So you’ve decided to start taking CBD. Congrats to you, glad you could join us. While you might feel overwhelmed at the prospect of selecting what works for you, we’re here to demystify the process so you can choose the best way of getting CBD into or (onto) your bod.

Some methods overlap, others stand alone, and technique can depend on ~why~ you’re reaching for the CBD in the first place. Be sure to test something multiple ways to determine how it works best for you before deeming it a dud. Trust us, there’s something for everyone.

Edible CBD

More than just the proverbial pot brownie, edible cannabidiol (that’s non-psychoactive CBD) covers what you ingest—anything that makes it past your throat and into your stomach and bloodstream. Edibles will take 45 minutes to two hours to become active in your system, depending on the kind you ate.

Capsules are another type of edible. Like taking vitamins or popping an Advil, they work in the body in a similar way, crossing into your system via the stomach and intestines.

Sweet treats are the most obvious way to have edible CBD, but it may not be the best if you’re taking them for health or digestive reasons. Everyone likes chocolate truffle full of CBD and it’s easy to see why. They may not be for everyday use, but they are delicious.

Tinctures are cannabis extracts and oils that have been suspended in a base of alcohol or glycerin, and increasingly, a refined coconut oil or MCT, as a medium for CBD. This product can be dosed internally, but also used sublingually meaning under the soft tissue of the tongue, which some find more effective.

Beverages are another form of edible cannabis that deploys CBD in the same way; down the hatch. But beverages do have a caveat: They also begin to work through the tissues of the mouth and esophagus, bringing us to the next important ingestion mode. Sublingual and buccal dosing.

Oral CBD

Because the mouth is full of thinner and more delicate tissues, it can absorb liquid substances faster than if they were to be digested and you don’t have to consume any volume of food or drink to achieve a dose.

Drinking CBD in a standard beverage will give you a partial oral/partial edible dose; some will enter through your mouth, and the rest will go via the stomach. Tinctures are the among most popular methods of oral dosing CBD, and that’s because they’re quick acting and friendly for partial doing or microdosing, which you control directly drop by drop.

Oral CBD can also be dosed via already popular nibbles: mints, gum, and oral strips. If you allow them to dissolve on schedule versus eating, they will do their business via your sublingual glands for action in about 15 minutes.

Believe it or not, vapes, dabs, and smoking flower are also oral cannabis methods. They permeate the blood brain barrier quickly via fragile oral tissues and also go past these tissues to our third consumption method.

Inhalable CBD

If you aren’t getting the picture, the body is willing and able to accept cannabis in many parts of the body, owed to the prevalence of our endocannabinoid system receptors. CBD works on primarily the CB2 receptors, preventing the CB1s from picking up too much THC if you’re mixing.

On the journey through the mouth, windpipe, and lungs, CBD finds plenty of ways to creep in, but it’s worth noting that without a little bit of psychoactive THC, you won’t see as much of a pain relief effect from inhaling—it’s better for calming anxiety or promoting sleep.

Vaping CBD takes advantage of your oral tissues as well as your lungs. Disposable or rechargeable, a pen gently heats cannabis extract giving you a potent and fast acting effect.

Internal CBD

With the variety of pain relief options that CBD can provide, many use it as a treatment strategy, like period pain suppositories, which can be used anally or vaginally. Used for sex as well as wellness, these guys can increase positive experiences, making it about pleasure, not just pain relief.

Topical CBD

With the presence of cannabinoid receptors on the skin, scientists are finding out that CBD based skin creams, rubs, oils, and salves can do great things. Addressing pain, inflammation, and skin’s ways of manifesting problems, this is a brave new world for people with acne, psoriasis, eczema and more.

Choosing the cream’s base is part of the strategy—thick salves with lots of essential oils are best suited for pain rub, while light and unscented oil blends such as jojoba and hemp are great for more delicate facial skin. The beauty of using CBD to aid our body’s biggest organ is that it can be a game-changer for those who couldn’t find a solution in conventional skincare.

Tackle one of these methods for your concerns, or combine multiple methods to hit harder. When science crunches more numbers, we’ll see research and product development go through the roof, but the final blessing of CBD is that it’s extremely hard to overdo it. So dose on, buddy!

 

By Danielle Guercio

April 1, 2019

Danielle is an New York City-based writer. Off-duty, she enjoys a good cup of coffee, a clean house, cooking gourmet meals, and studying botany, cosmetic chemistry, and natural healing.