With the endless mountains of research now available to the public securing cannabidiol’s (CBD’s) place in the medical community as a safe and effective medicinal substance for countless ailments (that were before thought untreatable) there has been an explosion in a variety regarding CBD products and overall hemp production. While this can be somewhat overwhelming for someone who is new to CBD, we are here to break down the most common and fun ways to take CBD.
Since there are a number of different ways to take CBD, we also took the time to explain how to consume CBD oil. While it isn’t too difficult a process, there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind in order to make the most of your CBD experience. Not to mention, understanding the differences between these CBD products is key as cannabidiol has a variety of potential health benefits through different applications.
CBD-infused edibles are a wonderful option for several reasons, namely their ability to be discreet, and long duration of effects – and often wonderful taste (depending on the product). CBD edibles are not much different from ‘magic brownies’ that many of us may remember from our youth.
CBD is extracted from the cannabis/hemp plant, infused with a carrier oil (such as coconut oil, olive oil, ghee, or butter), and then formulated into a candy, cookie, or something similar. One of the most popular CBD edibles being CBD gummies.
Alternatively, some vendors may simply sell the infused oils themselves, for purposes like cooking or massaging. You can use an infused oil to make an entire meal rich in CBD, or coat your entire body in it and let it soak in through your skin – sort of like an Epsom salt bath, but with CBD instead of magnesium.
The most common edible form of CBD is probably the tincture, which is usually applied sublingually to allow the CBD to absorb through the capillaries under the tongue.
Just as with recreational cannabis edibles, consuming CBD edibles take 30 to 60 minutes to take effect, and benefits can last upwards of four to six hours – depending on the strength. Edibles are great to take on trips, or to work, where discretion is an absolute must, and ingesting a cannabis product may draw unwanted attention.
How to Consume CBD Oil
Consuming CBD oil is fairly simple – you just place a dropper under your tongue and squirt the oil into your mouth. In order to gain the most bioavailability of CBD, we highly suggest you let it sit under your tongue for 30 to 45 seconds before swallowing. This is especially true for full-spectrum CBD oils rather than CBD isolate tinctures.
While it may take anywhere between 30 to 60 minutes before the CBD kicks in, this method of consumption tends to work a bit quicker. Many users report feeling the effects of a CBD oil within 5 to 15 minutes.
CBD Wax, Vapes, E-Juice
Inhaling CBD perhaps the most universally recognized route of administration for cannabis products. Thousands of years ago, the Assyrians referred to cannabis as ‘qunubu’ which translates as ‘way to produce smoke,’ and is possibly the origin of the word cannabis. Inhalables come in several different forms, with the most obvious being cannabis itself (sometimes referred to as CBD flower) burned in some smoking device, such as a pipe or ‘bong.’
Many experts believe that up until the recent century, high-CBD cannabis was the norm – and over time, growers bred cannabis to have high levels of the intoxicating THC instead.
Nowadays, we see a reversal (although the vast majority of cannabis is still grown for high THC levels) to growing unique cultivars of marijuana that are high in CBD and other cannabinoids (CBG, CBN, CBDa, CBDv, THCa, etc.) thought to have low psychoactivity and high medical value.
Charlotte’s Web is perhaps the most noteworthy cultivar of high-CBD cannabis currently in production, although there are many others such as Harle-Tsu, Ringo’s Gift, Sweet and Sour Widow, Harlequin, Canna-Tsu, ACDC, Pennywise, and Cannatonic. Smoking these strains will usually result in minimal to no psychoactive effects or ‘high’ while offering reliable and effective relief from many chronic illnesses.
There is no particular method to smoking high-CBD cannabis; it is burned in the same way as medical/recreational marijuana. You can roll it in a cigarillo paper with the tobacco removed (often referred to as a ‘blunt’), put it in rolling papers (joint), or in any one-hitter, pipe, water-pipe (bong), steamroller, or similar device.
Vaping CBD products has become incredibly popular, as it is often thought to have a much lower impact on the lungs – as the material is not undergoing full combustion, but merely being heated enough to vaporize the active compounds in your wax, E-juice, or similar CBD cannabis concentrate.
