What Do You Want To Achieve With CBD?
The first step is to identify what your goals are. Whether you’re looking for anxiety relief, pain relief, a better sleep or more focus will determine how you should consume or apply CBD. When you start your CBD journey, consider tracking your progress; take note of the route you used (oral, topical, inhalation), the dosage taken and how you felt. If you’re using CBD for sleep, take note of when you took the CBD and how much time passed until you felt sleepy. Use this as a guide for future adjustments!
Where Does The CBD Need To Reach?
Needless to say, CBD needs to get to the right place in order to be effective, and this will influence how you use it. If you need to target a specific area on the skin or a mucous membrane, its best to first try a localized product such as a spray, cream or suppository. This ensures a high concentration of the product is delivered to exactly the right place. Otherwise, CBD has to travel through the bloodstream to reach its destination; vaporizers and tinctures/gummies or other oral products are recommended for this purpose. Many people benefit from a combination of delivery methods. Experiment and find what works for you!
How Quickly Does It Need To Work?
The amount of time CBD remains active and effective in your body is influenced by the method it was ingested and how quickly your body eliminates it. Some methods offer a quick peak of effect while others give a slower, steadier release. For a quick spike of CBD, inhaling via a vaporizer is ideal. For a steadier dose, edibles or oral tinctures are a good choice.
Finding Your Dose
Dosing is a highly individual thing. Its recommended to go low and slow initially, upping the dose over time until the desired effect is achieved. Try a small puff of vape or a couple of drops of oil under the tongue, and monitor how you feel. Though it’s unlikely you would feel any massively adverse effects, it’s more for your body to adjust accordingly and so that you don’t accidentally take more than your body is happy with initially. Once the CBD has peaked and is leaving your system (approximately 1 hour for vaping and 6 hours for oral CBD products) try a higher dose. Though the labelling of your product will list how much CBD is in each serving, your body will not absorb the entire amount. To increase absorption, try holding CBD oil under your tongue for a few seconds before swallowing, or holding vapor in your lungs for a few seconds before exhaling.
Can You Take Too Much?
Technically, no. As with any herbal remedy that acts upon your body’s natural chemistry, there are some potential side effects such as nausea and diarrhoea if too much is consumed. Nothing too serious. That being said, CBD inhibits cytochrome p450 in the same way that grapefruit does; if you currently take medication for which you’re advised not to consume grapefruit, then CBD probably isn’t for you. It’s wise to consult your physician if you’re currently taking any medication that you’re concerned may interact with CBD. As far as dosage goes, some studies have administered doses as high as 1,200mg of CBD daily for months at a time without observing any serious side affects! That would imply you can be fairly liberal with your dosage without much concern.
CBD Type & Quality
As explained in our All About CBD article, there are two types of CBD; full-spectrum and isolate. Isolate has had all other naturally-occurring chemicals filtered out, whilst full-spectrum hasn’t. The advantage full-spectrum has is that all the additional molecules in it work synergistically together, as part of something known as the entourage effect. Some argue that this makes CBD more effective overall. If you’re not interested in this, CBD isolate is a great choice. No matter what type you choose to go with, not all CBD companies produce the same quality of products. After finding your optimal dosage, this may change if you switch brands. CBD And Anxiety only recommends high-quality, third-party tested companies. Check out our Choosing The Right Product section to see our recommended brands for each type of CBD product.
Methods of Ingestion
Oral – Sublingual
Product Types: Oil, Tinctures
Pathway: Your mouth is full of capillary-rich areas underneath the tongue and on the inside of the cheek. By absorbing directly into the blood stream, it avoids first-pass metabolism (where the digestion process greatly reduces the concentration of a drug before it reaches your blood stream).
Time Frame: When placed under the tongue, peak CBD levels in the blood stream can be expected after 30 mins – 5 hours.
Considerations: It’s advised to keep the CBD in your mouth and hold it for a while before swallowing to increase contact time. Additionally, researchers have recently discovered that CBD is absorbed far more readily via this method if the person has recently eaten. This is because chewing increases blood flow to your mouth.
Oral – Swallowed
Product Types: Edibles, Gummies, Capsules
Pathway: CBD is absorbed into the blood stream via your digestive tract. Once in the blood stream, it is distributed throughout the body.
Time Frame: This method of ingestion is the slowest to take effect, but is also active for longest. Peak CBD levels in your blood stream are expected anywhere between 1 – 6 hours.
Considerations: CBD ingested via this manner is first processed by the liver before passing into your bloodstream. This is called “first-pass metabolism.” For this reason, if you are on any prescription medication that is processed the same way, it could interfere with it. CBD inhibits cytochrome p450 in the same way that grapefruit does; if you currently take medication for which you’re advised not to consume grapefruit, then consider another method of ingestion such as inhalation. Also consider what food you’ve already eaten; as CBD is fat-soluble, more cannabinoids are absorbed on a full stomach.
Product Types: Creams, Lotions, Balm, Spray
Pathway: This method is more localized in that it absorbs directly into the skin and can reach specific targets better. Very little enters the bloodstream.
Time Frame: Varies depending on where it is applied.
Considerations: For on-the-spot treatment, topicals are a great option! They are best used in conjunction with other products, such as oral tinctures.
Product Types: Vape Liquid, High-CBD Cannabis Strains
Pathway: When inhaled, CBD is rapidly passed into the blood stream. This method also avoids first-pass metabolism.
Time Frame: Inhaling CBD is the quickest way to get it into your bloodstream, but is also active for a shorter time. Peak CBD levels in the bloodstream are to be expected after roughly 10 minutes.
Considerations: Use high quality vape pens with ceramic heating elements; avoid cheap, disposable pens. This can greatly affect the quality of the puff you take. It is also advised to take a small puff of CBD and then, in the same breath, fill the rest of your lungs with fresh air. This helps avoid any possible throat irritation and lessens the chance of coughing.