Before we get into all the ways you can take CBD you need to consider WHY you are taking CBD. Are you taking it for a sleep aid, pain relief, or for anxiety? What are your expectations and are they realistic? Are you expecting a miracle cure or just some relief for your condition? What are your concerns about taking CBD, if any? Are you concerned about how to take CBD and how it might taste to you?
These are questions you need to ask yourself before deciding to take CBD. You’ll almost certainly need to do a little trial and error to figure out which method of taking CBD works best for you, but in doing so you’re on the right path to get the most out of your CBD experience.
Let’s get down to it. Here are the main ways to take CBD.
CBD Oil or CBD Tincture
We all know what an oil is, but what about a tincture? A tincture is basically a very strong concentrated liquid. In the case of CBD, a tincture is made by steeping cannabis flowers in high proof grain alcohol and then applying them to low heat for a length of time. The result is a high concentration of CBD.
In addition to administering a few drops under the tongue, you can also add all CBD oil to your food and drink. Whether you choose coffee, tea, smoothies or yogurt; it's easy to incorporate CBD oil into your daily routine by adding it to what you’re normally accustomed to eating and drinking.
Anyone who has taken aspirin, Tylenol, or any other medicine in pill form is familiar with a capsule. Because it’s so familiar it’s probably the most popular way to administer CBD. The downside to swallowing a CBD capsule is that it does take longer to feel the effects, because it has to break down in the stomach before entering the bloodstream. The benefit of taking CBD in capsules or softgels is the certainty of exact dosing. Unlike a tincture or oil you get an accurate dose when you ingest a capsule. Softgels and capsules also have no taste (unless they are intentionally flavored) plus you swallow them, you don’t chew them.
Vaping has become increasingly popular in the past several years as a way to take CBD. Vaping CBD is essentially taking the CBD in aerosol form. You inhale and exhale the aerosol from an e-cigarette or vape pen. The way it works is as you inhale from a vaporizer, it triggers a sensor to heat a small amount of the CBD into a vapor that is then inhaled.
If you do choose to vape CBD make sure to purchase legal, lab-tested CBD cartridges and vaporizers. Just recently in mid to late 2019 there were a string of vaping related deaths due to black market products. The CDC confirmed this and provided all the details in a post here. The findings showed vitamin E acetate was used as an additive in some vaping products on the black market. Vitamin E acetate disturbs normal lung function and users were getting sick and in many cases dying. But again, make sure to purchase your CBD products from a reputable company that does regular lab testing. Vaping is an effective method of taking CBD. However, you need to understand that vaping brings additional health risks in the form of damage to your lungs among other things from this article published by Harvard Medical School.
CBD Food or Drink Additive
Food and drink additives bring us back to the first point; tinctures and oils. If you ask the FDA, technically CBD infused foods and drinks are still illegal as of this writing in early 2020. But that is changing fast. There are large corporations working on CBD infused drinks of all kinds from CBD water to soft drinks. It’s reported that Monster Energy Drinks and Red Bull are looking at ways to create CBD drinks.
The food industry aside, it’s easy to add a few drops of CBD to your tea or coffee. Try adding some CBD oil in your baked goods too, (CBD works best when blended with some sort of fat). Adding it to your food or drink is an easy transition into the world of CBD and will help you quickly get the feel for what works and what doesn’t work. Just a tip, don’t heat your CBD oil before adding it to anything. The heat will take a toll on the effectiveness of the CBD.
This is similar to the previous point, but instead of adding it to a food or drink, you’re buying ready-made CBD infused foods. The market for CBD edibles is huge and there are dozens of popular options for CBD edibles; gummies, chocolates, honeys, chews, lollipops and even trail mix to name a few. Edibles come in measured amounts, are easy to take, and convenient, plus they taste good. Again, remember to purchase your CBD edibles from a reputable company that lab tests their products.
If you’re a beginner in CBD edibles start with a small quantity. Edibles typically have the slowest release time, so don’t eat a second 10 mg chocolate gummy after twenty minutes, thinking the first one hasn't had any effect. Be patient, start small, and work up to a dose that has the desired effect for you.
CBD Creams and Lotions
Creams and lotions are probably the newest CBD products on the market. One of the more popular uses of CBD creams and lotions is pain relief for sore muscles or arthritic joints. There are also lip balms, salves for cuts and scrapes, face lotions to treat wrinkles, and even body butters to reduce stretch marks and scars. Read as many reviews as you can before you make your purchase and buy from a reputable company. Make sure what you purchase is 0% THC or under .3% THC, otherwise your chapstick could get you high.
To reiterate, you’re likely to have a bit of trial and error before you find the right CBD delivery method. Finding the right CBD brand may take some time as well. Do some research before you start purchasing these items as they aren’t cheap. And speaking of cheap, just because a brand or method is expensive that doesn’t mean it’s the best on the market. There are a lot of shady brands out there looking to make a quick buck, so again research and read reviews based upon real people's experiences and you’ll succeed in finding a quality product.
Also, remember we’re not medical professionals. We’re not giving medical counsel here, just an overall view of ways to take CBD. Please do further research and figure out a delivery method and source that works best for you.