CBD here, CBD there, CBD everywhere. From big time celebrities to major fitness, beauty and wellness brands, CBD is showing up in everything from your morning cup of coffee to the eye cream you use before bed each night.
There’s a lot to choose from and one thing is for certain: people use CBD in a bunch of different ways and for a bunch of different reasons.
How do I go about deciding what products are right for me? What are my options and what do I need to look for?
You should first get an understanding about why you want to take CBD. Then, choose an appropriate consumption method. Do you experience muscle soreness? Are you frequently anxious or stressed? Are you focused on general wellness and wellbeing? Are you looking for something fast-acting or something that’s long lasting?
Let’s take a look at 5 ways your body can absorb CBD.
- What it is: Absorption through inhalation requires breathing in the vapor or gas. Vaping CBD is very popular. Smoking CBD flower is also an option for those who choose to inhale their CBD.
- How they work: When vapor or smoke enters your lungs, gases exchange through small air sacs called alveoli. From here, the CBD enters directly into your bloodstream. Because CBD enters directly from your lungs to your bloodstream, the onset of effects is super fast. We’re talking almost immediately to a few short minutes. The effects typically last between 2-3 hours before a redose is necessary.
- Bioavailability (how much you get): The amount of CBD you’ll get from every puff will undoubtedly vary depending on a number of factors like how long you inhale and the product’s concentration. We won’t leave you hanging, tho. If you have a 1 mL cartridge that contains 200mg of CBD, a typical puff would provide you with approximately 2mg of CBD per inhale (assuming 100 puffs per cartridge).
- What it is: Absorption through topical application involves applying a cream, lotion, balm, ointment, salv, soap, spray or some other type of product directly onto the skin.
- How they work: Contrary to popular belief, topicals only interact with the top layer of cells and CBD does not enter your bloodstream through your skin. That said, cannabinoid receptors exist throughout the entire body, including this top layer of cells, which is where the interaction takes place. Topicals sometimes take up to an hour to work while their effects may stick around for several hours.
- Bioavailability (how much you get): The bioavailability of topical solutions will depend on 3 factors 1) the CBD concentration 2) the amount applied and 3) how well the product is applied. As always, read product instructions and directed uses before slathering up.
- What it is: Definitely the weirdest sounding way to take your CBD. Sublingual application involves placing the CBD product directly under your tongue. The most popular variant is the tincture – using a pipette (dropper), you simply draw your dose volume from the container and drop it under the tongue.
- How they work: Underneath your tongue you have a mucous membrane and below this membrane exists a bunch of capillaries that act as gateways to the bloodstream. CBD moves quickly across this mucous membrane to the awaiting capillaries that grant it access to the body. Onset of effects can occur in as quick as 15 minutes while lasting 2 to 6 hours.
Bioavailability (how much you get): Getting an accurate amount from tinctures is fairly straightforward. Just use the table right down there.
|mg per 30 mL Bottle (1 fl. oz.)||mg per 1 mL Dropper (full)|
- What it is: When you eat or drink CBD-infused edibles. Infused gummies, chocolates, candies, juices, coffees, gel capsules, protein powders and more.
- How they work: Ingesting CBD is a relatively slow route to absorption. It’s even slower if you have a full stomach. The CBD must pass through the entire stomach digestive process and through the liver before entering your bloodstream. This takes time. Effects can take place between 30-60 minutes and may last up to 4 hours.
- Bioavailability (how much you get): Most edibles come in specified mg amounts like 10 mg gummies or 25 mg capsules, for example. The U.S. National Library of Medicine published a study that details how cannabidiol breaks down in the liver, suggesting the amount of CBD actually reaching your bloodstream from that 10 mg gummy might be less than 10 mg.
- What it is: Patches that are applied directly to the skin near veiny areas.
- How they work: Earlier, we said topical applications of CBD don’t reach the bloodstream. Transdermal patches are different. Transdermal does pretty much what its name suggests; passes across the dermal (skin) barrier to reach the bloodstream. Not unlike topical CBD products, transdermal patches take up to an hour or more to take effect with effects lasting 1-2 days.
- Bioavailability (how much you get): Transdermal patches are available in specified doses which are released steadily into the bloodstream. If a patch offers 30mg with a lifespan of 12 hours, the body will absorb the 30mg dose throughout the 12 hour period.
How much CBD should I take?
TL;DR – there ARE NOT defined dosage recommendations as of yet.
However… you should start small before increasing your daily intake. Below are some ballpark suggestions based on weight.
|Weight in Lbs.||Micro (mg)||Standard (mg)||Macro (mg)|
|26 – 45||6||9||12+|
|46 – 85||9||12||15+|
|86 – 150||12||15||18+|
|151 – 240||18||22.5||27+|
What CBD companies can you trust these days?
Watch out for the hoards of nonsense products spewed around the market. You can protect yourself and your wallet by doing a little research before buying cannabidiol from a company or supplier.
The source of your CBD is important to know. CBD is federally legal if it comes exclusively from hemp plants. It is illegal to ship CBD derived from marijuana across state lines even if there is no trace of THC. Check the ingredients of any CBD product before you buy a supply.
Look into the company’s production methods. Certain solvents used to extract CBD may be unhealthy. Processing via organic, pharmaceutical-grade ethanol or supercritical CO2 extraction are preferred. If the company meets Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) requirements, it’s a good sign.
Check the company’s Certificate of Analysis (CoA). Many brands proudly display their CoA’s on their websites. Check there first. Or, email them.
Pursuing third-party lab testing isn’t economically reasonable for the average consumer on their own. Lab tests are expensive. Many high quality brands proudly display third-party lab results on their websites. Look or ask for these.