Cannabis-derived products such as CBD oils are quickly gaining mainstream popularity as more and more people are introduced to its benefits, especially with regard to managing chronic pain and reducing stress and anxiety.
However, just choosing how to take your CBD oil can be an anxiety-inducing experience in and of itself given the seemingly mind-boggling amount of choices available.
Indeed, there are many ways to administer these preparations of CBD or cannabidiol, which is widely recognized as the most potent therapeutic phytocannabinoid originating from the cannabis plant. Below, we enumerate the most common methods of delivery so that you can make an informed choice for your specific use case.
Edible products infused with CBD oil enjoy the widest variety and availability—you can easily pick up great-tasting treats such as gummy candies and chocolate bars, as well as beverages like seltzers and coffee at many leading retailers. Convenient and inconspicuous, edibles are an easy way to enjoy the benefits of CBD without having to buy specialized equipment or attracting too much attention.
The main issue with edibles as a method of delivery is that it’s a slow one, meaning it can take a while for CBD to enter the bloodstream and break the blood-brain barrier—anywhere between two to six hours. The potency of its compounds can also be greatly reduced by the enzymes in the liver when it passes through the digestive system.
Given the reasons above, edibles may not be ideal for those who require immediate relief but may be perfect for those who desire a gradual but prolonged therapeutic effect.
Inhaling CBD oil through a vaporizer is by far the safer alternative to smoking this cannabis derivative. It is also an efficient method of delivery that promises immediate maximum effects without subjecting the user to any of the harmful toxic chemicals and carcinogens produced by combustion. When you vape CBD oil, you can easily control your dosage amounts, too.
One of the main disadvantages of vaping CBD oil is the high barrier to entry: you will require the necessary equipment, and there can be a learning curve to overcome, especially if you are new to vaping. Since this is also the method that promises the highest amount of CBD absorption, new users may feel slightly overwhelmed by the effects.
Tinctures and oils
CBD oil tinctures are made to be taken sublingually. A few drops placed under the tongue or sprayed against the inside of the cheek are absorbed by the mucus membranes, and delivering cannabidiol directly to the bloodstream. The effects can usually be felt within a half-hour, making this the second-fastest method of delivery for CBD. Just like edibles, you won’t need any specialized accessories or tools when you use an oil tincture, making it an ideal option for discreet consumers.
Be warned, though, that the taste of cannabis tinctures isn’t for everyone, and some people find it extremely off-putting. There are CBD oils and tinctures supplemented with flavor additives that can make them more palatable, but if you are especially sensitive, this may not be the product for you.
Lotions, balms and salves containing CBD take advantage of the cannabidiol receptors found in the skin. As such, when applied topically, they can treat certain skin conditions such as acne or eczema. Anecdotal evidence suggests topicals can also relieve sore muscles and migraines, but studies are still being conducted as to whether or not topical CBD products are a viable treatment for chronic pain.
Topicals are best reserved for localized issues and shouldn’t be relied on if pain or anxiety management is your goal. Be sure to perform a patch test before using to minimize the risk of skin irritation.
Weighing the pros and cons of each method of delivery can make it easier for you to find the perfect CBD oil product that suits your needs. Use our guide as a general reference so that you too can take advantage of the compound’s many benefits!