Regardless of whether you’ve been using CBD for a while or are just getting started, knowing how to use CBD means understanding some methods will fit your lifestyle better than others.
You might know how to take CBD; then again, you might not. But even if you’re familiar with this cannabinoid, knowing about a variety of CBD administration methods helps when it comes to figuring out the best way to consume CBD for you.
We’ve put this guide together for anyone interested in learning more about using CBD and its many applications. It’s our hope that after going through this information, you’ll know how to get the most out of your CBD products.
As you learn about the effects each of these methods produces, you’ll likely prefer one or multiple methods over others. While you can choose one method, keep in mind that you’re not limited to a single way of administering CBD. These days, many products offer CBD infusions, meaning you can incorporate CBD into your lifestyle in a multitude of ways.
Ensuring taking CBD never feels like a chore is a matter of finding the methods that best suit your needs without compromising your comfort. So feel free to experiment with the products discussed here as you determine how you’d like to use CBD.
The American Heritage Medical Dictionary’s definition of bioavailability is “The degree to which a drug or other substance becomes available to the target tissue after administration.”
With this definition in mind, the unfortunate fact of the matter is that all of the CBD you consume isn’t going to reach your endocannabinoid system. This is because the method of consumption impacts how much CBD your body is going to use and when it’s going to use it.
The way you consume CBD matters. Choosing a method of dosing that results in a more bioavailable dose means you’ll need to consume less to achieve your desired effects. In essence, the true way to determine CBD product potency is by its bioavailability.
For example, if you consume CBD orally, it gets processed by your digestive organs, including your liver. Some of this CBD will make it to your endocannabinoid system. However, much of it will get stored in fat cells. This typically results in small amounts of the CBD getting released for use by the endocannabinoid system over several days.
It’s easy to see how each intake method impacts CBD dosing when comparing a variety of consumption methods to one another using scientific evidence. With this in mind, let’s discuss several studies showcasing the use of CBD products, their bioavailability, and how people use them for the best results.
Types Of CBD Products
Smoking CBD Flower
CBD flower is the physical buds of the cannabis plant. These buds generally look and smell comparable to marijuana. The primary difference is that the THC content is low while the CBD content is high — meaning it won’t get you high.
Hemp flowers high in CBD are growing in popularity. Since smoking the flower offers a fast and efficient way to deliver CBD from the lungs to the brain, it provides intense pleasure and strong reinforcing effects. CBD is also immediately exposed to the central nervous system through smoking.
Some reports claim the bioavailability of smoking cannabis flower is 2-56%. However, the number, duration, and spacing of inhalations, inhalation volume, hold time, and smoking topography can influence the degree of exposure. Even the expectation of drug reward might impact the smoking dynamics.
Some smokers prefer the simplicity of a rolling a joint, a process involving cannabis flower being broken down and rolled in a rolling paper. Smokers who enjoy tobacco might combine it with their cannabis flower to roll a hybrid called a spliff. This method gives an initial head buzz some might compare to drinking coffee.
Other smoking methods exist as well. Some people choose to use hand-blown glass pieces — such as bongs or pipes — to smoke their cannabis. Others prefer to smoke blunts, or cannabis flower rolled in a tobacco paper or leaf.
The way you choose to smoke CBD flower is a matter of preference. While you might enjoy smoking a joint, you might like smoking blunts even more. For those of you who are new to smoking cannabis, feel free to try several smoking methods to see which one works best for you.
Similar to smoking, vaping CBD allows cannabinoid absorption through the lungs. Vaping is beneficial because this process lets consumers inhale vapors as opposed to inhaling the smoke from combustion.
Vaporizers activate cannabinoids by heating them to the point at which they can be inhaled without combusting the material. This results in a pleasurable combination of terpenes and cannabinoids lacking the harshness smoking produces.
According to Medicinal Cannabis: In Vitro Validation of Vaporizers for the Smoke-Free Inhalation of Cannabis, using a vaporizer increases the bioavailability of cannabis. The research also recommends vaping CBD over smoking it, citing medical reasons as the reason. This is because vaping bypasses the carcinogenic compounds combustion produces.
Even with this being the case, vaping comes with some danger. Recently, counterfeit vaping products have resulted in nearly 400 cases of lung illnesses throughout at least 36 states, according to data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. So far, deaths have occurred in California, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Minnesota, and Oregon. With this in mind, it’s essential to purchase vaping products from a trustworthy source.
Using a high-quality vaporizer brings extraordinary results, offering an impressively high CBD bioavailability of 50-80%. Comparing this to the rates of smoking and many other methods of consumption, vaporizers deliver a higher level of potency.
Vaping With A CBD Inhaler
CBD inhalers are similar to vaporizers in regards to how they offer a cleaner, more efficient way of inhaling CBD. The bioavailability is comparable to vaping because the inhaler produces CBD-infused vapor for users to inhale.
The inhaler method of CBD administration is even cleaner than vaporizers. These devices push cannabinoids into the lungs with aerosol; thus, the inhaler method ensures users aren’t being exposed to the numerous additives present in vape cartridges and concentrates. The dose is also standardized, offering precise doses each time the user inhales.
While cannabis inhaler studies are quite limited, one recent study shows cannabinoid (THC) inhalers are effective for pain treatment. Having patients use a cannabis inhaler during hospitalization resulted in high levels of patients and staff satisfaction without complications.
These devices are easy to use, free of combustion, convenient, and clean. Simply push the cartridge down and inhale a dose of CBD.
Eating CBD Edibles
Everyone loves to eat, and when you can get a dose of CBD from something tasty, improving your health becomes a pleasure as opposed to a chore. However, the bioavailability of CBD edibles is quite low in most cases.
