How to take CBD products

CBD products are manufactured in various forms to give their growing customer-base a choice of ways to take CBD. The method you select to absorb or ingest CBD oil affects its function, somatic and psychological benefits.

Much depends on how comfortable each person is with different ways to administer cannabidiol and the physiological need that they aim to address. Also, the speed and efficiency of absorption vary between the different ways of using CBD.

For instance, to address a specific and isolated physical need, you apply CBD products directly to that specific location, and absorption occurs via the skin (transdermally). For rapid relief, some people prefer to put CBD oil under their tongue to ensure the active ingredient reaches their bloodstream and then the nervous system as quickly as possible.

Slow ingestion of CBD products can occur when consumed in other oral forms, but this can result in less concentrated amounts of the active ingredient finding their way to the individual’s endocannabinoid system.

The fastest way to experience CBD’s effects is by inhaling CBD oil that has been vaporized or via a suppository. In vaping, the active ingredient passes quickly from the lungs to the bloodstream, then onwards to the central nervous system.

More options – and the advantages and disadvantages of different methods of using CBD – are outlined below.

Oral & Edible CBD Products

The primary way to ingest CBD is via drops, a paste, or a spray of CBD oil, used under the tongue. It then quickly travels into the bloodstream through the mouth’s capillaries. The formal name for this process is to consume something ‘sublingually.’

These CBD product options are sold in different strengths to give people added control over how much of the active ingredient they want to absorb. The active ingredient – cannabidiol – is blended with a harmless carrier oil. It is commonly administered using a glass dropper containing measured doses.

How quickly is CBD absorbed through the mouth? Studies show that CBD’s sublingual consumption is up to ten times faster than alternative ways to take this substance, and you will feel its effects within seconds.

Taking CBD using drops or a spray also creates robust bioavailability. That means the percentage of the chemical compound that finds its way into your endocannabinoid system is higher than when you use other oral methods to take CBD. Drops, sprays, and pastes are also the preferred option for anyone who finds taking tablets and capsules challenging or finds the taste of CBD oil unpleasant.

However, there is an important role for CBD products in tablets and capsules form for oral consumption. Ingesting the chemical compounds in cannabidiol slowly via the digestive system can be beneficial in some situations, particularly high-potency CBD provided by medical professionals to address severe health issues, such as epilepsy.

It is also possible to buy gummies, a popular and easily affordable way to take CBD. Gummies are considered a less formal and ‘fun’ way to consume the active ingredients. They are easy to carry around, discreet, and often taste good. As CBD passes increasingly to mainstream and widespread use, the consumption options expand and now include chocolate, coffee, and protein bars, for example.

Are edibles an effective way to absorb CBD? When you eat or drink items containing CBD, it can take up to two hours for the cannabidiol to take effect. 70-80% of the chemical compound could lose its effectiveness in the digestive system and liver, mainly due to sugar and preservatives.


CBD Products you can inhale

Smoking or vaping CBD products are also a popular way to unlock the benefits of this ancient remedy.

Cannabis that is specially cultivated and processed to be pure and free of hallucinogenic elements can be smoked by rolling CBD-rich cannabis flowers into a joint. However, this may not always be practical. There can also be a concern that it is not viewed as socially acceptable due to a lack of understanding about medical CBD.

Instead, those who wish to inhale CBD oil often prefer to use a vaporizer with concentrated liquid CBD in a cartridge or an e-cigarette or vape pen with CBD oil in its chamber.

How quickly do you feel the effects of CBD when you inhale it? This method of taking CBD puts it quickly into your bloodstream through your lungs. In fact, within 10 minutes, you could have up to 56 percent of the chemical compounds you have absorbed active in your body.

Vaping cannabidiol also achieves high bioavailability, making it a cost-effective form of CBD, which is another popular way to take CBD. It is easy to carry vape equipment around, and you can use them in many public places without fear of censure.

Even people who don’t usually vape have found this is the best way to start using CBD oil as it is so convenient and effective. However, not everyone finds vaping pleasant or tolerable. Keep in mind that smoking in all forms could lead to carcinogens entering your lungs. Vaping is considered a safer option, but there are still some concerns about its long term impact on lung health. It is possible electronic cigarettes increase the risk of asthma and other forms of lung disease.

On a more positive note, studies have shown that using CBD vapes and cigarettes can assist in recovery from opioid addiction and for nicotine cessation.

Topical, Transdermal, and External Use of CBD products

It is possible to buy CBD-infused balms, lotions, creams, and salves, which deliver the chemical compound to a surface area. These forms are topical applications.

CBD can also be administered externally via the skin for absorption into the bloodstream (known as a transdermal application) in the form of patches and suppositories inserted in the rectum or vagina.

This application transfers the chemical compounds in CBD oil through the skin into the endocannabinoid system.

The advantage of using a topical form of CBD is that it can bring localized and discreet relief to address a distinct therapeutic need. In other words, it optimizes the pain and inflammation relief benefits of CBD oil, with direct application to an affected area.

