Even if you don’t follow the latest trends in health and wellness, you’ve probably heard about CBD – the product that has taken the entire world by storm, from researchers who are investigating its health benefits to Silicon Valley executives and celebrities who swear by its soothing properties.
A non-psychoactive compound of the Cannabis Sativa plant, CBD doesn’t get you high, but it has a wide range of uses for health and wellness: it can be used to treat epileptic seizures, muscle inflammation, chronic pain, anxiety, as well as improve your general mood and promote a sense of calm and focus.
These properties are still being researched, but scientific studies have been promising, and user reviews are overwhelmingly positive.
However, not all CBD products are created equal. To make the most out of its properties, it’s important to consume it in the right form and dosage.
That can be a bit confusing, considering that the market (now worth 7.1 billion) has everything from oils and pastes to creams and edibles, so here’s the updated 2020 guide on the best ways to consume CBD.
Oral format: oils, pastes, tinctures, powder, sprays
CBD oil is the product that started it all, but, in the meantime, CBD manufacturers have come up with plenty of other ways to consume CBD orally: capsules, powders, edibles, sprays, paste, and tincture.
All of them have the same properties, so ultimately it comes down to whichever format you’re most comfortable with. For example, if you don’t like the texture of oil, you can always try CBD paste, which also has the added benefit of extra potency.
But, no matter your preferred format, it’s important to decide how you will consume CBD, ingested or sublingually, because there’s a difference in effects.
Ingested supplements work slower because they work their way through their digestive tract, and only then are they absorbed into your bloodstream.
It can take anywhere between one or six hours to see the results, but the benefit here is that the effects will last longer. This is way ingested CBD supplements are recommended for things like anxiety or chronic pain since they’ll help you throughout the day.
Sublingual consumption also offers long-term results, but it works faster. By holding the CBD solution under your tongue for a minute, the active substance is absorbed directly into the bloodstream through the capillaries, and it doesn’t have to go through the stomach anymore.
Inhalation: should you smoke or vape CBD?
After oral consumption, inhalation is the second most popular way of consuming CBD. It’s not the healthiest in the long run, but it has its benefits, especially if you’re looking for short-term relief.
When you inhale CBD, it bypasses the first-rate metabolism and goes straight into your system in as little as three minutes. It’s not THC, so it won’t get you high, but if you’re dealing with severe anxiety or pain, you’ll feel better almost instantly.
Unfortunately with inhalation, long-term side effects such as coughing and wheezing can be a problem, so, if possible, choose vaping instead of smoking because it’s much cleaner and has fewer by-products.
Are topical CBD products any good?
CBD can also be found in topical treatments, which means you can apply them directly to the affected area. Available products include creams, balms, and serums.
It’s quite rare for topical CBD products to be recommended for anxiety because you’d need a huge amount of product to work, but they are recommended for localized pain, as is the case with arthritis and rheumatism.
Your skin has cannabinoid receptors, so that may ease the symptoms. Several studies have also shown that CBD may be effective in the management of psoriasis and atopic dermatitis. Since CBD has anti-inflammatory properties, it should theoretically also work against acne.
There are many topical CBD creams for acne out there, but no studies have been conducted on the matter so far.
Will all CBD products work for me?
There’s no shortage of stellar reviews for CBD products on the Web, and researchers agree that the potential of CBD is worth investigating.
However, as with any supplement on the market, you have to understand that the effects may vary from person to person.
Apart from the format and dosage, which have a direct impact on the effects, you also need to consider factors such as age, genetics, diet, hormone levels, and any medication you might be taking.
This is why, even though you can purchase CBD products without a prescription, it’s a good idea to ask your physician about dosage and format.
A lot of people have taken CBD and thought it didn’t work, when in fact they didn’t take it correctly. To make the most of its benefits and avoid potential side effects, follow these tips:
- As a first-time user, start with the lowest dose possible, even lowest than the one recommended on the packaging. Although CBD is safe, some users experience sleepiness, diarrhea, or changes in appetite after taking it, so start slowly to see how your body reacts. You can always take more if it didn’t work.
- Allow the product to reach its peak levels before upping the dose. That’s one hour for vaporizers and five hours for oral supplements. If you took CBD and you don’t feel better in ten minutes, don’t increase the dosage immediately, because the effects might cumulate.
- Try tweaking the consumption method before increasing the dosage. For example, many people who consume CBD sublingually say that they get better results if they swish the product around.
Can I take more than one CBD product?
Yes, you can. CBD is not psychoactive, and you can’t overdose on it, which means that, if needed, you can consume it in several forms simultaneously, and it will still be safe.
For example, for people who are dealing with severe chronic pain, one form of CBD may not be enough, so they have to take oral supplements for long-term effects, plus vaporizers for instant relief.