According to some investigations, the oral bioavailability of CBD is just 13-19%. Even though this is rather low, eating infused snacks — effectively bypassing smoking and vaping — is still appealing.
With this being the case, some researchers have been successfully working on developing a novel nanoemulsion formulation to improve the intestinal absorption of Cannabidiol, as seen in this study.
This newly developed CBD-NE will assist in increasing the stability and onset of action when ingesting CBD orally. As researchers continue improving the bioavailability of CBD edibles, the convenience of CBD-infused treats will keep the demand high.
Using Sublingual CBD Products
Sublingual CBD oil tinctures are also an excellent way to take CBD. Just a few drops placed under the tongue are theorized to sublingually bypass the first-pass effect in the liver. In turn, this method is believed to boost CBD bioavailability.
During a study conducted by GW Pharmaceuticals, the CBD concentrations in blood plasma following the administration of CBD sublingual drops rose to levels comparable to those of individuals using an oral spray. The participants in this study also noted that the sublingual intake was more convenient than inhalation since it lacks unpleasant side effects.
The main benefits of using CBD oil sublingually are that it’s convenient and discreet. It’s as easy as placing a few drops under your tongue. For those who are new to CBD consumption, the ease of use and convenience of sublingual administration makes it an excellent high-bioavailability option.
Applying CBD Topicals
CBD-infused creams and lotions are growing in popularity as well. These skincare products help with inflammation and pain without side effects. Also, since the application is topical, users avoid gastrointestinal administration and first-pass metabolism.
One study highlights the bioavailability of CBD topicals, showing successful deliverance using intranasal and transdermal methods. The study showcases that the body absorbs CBD within 10 minutes with a bioavailability of 34-46%.
In another study, researchers examined the efficacy of transdermal CBD to reduce pain and inflammation. The data highlights that topical application has the potential to relieve arthritis pain-related inflammation and behaviors without any observable side effects.
To apply topicals, you’ll liberally rub the lotion or cream onto your skin. These products tend to offer other benefits as well, such as moisturizing properties and appealing scents.
Taking CBD Capsules & Pills
While some people prefer CBD oil, taking CBD capsules and pills is also a good option. CBD oil is used in the creation of capsules, and there are a few reasons for preferring the capsules over oils.
Taste: The taste of CBD oil isn’t the most pleasant, and when taking CBD capsules or pills, the taste is virtually non-existent. Rather than using a dropping full of oil, a glass of water makes capsules and pills easy to take without subjecting your tongue to the distasteful chlorophyll flavor.
Easy to control dosing: Controlling your dose is even easier when you have an exact measurement for each unit. Tinctures and oils can be difficult to get an exact measurement because the dropper isn’t as accurate as we’d want it to be. With this being the case, capsules enable CBD users to track their progress based on how much CBD they’re taking. In turn, determining the right CBD dosage for treatment is easier.
Convenient: For anyone looking to take a dose of CBD with ease, or perhaps are interested in a discreet method of ingestion, capsules are offering the most convenient method of administration. Regardless of whether you’re home, working, or traveling, it’s easy to take a capsule or pill with any other supplements or medicine you have to take daily.
Using CBD Concentrates & Extracts
CBD concentrates and extracts provide a plethora of benefits that don’t come with smoking flower. The dosing is easy and precise, and the flavor is clean and refined. From CBD crystalline to Pineapple Express CBD Shatter, these products contain the cannabinoids users enjoy the most, offering the following benefits:
- Smoking extracts is not necessary. Consumers can vape or eat concentrates, meaning there’s no need to smoke them.
- Concentrates and extracts offer efficiency. Less product to achieve the desired effect means an efficient way to get the cannabinoids you crave.
- Concentrates and extracts are refined products. High-quality concentrates and extracts offer specific cannabinoids paired with essential oils. As a result, vaping these products is a pleasure.
- A wide spectrum of products contains concentrates and extracts. These products include tinctures, capsules, vaporizer cartridges, hash, shatter, wax, and dababble oils.
Using CBD Personal Care Products
From CBD moisturizers to bath bombs and everything in between, CBD personal care products are bringing out the best in all of us. As women enter the cannabis space, we’re seeing female cannabis consumption on the rise.
In fact, women are 67% more likely to use CBD personal care products than men. While men successfully use these products as well, female consumers are dominating this space. With this in mind, CBD balm, face wash, youth serum, eye cream, foot renewal, CBD patches are all perfect products for anyone looking to take their personal care to the next level.
Feeding Pets CBD Treats & Treating Them With Oil Tinctures
With so many CBD products successfully treating and helping people, it only makes sense that CBD for pets would be the next wave. CBD is being used to treat similar conditions in pets, making it the go-to for pet arthritis and anxiety.
Anxious dogs are finding success with CBD treats and oil tinctures. These products help by regulating the release of adrenaline and stress hormones that occurs with a trigger.
One 2017 Cornell University study administered CBD oil to dogs with osteoarthritis. The researchers gave the dogs one dose twice per day, finding that it assisted with raising their comfort and activity levels.
While more research is necessary to determine its efficacy, it’s easy to see why so many people are purchasing CBD dog treats and oil tinctures.
Choosing The Right CBD Application Method For You
As you determine how you’d like to consume CBD, consider the benefits of each method. While some options might be more pleasurable, others could offer a higher bioavailability. Consider which methods of consumption will go best with your lifestyle as well.
Each CBD product will produce different results. Eating 100mg of CBD in a gummy is quite different from vaping 100mg of CBD using an inhaler. The effects will come on faster with some methods while others may take some time. Regardless of which method you choose, have fun adding CBD to your lifestyle and enjoy the process!