Transdermal application is a common way to use CBD oil to address muscle and joint problems or improve skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.

According to a study outlined in the European Journal of Pain, when CBD is administered through the skin, it successfully tackles less severe pain and inflammation caused by arthritis.

In 2019, another research project found that when CBD is used as an ointment and applied directly to the skin, it can ‘significantly reduce’ inflammatory and scarring caused by dermatological diseases.

One of the advantages is that the CBD oil can be blended with additional therapeutic substances such as menthol, camphor, and capsaicin, which boost the benefits.

However, putting CBD creams, lotions, and other topical remedies onto your skin is considered to provide the least effective absorption method (low bioavailability), acting almost entirely with cannabinoid receptors in your skin. Low bioavailability is why it is only really recommended for CBD therapeutic relief for localized health problems.

Human skin is less porous than you possibly imagine. The best way to apply topical CBD products is to rub them into the area of need gently. It is also necessary to check the ingredients of CBD creams, lotions, and other topical remedies to find the ones with a higher concentration of the active ingredient to optimize the benefits of taking CBD this way.

The highest absorption rate of CBD comes from suppositories. In the vagina and rectum, membranes are thin enough to allow the chemical compounds to pass swiftly in large amounts into the circulatory system. However, this method requires great care and planning and can cause tissue damage or leakage.


How much CBD should I take?

The amount of CBD you should take depends on a range of factors, including:

  • your body weight
  • the condition you’re treating
  • your individual body chemistry
  • the concentration of CBD in each pill, capsule, drop, or gummy

In other words, there are a lot of variables that go into deciding how much CBD to take. Before trying CBD, be sure to talk to your doctor about the appropriate dosage and any potential risks. If your doctor tells you how much to use, stick to their recommendation. This is especially important if you’re taking a prescription medication that contains CBD, such as Epidiolex, a form of seizure medication.

If your doctor doesn’t provide a recommendation, it’s best to start with a smaller CBD dosage and gradually increase your CBD dosage. This could mean starting with 20 to 40 mg a day. After a week, increase this amount by 5 mg. Continue this until you feel that it’s effectively treating your symptoms.

For example, you might start off with 40 mg to treat severe pain. You can take 40 mg on days when you’re in a lot of pain. After a week, you increase it to 45 mg, and after a second week, you use 50 mg. At this point, you might feel that your pain is bearable.

It might be wise to keep track of how much CBD you’re taking and whether your symptoms are getting better. Write it down on paper or in a notes app on your phone.


Start with a small dosage of CBD and increase slowly until you reach your desired effect. Your ideal dosage of CBD depends on a lot of factors, like your body weight, body chemistry, the condition you’re treating, and the concentration of CBD in the product you’re using.

How to calculate dosage

Some products, such as CBD gummies, capsules, or pills, tell you how much is in a single serving. For example, the packaging on a bottle of CBD capsules might indicate that there are 5 mg of CBD per capsule.

If you’re using CBD oil, it’ll likely come in a dropper bottle. The packaging might specify how much CBD is in a single drop. From there, you can figure out how many drops you need to use.

Sometimes it’s harder to figure out how much CBD is in one drop because the packaging specifies the total amount of CBD in the entire bottle, but not the amount that will be in a single drop.

One drop is about 0.05 millilitres (mL). That is, not a full dropper — just a single drop.

This means that a 10-mL bottle of CBD oil contains 200 drops. And if the packaging for that 10-mL bottle says that the bottle contains 1,000 mg of CBD, each drop will contain about 5 mg of CBD.

So, to have 20 mg of that type of CBD oil, you should take four drops.

Is it possible to take too much CBD?

2011 review of trusted Source on the safety and side effects of CBD found that continuous use of CBD, even in high doses like 1,500 mg a day, is tolerated well by humans.

2017 update of trusted source to this review also confirmed this. However, a 2019 study done on mice did raise some safety concerns about CBD’s potential for liver damage and its interactions with other medications.

If you’re currently taking medication and would like to try CBD, it’s essential to discuss this with your doctor.

There are very few known side effects of CBD. When side effects do occur, however, they may include diarrhoea, appetite changes, and fatigue.

Possible side effects of taking CBD products

  • fatigue
  • diarrhoea
  • changes in appetite
  • changes in weight

If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to buy CBD, you can find many CBD brands online. But make sure you research each brand before purchasing. While pure, genuine CBD is considered safe, fake and low-quality products can be dangerous.

CBD isn’t regulated by the FDA, so it’s up to you to make sure that you’re only using high-quality products. Look for products from a reputable brand with third-party testing, and avoid companies that have a history of inaccurate labelling.

A 2018 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)Trusted Source noted that 52 Utah residents had bad reactions to certain CBD products. It turned out that most of them used products that included synthetic CBD. Some products contained no information about the manufacturer or its ingredients.

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