Deciding how to take CBD and in what amount can be a little confusing. There is no one recommended dosage because it can treat a range of different ailments when taken in varying amounts and everyone responds differently to it. Regardless of what method you use to take CBD and what you’re using it for, it’s a good idea to start small and work your way up.
How you decide on which method to use will depend on what you’re hoping to treat, how quickly you want the CBD to take effect, how long you want it to last, and your own personal preference. CBD does have the potential to interact with other medications so if you are taking anything else, it’s very important to know the possible effects of these drug interactions. If you have any questions or concerns about your specific treatment regimen, discuss the use of CBD with a doctor who knows your medical history.
What Are the Different Methods to Take CBD?
The method, frequency, quantity, and time of day you take CBD can provide different results. By assessing what you hope to achieve with CBD, you can get a better idea of which methods will work best for you. For some people, a combination of multiple methods with various dosages will work best.
How quickly the CBD is ingested and then eliminated will determine how long you’ll experience the effects of it. Inhaling CBD will have nearly immediate effects but the duration will be very short. Ingesting CBD as pills or edibles will take much longer to take effect but it will also stay in your system for a prolonged period of time. Different methods will produce varying levels of bioavailability, meaning at what rate and degree the CBD will be delivered to your circulatory system.
If you want CBD to work quickly, you’ll want to choose a method that delivers it directly to the bloodstream. If you’re using it to treat sleeping issues, you’ll want to take it later in the evening. A routine that works for one person may not work for another, even if they are treating the same symptoms. Figuring out your perfect routine can be a lot of trial and error, but CBD is a safe and non-toxic compound, so just start slow and see what works best for you.
You can take CBD orally by swallowing a capsule, eating a CBD infused edible, taking it sublingually under the tongue, or absorbing it with a buccal spray. Swallowing a capsule or ingesting an edible will work a little differently than any method that allows the CBD to be absorbed in your mouth. Sublingual or buccal absorption allows CBD to bypass first pass metabolism and will deliver the molecules directly into your bloodstream while swallowing CBD subjects it to the metabolizing enzymes of the digestive system. Oral ingestion can take effect within 30 minutes to an hour and the effects can last between 1 to 6 hours.
Sublingual and Buccal Absorption
When CBD is absorbed through the mucus membranes and capillaries of the mouth it can be absorbed directly into the bloodstream without being broken down through the digestive system and metabolized by the liver enzymes. One method for this type of absorption is to use oils or pastes held under the tongue for 30-90 seconds then swallowed. CBD spray can also be sprayed under the tongue or into the cheek. You can chew CBD infused gum, but it will only be absorbed in the mouth if your saliva is not immediately swallowed, otherwise it will pass through your digestive system.
Capsules and Edibles
Swallowing a capsule or eating food prepared with CBD oil will allow the oil to be absorbed through your digestive system but with this method, some of the CBD will be broken down by a process called first pass metabolism, which means some of the CBD will be metabolized by your liver enzymes before it reaches your circulatory system.
Taking CBD on an empty stomach can speed up how fast your body will absorb it, but it could also increase how much of it is metabolized. Fatty acids can act as a bind agent with CBD, allowing it to bypass first pass metabolism and have greater bioavailability. Foods with healthy fats, such as eggs, olives, coconut, soybeans, fish, and avocados can all provide the ideal fatty acids that will aid in CBD absorption.
Inhaling CBD is one of the fastest ways for CBD to enter your bloodstream and at much higher levels than oral consumption. Methods of inhalation include CBD-rich eLiquids, vape cartridges, dabs, and smoking strains of cannabis with high levels of CBD. These methods will take the CBD directly to your lungs and where it can be immediately absorbed into your bloodstream. The is no metabolic breakdown of the CBD, which means you’ll be absorbing a higher portion of the CBD you’re ingesting.
While inhalation can quickly deliver a higher amount of CBD to your bloodstream, the CBD is also eliminated from your system much faster, meaning the effects from inhaling CBD will not be as prolonged as if it were ingested. Different inhalation techniques can deliver higher levels of CBD to your bloodstream but would not affect the duration of the effects.
There are many topical CBD creams and lotions that can provide a specific effect to a localized area. It can be very effective in reducing pain and inflammation, making it ideal for back, joint, and muscle pain, as well as treatment for rheumatoid arthritis. CBD’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties can also decrease the severity of acne outbreaks and help lessen the visible signs of aging.
Transdermal patches work a bit differently than topical creams. While they do share a similar delivery method of CBD into the skin, transdermal patches are designed to penetrate into the deeper layers of of skin so it can be absorbed into the circulatory system, affecting not just the localized patch of skin but the rest of the body as well. This method bypasses the metabolic enzymes of the liver, increasing its bioavailability.
Which Method Is Right For You?
All of these methods work effectively in their own ways and a lot of it will come down to personal preference. Some methods have superior bioavailability while others will remain in the system for longer periods of time. Some people choose to use a combination of these methods to get their desired results. If you’re new to taking CBD, the best plan is to start with small amounts and keep track of the effects it has so you can adjust your usage as needed.