Anyone who is new to the world of CBD might find things a little overwhelming. It might be that you have made the decision to try CBD for the first time – or maybe you have tried it once and want to know what your options are now. It seems like new CBD products are coming out every day -whether it is vape juice, coffee with a shot of CBD in it, or flavoured tinctures – it can difficult to navigate yourself around all of the various options that are available to you and know which one would suit you best.
One of the best things about CBD is that it can be taken in a number of different ways – but this can also be confusing especially at first. Choosing the right CBD product for you depends predominantly on three factors – what effect you are looking for from your CBD, how quickly you want it to come into effect and your personal preferences. Some people who take very small or large doses might also want to consider these, but most products will cater for the range of dosages that most people want.
Taking CBD Medicinally
There are a few people in the UK who are eligible to get medical cannabis products through their doctors. It is still not easy to get and is only open to very few people. However, if you think that you could be eligible, speak to your doctor to see what your options are.
Most people who feel that they could benefit from taking CBD products, however, need to get them themselves.
There are many reasons why people look to try CBD. It might be that they want to give their general health a lift, or they might have a more specific health issue that they feel could be helped with CBD.
CBD is a cannabinoid that it is a natural compound of the cannabis plant. It is safe to take, no-one has ever died from an overdose and although it is in the cannabis plant, it won’t make you high (it is the compound, THC which does that).
You can find out more about CBD and how it works, here.
There are now many ways that CBD can be taken, but at the moment CBD products can generally be split into four groups:
- CBD oils and tinctures
- CBD edibles
- CBD topicals
These are known as delivery methods and each one has different traits which are beneficial to different people.
CBD products such as vape juice, dabs or flowers come under the inhalation method. These essentially involve inhaling smoke or vapour which is rich in CBD, allowing it to enter the bloodstream through the lungs.
Vaping CBD is usually done through an e-pen or vaporiser and involves heating up a mixture of CBD with a thinning agent. When the e-liquid is heated it turns into a vapour which you then inhale. As there is no combustion, this is much better for your health than traditional smoking and fewer compounds are burnt off as it is heated to a much lower temperature.
Dabs are still a relatively uncommon form of taking CBD as many people are put off due to its resemblance to taking illicit drugs. It comes in a number of forms including wax, a ‘glass’ or sugar, and is then vaporised either in a vaporiser or using a bong type contraption.
CBD flowers are the natural flowers taken from the hemp plant, which are smoked in the ‘conventional’ way – without making you high. This method isn’t as effective as the other as the hemp is burnt at a higher temperature, meaning that some of the compounds are destroyed, as well as giving you the toxins that are associated with combustion.
When you inhale CBD in any form, it takes effect very quickly – almost immediately. This is because it goes directly into the bloodstream through the respiratory system. Because of this, it doesn’t stay in the bloodstream for very long either.
This means that CBD products which are inhaled can be good for people who are looking for quick effect – for example, if trying to relieve pain  or are having trouble sleeping .
Some people prefer not to ‘smoke’ and there is certainly still a taboo about smoking. Although vaping can now be done discretely and there is very little smell produced, some people still prefer to avoid it. However, inhaling CBD might be the best option for you, and, if it is, it is worth remembering that you are doing nothing wrong.
CBD Oils and Tinctures
CBD oils and tinctures are generally made up of the hemp plant extract, mixed with an oil which will help it to get absorbed better into the body. Due to the fact that CBD isn’t water soluble – and our body is made up predominantly from water, these oils can help to make the CBD more bioavailable – or more able to be absorbed.
CBD oil is usually taken in drops or a spray under the tongue. It should be then held there for 1-2 minutes to allow the CBD to be absorbed into the bloodstream through the lining of the mouth. This is the second quickest way of getting CBD into your system, with it coming into effect within half an hour. Again, this will not stay in your system for very long.
CBD oil in its natural state has a ‘grassy’ or ‘earthy’ flavour which some people find unpleasant, and because of this, we are now seeing an increased number of flavours being added to it to make taking CBD a more pleasant experience.
CBD oils and tinctures are a great alternative for those who aren’t keen on vaping their CBD, can be discrete and carried around in your pocket. It is also relatively easy to take and can give you accurate ways to dose your CBD compared to some of the other methods.
CBD Capsules and Edibles
CBD capsules and edibles are eaten – either in the form of a vitamin-like capsule or as CBD infused food. In this method, the CBD goes into the digestive system and is absorbed this way into the bloodstream.
CBD edible products are a fun and interesting way to take CBD. We are seeing a craze at the moment for making all types of food and drink ‘CBD rich’ including CBD water, chocolate or CBD sauces. To an extent, this is a bit of a fad, but if it helps you to get your daily dose, why not?
Due to the fact that the CBD has to go through the digestive system, it takes a little longer for it to come into effect when it is taken orally – usually up to a couple of hours. It does, however, mean that it will also stay in your system for longer – often up to about 8 hours. This means that it can be a great way to get your CBD for your general well-being as well as those who are taking it to help with anxiety  or difficult to treat pain .
CBD capsules are easy to take and can be added into your daily vitamin and mineral routine, and CBD edibles such as gummies or baked goods can be nice to take, as well as ensuring that you have taken the exact dose that you require. You also, of course, have the option of making your own edibles – the easiest way is to add your dosage to sauces or mixes when you are cooking.
Another method of taking CBD that is rising in popularity is through topical creams, gels, patches or balms which are applied to the skin. In this case, the CBD doesn’t actually go directly into the bloodstream, it is absorbed through the skin.
There are now hundreds of CBD beauty products available, including massage oils, moisturisers and bath bombs which can be beneficial both above the skin and under it. In this case, the CBD takes longer to become effective – taking up to about 45 minutes. However, CBD taken in this way can be reapplied as much as you like as it doesn’t go into the bloodstream.
CBD topicals are often preferred by people who use CBD to help their skin  or to help relieve arthritic pain .
If you are taking CBD for the first time, it is important that you speak to your doctor first – especially if you are taking medication as CBD can change the way that some medications are metabolised by the human body.
Choosing the right CBD products for you can be a process. However, the fact that there are so many ways to take it means that you have options and can find the way that suits you the best, giving the best effects for you.