Wax is a familiar product to most who use medical/recreational marijuana and is created using some solvent passed over cannabis buds to extract all of the cannabinoids from the plant material. What is left at the end of this process looks not all that different from earwax – hence the name. CBD Wax can have cannabinoid levels over 90% for the most potent and well-made products, although it is essential to make sure whatever you purchase has been laboratory tested for common contaminants like pesticides, heavy metals, and especially residual solvents.
While the process of creating wax concentrates the cannabinoids and leaves behind chlorophyll and other parts of the plant that are unwanted/not active, toxins that are soluble in the maker’s solvent of choice can also become concentrated in the end product. Ask for Certificates of Analysis before making a purchase. Wax is generally sprinkled over cannabis buds to potentiate the product, or smoked by itself either with a glass nail and a torch or even via a technique known as hot knifing for the low-budget CBD connoisseur.
E-Juice is the name for a liquid (usually with a base of vegetable glycerin or propylene glycol) infused with CBD (and sometimes other cannabinoids as well) and terpenes or natural flavors. If you vape CBD regularly, it’s in your best interest to find a pen that can take CBD e-juices. Vaporizers come in all shapes and sizes, but the general idea is an electronic box with a heating element attached to a refillable cartridge.
The E-Juice goes into the refillable cartridge, the user presses and holds a button while putting the device up to their mouth, and inhales, drawing in a plume of misty vapor filled with active CBD. E-Juice is often filled with nicotine for electronic cigarette users, and this is more or less the same thing – only there’s no nicotine, just CBD.
Inhaling CBD and cannabis is so popular because the onset of effects is immediate, and as such it’s incredibly easy to control the dose. You take puff after puff until the desired level of relief is attained, and then go about your day. The only drawback to this method of ingestion is effects usually taper off after about 45 minutes to an hour, requiring consistent dosing throughout the day. Additionally, this method is anything but discreet – which may not matter if you’re at home or with close friends, but it’s unlikely to be acceptable at your place of employment or around family.
CBD Topicals And Rub-Ons
Transdermal CBD application is perhaps the most novel way to self-administer CBD and other cannabinoids. The legalization of hemp and CBD products has seen an explosion in body care products like CBD-infused body washes, shampoos, lotions, and massage products. Our skin is the largest organ we possess, and it is incredibly permeable.
This fact is why we see people urging conscientiousness when choosing body care products, as all those unpronounceable chemicals in many products end up soaking through our pores and coursing through our bloodstream. The issue with these types of products is absorption is slow, the dose in any given product is more often than not quite low, and even then it’s quite hard to know exactly how much you are absorbing, making dosing appropriate for your condition exceptionally challenging.
Perhaps the most intriguing item in this category of products is the transdermal CBD patch. It’s not all that different from a nicotine patch, except there’s no nicotine – only a time-released dose of CBD. Transdermal patches sometimes remain active for over two days, making these great for people with severe pain or other chronic illnesses that would otherwise require chronic dosing.
Some older folks that are still rooted in the mindset of reefer madness that was fed to America for so many years may feel uncomfortable vaping, smoking, or popping a CBD gummy bear – a transdermal CBD patch may provide a professional, pharmaceutical seeming product that they are more comfortable using.
Additionally, the long duration of effects gives it a ‘set it and forget it’ quality that makes it ideal for long trips where bringing other CBD products and continually redosing may not be possible. As always, consult with your healthcare provider before embarking on any natural product regimen. Here’s to your health!
How to Use CBD Transdermals
While the application of CBD topicals varies from product to product, most are fairly similar. Simply put, you’ll want to use a small amount of a topical and rub it into a targeted area. For example, if you struggle with joint pain, you’ll want to rub CBD lotion into the affected joint.
While there is no harm in putting large amounts of a topical in one area, it’s in your best interest to use a small amount for two reasons. For one, you’ll only need a small amount to feel the effects – this is especially true for CBD transdermals that are made with menthol. Secondly, the less of a CBD topical you use, the more you’ll save over time. And, let’s be honest, these products aren’t cheap!