How to Take CBD
The safety and long-term health effects of using e-cigarettes or other vaping products still aren’t well known. In September 2019, federal and state health authorities began investigating an outbreak of a severe lung disease associated with e-cigarettes and other vaping products . We’re closely monitoring the situation and will update our content as soon as more information is available.
There are many different kinds of cannabinoids in cannabis plants. And while researchers have only just started studying them, one in particular has already shown promise in regard to potential health benefits.
That compound is cannabidiol, or CBD. Unlike its cousin, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD is nonintoxicating, meaning it won’t get you “high.”
Research on CBD is ongoing, but still in its infancy. It’s not currently regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the only use it’s been approved for is epilepsy, in the form of the drug Epidiolex.
Still, some studies have shown that CBD can protect nerves from damage and that it’s a powerful anti-inflammatory. It can also be used to help manage a variety of conditions, like anxiety and pain.
It’s even being researched as a potential treatment for Alzheimer’s disease.
While CBD has a variety of uses, it’s worth noting that some forms of CBD are more bioavailable than others. This means that they’re more readily absorbed by the body.
Learning the nuances of using CBD can be a lot to take in. This quick guide will help you navigate each method of CBD consumption, and figure out what’s best for your needs.
No matter how you take CBD, there are a few things you’ll want to look for when shopping.
Full or broad-spectrum
Be sure to look for products made with full or broad-spectrum oil — rather than distillate or isolate — to get the full scope of health benefits. Full-spectrum oils contain all cannabinoids in the cannabis plant, including both CBD and THC. Broad-spectrum oils contain most cannabinoids, but generally don’t contain THC.
Research has found that THC and CBD may work better when taken together than they do when taken alone. This is referred to as the “entourage effect.”
Full and broad-spectrum products are also less processed, which helps preserve some of cannabis’s volatile organic compounds, like terpenes. Terpenes affect the taste and smell of the product, and they have medical benefits of their own.
Since CBD products aren’t currently regulated by the FDA, it’s important to ensure whatever you’re buying has been lab-tested by a third party. This will allow you to see exactly what you’re putting into your body, and verify that the product contains what the packaging says it does.
U.S.-grown, organic cannabis
Look for products made from organic, U.S.-grown cannabis. Cannabis grown in the United States is subject to agricultural regulations and can’t contain more than 0.3 percent THC. Organic ingredients mean you’re less likely to consume pesticides or other chemicals.
Edibles are a great and discreet way to try CBD. You can find a variety of CBD edibles including gummies, truffles, or even mints that do a great job of masking any “weedy” taste.
There are a few caveats with edibles, however. Research shows that eating CBD subjects it to something called the “first pass effect.” During the first pass effect, CBD is partially broken down by the liver and digestive tract. This means that the CBD can take up to two hours to kick in, and you’ll absorb about 20 to 30 percent of it .
Edibles take up to two hours to kick in, and you’ll absorb about 20 to 30 percent of the CBD you consume.
Many edibles contain sugar and preservatives, so if you want to avoid additives, you might want to try a sublingual product. These are designed to be absorbed under your tongue. They include tinctures — solutions made by soaking cannabis flower in oil or alcohol — sprays, oils, and lozenges.
Letting the product absorb under your tongue rather than subjecting it to the digestive tract preserves more of the CBD, and you’ll feel results faster.
Sublingual products take effect faster than edible products. Choose this route if you’re looking for quicker results.
CBD topicals are designed to be applied directly to the skin. You can find CBD-infused lotions, balms, creams, salves, and transdermal patches. Topicals are a great choice when it comes to treating localized pain or skin conditions like eczema in a discreet fashion.
A 2015 study done on rats found that CBD gel applied to the skin greatly reduced joint swelling — promising results for people with conditions like arthritis.
While studies on topicals haven’t given an estimate of bioavailability, we do know a couple of things:
- Topicals aren’t subjected to the first-pass effect, so they’ll provide concentrated relief to a particular area.
- The permeability of your skin is pretty poor relative to mucous membranes, like sublingual tissue. That means when using a topical product, you’ll want to choose one with a high amount of CBD and apply it generously.
Using a product that contains additional analgesics including menthol, camphor and capsaicin may bring even more therapeutic potential to the mix.
You can smoke high-CBD cannabis flower in a joint, use a vaporizer with a cartridge that contains CBD oil, or even inhale CBD concentrates such as sugar waxes with any vape pen that has a chamber for concentrates.
