ensure it is of high quality. Using CBD can provide a range of benefits, from reducing stress and anxiety to alleviating pain and inflammation.
Just make sure to consult with your doctor before taking any type of CBD and when determining how much you should take. With so many different methods available, you can find one that works best for you and your needs.