Vaping and smoking allow the CBD to go directly into your bloodstream, so you’ll feel effects much faster than you will with other methods. In 10 minutes or less, you’ll absorb 34 to 56 percent of the CBD.
Keep in mind that smoking cannabis can expose you to carcinogens. While vaping circumvents this by heating cannabis up to just below the point of combustion, the jury’s still out on how safe it is, so it may not be the best choice.
If you do decide to vape, avoid CBD vape cartridges made with thinning agents or carriers such as fractionated coconut oil (MCT), propylene glycol, or vegetable glycerin. A 2017 review found that these compounds can cause damage to lung tissue.
Vaped or smoked CBD takes effect in 10 minutes or less, and you’ll absorb about 34 to 56 percent of the CBD you consume. However, vaping may cause other negative health effects.
While there are many ways to take CBD, there’s no one right or best way. It’s important to try different methods and see what works for you.
Before trying CBD, you should also talk to your doctor, especially if you’re currently on any medication. CBD may interact with prescription medications such as antibiotics, antidepressants, blood thinners, and more.
Is CBD Legal? Hemp-derived CBD products (with less than 0.3 percent THC) are legal on the federal level, but are still illegal under some state laws. Marijuana-derived CBD products are illegal on the federal level, but are legal under some state laws. Check your state’s laws and those of anywhere you travel. Keep in mind that nonprescription CBD products are not FDA-approved, and may be inaccurately labeled.
Janelle Lassalle is a writer and content creator that specializes in all things cannabis. She’s also insanely passionate about CBD and has been featured in The Huffington Post for baking with CBD. You can find her work featured in a variety of publications such as Leafly, Forbes, and High Times. Check out her portfolio here, or follow her on Instagram @jenkhari.
CBD comes in many forms. Learn about the differences between each method.
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You’ve heard a lot about cannabis oil lately – and for good reason. It’s a great method for consuming cannabis with a long list of benefits, and a good option if you are new to medical cannabis or don’t like the idea of inhalation. Figuring out how to use cannabis oil can seem a little complicated at first, but we are here to help. This article will go over the basics of how to use cannabis oil so you can learn how to make it work for you.
What is Cannabis Oil?
Cannabis oils are concentrates that are created by extracting cannabinoids like THC and CBD from cannabis plants. Most oils you find at a dispensary are created by a process called “chemical extraction.” These methods use a solvent to extract cannabinoids along with other beneficial compounds like terpenes and flavonoids and add them to carriers like hemp oil or MCT oil.
While there are many methods of extracting oil from a cannabis plant, some are safer and more effective than others. CO2 extraction is quickly becoming the gold standard because it produces a safe and potent product that is free from chlorophyll, waxes, and any toxic residues that other solvents can sometimes leave behind.
How to Use Cannabis Oil
Choosing a method of cannabis consumption is about personal preference. While cannabis oil doesn’t work as fast as inhalation methods like vaping or smoking, it can work more quickly than ingesting edibles. It also comes in a variety of potency options, from oils that contain only CBD to those with a wide range of THC concentrations.
The most effective way to take cannabis oil is sublingually, where the oil is placed under the tongue with a dropper and absorbed by the mucous membranes that lead directly to the bloodstream. This method allows it to bypass the stomach, which raises the bioavailability (the number of cannabinoids that make it to your bloodstream when your body absorbs the medicine) and takes about 15 to 30 minutes to kick in.
You can also use cannabis oil like you would an edible or a capsule by adding it to food and drinks. While this method is effective, the bioavailability of anything you ingest is generally lower, meaning you won’t absorb the cannabinoids as thoroughly because they must pass through the stomach and the liver. Ingesting cannabis oil can take anywhere from 30 to 90 minutes to kick in depending on things like what you’ve eaten and the speed of your metabolism.
Dosing Cannabis Oil
Just like with any cannabis product, dosing depends on the individual. It will take a bit of experimentation to find the right dose for you, but the general rule of thumb is “start low and go slow.” You want to find the lowest dose that provides the effects you are looking for, and that might be lower than what is recommended on the product label.
Start with a few drops and wait at least an hour to see how you feel. Slowly increase the dose until you experience the effects you desire. Keep in mind that more isn’t always better and there could be a tiny dosage window or “sweet spot” that works best for you. You might need to adjust your dosage over time, but many people find that a consistent dose can work for their needs over the long term.
If you’d like to learn more about how cannabis oil can work for your condition, schedule an appointment with our knowledgeable staff.
Learn the most effective methods for how to use cannabis oil and start experiencing the medical benefits of cannabis oil today.